Whether it’s for Christmas, a birthday, or “just because,” kids are on the receiving end of gifts quite often, from mom and dad, friends, and other family members. But the trends change fast, and you want to make sure you get the child in your life a toy they’ll cherish and be proud to own.
There are many different types of toys, some that stimulate learning or creativity, that nurture pretend play and more. You’ll find many toys that serve a dual purpose, one that benefits your child and isn’t just for the sake of having fun.
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Electronic toys can inspire kids to imagine, learn and grow. These toys are not only a fun and creative outlet for children, but they can also increase cognitive function.
One of these toys is the Avengers Gauntlet.
This item is based on the movie and sparks kids’ imagination. It’s designed with the important Infinity Stones. These 6 stones all pulse on the gauntlet. When kids press the stone in the middle of the toy, it begins to emit sound.
Each of the fingers can open and close. Like in the movie, the toy can also clench into a triumphant fist. This type of toy helps your child transform into a movie character and also consider some moral and ethical questions as they play.
Another option is the Educational Insights Artie toy. This is a coding robot that guides children in the world of programming. It’s made with preprogrammed designs with STEM learning.
Arts & Crafts
Arts and crafts teach kids things like math, literacy, and motor skills. But besides learning, these toys are just plain fun and they spend hours playing and creating.
The Crayola Super Art Coloring Kit can spark a child’s imagination.
It’s the perfect indoor or outdoor toy. This kit comes with a selection of crayons, including the popular glitter crayons, as well as colored pencils. Some markers are also in the kit.
Kids will enjoy coloring the pages that come with it, as well as designing their own crafts using the construction paper. They can use the glue stick to create everything from paper puppets to paper worlds.
The items in the kit are non-toxic. It comes in a storage tub, so they can keep all their things together in one place and make it easier on mom and dad in terms of messes.
Next on the top of the toys list is the Crayola Scribble Scrubbie.
It’s easy to see why this one is a child and parent favorite. This arts and crafts toy allows kids to pick from a set of four pets. These pets are a yeti, a dragon, a narwhal or a unicorn.
Once the child picks out his pet, he can use the markers to color the creatures. What makes this toy different from many is that these creatures are 3-D rather than paper print-outs.
After the child is finished coloring or creating designs on his pet, he can then use the scrub tub to wash the animal completely clean. All kids have to do is press the button that’s by the tub shower head and the water washes the toy, turning the tub water a variety of colors.
When the animal is clean, your child gets to create all over again. The markers that are included are washable. The kit also comes with a scrub brush as well as a background that kids can color. Because the designs are washable, the child can constantly create something new!
Building toys not only help teach kids about creative development, but they also help them learn fine motor skills.
One of the most popular building toys this year is the LEGO Harry Potter set.
This set is a replica of the great Hogwarts Castle. It has everything that the castle had in the book and movie series and will provide hours of fun and imaginative play. The set is over 6,000 pieces and is the perfect gift for fans.
When the castle is complete, it’s over 22 inches in height. The attention to detail in this toy is what makes it one that kids are going to return to time and time again. The set has the same moving staircases like the ones shown in the movie.
It also has gorgeous stained glass windows. It even has the shiver-worthy Chamber of Secrets complete with the basilisk. Kids can build the Great Hall as well as the Whomping Willow. The set comes with some minifigures, including Dementors.
LEGO also has the Friends Rescue Boat building set. This cruiser set is just over 900 pieces and allows kids to explore the imaginary seas while rescuing creatures.
The boat has a function that allows it to launch. It also has a crane that kids can use to imagine lifting animals during rescue missions and treatment. The boat contains a lab, cockpit and a bedroom. A floating island is also included with the set, along with three LEGO friends.
Dolls and Accessories
Dolls and their accessories are always a huge hit when it comes to gift-giving for kids. A good choice is one of the Baby Alive dolls. These dolls come in a variety of different styles.
Kids can pretend to feed the doll, which moves and opens her mouth when you use her spoon. When the doll is fed, it will then pee or poop. Baby Alive dolls are interactive and have over 50 sayings.
