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Readers’ Picks: The 10 Most Popular Items Purchased This Week

See recent posts by Josh Roberts

Sometimes the best recommendations come from your fellow travelers. This list of the top 10 products purchased so far this week by Family Vacation Critic readers includes everything from toys and technology to swim gear and books. Check out these reader-sourced recommendations for the hottest items recommended by family travelers like yourself!

1. All-New Echo Show 5, Compact Smart Display with Amazon Alexa

echo show 5

About this product: “Echo Show 5 connects to Alexa to give you vivid visuals on a 5.5″ screen with a crisp full sound—all in a compact design that fits in any room, in any home. See on-screen lyrics with Amazon Music. Set alarms and timers. Catch up on news highlights and movie trailers. Check weather and traffic. Catch up on today’s news and sports highlights. Watch TV shows, movies, and trailers. Cook along with step-by-step recipes. It’s the perfect size for adding glanceable entertainment to any room.”

Amazon user review: “The combination of quality and value are really tough to beat.”


2. The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts

The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts ; Courtesy of Amazon

About this product: “A twisty-turny supernatural page-turner, this debut novel from the editor of Family Vacation Critic is brimming with mystery, suspense, a lovable cast of characters, and a delightfully enigmatic villain—a clever synthesis of Salem witch lore and magical adventures.”

Amazon user review: “Full of magic, mayhem, gripping danger, and a good dose of humor… Hits all the sweet spots for the modern spooky middle grade novel.”

3. WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Song Puppet with Tempo Control – Interactive Preschool Plush Toy


About this product: “Your favorite Baby Shark is now available as an interactive puppet! Move the mouth of your Baby Shark puppet to hear the entire Baby Shark song, the global sensation with over 3.3 billion views! Change the speed of the Baby Shark song by moving the mouth faster or slower!”

Amazon user review: “Want something annoying that your little kid would love? It’s a hand puppet that responds to your hand movement with that baby shark song. If you move your hand slow, it plays slower. Move your hand faster and it plays faster. LOL.”

Related: The 11 Hottest Toys for Christmas 2019

4. Cool Maker, GO Glam Nail Stamper, Nail Studio with 5 Patterns to Decorate 125 Nails

Go Glam Nail Stamper

About this product: “Easily stamp and style custom manicures with the Cool Maker GO GLAM Nail Stamper! This at-home nail studio includes everything you need to decorate up to 125 nails of any size! With five trendy nail patterns to choose from – unicorns, cupcakes, flamingos and more – girls can mix and match to express their own unique style. Salon quality nails are as easy as pop, paint and press!”

Amazon user review: “My daughters love using this Nail Stamper to do their nails. They get to pick their own colors and stamp designs which they love. Stamping the print is definitely their favorite part as it is super simple and satisfying. My 5 year old enjoys stamping a different design on each finger for added fun. A great toy.”

5. Body Glove Paddle Pals Motion Hologram Learn to Swim Life Jacket, The Safest U.S. Coast Guard Approved Learn-to-Swim Aid

Body Glove

About this product: “Safest Patented U.S. Coast Guard Approved ‘Learn to Swim’ life jacket with attached arm bands for teaching kids to safely learn to swim.”

Amazon user review: “Safety for our children is a huge concern for us and we had been looking for something for our 3 year old to use in the pool. We first found out about this when on a trip. A little boy approximately 3 years old was wearing one. He was in and out of the pool with no problems. He floated upright and the suit did not come off or loosen up. This definitely makes the child feel more secure about themselves in the water and really helps them practice moving in the water such as doggy paddling and treading water. This is a great training tool. I would definitely recommend.”

6. Speedo Kids’ Begin to Swim Vinyl Basic Arm Bands

swim bands

About this product: “Dual chamber heavy duty inflatable arm band for added safety and durability. Updated kid-friendly shape for comfort and mobility. Great for helping young swimmers build confidence in the water.”

Amazon user review: “Love these water wings. Most durable ones I have found so far! We have traveled all over and not had a single issue with them! I have 4 year old boy/girl twins that are two different sizes and they work perfect for both.”

7. Midland X-TALKER T20X4 22 Channel FRS Walkie Talkie – Two-Way Radio, 38 Privacy Codes, NOAA Weather Alert

Midland Walkie Talkie

About this product: “These license-free walkie-talkies feature the standard 22 FRS/GMRS (Family Radio Service) channels, along with channel scan to check for activity. Also included: Belt clips (x4) and an owner’s manual. 16-MILE RANGE: Longer range communication in open areas with little or no obstruction.”

Amazon user review: “We bought these for my 5 year old daughter who has friends in the neighborhood and she plays at others houses a lot. So basically we use them as a phone to keep in touch. They are fantastic.”

Related: The Best Travel-Inspired Gifts for Every Age

8. Educational Insights Artie 3000 The Coding Robot: STEM Toy, Coding Robot for Kids 7+

Educational Insights Robot

About this product: “The creative way to learn coding: Artie 3000 is the coding robot for kids where you design the code, and Artie 3000 draws the lines! With preprogrammed designs, beginners can start coding right away.”

Amazon user review: “I got this for my 10 yr old daughter who has never attempted coding before. This is a great toy for beginners. For starters it’s extremely easy to set up and once connected to the computer the Artie UI is extremely easy to use. I love how simple the drop down menus are making it easy for her to try and navigate it on her own. She can either use the preset options or put in her own. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to help give their kids a head start in the programming department.”

9. Dreamworks Dragons, Hatching Toothless Interactive Baby Dragon with Sounds, for Kids Aged 5 & Up

Hatching Dragon

About this product: “Now you can hatch and train your very own baby dragon with Hatching Dragon Toothless! With light-up eyes, interactive movements and sounds, baby Toothless comes alive, even while he’s still inside his egg! Once he’s hatched, you’ll become the best of friends with Toothless as you train him how to fly and plasma blast, feed him and play games together. Hatching Dragon Toothless is ready for fun and adventure with you!”

Amazon ser review: “My two boys received these as gifts. Hatches similar to a Hatchimal. Has a dial underneath that allows it to play several different games based upon on how you interact with him. Very cute.”

10. Best First Sunglasses for Infant, Baby, Toddler, and Kids. 100% UV Protection.

Baby sunglasses

About this product: “These frames are all made from super flexible rubberized plastic material to withstand twisting and bending without breaking easily. We highly recommend these types of sunglasses for little ones who are learning to first wear sunglasses for maximum durability.”

Amazon user review: “Just got these sunglasses today for our daughter. Very pleased with the quality, considering how low the price was. They are very flexible and look great.”

Josh Roberts is the Senior Executive Editor of Family Vacation Critic. His debut novel, The Witches of Willow Covewill be published in May 2020 by Owl Hollow Press.

Our team of parents and travel experts chooses each product and service we recommend. Anything you purchase through links on our site may earn us a commission.