The 51 Hottest Toys for Christmas of 2022

Our favorite picks from Little Tikes, Disney, Flybar, Hot Wheels, LEGO, and more

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Must-Have Toys for Christmas

The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

For this holiday season, popular toy trends include family games and educational toys. "With more kids being home over the last year, parents naturally started becoming more involved in their children's play and way of learning," says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert at BlackFriday.com.

To help with your gift list this year, we researched the best Christmas toys on the market right now based on factors including age recommendation, educational value, and safety precautions. Our favorite picks include an interactive pet snow dragon from furReal, a magical cauldron from Magic Mixes, and The Fort for its innovative design that keeps kids engaged for hours indoors or outdoors.

Here are the hottest toys of the holiday season.

Crayola Ultimate Light Board for Drawing & Coloring

crayola ultiamate light board

Amazon

What We Like
  • Markers are washable

  • Designs can be traced or original

What We Don't Like
  • Some reviewers had trouble cleaning the screen

Give kids a creative outlet to practice their art skills with the Crayola Ultimate Light Board. There's a removable back to the board so that another design can be inserted at the back and traced onto the board. There's no need for paper to make these drawings so, with just the washable markers and board, this is a great crafty activity that requires hardly any supplies at all. (Note that the required three AA batteries are not included.)

Price at time of publish: $33

Dimensions: 2 x 18.25 x 12 inches | Material: Plastic | Age Range: 6 to 15 years

Kinetic Sand Swirl N’ Surprise Playset

Kinetic sand swirl n' surprise

Walmart

What We Like
  • Vibrant colors

  • Pleasant texture

  • Lots of play potential

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t hold together as well as advertised

  • Molds can be awkward to use

This kit comes with four different colors of kinetic sand—squishy, moldable sand—that your little one can shape and reshape over and over. The 2-pound set also comes with 4 different tools (cutters and molds) plus a sand swirler to create the unique swirly patterns. Parents will love that it’s all packaged in a plastic tote for easy storage.

Price at time of publish: $25

Dimensions: 12 x 3.3 x 11 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Purse Pets Glami-cone with Lights & Sounds

purse pets glamnicone

Walmart

What We Like
  • Can be played on the go

  • Eyes really blink

What We Don't Like
  • Requires three LR44 button cell batteries to operate

Children ages 5 years and up can wear this adorable purse and easily lug it with them so they can play on the go. Featuring a glitter horn, pink faux leather, and an adjustable strap for a more comfortable fit, this Purse Pet can go with virtually any outfit. Purse Pets come in a range of animal characters, such as Fox and Leopard, and each one can blink its eyes, play fashion show music, and make 25 sounds. Note that the purse requires three LR44 button cell batteries to operate, but an initial set is included with the purse.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 2 inches | Material: Faux leather | Recommended Age: 5 years and up

Just Play Rukusfx Motion Controlled Music Mixer Electronic Game

Just Play Rukusfx Motion Controlled Music Mixer Electronic Game

Just Play

What We Like
  • Very interactive

  • Fun for kids at various ages

  • Screen-free

What We Don't Like
  • Could be tricky for kids to operate alone

The whole family will undoubtedly enjoy this small, portable audio system and the musical creativity it encourages. Whoever holds the device can make different hand motions to mix and remix 120 preloaded tracks. For more fun, you can upload extra tracks and use a microphone to record vocals. Parents will appreciate the funky '80s sound effects.

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 8.5 x 3 x 7 inches | Material: Plastic | Age Range: 6 years and up

Disney Encanto We Don't Talk About Bruno 3 inch Small Collectible Fashion Doll Set

disney encanto dolls

Walmart

What We Like
  • Comes with all characters

  • Characters can be posed

What We Don't Like
  • No other accessories included

The Madrigal family sings "We don't talk about Bruno," but they probably can't stop talking about Bruno or any of his other family members! Let their love of Encanto grow with this figurine set of the entire Madrigal family. The arms and legs are movable, and the set comes with two ponchos and four accessories.

Price at time of publish: $25

Dimensions: 10 x 3.5 x 8 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Gabby's Dollhouse Purrfect Dollhouse Playset

Purrfect Dollhouse Playset

Target

What We Like
  • Easy assembly

  • Add-ons available

What We Don't Like
  • Pieces aren't particularly sturdy

  • Batteries go underneath the house

Animal lovers and fans of Gabby's Dollhouse the series will enjoy their cat-shaped dollhouse. The house assembles easily and folds up nicely for easy storage. Kids will love the Cat-a-vator, which can be ridden up the four levels of the house. With the included pieces, they’ll have the unique opportunity to play pretend in the cat-filled house, just like Gabby.

