The 25 Best Toys for 10-Year-Olds That Are Educational and Fun

We especially love the Be Amazing! Toys Big Bag of Science Works

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Commerce Photo Composite

The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Ten-year-olds fall into that notoriously tough-to-shop-for tween category, but there are still tons of toy options that will positively delight them (and plenty that they won’t realize are educational). At this social age, they’re learning to be more strategic and problem-solve.

“They’re also constantly curious and are interested in trying new activities that’ll allow a feeling of mastery and success,” says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a New York City-based neuropsychologist, school psychologist, and director of Comprehend the Mind. While toys that can help them improve their language and communication skills are especially great, Dr. Hafeez also recommends doing at-home science experiments, building something together, and playing brain games, like puzzles, which can “improve their memory, attention, and cognitive thinking.”

We researched the best toys that’ll help your child do all of that and more, keeping in mind their recommended age, safety features, educational value, and of course, fun factor. Our top pick is a popular STEM toy, the Be Amazing! Toys Big Bag of Science Works, which includes over 65 engaging experiments, clear instructions, and nearly endless entertainment value.

Here are the best toys for 10-year-olds.

Our Top Picks

Be Amazing Toys Big Bag Of Science

4.6
BigBagofScience

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Supplies are durable

  • Easy-to-follow instructions

  • Hours of entertainment

What We Don't Like
  • Experiments can get messy but, hey, that’s science

According to one Spruce tester, this was a “thoughtfully designed kit” that comes with over 65 science projects that are super engaging. They note that the experiments aren’t so challenging that your child won’t be able to entertain themselves if you’re not there. Projects include fashioning a soda geyser, making quicksand, or creating a rainbow in a tube.

Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.75 x 12.5 inches︱Weight: 1.19 pounds︱Recommended Age: 8 to 14 years

What Our Testers Say

"The instructions are written clearly so our 10-year-old and her friends were able to work independently, and the scientific explanations are perfect for the age group—not too simple but not too complicated."—Kelly Hodgkins, Product Tester

Be Amazing! Toys Big Bag of Science

 The Spruce

Exploding Kittens LLC Exploding Kittens Card Game

4.9
Exploding Kittens

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Simple to learn

  • No setup needed

What We Don't Like
  • May encourage aggressive behavior

This silly, super fun two-to-five-player card game will engross the entire family (parents included) while also putting a 10-year-old’s strategic thinking skills to the test. At just under $20, it makes a great inexpensive gift for a pre-teen.

Dimensions: 4.41 x 6.38 x 1.5 inches︱Weight: 0.176 ounces︱Material: Paperboard︱Recommended Age: 7 years and up

What Our Testers Say

"You don’t buy a game called Exploding Kittens if you’re easily offended. And you won’t want to pull it out to play with someone who will frown upon gross-out humor. But most people attracted to this game will love the ridiculous drawings of bats farting or cats shaped like hairy potatoes, all in Matthew Inman’s signature humorous style."—Danielle Centoni, Product Tester

Exploding Kittens Card Game

The Spruce / Danielle Centoni

USAOPOLY Telestrations

4
Telestrations Telephone Game

Courtesy My Domaine

What We Like
  • Good-natured fun for practically all ages

  • Fosters creativity

  • Simple to learn

What We Don't Like
  • You need at least 4 players

  • The supplied dry erase pens can run out

Voted one of the best family games by our reviewers, while the manufacturer says Telestrations is particularly suited for those 12 and up, this convivial marriage of telephone and Pictionary will be fun for 10-years-olds as well—particularly those looking for a hilarious activity to pass the time with up to eight of their friends.

Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 3 inches︱Weight: 1.94 pounds︱Material: Plastic︱Recommended Age: 12 years and up

What Our Testers Say

"This is great when you’re playing with restless kids or just trying to squeeze in a little fun before dinner is ready. We can see Telestrations being a great game for holiday gatherings because it’s so flexible."Danielle Centoni, Product Tester

Telestrations Party Game

The Spruce / Danielle Centoni 

What We Like
  • The set includes beginner and advanced builds

  • Encourages teamwork

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy and messy

An exciting twist on the classic game of Jenga, in this version, a player pulls a card with a description of what the tower should look like, and their teammate races against others to build the structure based only on the instructions from their partner. Not only does it foster communication and cooperation, but it’s also downright fun.

