The Best Kids Gifts of All Time
Ah, the holidays. A time for celebration, a time for family, a time for watching your kid’s face light up as they unwrap the best gift ever. At least that’s what we’d like to see. But choosing the perfect gift for the kid in your life can be tough. It’s not always about what’s hot — it’s important to take the child’s personality into account too. Sure, the best gift for your kid might be the one everyone’s raving about this year. On the other hand, it might be something quirky you just know they’re going to dig. Or maybe it’s a new spin on a classic toy that’s never really going to go out of style. It might even be a combination of all of these things.
Check out these awesome gifts for kids — and get started on that holiday shopping, because it’ll be mid-December before you know it. Happy shopping!
Construction Plate & Utensils
The story behind this award-winning plate and utensils set (sold separately) is amazing. It was created by a husband-and-wife team whose son was so into construction he wanted to use his Cheerios for building instead of snacking. Function meets play in the best way.
Construction plate, $14.95 at UncommonGoods; construction utensils, $17.50 at UncommonGoods
Madpax Spiketus Rex Backpack
It’s a backpack with spikes. Also, it’s very, very cool. It’s the perfect size for a child, and it’s sturdy enough to survive day after day at preschool. Did we mention it has spikes?
Madpax Spiketus Rex backpack, $55 at Amazon
Gummy Bear Night-Light
It’s not edible, but it’s just as squeezable as a regular gummy bear — and this one won’t wreck your kid’s teeth. It comes with a tummy-squeeze switch for little hands and goes to sleep (without being told nine times) after 60 minutes.
Gummy bear night-light, $29.99 at Amazon
If your kid loved Hatchimals last year, they're going to go crazy for this year's Surprise. For the first time ever in Hatchimal world, you can hatch not one but two of the critters. The "surprise" element comes from their colors — they're hatched at random, so you really don't know what you have until they crack out of that egg.
Hatchimals Surprise, $63.99 at Amazon
Moon in My Room
The budding space explorer in your life needs their own moon — and this is as close as you’ll get to the real thing. It hangs on the wall and glows to show the different phases of our favorite space rock neighbor.
Moon in My Room, $19.99 at Amazon
LittleBits ‘Star Wars’ Droid Inventor Kit
Nothing says happy holidays to a Star Wars fan quite like the opportunity to create their very own droid. The droid inventor kit lets them build a custom droid, bring it to life and send it on 16-plus Star Wars missions. All video instructions are provided via the free app, which is also used to control the droid. And yes, you can make its head spin.
LittleBits Star Wars droid inventor kit, $69.88 at Amazon
Speck iPad Cover
OK, so this is actually a gift for kids and their parents. This super-cool iPad case, available in a range of bright colors, is built to withstand even the most boisterous of playmates — and its little hands are just begging for a hug.
Speck iPad cover, $21.99 at Amazon
The Storymatic Kids
In our digital-obsessed world, this is the perfect antidote to batteries, wires and screens. And with 360 cards in the box, there's potential for thousands of different stories. Simply pick a card and tell a story — using words, actions or paper.
The Storymatic Kids, $29.95 at Amazon
Grow N’ Glow Terrarium
If you want your kid to learn science without having to clean up after them, this terrarium is ideal. An entire miniature ecosystem sealed in a plastic Mason-style jar, the kit comes with potting mix, organic chia and wheat grass seeds, garden figurines, decorative sand, river stones and a plant mister.
Grow N' Glow Terrarium, $12.50 at Amazon
Pikmi Pops Surprise! Jumbo Plush Cat
For a reason unbeknown to most parents, kids these days are going crazy for scented plush animals inside giant lollipops. Who knew? Choose from a jumbo cat, dog or bunny (your kid will probably want them all).
Pikmi Pops Surprise! jumbo plush cat, $44 at Amazon
Personalized Lap Desk
Make homework, art projects and reading more comfortable and fun for your kid by gifting them their own personalized lap desk.
Personalized lap desk, $39.99 at PersonalizationMall.com
Boogie Board Scribble n’ Play
Remember Etch A Sketch? This is like that, but much better. Kids can draw or write whatever they like and erase it quickly with the push of a button. It’s also a gift for the environment: no more wasted paper.