Price at time of publish: $59

Dimensions: 17 x 22 x 5.4 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

LOL Suprise Loves Mini Sweets Dolls with 8 Surprises

LOL Surprise dolls

Walmart

What We Like
  • Imaginative play

  • Collectible

  • Doll interacts with water

What We Don't Like
  • Could end up with duplicate LOL Surprise dolls

  • Dolls and accessories are very small

  • Doll faces aren't realistic

A hot toy for little girls (and boys!), you won't know which LOL Surprise doll until — as the name suggests — you open up the package and find out what's inside. One of 12 possible dolls themed around favorite candies such as Jolly Rancher, Hot Tamales, and Smarties is inside. Each doll, just 3 inches tall, comes with seven other surprises ranging from accessories to a sticker. Pull the doll in water and you get one more surprise when it it reacts.

Price at time of publish: $10

Dimensions: 3.75 x 3.75 x 3.75 Inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 4 to 14 years

PAW Patrol Big Truck Pups, Truck Stop HQ with Vehicle, 3ft. Wide Playset

walmart paw patrol big truck pups

Walmart

What We Like
  • Works with other PAW Patrol sets

  • Includes a favorite TV character

What We Don't Like
  • Only comes with one truck

Whether your child loves PAW Patrol or playing with cars, this truck stop set will be a welcome addition to their toy bin. With one highway stop that stretches to three feet wide, a big rig truck and Chase (the puppy), there's plenty of ways for kids to play. Press the button on the roof to activate lights and sounds — it's PAW Patrol and your kiddo to the rescue!

Price at time of publish: $80

Dimensions: 26.25 x 6.5 x 21.5 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

LeapFrog My Pal Scout Smarty Paws Customizable Puppy

leapfrog scout puppy

Walmart

What We Like
  • Highly interactive

  • Customizable with a kid's name and favorite color, food, and more

What We Don't Like
  • Included Batteries are short-lasting and must be replace immediately

A Toy of the Year finalist, this plush dog from LeapFrog will encourage learning for kids as young as 6 months. The paws are touch-sensitive and respond with reactions, music, and games. It has 15 activities in total and can play more than 40 songs. A nighttime mode plays lullabies for naptime. Batteries are included, but only with enough power that your kiddo can see exactly what the toy is able to do. You'll have to replace the batteries (two AAs) for regular use.

Price at time of publish: $18

Dimensions: 9.5 x 10.5 x 5.5 inches | Material: Plush | Recommended Age: 6-36 months

Squishmallows 12" Mango Fuzzamallow - Louie

squishamallow louie

Walmart

What We Like
  • Collectible set

  • Soft and cuddly

What We Don't Like
  • No accessories

There’s no question your little one will be excited to add another fashionable pet to a growing squad—or start a whole new collection. Each one of the award-winning plush toys has its own name and personality. Good news for parents — it's machine washable.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: 12 inches tall | Material: Plush | Recommended Age: all ages

Hot Wheels Track Builder Unlimited Rapid Launch

hot wheels track builder

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes with a storage case

  • Many ways to customize

  • Compatible with other Hot Wheels sets

What We Don't Like
  • Takes up a lot of space

  • Only able to launch Hot Wheels cars and some other cars

Your child can launch cars down the track at high speeds thanks to the "rapid launcher" block. This Hot Wheels set comes packaged in a toolbox-shaped case that can be used for storage when they're done playing. With 30 track components and three options for launch, there are plenty of ways to get creative and customize this toy over and over again. The set is compatible with other Hot Wheels sets, so they can combine it with other sets they own or are on their wishlist.

Price at time of publish: $43

Dimensions: 57.09 x 66.54 x 14.17 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 6 years and up

Fat Brain Tobbles Neo Infant Stacking Toy

Fat Brain stacking toy

Courtesy of Fat Brain

What We Like
  • Colorful

  • Promotes spatial learning

What We Don't Like
  • Some pieces are heavy

Perfect for toddlers, this stacking toy is different than the usual blocks or rings. With six semi-globes and one flat-bottomed holder, kids can practice their coordination and balance while stacking them up in all kinds of ways that might even seem to defy gravity. It's a sturdy, well-made toy, and the bright colors make it visually fun, too.

