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Fall has always been my favorite time of year, from crisp days spent crunching through gorgeously colored leaves to spooky nights filled with candy and mischief. To be honest though, it doesn’t feel very fall-like where I am. The days are still well into the 80s and 90s and I’ve yet to trade shorts and sundresses for cozy sweaters and boots.
This is actually a boon! It means there’s plenty of time to play with summer-style toys plus you’ll probably be able to find them at a discount as stores try to push everything off the shelves in their mad dash towards the three-month holiday of Christmas.
Below I’ve collected some of my favorite toys and games to take you through the warm days of early autumn and carry you right into the chillier months to come.
Since according to my car it was 103 degrees here–in Ohio, in October!– I want to start out with some fun water toys. You may have seen these Bunch O Balloons water balloons from Zuru on TV. They caused quite a stir with their ability to be filled so quickly. You can fill 100 balloons in 60 seconds and they’re self-sealing so you can reuse them for hours of cooling and cathartic fun. In case you’re wondering, they do actually work as advertised! They are pretty impressive and magical to watch.
If you want to go full tilt with a water fight party, you need to pick up a few of these X Shot Fast Fill water guns also from Zuru. They have a high fluid capacity and fill even faster than the balloons. If you dip the gun under water it fills in literally one second! These provide nonstop super soaker action.
Another of my favorite items from Zuru is their Bunch O Balloons Party Pump which can be used with their Self-Sealing Party Balloons. This is amazing for birthdays and holidays. It only takes 40 seconds to fill 40 balloons, which have pretty ribbon attached so you can decorate with them easily or add them to packages. The Party Pump is handy to have around because you can use it to fill air mattresses, pool floaties and more. This really takes the stress and time out of party prep.
As the weather starts to cool, I’ve found that autumn nights are some of my favorite times for gathering the family around for board games. It’s a great way to get everyone off of their screens, laughing and interacting.
One of my favorite recent releases is The Root Beer Float Challenge. I was basically in love the minute I saw that it comes packaged in an ultra-realistic larger version of a root beer can. SO cute! This is for 2-8 players, ages 8 and up. They’ve taken the idea of the Youtube challenge (only not stupid or gross) and turned it into a fun game for the whole family. It comes with plastic versions of everything you’d need for a root beer float, from a scoop of ice cream to cherries and straws. You use the die and 200 challenge cards to determine what silly task you must complete to win your turn. Some are surprisingly hard! The best thing is, you can stock up on supplies to make actual root beer floats to reward yourselves at the end.
Another innovative game that we recently tried is Gridopolis. I like the free-form play and creativity of this. It’s a strategy game played in 3D meant for 2-4 players, ages 8+. It’s fairly simple yet engrossing and fun. The game board actually transforms as you play, with certain pieces allowing you to shrink the size of the grid, and also beam you to a different location in video-game-like twist.
For total silliness, you might enjoy Watch Ya Mouth ’90s Edition. We had previously played the regular version of this and it is fun, if a little spit-and-drool inducing. I recommend having disinfecting wet-naps on hand! The basic premise is that each player gets a mouth stretching piece (which are color-coded so you can remember which is yours!) that makes it hard to speak. Then you draw cards with phrases, in this case with a 1990’s pop culture theme, that you must try to pronounce while your team guesses what you’re saying. This is for 3-10 players, ages 8+, but obviously will be the most fun for ’90s kids with nostalgia in their hearts. How many people who didn’t grow up in the ’90s are going to know or care who Patty Mayonnaise was? But if you know, you KNOW. Y’know?
This one isn’t a toy orgame, but it’s so adorable that I wanted to give it a shout-out. Plus it’s perfect for cuddling up during game nights, or just to watch a spooky movie with the fam. It’s a My Sweet Treats Snuggle Blanket from Girl Zone.It is so incredibly cozy soft and features an all-over design of cupcakes, milkshakes, ice cream and cookies on a bright fuchsia pink background.
This next toy is from one of my favorite movies of all time, The Nightmare Before Christmas. You can argue all day about whether it’s a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie- me, I think it’s both and also appropriate for any time of year because it’s freaking awesome. I’m also a big fan of Funko toys. I’ve been meaning to put up a post of some of my favorite Funko Pops for you guys, I will hopefully get to that this month. These are a new toy I’ve seen them offering, the 5 Star edition which are smaller than regular pops, but also have little accessories and fine details as well as a nice package. You can see the painting on Sally is very well done, where sometimes the Pops can get a bit messy. This was to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the film.
Last, but not at all least, these Ugly Doll Pez are perfect for Halloween. They feature the characters Moxy. Ox and Ugly Dog. I’ll leave the eternal question up to you- do you open them and eat the candy or keep them pristine and collectible? Oh the choices. (Me, I’d buy two and do both.)
There you have it, my picks for the best fall toys and games for you and your children to enjoy. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these or if you have other favorites you’d like to share! .