Boogie Board Scribble n’ Play, $29.99 at Amazon
Women March! 500 Piece Round Puzzle
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington, puzzle maker eeBoo collaborated with illustrator Jennifer Orkin Lewis on a commemorative 500-piece round puzzle — perfect for tweens and teens (or younger kids who are awesome at puzzles).
Women March! 500 piece round puzzle, $19.99 at eeBoo
Power Blox Starter Set
Power Blox are toy bricks with a difference — they light up. Perfect for kids interested in STEAM, this starter set inspires them to create structures powered by their imaginations. Circuits are built directly into the structures, so there are no messy wires.
Power Blox starter set, $32.99 at E-Blox
PintreeLand Unicorn Squishy, Pack of 2
These squishies smell great, are completely irresistible (we dare you to have a squish and then try to stop) and make great stocking stuffers. You can get everything from french fries to poop in squishy style, but it’s hard to beat a doughnut/unicorn hybrid.
PintreeLand unicorn squishy (pack of two), $7.99 at Amazon
American Girl WellieWishers Willa Doll
One of the WellieWishers dolls from American Girl, Willa loves animals and is the first to climb a tree, apparently. With cute outfits, posable limbs and brushable hair, the WellieWishers come with a sweet message: Be a good friend.
American Girl WellieWishers Willa doll, $60 at Amazon
Introduce your child to pinball with Brio’s first pinball game, which is as beautifully designed and durable as all products from this Swedish toy manufacturer. Your kid will have fun for hours — improved hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills are a bonus.
Brio Pinball game, $50 at The Tot
Pomsies Plush Interactive Toy
If there’s one toy that’ll make you go, “Awwww!” it’s a Pomsie. It purrs, its eyes light up, it makes over 50 cute sounds — and it might stop your kid from asking for a real kitten for a while. It can even turn into an accessory for a backpack, wrist or hair if your child really can’t bear to leave their Pomsie at home.
Pomsies plush interactive toy, $14.82 at Amazon
GraviTrax Starter Set
The GraviTrax starter set has over 100 pieces and 18 construction elements for the marble run of your kid’s dreams. It’s the perfect toy for the whole family to enjoy and learn from — older kids can construct the run, parents can explain the laws of physics (get googling) and younger members of the family will just want to watch the marbles on their journey over and over again.
GraviTrax starter set, $59.99 at Ravensburger
Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint Stick Set
This is a gift for kids who love art and parents who hate mess. It’s paint, but there’s no need for cups, smocks, brushes or water. Kids simply uncap and twist the stick, then get busy creating works of art for you to proudly display all over your home. This set is all they need to get started, with 24 colors including neons and metallics.
Kwik Stix solid tempera paint stick (set of 24), $22.90 at Amazon
Little Live Scruff-A-Luvs
A Scruff-a-Luv starts out as a ball of matted fur, but once it gets some love (and a good wash and brush) it turns into a groomed puppy, kitten or bunny. This is a toy that gives back, as Scruff-a-Luvs supports the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Little Live Scruff-A-Luvs, $17.72 at Amazon
Kickboard Compact Scooter
Easy to maneuver, fold up and carry, the Kickboard Compact scooter from Micro Kickboard is designed for tweens and teens who want to go places. The interchangeable handlebar lets riders switch from joystick to T-bar with ease, and they get the seal of approval from parents thanks to their design, durability and portability.
Kickboard Compact scooter, $179.99 at Amazon
This strategic family board game has a simple objective: be the first player to build, block and reach the top of a three-story building. But it's harder than it sounds, with tactical play required to triumph. With the potential for thousands of different outcomes, this isn't one that will gather dust at the back of a closet.
Santorini board game, $29.99 at Spin Master Games
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hot Diggity Dance & Play Mickey
Fans of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse will love singing and dancing along with this interactive, light-up Mickey toy. Yep, you really can’t get away from the hot diggity dance, so you may as well just go with it. There’s also freeze dance and a sound game for hours of Mickey fun.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hot Diggity Dance & Play Mickey, $32.99 at Amazon
Lego Boost Creative Toolbox
Lego will never go out of fashion. Vernie the robot combines fun with learning, as kids construct and code him (using the Lego Boost app, which is available on iOS and Android) to dance, rock out on the Guitar4000, foster Frankie the cat, interact with the Autobuilder or explore a new discovery with the M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4).