Price at time of publish: $29

Dimensions: 5.91 x 5.12 x 11.02 inches | Material: Plastic | Age Range: 24 months to 2 years

Imaginext Jurassic World Dominion Deluxe Growlin Giga XL Dinosaur

imaginex dinosaur

Walmart

What We Like
  • Moveable arms, legs, and jaw

  • Sturdy

  • Makes sound

What We Don't Like
  • Could encourage aggressive play

A great toy for kids who love dinos, this Jurassic World tyrannosaurus rex is exciting and interactive for young ones. It's 10 inches tall and features lights and sounds that bring the dinosaur to life. The toy is compatible with other Imaginext toy dinosaurs (sold separately), perfect for group imaginative play.

Price at time of publish: $17

Dimensions: 3.62 x 8.00 x 10.25 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 to 8 years old

Magic Mixies Magical Misting Crystal Ball with Interactive 8 inch Pink Plush Toy

Magic Mixies Magical Crystal Ball

Amazon

What We Like
  • Interactive

  • Multiple ways to play

  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to buy due to high demand

Cast magical spells with this interactive cauldron that produces an adorable furry friend. Kids ages five and up use the easy-to-follow included directions to complete their spell, while the cauldron makes over 80 sounds and produces spooky mist. The four AAA batteries required to make the "magic" happen are included. After children use their magical objects, they can enjoy hours of play with their new adorable plush.

Price at time of publish: $85

Dimensions:  8 x 13 x 14 inches | Material: Plastic and fabric | Recommended Age: 5-15 years old

Osmo Pizza Co.

Osmo Pizza Co.

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Fun way to learn math

  • Collaborative game

What We Don't Like
  • Can be difficult for young kids to understand


If you've been searching for an interactive game that's educational, you've found the answer. The Osmo base (sold separately) attaches to a tablet and lets kids pretend to run their own pizza parlor. They take pizza orders, create the pies with more than 40 toppings, and make change for their virtual customers using money tiles. The set includes a pizza board, more than 40 toppings, and money tiles. This is a great way to learn basic arithmetic.

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 5.55 x 2.2 x 9.15 inches | Material: Not Listed | Age Range: 5 years and up

LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Amazon

What We Like
  • Pages are interactive (touch produces audio)

  • Educational

  • Bilingual (English and Spanish)

What We Don't Like
  • Pictures aren't always realistic

Learning has never been so fun and easy. Babies and toddlers can take learning into their own hands — literally — with the LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book. All you need is two AA batteries to get this pre-programmed book to work. Parents love how easy it is to use and that it speaks in English and Spanish, pllus it's a toy that can age with your kid. Younger babies will be entertained by the music and lights, and toddlers can engage with the pictures and learn the words.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: 9.4 x 9.4 x 1.9 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 1-5 years old

Fisher-Price DJ Bouncin’ Beats Interactive Learning Toy

Fisher-Price DJ Bouncin’ Beats Interactive Learning Toy

Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes three different levels of play

  • Motorized spring encourages bouncing

What We Don't Like
  • Requires four batteries

With more than 75 songs about letters, colors, and numbers, this bouncing toy will have babies and young toddlers bopping and learning at the same time. There are three different levels of learning, so the toy can and offer more advanced songs as the kid gets older. It's smiling, light-up face will have little ones smiling too.

Price at time of publish: $45

Dimensions: Not listed | Material: Plastic | Age Range: 9 months and up

Disney Frozen Bike with Doll Carrier Sleigh

disney frozen bike

Walmart

What We Like
  • Easy to assemble

  • Ideal for learning to ride

  • Sleigh on the back

What We Don't Like
  • Not very adjustable for kids of various heights and sizes

Kids will reach new snowy places with Frozen bike. Perfect for beginners, there are training wheels for easy riding, coaster brakes for smooth stops, and super grippy handlebars. The seat height can be adjusted, but the ideal height for riders of this bike is between 37 and 42 inches tall. In addition to all the Frozen themed decorations, there's a sleigh on the back where Anna and Elsa dolls (or any other small figurine-sized friends!) can ride.