They come with a set of accessories, too. These include a bib, diapers for changing the doll, a comb, food packets, and a bottle. You can order additional accessories – such as the refill package or separate diapers or food packets.
Another doll that makes the toy gift list is the Journey Girls Meredith doll. The doll is 18” in height and comes dressed in her outfit, shoes and a purse. It has blonde rooted hair, blue eyes and the facial features are hand-painted.
You can choose from a variety of different dolls in this line. There’s Mikaella, Callie, Kyla, Chavonne, and more. These dolls also have a lot of different accessories you can choose from to build the Journey Girls play world.
You can also buy different wardrobe accessories and even pets for the dolls.
Dress Up and Pretend Play
Kids love to dress up and pretend play. Doing this sparks their imagination and allows them to express themselves creatively.
The Rainbow Unicorn Tutu is a beautiful dress that can transform any day into one that’s filled with magic.
The dress is made with polyester, but the bodice of the dress has a silk lining so it can be worn all day in comfort. The bottom of the dress has lovely pastel tulle strips that are looped into the bottom of the bodice.
Kids love how the dress poofs out and swirls around when they turn while wearing it. The dress-up outfit also comes with a headband featuring a unicorn horn.
If you’re looking for a dress-up outfit for everyday heroes, then you can get the Melissa & Doug Fire Chief set.
Kids love this because it has so many realistic accessories. You get the red fire jacket, the fireman’s helmet, a badge, a bullhorn and even a play fire extinguisher. Since kids love pretend play toys, you’ll also want to look at getting ones that have plenty of accessories for hours of play.
A top-rated toy is the Fun Food Truck. This comes with over 20 pieces and has an interactive kitchen area featuring both a sink and a grill. Customers can pay for the food that kids ring up. The truck also has learning levels that will teach more than 125 phrases, songs, and sounds to help your child learn and grow.
Stuffed Animals and Plush Toys
Stuffed animals and plush toys are always at the top of a toy gift guide.
This year, Flappy the Elephant is on the list. This adorable elephant is soft and perfect for hugging. This little plush plays peek-a-boo and sings the funny song, “Do Your Ears Hang Low” that’s sure to elicit giggles.
The stuffed toy’s ears will flap as your child interacts with the elephant. When the toy’s left foot is pressed, it plays a game and when the right one is pressed, it’ll play the song. It’s a hand washable toy and does require batteries for the interaction stages.
Bedtime is when kids love to have plush toys to hold as they drift off to sleep.
Snuggle Up Skye is the perfect toy for that. The toy is part of the Paw Patrol line, which has delighted kids of all ages for years now.
This plush toy is a child favorite and one of the many reasons why is the way the pup’s stomach will light up in the dark. This light emits a soft glow that soothes kids as they drift off to sleep.
The pup can also sing a sweet lullaby or say certain phrases. The toy comes with 8 different sounds to thrill your child. When it’s time for bed, and your little one wants to see the nightlight or hear a lullaby, all he has to do is give the pup’s belly a squeeze.
The nightlight doesn’t stay on all night long. It will shut off on its own after a minute or so. And you don’t have to worry about the songs being too loud, either because they play softly.
When kids play with collectible toys, they can expand the worlds and characters so that there’s always something new to spark their imagination.
One collectible set that’s popular with kids is the Heroes Transformers.
These toys are great for little fingers. These figures are 4.5 inches in height, which makes them easy to grasp and move around. These toys are able to easily change from robotic to a vehicle in one quick move, so there’s no struggling with the conversion.
The toys come with four main rescue bots, but kids can grow this collection.
One of the collectibles is the construction bot known as Boulder. He’s ready to spring into action. In this set, kids also get the helicopter, which is known as Blades.
This flight-bot quickly swoops in for the rescue. Heatwave, which is the fire-bot, is also included in the set. This bot transforms into a firetruck.
There’s also a police bot known as Chase that transforms from a police car into a robotic police officer.
Superheroes are also popular collectibles because kids create play scenes and act out parts of the movie franchise. This Marvel set comes with 10 of the characters that are based on the Avengers movie.