Lego Boost Creative Toolbox, $159.95 at Amazon
Boxer Interactive AI Robot Toy
There’s no building required for this little guy — lift him out of the box, and he’s ready to go. He comes with 10 activity cards, which kids use to make him play Bot Bowling, Paddle Bot and Go Kart. Boxer will even play soccer with the interactive ball accessory. But don’t tire him out too much or he might get grumpy. Yes, Boxer shows emotions too.
Boxer interactive AI robot toy, $79.99 at Spinmaster
FurReal Friends Torch My Blazin’ Dragon
The FurReal family just keeps on growing, and one of the cutest members is Torch the dragon. Like all FurReal Friends, Torch responds to touch with dozens of sound and motion combinations, and his unique party trick is breathing flame-colored mist with the occasional burp thrown in to keep kids highly entertained.
FurReal Friends Torch, My Blazin’ Dragon, $76.03 at Amazon
Air Hogs Supernova
This gravity-defying, no-touch, hand-controlled flying orb is powered by a sophisticated onboard system, responding to hand movements via motion-sensitive lights and sensors. No remote control required! With over 30 moves and nine tricks to master, kids can get as ambitious as they like.
Air Hogs Supernova, $39.99 at Barnes & Noble
Finding a new addition for an extensive plush toy collection can be a challenge — but Jellycat makes it easy with a range of quirky animals alongside the more traditional bears, rabbits and cats. There’s just something about Odette Ostrich that makes us smile.
Odette Ostrich stuffed animal (39 inches), $125 at Amazon
Shopkins Happy Places Rainbow Beach Camper Van
Every Shopkins Happy Places collection needs the Rainbow Beach Camper Van. This tiny home comes with a shower, a dining area that transforms into a sleeping quarter, a refrigerator, a stove, a microwave and even a hidden toilet.
Shopkins Happy Places Rainbow Beach Camper Van, $26.99 at Walmart
Stomp Rocket Stunt Planes
Stomp Rocket stunt planes are 100 percent kid-powered (with a little help from the adjustable launch stand and launch stomp pad with air hose) — no batteries required. This set of three includes a looper, a glider and a Wildcat, all ready to perform a wide range of breathtaking stunts.
Stomp Rocket stunt planes, $29.99 at Amazon
Brio World Smart Engine Set with Action Tunnels
Traditional toys meet modern technology with the battery-powered Brio World Smart Engine Set — communication between the train and tunnels makes the train stop, turns around, flash its lights, etc. Naturally, this will also be fun for anyone who has fond memories of their own childhood Brio train set.
Brio World Smart Engine Set with Action Tunnels, $75.98 at Amazon
Crayola Crayon Melter
Finally, there’s something to do with all the old broken crayons you have lying around the place. But the Crayola Crayon Melter is a lot more than that. Its melting mechanism is easy to use (and clean up afterward) and lets kids create whatever they like on a wide range of materials — including glass, wood, ceramics and canvas — with minimal drying time.
Crayola Crayon Melter, $19.97 at Walmart
Indigo Jamm Hascombe House Wooden Dollhouse
A wooden dollhouse is an heirloom piece to be passed down through generations, but it’s also a durable toy for imaginative play. The Indigo Jamm Hascombe House is an ideal first dollhouse for little hands and comes with two figures and 13 pieces of furniture.
Indigo Jamm Hascombe House wooden dollhouse, $100 at Baba Me
Pie Face Cannon! Family Board Game
Building on the huge success of the original Pie Face board game, Pie Face Cannon! promises to make even more of a mess. Get ready for a cannon-ful of whipped cream to the face — or several while your kids laugh hysterically.
Pie Face Cannon! family board game, $16.99 at Amazon
Meland Marble Run Toy
This 122-piece marble run toy might take a little time to put together (heads up: Your 5-year-old won’t be able to do it alone), but it’s totally worth it. The end result is an impressive structure with lots of routes for marbles to take from top to bottom.
Meland marble run toy, $34.99 at Amazon
Plush ‘Jurassic World’ Triceratops
A maximum speed of 2.5 mph is fast enough for any little explorer to imagine they’re racing dinosaurs. This Jurassic World-themed ride-on toy is soft and comfortable and even makes authentic triceratops sounds to add to the excitement. (Bonus: The cover is removable and washable.)