Price at time of publish: $94

Dimensions: ‎31.5 x 19 x 27.5 inches | Material: Steel, rubber, plastic | Recommended Age: 3 to 5 years

Little Live Pets Mama Surprise Guinea Pigs

Mama Surprise Guinea Pigs

Target

What We Like
  • Fosters caregiving skills

  • All items fit in the hutch

  • The "little surprise" process with the baby guinea pigs can be repeated

What We Don't Like
  • Batteries not included (needs six AAAs)

  • Guinea pigs arms can't be moved

Care for this Mama guinea pig, then set her in her hutch when she's ready, and three little baby guinea pigs appear! Three write-on name tags will personalize the experience and let the kiddo play with their own special pets. The set, with more than 20 pieces, fits into the cage and is perfect for playing on the go.

Price at time of publish: $128

Dimensions:  11.4 x 11.9 x 7.8 inches | Material: Fabric and plastic | Recommended Age: 4 years and up

Creativity for Kids Mini Garden: Mermaid Terrarium

Creativity for Kids Mini Garden: Mermaid Terrarium

Amazon

What We Like
  • Multi-stepped project

  • Unique gardening gift

  • Teaches life skills

What We Don't Like
  • Could be frustrating if seeds don't grow

  • Chia seedlings eventually die

This toy is a great multi-week project that kids are sure to enjoy. The mermaid-themed terrarium (also available as a dinosaur garden and a unicorn garden) can first be decorated with jewels and stickers before the gardening begins. Kids will plant chia seeds and care for them, and just 3 to 5 days later — they'll be sprouting out of the ground! It allows for experimenting in the garden without having to wait weeks or months for the results.

Price at time of publish: $11

Dimensions: 7 x 4.75 x 7 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 6 years and up

Exploding Kittens Throw Throw Avocado

Exploding Kittens Throw Throw Avocado

Amazon

What We Like
  • Good for up to 6 people

  • Fun for adults too

What We Don't Like
  • Involves throwing things

In this game, throwing food is allowed and encouraged. Collect matching cards while throwing and dodging foam avocados, and you're sure to finish this game in a fit of giggles. It's a great activity for working out some of the wiggles without physical roughhousing.

Price at time of publish: $25

Dimensions: 10 x 3 x 10 inches | Material: Not listed | Age Range: 7 years and up

Barbie Doll Cutie Reveal Polar Bear Snowflake Sparkle Doll

barbie cutie reveal

Amazon

What We Like
  • Multiple surprises within the gift

  • Fun Barbie costume

What We Don't Like
  • Unrealistic body representation

The Snowflake Sparkle Barbie dolls are a surprise within a gift. Each doll comes dressed in a plush animal outfit. As you remove the costume, a fun outfit, cute accessories, and a furry friend are revealed. There are 10 accessories total. If you kid ends up loving this Barbie doll, you can purchase the others in the series so they can collect them all.

Price at time of publish: $25

Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 3 inches | Material: Plastic and fabric | Age Range: 3 years and up

furReal Cinnamon, My Stylin’ Pony Toy

furreal cinnamon pony

Walmart

What We Like
  • Super interactive

  • Includes 26 accessories

What We Don't Like
  • Batteries not included

Your little one can learn more about emotions—in a super fun way! The furReal pony has a multitude of moods, from feeling extremely cranky to happy and peaceful. She expresses how she's feeling (she can exhibit more than 80 expressions through body movements and sounds), so your child can quickly learn how to care for her, so she's in a good mood again. Your purchase even include accessories for grooming and styling her mane, tail, and hooves.

Price at time of publish: $90

Dimensions: 7.5 x 15 x 14 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 4 years and up

VTech Level Up Gaming Chair Preschool Game Station Learning Tablet

VTech Level Up Gaming Chair Preschool Game Station Learning Tablet

VTech

What We Like
  • Lots of play potential

  • Fun for kids to use independently

What We Don't Like
  • More like a DJ game than video game set

  • Only two volume settings

This "gaming" chair helps kids work on their letters, numbers, and animals — no Wifi necessary! They can twist and swivel, move the joyce stick, and talk into fake headphones. The tablet detaches from the tray for portability, and kids can do activities or eat snacks in the chair while they take a break from gaming.

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 17.95 x 19.53 x 20.2 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 18 months to 4 years

Zookao Hover Boomerang Ball

amazon zookao

Amazon

What We Like
  • Emits colorful lights

  • Fun for many ages

What We Don't Like
  • Battery doesn't last very long

A new spin on the game of catch! Zookao hover ball seemingly suspends itself in mid air like a spinning top when tossed around. Kids can play with this toy alone or in groups. Even adults will be entertained and challenged trying to catch it as it twists through the air. Use requires a charged battery, which will only last about 25 minutes at full charge.

