Top Toy Trend: Focus on Family

Toys are not just for kids. The entire family can enjoy unplugging from their devices and engaging in some old school playtime. Instituting a family game night with tabletop games is a great way to get the whole family in on the fun. Many of today’s board games offer quick-play versions, so even the busiest families can find time to gather ’round the table and play.

Lots of toy companies are introducing new versions of retro, allowing parents and grandparents to share their childhood experiences with the next generation. From building toys to arts and crafts sets, there are many options that will bring grandparents, parents, teens, and kids together to make memories this holiday season and all year round.

Last year, Pie Face brought messy fun to families across the world. And now, it’s back and better than ever. Players go head-to-head and face off in Hasbro‘s epic new Pie Face Showdown Game. Players place their chins on the rest, and race to see who can hit their button the fastest, tug-of-war style. Players must push the button down faster to move the loaded arm closer to their opponent. Eventually, someone will end up with a face full of whipped cream. Put the fate back in your hands with this exciting new family game, perfect for kids and adults.

Families can celebrate 100 years of Lincoln Logs with this nostalgic set from K’NEX, just like parents remember. Inspired by an original Lincoln Logs building idea, the 100th Anniversary Tin captures the true essence of the Lincoln Logs brand. It is made in the U.S. and includes 111 real-wood logs. It comes in a collectible tin, which makes for easy and quick clean-up once the building is done.

Today’s moms have a “sweet” spot for Strawberry Shortcake and her sweetly scented pals, and the Strawberry Shortcake Classic Rag Doll Assortment, from The Bridge Direct, is sure to be loved by moms and kids alike. The assortment includes adorable reproductions of the original rag dolls from the 1980s. Each character has its own signature sweet scent. The assortment includes Strawberry, Lemon, and Raspberry (each sold separately).

Calling all aspiring artists! Parents loved creating amazing designs with Spirograph when they were kids, and now even the youngest creative minds can make amazing designs with the Spirograph Jr. design set, from Kahootz Toys. Jumbo-sized pieces make creating Spirograph art fun and easy for little hands, and an easy-to-carry drawing tablet doubles as a work station and handy storage case to keep everything neat. The set includes easy-to-use gears, five washable markers, 24 pages of design paper, and an instruction guide.

Families can skate into action with their own game night hockey match with the NHL Hockey Arena, from Playmobil. Each of the four NHL players feature a movable arm and hockey stick for realistic game play. Each player simply pulls back the lever to swing the stick and fire the puck down the rink toward the opposing goal. Use the goalies to defend against offensive plays using the joystick to maneuver the goalies from side to side. Thanks to the included team decals, families can customize each player to represent their favorite NHL team. The set includes four NHL players (two per team), four hockey pucks, a game play rules booklet, player number decals, logo decals for all 30 NHL teams, and more. In addition to being fun for four players at once, there is a nostalgia factor, as game play is reminiscent of both knock hockey and Foosball.

Laurie Schacht, also known as The Toy Insider Mom, has covered the toy industry for more than 20 years. The Toy Insider is a year-round resource for parents, grandparents and other gift-givers looking for the best toys for their kids. The Toy Insider also produces an annual holiday gift guide featured in Family Circle magazine. Visit for the latest toy news, reviews, giveaways, and more.

Follow Laurie Schacht on Twitter:

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.