Dimensions: 1.61 x 9.02 x 10.51 inches︱Material: Wood block︱Weight: 2.57 pounds︱Recommended Age: 8 years and up

STMT DIY Crystal Terrarium

STMT DIY Crystal Terrarium

Amazon

What We Like
  • Simple enough for a 10-year-old to assemble alone

  • Good quality for the price

What We Don't Like
  • Some reviewers complained that the plant is plastic

Crystals are having a major moment right now, especially when it comes to home decorating. Help your 10-year-old get in on the trend with this DIY hanging garden kit. It includes colorful gemstones, rocks, sand, and an amethyst that they can style however they like, plus lavender and lemon essential oils. When the craft is complete, they’ll have a pretty terrarium to display in their bedroom or over their homework space.

Dimensions: 11 x 3.26 x 9 inches︱Weight: 1 ounce︱Material: Rock, sand, crystal︱Recommended Age: 14 and up

Cool Maker Sew Cool Sewing Machine

Cool Maker Sew Cool Sewing Machine

Amazon

What We Like
  • Because the machine doesn’t use a needle, it’s safe for kids to use alone

  • The cute projects on are on trend

What We Don't Like
  • You can’t purchase refill kits through Cool Maker, but reviewers say any felt works

If you wish you’d paid more attention in home ec, here’s your chance to live vicariously through your 10-year-old. This needle-and-thread-free sewing machine comes with supplies to make five projects (like a rainbow marker holder, a stuffed rose, and a cute pouch), which all have oh-so-popular ’90s motifs. It also makes for a fantastic present for their most creative friends.

Dimensions: 5.13 x 8.81 x 8.75 inches︱Weight: 1.67 pounds︱Material: Plastic, felt︱Recommended Age: 8 to 14 years

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Comes in a variety of colors

  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like
  • Film is sold separately, and is a bit pricey

  • Picture quality can vary based on lighting

With a one-touch selfie mode and a shutter that automatically adjusts for optimal lighting, your child can get creative photographing the world around them—without having to wait long to see the results. Within minutes, they’ll have pictures they can display on their wall, in their scrapbooks, or swap with friends.

Dimensions: 2.6 x 4.2 x 4.8 inches︱Weight: 0.65 pounds︱Recommended Age: Not listed

eatsleepdoodle Doodle World Map Pillowcase

5
eatsleepdoodle Doodle World Map Pillowcase

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • It’s educational

  • The illustration makes coloring interesting

What We Don't Like
  • After a few washes, the color can stain

  • The tiny designs can be difficult to color

This craft comes with a sneaky side of education, offering hours of entertainment for the child who loves to color (and learn!). The famous global landmarks are marked, but the continents aren’t labeled, so when curiosity spikes, they’ll be inspired to research what they’re drawing, and they can write their own notes. Then, when they’re done, after a warm water wash, they’ll have a black-and-white canvas to fill in again, which means they won’t have to worry about precision the first—or seventh—time around. Our tester, who gave this product a 5-star review, said it’s also comfortable enough for your child to actually sleep on. Don’t you just love functional art?

Dimensions: 9.25 x 7.17 x 1.02 inches︱Material: Cotton︱Recommended Age: 6 to 12 years

What Our Testers Say

"Each marker is double-tipped, providing a thin point and a blunt point. We found that it was easy to doodle with these markers, and the ink washed out easily. However, kids should be careful with the blunt points, as they tended to bleed through to the other side of the pillowcase."Kelly Hodgkins, Product Tester

Eatsleepdoodle Doodle World Map Pillowcase

The Spruce

Snap Circuits Jr. Electronics Exploration Kit

4.6
stem toys

Snap Circuits

What We Like
  • Unique STEM toy

  • Simple to set up and store

  • Encourages problem solving

What We Don't Like
  • Requires batteries

Our tester gave this educational kit excellent marks for including more than 100 unique projects that allow your child to build circuits to create a flashing light, a voice-controlled lamp, and more, using a handy plastic grid. “This STEM toy inspired creativity, encouraged problem-solving, and kept our kids busy for hours,” our testers said.