Plush Jurassic World triceratops, $149 at Walmart
Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 32 Piece Set
Parents swear by Magna-Tiles as a toy that kids go back to again and again — for years. The Clear Colors 32 Piece Set is great for beginners, inspiring creative play and developing fine motor skills. Towers, dollhouse furniture, window art… the possibilities are endless.
Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 32 Piece Set, $49.99 at Amazon
If you don't already have enough grumpy creatures in your house, your kids will welcome a Grumblie, an interactive creature that reacts when you poke, flip and shake it. It growls, farts, burps, then has a tantrum once it reaches its breaking point. Just like a child, then.
Grumblies Tremor, $16.88 at Walmart
Playmobil Adventure Tree House
Playmobil is another all-time favorite that really does stand the test of time. The Adventure Tree House set, complete with a mama bear and her cub and a fox and her cubs, is perfect for animal lovers and wannabe explorers.
Playmobil Adventure Tree House, $59.99 at Amazon
Kids can design a moving robot themselves — by connecting any combination of gears, claws, heads and more to a motor — then watch it move using the wireless remote control, which works from up to 50 feet away.
Remote-control gear-bot, $49.99 at Lakeshore
Bit Coding Robot
The Bit coding robot is the perfect gift for fledgling coders. This pocket-size robot comes fully assembled, ready to help kids learn how to build early STEAM skills through color codes, short sequences made with markers or stickers, that tell Bit what to do.
Bit coding robot, $48.30 at Amazon
The Best Kids’ Gifts of All Time: Melissa & Doug Jenna Baby Doll
Jenna is 12 inches tall; has a soft, cuddly body and wipe-clean arms and legs; and comes dressed in a removable smocked romper and matching cap. Her eyes open and close, and she can suck her thumb. Basically, she’s your go-to first doll for any kid who wants a baby of their own to look after.
Melissa & Doug Jenna baby doll, $19.99 at Amazon
Don’t Step In It! Game
Kids talk about poop and make jokes about poop, and now, they can play a game about poop. The aim of the game is to step in the fewest poops (you have to mold the included compound to create your most authentic piles of poop) while blindfolded. It sounds disgusting, and it probably is. But it’s guaranteed to be a hit.
Don’t Step In It!, $12.88 at Amazon
EazySlime Crystal Slime Kit
Parents hate slime, but kids love it — so if you want to see the biggest smile on your little one’s face, give them the EazySlime Crystal Slime Kit. It has everything any slime obsessive could possibly want: 18 slime colors, foam beads, fruit decorations, glitter bottles and all the tools they need for their slime-tastic creations.
EazySlime Crystal Slime Kit, $29.95 at Amazon
Fingerlings Hugs Interactive Plush Baby Monkey Pet
Fingerlings Hugs are the perfect companions when you just need to hug it out, but they have more to offer than surprisingly long arms. They react to being spun around, thrown in the air and tickled with burps, laughs and toots.
Fingerlings Hugs interactive plush baby monkey pet, $24.72 at Amazon
Playz Unlimited Mind Boggling Magic Tricks Science Kit
Any kid who aspires to be a magician needs this kit. Forget about the magic kits of old, which consisted of a deck of cards, a few colored balls and a plastic pot. This actually teaches kids “magical science,” including electricity, reflections, optics, pressure and perception. Very cool.
Playz Unlimited Mind Boggling Magic Tricks Science Kit, $29.99 at Amazon
Melissa & Doug Wooden Scoop & Serve Ice Cream Counter
Melissa & Doug are leaders in the pretend play category thanks to their consistently durable, creative, attractive wooden toys. The Wooden Scoop & Serve Ice Cream Counter comes with eight ice cream scoops, six toppings, two cones, a cup, a scooper, tongs, a wooden spoon and six pretend $1 bills for endless ice cream fun.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Scoop & Serve Ice Cream Counter, $37.46 at Amazon
‘Make Paper Lantern Animals’ Book
Crafty kids will dig the Klutz Make Paper Lantern Animals book, which comes with 21 designs to make six beautiful paper lantern animals and all necessary supplies, including glue and ribbon. Kids simply cut out the patterned stencil shapes, glue them in place, and show them off.
Make Paper Lantern Animals book, $19.99 at Scholastic
Mary Blair Memory Game
Handmade in the U.S. and featuring the artwork of Mary Blair, who worked on Disney classics like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Cinderella, this memory game for kids of all ages is almost too pretty to put away.
Mary Blair memory game, $38 at Uncle Goose
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