Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht joined Family Circle Magazine for another installment of their “25 Days of Toys” to talk about new toys and games that challenge kids to use problem solving and teamwork skills to achieve a goal. For more on the items featured in this segment, check out the product notes below, and for our complete rundown of the best gifts for the holidays, check out our complete holiday gift guide.




  • House of Boing is the game that mixes speed, dexterity, and fast thinking. The first player to empty his or her room of balls wins.
  • House of Boing features 10 games, including House of Boing, Top Boing, Team Boing, Long Boing, and more.
  • With its elegant design, House of Boing may be enjoyed as a work of art or played as a challenging addition to any game room.
  • Age: 12+
  • MSRP: $24.99
  • Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Toys “R” Us


  • Operation: Escape is a new interactive game that taps into the escape room trend by combining skill, strategy and teamwork to search, solve and escape the room before time runs out.
  • Complete three tasks in order to set the captured player free of the master belt before time runs out.
  • Set timer on the belt using the rotating dials. The game includes a series of three challenges, a Skill Challenge, Strategy Challenge and Luck Challenge.
  • The Skill Challenge: wiggle a key out from the bottom of a cage using sticks.
  • The Strategy Challenge: Enter card number into the device, solve problem and then enter the answer into same device. If correct, 1/3rd of the key will come out. Must solve three problems in a row in order to retrieve key. If the answer is incorrect, the key will pop back into the device.
  • Luck Challenge: three chances to find the key in the device. If unable to find the key, reset the spinner and start over.
  • If the tasks are not solved before the time runs out, everyone loses.
  • Age: 6+
  • MSRP: $29.99
  • Available: Target


  • This hit party game for up to six players brings the “escape the room” challenge to your home.
  • Players must solve a series of riddles and puzzles to escape from a room.
  • Each correct solution brings players to another riddle, testing how fast they can escape.
  • Available now in three versions: Pharaoh’s Tomb, Secret Lab, and Abandoned Cabin.
  • Each unique game involves strategy, skill, and teamwork.
  • Age: 12+
  • MSRP: $14.95
  • Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Toys “R” Us