Price at time of publish: $32

Dimensions: 3.62 x 3.58 x 3.54 inches | Material: Plastic | Age Range: 6 years and up

LeapFrog Clean Sweep Learning Caddy

LeapFrog Clean Sweep Learning Caddy

LeapFrog

What We Like
  • Great for pretend play

  • Actually cleans

What We Don't Like
  • May not be as fun for older toddlers

Toddlers love copying you, even when you're cleaning. This set, which was a Toy of the Year finalist, lets them play, help, and build confidence as they handle each housekeeping tool on their own. The set includes a hand brush and dust pan, mop and bucket, spray bottle, and cloth, and each tool is perfectly sized for toddler play. There's even a soap bottle with a squirting sound, and the mop bucket spins and makes water-swishing sound effects. When they're done, everything tucks into bucket for storage.

Price at time of publish: $30

Dimensions: 8 x 11.3 x 4.7 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 36 months to 3 years

Sassy Stacks of Circles Stacking Ring STEM Learning Toy

Sassy Stacks of Circles Stacking Ring STEM Learn

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Encourages learning

  • Safe for babies and toddlers

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Only fun for young children

The youngest set will have an endlessly fun and engaging time stacking colorful plastic rings on a pole. The rings come in various textures and have different features, like rattle beads, to keep babies learning. At just 8 inches tall and slightly over a half pound heavy, it's the perfect size for little ones.

Price at time of publish: $13

Dimensions: 4.25 x 4.25 x 8 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 6 months to 2 years

Shashibo Shape Shifting Box

shashibo-shape-shifting-box

Amazon

What We Like
  • Screen-free fun

  • Encourages creative play


What We Don't Like
  • Small size

In a box smaller than the size of a baseball, 36 earth magnets attract and repel to create more than 70 shapes. Move and manipulate the cube the create different patterns, forms, and art. Multiple cubes can be connected to discover even more exciting and colorful creations.

Price at time of publish: $25

Dimensions: 2.28 x 2.28 x 2.28 inches | Material: Plastic and magnets | Recommended Age: 8 years and up

Barbie Dreamhouse Dollhouse with Wheelchair-Accessible Elevator

Barbie Dreamhouse with Elevator

Amazon

What We Like
  • Inclusive with wheelchair accessibility

  • Encourages pretend play

What We Don't Like
  • High price tag

A Barbie Dreamhouse is a dream. The house has three stories, eight rooms, a wheelchair lift for accessible and inclusive play, and a slide, plus it includes 70 fun accessories. Four Barbies can "live" together in the house thanks to a couch that converts into a bunk bed. For summer fun, fill the tiny pool with water so Barbie can make a splash.

Price at time of publish: $225

Dimensions: 8.5 x 30 x 30 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Nintendo Switch OLED Model

 Nintendo Switch OLED Model

Amazon

What We Like
  • Lots of play potential

  • Games for many ages

  • Good for group or solo play

What We Don't Like
  • Time in front of a screen

A Nintendo Switch is a toy with endless possibilities. Kids can play single-player or multi-player with friends in person or online if they have a Nintendo Switch, too. Racing game, pretend play games, educational games, and more are available for kids of all ages, meaning as they age their toy can age with them. Use the parental controls on the smartphone app to set play time limits and restrictions on what they can and can't do.

Price at time of publish: $342

Dimensions: 2.9 x 6.5 x 7.9 inches | Material: Not listed | Recommended Age: 6 and up

AirTitans Jurassic World Massive Titanic Inflatable T-Rex RC

AirTitans Jurassic World Massive Titanic Inflatable T-Rex RC

Amazon

What We Like
  • Patch kit is included

  • Inflates in just 20 seconds

What We Don't Like
  • Remote control batteries not included

You've heard of a remote control car, but what about a remote-control dinosaur? At more than six feet tall and six feel long, this dinosaur can be moved, and made to stomp and roar, which just a flick of a few buttons. It only takes 20 seconds for the dinosaur to fully inflate, and a patch kit is included in case your dinosaur accidentally steps on something sharp.