Dimensions: 10 x 2 x 15 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Recommended Age: 8 years and up

What Our Testers Say

"The pieces are well made, including the surprisingly sturdy plastic base, which seemed resilient enough to withstand some abuse. One downside is that the kit requires two AA batteries, which aren’t included. If you’re giving this as a gift, make sure you buy those before you start wrapping."Sarah Wassner Flynn, Product Tester

Snap Circuits

Beadery Wonder Loom: The Ultimate Loom for Making Rubber Band Bracelets

Beadery Wonder Loom

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy-to-follow instructions

  • Inexpensive entertainment

What We Don't Like
  • The bands can snap

A highly enjoyable rainy day activity for any crafty kid, your child can make rainbow-colored friendship bracelets for everyone they know—including you. And what’s better than a little arm candy designed by your own 10-year-old? The $10 kit comes with 600 latex-free rubber bands, 24 C-clips, and clear instructions.

Dimensions: 9.75 x 1.75 x 10 inches︱Material: Latex-free rubber︱Recommended Age: 8 years and up

Nintendo Switch OLED Model

 Nintendo Switch OLED Model

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great screen quality

  • Countless game options (sold separately)

What We Don't Like
  • More expensive than the original for the screen improvements, though reviewers say it runs the same

One of our top tech gift picks, the Nintendo Switch doubles as both a handheld system, or you can connect it to the TV so family and friends can get in on the fun. Choose from role-playing games like Pokemon Diamond, trivia, old-school Mario classics you’ll remember from when you were their age, and countless puzzles and other brain games that’ll challenge them to think critically, such as Pikmin 3 Deluxe.

Dimensions: 2.9 x 6.5 x 7.9 inches︱Weight: 3 pounds︱Recommended Age: Varies by game

LEGO Star Wars: The Mandalorian, The Child Building Kit

LEGO Star Wars: The Mandalorian, The Child Building Kit

Amazon

What We Like
  • Clear instructions

  • Good for collaboration

What We Don't Like
  • Only takes a few hours to complete

Bring the Child to life with this adorable 1,073-piece Star Wars LEGO set that includes a head you can pose, plus an adjustable mouth and ears. You can team up with your child for a fun activity to share, though reviewers say that the instructions are clear enough for a 10-year-old to follow.

Dimensions: 7.5 x 8.5 x 5 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Recommended Age: 10 years and up

Original Stationery Galaxy Slime Making Kit

Original Stationery Galaxy Slime Making Kit

Amazon

What We Like
  • Contains fun glow powder

  • The kit has a variety of different projects

What We Don't Like
  • Some reviewers say instructions aren’t accurate

Not only is making slime a fantastic sensory activity that’s a great way to teach your kids about polymers, but it’s also always fun to get a bit messy. Of course, you could go the DIY route, but the beauty of this kit is that it supplies all of the ingredients you need to create 25 pieces of sparkly, space-themed, and even glow-in-the-dark slime.

Dimensions: 7.87 x 7.87 x 1.57 inches︱Material: Activator, glue, glitter, glow-in-the-dark powder︱Recommended Age: 7 years and up

4M Crystal Growing Experimental Kit

Crystal Growing Kit

4M 

What We Like
  • Fuels creativity

  • Includes an educational fact sheet

What We Don't Like
  • You need to follow the instructions exactly for best results

While this science kit will teach your 10-year-old about geology, it’s also an excellent exercise in patience as they way for their seven stunning crystals to grow. The set also includes domes so they can display their creations.

Dimensions: 8.5 x 9.5 x 3.25 inches︱Weight: 1 pound︱Recommended Age: 10 years and up

Singing Machine SML385BTBK Bluetooth Karaoke System

4.6
Singing Machine SML385BTBK Bluetooth Karaoke System

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy Bluetooth connectivity

  • LED disco light

What We Don't Like
  • Volume is soft

Dr. Hafeez says that “learning to play an instrument can encourage a child's growth,” and of course, the voice is an instrument. We rated this one of the top karaoke machines for kids because you can easily connect it to your TV or smartphone to watch the lyrics stream, and it has exciting features like a light-up speaker. Users noted that the music can be quiet, but unless you happen to have a soundproof room for your budding pop star to belt in, that could be considered a good thing.

Dimensions: 11.1 x 10.9 x 16 inches︱Material: N/A︱Recommended Age: Not listed

STMT DIY Journaling Set

STMT DIY Journaling Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Fully customizable

  • Helps foster creative writing skills

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t come with writing prompts

At 10 years old, children are becoming more expressive, and a diary can help them improve their writing skills, says Dr. Hafeez. This DIY journaling set will allow them to tap into their creative side before they even put pen to paper thanks to the stickers, gems, frames, and other decorative elements that’ll come together to create a 70-sheet, totally personalized notebook.

