My kids are growing up, and I can’t seem to keep on top of the trends. They come home from school with new words and expressions and I have to check the urban dictionary to figure out if their day was good or bad! The other day my son said that my hat was ‘lit’ and I worried I was on fire. It’s hard to look like a cool mom when you don’t know the ‘savage’ lingo. See? I’m catching on.

As language trends change, so do the popular toys. As a busy mom, I certainly don’t have time to figure out what is popular. It’s a full-time job to help with homework and decipher what they are saying!

With Christmas approaching, I need all the help I can get in order to choose ‘rad’ and appropriate toys that don’t blow the household budget. Thankfully, this year the task is going to be quick and easy with the Walmart Toy Academy.

Founded on the principles of making holiday shopping easier, the Toy Academy is Walmart’s brand new online platform that features curated lists of the top toys kids want to get this season – plus you can search which toys to get based on your budget, as well as your kids’ ages and interests. Hooray!!!! Walmart listened, analyzed, and tracked online toy data, ratings and reviews to come up with these helpful lists. You can also find all of the toys in store, where you are greeted with a smile and then sport an even larger one at the cash register when you realize you’ve completed your toy shopping in one store and under budget.

Toy Academy Categories

I love clicking around all of the different categories, as they also help me pinpoint and focus on who my kids really are. Do they love dolls and playhouses? Construction & Building Toys? Collectible Toys? Not only can I choose their interests, but I can also choose my own budget. THANK YOU. I can search by price point (under $20, under $50, etc.), making it easy for me to find the toys that will be sure to put smiles on their faces this Christmas and beyond. Another frustration for parents is when toys have no longevity. Paying for a toy that will keep their interest for a day or two is a horrible waste of money.

Top Toys Walmart

We set up a fun playdate with my boys’ little friend Kim in order to test out a few of the Top Toys for 2017 featured on the Toy Academy. The three of them could have been on a Walmart advertisement endorsing the choices of the Academy!

These toys not only produced huge excitement, but they taught many new skills – which is another criterion that is always important to parents. Engineering, physics and strategizing are all focuses at school, and the big playdate helped further their learning. I simply had to sit back and allow them to broaden their own horizons through the only thing that is important in childhood which is play.

All three kids delighted in learning how to fly the Propel Maximum X01 Micro Drone – which is only $24.97! What better way to increase STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills than maneuvering a flying machine lit with LED lighting? We let Kim choose a toy to take home with her, and this was her pick. What a great price point for something she will use continuously. I see physics or engineering in her future!

Flying a Drone

Remote control vehicles (you can add ‘RC’ to your lexicon) are fun for all ages and genders. The Hot Wheels Balistik Racer (&89.97) certainly proved that they are all the rage, and not only for kids. I wanted a turn so badly! And so did the cat and dog. Our pets are certainly adding one to their lists this year!

Hot Wheels Walmart

The kids also loved unwrapping two Nerf Modulus Regulators ($48 each). Two blasters and three kids also stimulated the imagination, as fingers became additional blasters, and other spy tactics were explored.

New Toys Playdate

Thank you, Walmart – for making gifting this Christmas easier and very affordable. TBH, I don’t want to shop anywhere else this year (you will have to look that one up!)

This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada as part of the Toy Academy program. In exchange for this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.

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Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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