Price at time of publish: $130

Dimensions: 72 x 32 x 60 inches | Material: Nylon | Age Range: 8 to 16 years old

Bluey Ultimate Lights & Sounds Playhouse with Lucky

Bluey Ultimate Lights & Sounds Playhouse with Lucky

Target

What We Like
  • High quality

  • Lots of play potential

  • Screen-free

What We Don't Like
  • Characters don’t fit in furniture well

  • Doesn't come with many accessories

Toys based on hit television or movie series are always a sure bet, and this playhouse made especially for "Bluey" characters is no different. The three-story, seven-room house is readily recognizable and comes with a variety of removable furniture to bring some of their favorite characters to life. The whole house weighs less than 2 pounds and folds up for easy storage.

Price at time of publish: $90

Dimensions: 17.1 x 30 x 5.2 inches | Material: Plastic | Age Range: 3 years and up

LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Peach Starter Course

lego super mario adventures peach

Amazon

What We Like
  • Very interactive

  • Lots of play potential

  • Add-ons available

What We Don't Like
  • Some parents don’t like that the app requires location services

  • Can be difficult to configure

This collectible 354-piece LEGO set gives kids the opportunity to construct their own obstacle course with bricks and star characters from an all-time classic video game. It’s not your average LEGO set — a compatible smartphone app brings the whole thing to life in new and exciting ways. And an LCD screen on Peach's face allows her to make facial reactions, and a speaker lets her speak as well. All this and more is what made it the Toy of the Year.

Price at time of publish: $60

Dimensions: 12.48 x 10.32 x 3.54 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 6 years and up

LeapFrog 2-in-1 LeapTop Touch

LeapFrog 2-in-1

Amazon

What We Like
  • Batteries included

  • Realistic

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Can't connect to headphones

A kiddo can feel just like their parent with this handy-dandy "laptop" featuring a keyboard of numbers and letters that introduce toddlers and young preschoolers to educational concepts like ABCs, counting, games, and music. It can even be customized by parents to help kids learn to spell their name.

Price at time of publish: $28

Dimensions: 1.26 x 10.04 x 6.06 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 24 months to 5 years

PicassoTiles 61 Piece Set 60pcs Magnet

picasso tiles

Amazon

What We Like
  • Encourages freeform play

  • Well made

What We Don't Like
  • Tiles can break and expose magnets

This fun building kit gives kids hands-on learning experience in physics and building while making creations out of magnetic shapes. The set includes 60 tiles in five different shapes. The kit includes essentially everything kids need to get started.

Price at time of publish: $80

Dimensions: 14.17 x 11.42 x 3.15 inches | Material: Plastic and magnets | Age Range: 3 years and up

Spark Create Imagine CoComelon School Bus Ride-on with Letters, Numbers, & Music

spark create imagine cocomelon

Walmart

What We Like
  • Storage space under the seat

  • Great for burning energy

  • Interactive buttons

What We Don't Like
  • Too small for taller kids

  • No volume control

For the most active youngsters, a small, low-profile, four-wheeled bus will help them learn the fundamentals of riding. It has 36 interactive buttons for learning the alphabet, practicing numbers, and singing songs together. And it features their favorite characters from Cocomelon!

Price at time of publish: $35

Dimensions: 22 x 10 x 14 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 2 months and up

CocoMelon CocoMelon Boo Boo JJ Deluxe Feature Plush

cocomelon doll

Amazon

What We Like
  • Bandaids are reusable

  • Good for pretend play

What We Don't Like
  • No way to buy extra bandaids if they get lost

It's JJ CoComelon! Kids can play pretend as a doctor or nurse with this doll and boo-boo care kit. The doll is interactive, with a head, elbow, knee and foot that light up when hurt. The bandaids let toddlers heal their friend JJ over and over again, and they can even practice taking his temperature, listening to his heart, and giving him a shot.

Price at time of publish: $45

Dimensions: 12 x 6.25 x 7 inches| Material: Polyester | Recommended Age: 24 months and up

Funko Pop! Star Wars: Mandalorian Luke Skywalker With Grogu

Funko Pop! Star Wars: Mandalorian Luke Skywalker With Grogu

Amazon

What We Like
  • Features two favorite Star Wars universe characters

  • Collectible figure

What We Don't Like
  • No other accessories included

Funko Pop! made this cool collectible from The Mandalorian that features Luke Skywalker and The Child (Grogu). It's a stylized collectible bobblehead that kids will love to see standing tall on their desk, bedside table, or a shelf in their play space.