Dimensions: 10 x 2 x 12 inches︱Weight: 1.48 pounds︱Material: Faux suede︱Recommended Age: 8 years and up

Cynlink Astro Alan Galaxy Projector Cynlink Astro Alan Galaxy Projector

Cynlink Astro Alan Galaxy Projector

Amazon

What We Like
  • Has a sleep timer

  • Easy to assemble

What We Don't Like
  • Some users say the nebula is too bright even on the lowest settings

Although this personal planetarium—which comes in the form of an adorable astronaut—is recommended for kids, adults looking for an intergalactic escape will also enjoy the soothing, rotating projections it casts. Choose from a variety of nebula colors and brightness levels to let your child’s imagination soar.

Dimensions: 9.6 x 4.8  x 4.5 inches︱Material: Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene︱Weight: 1.5 pounds︱Recommended Age: Not listed

Purple Ladybug Decorate Your Own Water Bottle Craft Kit

Purple Ladybug Decorate Your Own Water Bottle Craft Kit

Amazon

What We Like
  • Inspires creativity

  • Fun activity

What We Don't Like
  • Bottle is not insulated

They’re never too young to learn the importance of hydration. This craft kit comes packed with seven sheets of rhinestone stickers, plus a DIY paracord bracelet kit, so they can proudly hit the water fountain in style.

Dimensions: 8.03 x 3.54 x 3.54 inches︱Weight: 8.4 ounces︱Recommended Age: 8 to 12 years 

Djubi Slingball Classic

Djubi Slingball Classic

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Great for the beach

  • Some skill is required

What We Don't Like
  • Ball can be painful if it hits you directly

A more dynamic spin on the game of catch, the Djubi SlingBall Classic, which combines two unique rackets with nets, allows players to test their tossing and foam ball launching skills. Since the balls can fly up to 125 feet, meaning you’ll be doing some quick pivoting, it’s a fun way for kids (and adults) to sneak in some exercise.

Dimensions: 11.5 x 3 x 16.5  inches︱Material: Plastic︱Recommended Age: 8 years and up

"The design for the Djubi SlingBall Classic is simple. All you need is a racket and a slingball. The set comes with two of each, which made it a perfect game for partners."Sarah Wassner Flynn, Product Tester

Djubi Game

 The Spruce / Sarah Wassner Flynn

FIGROL Pop Simple Fidget Spinner 3 Pack

FIGROL Pop Simple Fidget Spinner 3 Pack

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easily portable

  • Combines a spinner with a pop-it

What We Don't Like
  • Some users say they “look cheap”

You know how satisfying popping bubble wrap can be? Think of this toy as a never-ending roll. Said to be a calming tool, fidget spinners are massively popular among 10-year-olds and this set comes in pretty metallic tones—perfect if your child is trading them with friends.

Dimensions: 3.74 x 3.66 x 2.44 inches︱Weight: 5.3 ounces︱Material: Silicone︱Recommended age: 3 years and up

5 Surprise Disney Mini Brands by ZURU

5 Surprise Disney Mini Brands by ZURU

Amazon

What We Like
  • Fun to trade with friends

  • Surprise element is engaging for parents as well

What We Don't Like
  • Can lead to disappointment if a child doesn’t get the mini they were hoping for

Of course these tiny Disney character replicas all have their own backstories, but kids can use their imaginations when they play with these joyful minis that are popular on TikTok.

Dimensions: 3.35 x 3.35 x 3.35 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Weight: 6.7 ounces︱Recommended Age: 36 months to 8 years

Klutz LEGO Make Your Own Movie Activity Kit

Lego Make Your Own Movie

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Encourages creative thinking

  • Clear instructions

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t come with an app

Introduce your 10-year-old to the whimsical world of stop-motion animation (if they haven’t already been indoctrinated) with this LEGO make-your-own-movie kit that comes with hyper-detailed instructions to get them started, plus several figures, props, and backgrounds to help them set the scenes.

Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.88 x 10 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Recommended Age: 8 years and up

Winning Moves Games No Stress Chess

An easy family-style chess game called No Stress Chess.
What We Like
  • Good for beginners to learn movements

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • If players rely on the cards, the game becomes less strategic

The ultimate time-honored strategy game, this Spruce-approved beginner’s chess set features handy teaching tools like “action cards” to help guide players along the way.

