What do you want for Christmas? As parents take notes for Santa, it's a question they will likely pose dozens of times in the next few weeks.
We want you to "get it right," so we went right to the source: Kids themselves.
In a room full of 59 toys, donated from 15 different companies, we let 25 children and their parents go to town so they could tell us what they loved, liked and could do without.
We left out Apple products: We all know that every child would like a $200 iPod Touch or a $499 iPad, but that is not realistic for many budget-strapped parents.
Kids love tech
A lot of kids liked the flashy toys and spent serious time with the technology-based ones. But we noticed parents often had to help their kids get started, no matter the toy or the child's age.
After two hours of play, the parents rated the toys weighing the fun, learning aspects and cost.
Age 2- 4
For ages two to four, taking the top spot for the toys under $30 is the Deluxe Pound a Peg, at $16.99.
In the over $30 category, Fisher Price's Topsy Tumblers fun park was number one for $43.29.
Age 4 -7
If you're shopping for kindergartners, first or second graders, you should look at the Scrabble Alphabet Scoop.
And if you want to spend a little more, consider the MobiGo Touch learning system by V-Tech, which is priced at $59.99. It's a great starter "tablet" for young ones.
One parent said, "What I like about this is it has both the games and it has a learning aspect to it."
It has a touch screen and slide-out keyboard, providing a great mix of entertainment and education.
Age 8 and Up
For the older kids, 8 and up, Hasbro's Bop-it! has it in the under $30 category, coming in at $24.99.
Lego Champion is the champ on the more expensive end, retailing for $34.99.
It may not thrill as much as new Apple iPad, but do you really want to buy a 10-year-old a $500 tablet that they could drop or lose?
Don't forget Thomas
And there's always Thomas the Tank Engine. While it was not rated number one, the little ones gravitated toward the Thomas and Friends Discover Shed.
Or consider the new competitor to Thomas, Chugginton trains, which are less expensive and now outselling Thomas at some stores.
As always, don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
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