Price at time of publish: $12

Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 3.75 inches | Material: Vinyl, plastic | Recommended Age: 6 years and up

LEGO Disney Encanto The Madrigal House 43202 Building Kit

lego madrigal house

Amazon

What We Like
  • Fun to build

  • Can be enjoyed with groups

  • House has cool "magical" features

What We Don't Like
  • Only comes with some characters

Encanto fans can bring the house of the Madrigal family to life, thanks to this over 500-piece building kit and clear building instructions. Multiple people can help build the mini-home, and once complete, the Madrigal house makes for a phenomenal playset. Kids can play pretend with Mirabel, Antonio, and Abuela in the magical house full of secret features to discover.

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 15 x 10.3 x 2.8 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 6 years and up

Play Day 3-in-1 Junior Sports Set

Play Day set

Walmart

What We Like
  • Sturdy

  • Five hoop heights

  • Can be played by multiple kids

What We Don't Like
  • Can be difficult to assemble

The holidays just got even more exciting with this adorable and thrilling three-in-one play set from Play Day. Little ones can experience playground sports from home as they shoot hoops, putt golf balls, and kick soccer balls into the net. With a sturdy base, parents shouldn't have to worry about it tipping over. The lightweight balls means that small kids can play inside safely (as long as the breakable things are put away!).

Price at time of publish: $49

Dimensions: ‎‎22.5 x 20 x 58 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Spin Master Games Giant Candy Land Classic Retro Party Board Game

giant candy land

Spin Master Games

What We Like
  • New take on a classic game

  • Gets kids up and moving

What We Don't Like
  • May be too simple for older kids

Candy Land is a game parents and kids alike are sure to enjoy. But this version is giant sized — more like a Twister board — and will have players moving around the board. Play inside or take it outside for some quiet fun in the sun. The spinner is a big handheld item, so it can be passed easily from adult hands to child-sized hands while you're spread across the board. It's a great board game to play with kiddos who are still too young to read, since only color recognition is necessary to play.

Price at time of publish: $25

Dimensions: 16.9 x 2.8 x 12.6 inches | Material: Cardboard, Plastic | Recommended Age: 4 years and up

Razor Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Off-Road Bike

 Razor Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Off-Road Bike
What We Like
  • Active

  • Building toy

What We Don't Like
  • Weight capacity of 140 lbs

Older kids still love toys — and this bike is proof. It's a fun set of wheels they can drive before they're old enough to get a driver's license. Built for off road exploring and fun, the bike is a great introduction to a fun sport. The battery can run for up to 30 minutes and go as far as 7 miles.

Price at time of publish: $380

Dimensions: 24.5 x 31 x 44 inches | Material: Alloy steel | Recommended Age: 13 years and up

Marvel Black Panther Legacy Wakanda FX Battle Claws with Lights and Sounds

Black Panther Claws

Amazon

What We Like
  • Lights and sounds

  • Good for pretend play

What We Don't Like
  • Could encourage aggressive play

  • May not fit all children

Wakanda forever! From the ultra-popular Black Pather series, these battle claws will appeal to any kid fond of the films, super heroes, or pretend play. The claws are interactive and respond to the fierce Wakanda salute with lights and sounds.

Price at time of publish: $39

Dimensions: 3.19 x 16 x 12 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 5 years and up

Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

default image
What We Like
  • Each fairy is different

  • Mini games included

What We Don't Like
  • Packaging is difficult to open

Boys and girls will love the thrill of fighting against Jedi in this Lego Star Wars video game for Playstation. This game is full of opportunities for exploration, space racing, and going on adventures. The humor and journeys are age appropriate, allowing kids to enter the Star Wars universe are their own level.

Price at time of publish: $60

Dimensions: 6.75 x 5.38 x 0.59 | Material: Plastic, virtual | Recommended Age: 10 years and up

Early Learning Centre Wooden Stacking Train

wooden stacking train

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to handle

  • Durable

  • Lots of play potential

What We Don't Like
  • Letters only go to F, numbers only go to 6

Consider this a first-foray into the wonderful world of trains and building. These 15 blocks are slightly oversized, so the tiniest fingers can stack and build to create a train set that helps them count up through six and learn the letters up through F.

Price at time of publish: $25

Dimensions: 17.72 x 4.13 x 6.3 inches | Material: Wood | Recommended Age: 18 months to 3 years

Bluey Garbage Truck

amazon bluey

Amazon

What We Like
  • Multiple play possibilities

  • Easy to maneuver

What We Don't Like
  • Cardboard "trash" pieces are quite small

This big green trash truck houses two of their favorite Bluey characters, plus two accessories, and a selection of cardboard "trash" and "recycling" items. Pull the lever and the two bins can be emptied into the truck, just like your kiddo sees happen on your street!