Dimensions: 2.1 x 10.7 x 12.3 inches︱Material: Paperboard, Plastic︱Recommended Age: 7 to 12 years

ThinkFun Gravity Maze

Gravity Maze

Thinkfun

What We Like
  • Can be played alone or with friends

  • Helps develop strategic thinking skills

What We Don't Like
  • Some users say it’s difficult to store

Puzzles and other toys that stimulate cognitive and strategic thinking are encouraged for this age range, says Dr. Hafeez, and this logic game will challenge your 10-year-old to crack each of the 60 mazes. We especially like that this set comes with multi-level challenges, from beginner to expert.

Dimensions: 9.38 x 3 x 10.5 inches︱Material: Paper, plastic︱Recommended Age: 8 years and up

Hasbro Gaming Rubik’s Cube

Hasbro Gaming Rubik's Cube

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Challenging

  • The colors are painted on vs. peel off stickers like other models

What We Don't Like
  • Some users note that turning speed can initially be slow

There’s a reason this smart toy has been popular since the ’80s: with 43 quintillion possible moves, the classic three-by-three cube provides endless entertainment (and, err, maybe frustration). This version comes with a stand, so when your child solves the almighty puzzle, they can display their work.

Dimensions: 9.15 x 6.5 x 3.5 inches︱Weight: 6.4 ounces︱Recommended Age: 8 years and up

What to Look for in Toys for a 10-Year-Old

Recommended age

When you’re shopping for someone in the tween category, it’s especially helpful to check the recommended age guidelines, but it’s also always wise to follow their lead and watch what they’re actually excited to engage with.

“As a parent, you want to give them the means to blossom into a more skillful and deep-thinking mini-adult,” Dr. Hafeez says. "Rather than buying that hyped-up product in the toy store, understand what specific interests spark your child, and buy them a toy to foster those."

Safety

This is a year of exploration and testing the limits of their independence, but they still need parental support. Before you set your 10-year-old free with a new toy, chat with them about any potential safety concerns (read: remind them to wash their hands after mixing the chemicals that come with their cool new science experiment set). If you’re gifting them an active toy, make sure they’re armed with all of the necessary protective equipment like helmets and goggles, too.

Educational value

Ten-year-olds can be exceptionally social, says Marissa Silva, editor in chief of The Toy Insider. “They love to interact with their peers in person and online, and toys and games that will help them further these relationships will be surefire hits.” Consider multi-player board games that are geared to big groups, outdoor toys, and “anything that will spark a laugh.”

At this age, while 10-year-olds develop their social-emotional intelligence and strategic thinking skills, toys that encourage problem-solving and creative thinking (like Gravity Maze or The Big Bag of Science Set) will also be beneficial, adds Silva. In short, any toy that teaches them about teamwork or helps inspire meaningful moments with their peers is a great option.

FAQ
  • How much should you spend on a gift for 10-year-olds?

    “The decision about how much to spend on a child’s gift will vary widely from family to family, based on things like financial circumstances, the nature of the relationship with the birthday child, and the possible desire to reciprocate for another family’s generosity,” says etiquette experts and co-authors of Modern Manners for Moms & Dads: Practical Parenting Solutions for Sticky Social Situation, Dr. Sarah Davis and Evie Granville, M.Ed. However, they say that an appropriate range for most families in most circumstances is somewhere between $15 and $40 for this age.

  • What’s an age-appropriate gift for 10-year-olds?

    A 10-year-old cares less about the price of the gift and more about how relevant it is for their current interests. Developmentally, 10-year-olds are at a point where they’re ready to level up their toys, be challenged, and remain “hands-on.” They’re also in a place of better self-awareness and are more self-assured about what they like and don’t like. Do your homework and ask about their interests. Safe bets are trendy accessories or gifts that double as activities.

  • What kind of toys do 10-year-olds like?

    Ten-year-olds love any toy that will keep them active and engaged for a period of time. Whether that’s a scooter they can ride around outside after school or a STEM kit that challenges them to develop new skills, this age group is all about channeling their energy into fun and diverse activities.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Brie Schwartz, who has been a lifestyle editor and writer for 15 years. She tapped a school psychologist who specializes in neuropsychological development, testers, reviewers, and—who better—actual 10-year-olds to recommend and vet all of the toys on this list. Most of the products here offer educational value, many can be enjoyed solo, or with friends—and yes, parents—and most importantly, they all earned high praise for being seriously entertaining.

Updated by
Mackenzie Dunn
Mackenzie is a writer and editor for The Spruce with expertise in the fashion, beauty, home, and lifestyle spaces.
Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process
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