Kids will get the Captain America figure, including the iconic shield. The Hulk is also included, wearing his ripped shorts. Black Widow dressed in her gear comes with the set and so does Hawkeye. He has his bow and arrows included as part of the figurine. Iron Man is in the set wearing his costume. There’s a Thor figurine complete with a mini cape and the famous hammer. Nick Fury and Ultron are also part of the set your child can play with.
Games and Accessories
Games are cool toys that delight any age.
The LeapFrog RockIt is a game that gives kids 12 different options to play. The system has light-up controls that allow kids to do a multitude of activities and games.
There’s an MP3 player with the game, too. One of the things they can do is grow pets from the eggs. These virtual pets thrive based on the child’s interactive feeding and care of the pets.
Each game offers a separate challenge and there’s a variety of fun puzzles that build a child’s skills in important learning areas, such as math. This game can expand with the separate packs you can buy, such as the Penelope Penguin or Dinosaur Discovery.
The Nintendo Switch is a gaming system that will give kids access to incredible game play. Kids can use the game to play by themselves or they can have multiplayer games. Not only can they use this system at home, but it can also go with them when they leave home.
All they have to do is take it off the dock and it’s ready to go. Your child can play games like Super Mario Maker 2 or Pokémon Sword. The game system has two Joy-Con controllers and also comes with parental control if desired.
The Disney Jeep Wrangler is a great toy for kids. They’ll drive the vehicle time and time again. It never gets old for them. As they drive the jeep, they’ll imagine themselves heading out on all sorts of interesting adventures.
They’ll zip along all over the yard in this snazzy jeep that’s designed with some of the beloved characters from the Toy Story movie. The driver’s side of the jeep features the lovable Woody, just waiting to take a ride with them.
The passenger’s side features Buzz Lightyear ready to join right in with all the fun. A set of cute graphics await on the rollover bar. These depict the three-eyed alien characters from the movie that were in the toy machine.
The vehicle has driving sounds and the radio comes with phrases from the movie. The toy can go on grass or hard surfaces. It’ll only move at 5mph in drive, and if the toy is backing up, that speed slows to 2.5 mph.
It also has power-lock brakes and parents have the option to control the speed. It’s suitable for a total weight of 130 pounds.
To bring a smile to your child’s face, you can get the classic Radio Flyer Tricycle.
This childhood staple will be one that your child loves and has plenty of fun playing on as he imagines all the trips he’ll go on. It’s made of steel, so it’ll last for many years. The rubber tires provide a solid grip for those trips around the yard or along the sidewalk.
Unlike many toys, the seat in this one can be adjusted so that as your child grows, they can still play with the trike. It has chrome handlebars, red and white streamers and a bell that rings.
Learning and Education
Kids love to learn and they enjoy learning even more when it’s coupled with fun and games.
The Fire 7 Kids Edition does just that. When you give this gift, they can learn and have fun using more than 20,000 apps.
These apps include things like audiobooks as well as games. You’ll find educational material from sites such as Disney or PBS Kids. The Fire comes with 16 GB of storage that’s expandable for reading, listening to music and learning.
Parental controls allow parents to set time limits and screen content. Because kids can sometimes be rough on things, if the Fire breaks within 2 years, a full replacement is given.
Robots fascinate kids and Botley the Coding Robot is one that will be in demand this year. This toy teaches STEM skills that help your child learn, grow and have fun. You don’t have to have a phone or tablet to use this learning toy.
Kids can use the remote to send instructions to the robot and watch him respond. As the robot moves, it can sense things that are in front of it and it will alter its path so that it won’t run into them.
The robot can navigate a determined course and offers a variety of challenges to kids. One of these challenges involves using lines in the follow mode that the robot can travel along.
The toy comes with 40 coding cards as well as the pieces needed to set up an obstacle course. The robot can be pre-coded by your child to move 120 steps at a time. There are 76 pieces included with this toy.
Regardless of which toy you decide to buy for your children or someone else’s that’s a part of your life, just make sure it has positive reviews and plenty of sales prior to yours, and you’re bound to see a smile on their face when they open it!