Price at time of publish: $28

Dimensions: 4.96 x 8.79 x 5.77 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 36 months to 15 years

Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Ultimate Ice Cream Truck Toy Playset

Girl playing with Play-Doh ice cream truck set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes with 27 accessories

  • Encourages pretend play

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to change the batteries

You spend so much time feeding your toddler, now they can feed you! Toddlers can play pretend with this ice cream cart that includes 12 jars of Play Doh and 27 accessories. A storage area helps you keep it all organized.

Price at time of publish: $95

Dimensions: 8 x 25 x 22 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

eKids Disney Encanto Karaoke Machine

encanto karaoke

Amazon

What We Like
  • Fun for one or a group of kids

  • Encourages movement and activity

  • Able to save recordings

What We Don't Like
  • Adult assistance needed to set up

  • Microphone cord is short

  • Streaming service is required for set up

No shuffling memory cards or keeping track of CDs. With this Encanto-themed karaoke system, you can play music straight from any Bluetooth compatible device. An app lets you play Disney music through your preferred streaming service. Once set up, kids can start singing with just the press of a button. A USB port lets you add more music to the machine and save recordings.

Price at time of publish: $59

Dimensions: 8.24 x 3.61 x 10.39 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 0 to 15 years

Dolphin Hat Games Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

Dolphin Hat Games Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

Target

What We Like
  • Easy to learn

  • Fast paced

  • Fun for kids and adults

What We Don't Like
  • Challenging for toddlers to win against older players

  • Requires 3 or more people to play

A simple game the size of a deck of cards with just a few colors and words, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza will be fun for the whole family. It's easy to learn and even easier to play. A game takes about 10 to 15 minutes, so it's perfect for entertaining kids during a short wait at the airport or on a long and rainy afternoon. And if your kid loves the game, you can get them the expansion pack for the next birthday or holiday.

Price at time of publish: $10

Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.5 x 1 inches | Material: Paper and cardboard | Recommended Age: 8 years and up

Nintendo Switch Sports

Nintendo Switch Sports

Amazon

What We Like
  • Involves physical activity

  • Good for solo or group play

What We Don't Like
  • Screen time

  • Only six sports

For kids with Nintendo Switch consoles getting tired of sitting all day, consider Nintendo Switch Sports to get players on their feet to compete in six different sports. Compete in soccer, volleyball, bowling, tennis, badminton, and swordplay with the controller and armband, which uses motion-detection to reflect a player's movement on the screen. Through an online membership (sold separately), they can even play against their friends located anywhere in the world. Game on!

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 4.76 x 3.43 x 3.54 inches | Material: Plastic | Age Range: 10 years and up

Funko Pop! Comic Cover: Star Wars - Luke Vinyl Bobblehead

funko pop star wars

Walmart

What We Like
  • Includes display case

  • Collectible figure

What We Don't Like
  • No other accessories included

Perfect for those who love collectible figures and Star Wars, this Luke Skywalker figurine will have them playing Jedi in no time. This Funko Pop! collectible features the cover art for the first Star Wars comic book from 1977. The figurine and case can be displayed on the wall, or kids can remove Luke and play Jedi to their heart's content.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: 7 x 10.8 x 3.6 inches | Material: Vinyl, plastic | Recommended Age: 6 years and up

What to Look for in a Toy for Christmas

Age-Appropriateness

Though age may appear clear just by looking at the toy, it’s a good idea to check the formal manufacturer recommendation. This guideline is a great indication as to whether the toy is safe and engaging enough (or too complicated) for the child you’re shopping for, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association. 

Safety

When shopping—especially for younger babies and toddlers—keep an eye out for toys with small parts that can be a choking hazard. In general, avoid toys for tiny tots that are labeled 3+, says Morency Goldman. 

Educational Value

Though overt learning components (numbers, letters, colors, and other technical features) are always nice, experts say toys don’t need to be complicated to have great educational value. Children are always learning—even during playtime, says Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas. Even traditional toys, like blocks and dolls, can help teach young children important cognitive, social, and motor skills, she says.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product roundups, expert-focused articles, and more.

For this list, she considered the recommended age, durability, and how interactive the toy is—plus tapped into her personal experience. She also consulted with two experts to gain further insight: Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association, and Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician based in South Overland Park, Kansas.

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