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Our Favorite Toys (So Far) For 2024

This is my 9th (!!) year picking out what the top toys will be for Christmas and every day in between.

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Best Toys For Kids 2024

Get ready to unleash your inner child and dive into a world of play and excitement! I’ve scoured the toy aisles, read countless reviews, and put my personal imagination to the test to bring you the ultimate list of the best toys of the year. 

From tech-savvy gadgets to classic favorites, these toys are sure to delight and inspire kids of all ages. So sit back, relax, and get ready to discover the toys that will bring joy and wonder to your child’s playtime. Let’s dive in!

JUMP TO THE TOP 10 TOYS

Major Toy Themes This Year

Surprise Toys

Toys where you’re not really sure what’s going to be inside is more than half the fun. Whether it’s tiny dolls, gooey aliens, small little brands – you name it – discovering what’s inside and if you’ve found the rare or ultra rare surprises is worth the struggle to find many of these online. These include brands like LOL Surprise, Mini Brands, Cookeez Makery, and Magic Mixies.

Mini Toys

The smaller the better.  Mini toys are all the rage and typically come as 5 little tiny toys per package.  Usually, they’re tiny little versions of major food brands, supermarket products, etc. 

Most recently mini food displays your kids have to follow instructions on to complete the recipe is popping up everywhere.

Fun & Interactive

Tech-style toys are a big hit this year with things your kids can play with (in real life!) and match with the online world.

Some of these are more virtual reality-based, while others are things they have to seek out, discover, and collect.  These are typically different than your standard video games, although you know some of those will make my list.

How I Chose The Best Toys (My Process)

On a personal note, there’s nothing I find more annoying than looking for something online only to see every single site listing the exact same products for their “best of” list.

So, while I will list some of the best sellers of the year (you know you’re kids are going to ask for them anyway), I wanted to make sure to add toys that may not be so mainstream right now, but ones that hit the interest level of so  many different types of kids according to their interests, wants, and needs.  I also try to be as inclusive as possible.  So, here’s how I’ve done it.

Number of Toys Considered

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Number of Reviews Read

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Number of Toys I Gifted

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Hours Spent Creating Toy Guide

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Outside of the above fun stats, I’ve also combed through some of the top toy lists of the year, from major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target.  I even cross-referenced some smaller niche brands like Fat Brain Toys and Learning Express.

I’ve read reviews, purchased a bunch of these as gifts for some in my fam, and then narrowed down my recommendations that were my personal faves and made sense for so many different age groups and stages.

Regularly (once or twice per month) I continually stay on top of new releases and what’s be buzzed about on social media platforms like   FacebookInstagramSnap Chat  and  TikTok – especially TikTok.

So since this is quite the interesting year, to say the least, I’ve come up with some really fun options that are still popular, but totally attainable.  If you’re tired of the same old “must have toys” list that’s the same on every site, give these a whirl that are perfect for right now.

My Picks For Official Best Toys of the Year

1.

A TOY THAT "BAKES" IN THE OVEN

Cookeez Makery Surprise Pet

Cookeez Makery Toy

4+ Yrs. Old

Moose Toys

4 AA

Ok, so this is my pick (officially) for the cutest must-have toy of the year. Introducing the much anticipated Cookeez Makery.

From the folks who brought you Magic Mixies (you’ll see that listed below) comes the magical “bakery” oven that will pop out a surprise plush pet that’s made from “dough.”  

Your kids will use the ingredients to make the dough, fit the mold, and then place into the magical oven.  After a few minutes in the oven a super cute and plush surprise pet will pop out.  It’ll still be warm to the touch and smell either like fresh baked bread or yummy cinnamon.  They’ll either get a surprise puppy, bunny, or even cute little kitten.

I’ve reviewed this recently and added a video so you can see it in action here!

WHAT TO LOVE:

  • Kiddo Fave: Kids around 4 to 8 years old are absolutely loving this thing. It’s like a superstar in the toy world right now, especially with the younger crowd.

  • Playful Process: Imagine this – mixing powders and water, creating dough, popping it into the oven, and then… Ta-da! A warm, sweet-smelling plushie pops out. It’s like your own mini magic show right at home.

  • Play It Again: It’s not a one-and-done deal. You can actually reset the oven and do the entire baking process again. So, this isn’t just a quick thrill – it’s a repeatable adventure.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Short Surprise:  Once the big surprise is over, well, it’s kind of over.

  • A Bit Boxy:  The oven itself is mostly made of cardboard and some plastic. People wished it felt sturdier and less like a cardboard castle in the rain.

  • Strange Idea:  There’s still something odd to me about “baking” a pet.

2.

LITTLE MERMAID DOLLS FROM THE '23 MOVIE

The New Little Mermaid Toys

New Little Mermaid Doll Toys 2024

3 + Yrs. Old

Mattel

None Required

It’s the movie that everyone is obsessing over and for good reason!  The latest Little Mermaid movie is about to take over your lives and your kids are going to be singing “Part of Your World” on repeat for the remainder of the year.  

So, it only makes sense to get in early and pick out their favorite Little Mermaid toys while you can still get them.  Whether they’re Team Ursula or Team Ariel they’ll love recreating their favorite scenes from the movie, using their imagination and just playing overall with these cute dolls.  

Ursula has her signature purple hair and even comes with that removable necklace.  Ariel has a glittery fin and natural-like red hair that you can also play with and get creative.  

WHAT TO LOVE:

  • Total Resemblance: This doll looks just like the Ursula from the movie – like, straight out of the underwater adventure. So, if you’re a fan of the flick, this could be your dream come true.

  • DIY Tentacles: You know those awesome tentacles Ursula has? Well, you gotta pop ’em onto the doll yourself. Some folks found it a bit tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s all good.

  • Hair to Impress: The doll’s hair is hairsprayed, so it’s staying in place – no messy hair days for Ursula! Plus, it adds to that villainous vibe she’s got going on.

  • Realistic and Durable: People are loving how detailed the face is – like, Ursula’s evil smirk is on point. And guess what? She’s sturdy too, made of hard plastic with a touch of soft sparkles.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • One and Done:  Outside of your kids imagination, these dolls don’t really do anything (not that it’s a bad thing).

  • Tentacle Tango: While putting on the tentacles might sound like an underwater dance party, some found it a bit tricky. Not impossible, but it could be a little finicky.

  • Each doll is sold separately. 

3.

THE CUTEST LITTLE FOOD TOYS EVER

Miniverse Make It Mini Food Cafe Series

Miniverse Make It Mini Food Cafe Series

7 + Yrs. Old

MGA Entertainment

None Required

Kids can’t get enough of everything “mini” so they’ll most likely be obsessed with this mini food cafe set that’s not only a surprise, but can actually be set once they’ve completed their design task.

They’ll have to follow the recipe on the back of the card that comes in the ball to be sure to make their recipe a total success.  Once they’ve mastered it, they’ll “set it” for 5 minutes in regular daylight and it’ll be totally ready for them to proudly display.

WHAT TO LOVE:

  • Surprising Success: Alright, so this toy might look silly and pointless to adults, but guess what? Kids are having a blast with it!

  • Crafty Cool: Here’s the deal – this thing is like a DIY adventure. You’ve got all these tiny pieces that you put together to make something cool (in one case, a “bobba tea”). It’s kind of like creating your own mini-world, which some crafty kids totally dig.

  • Collect ‘Em All: Imagine this – you’ve got a set of these mystery minis, and each one has something different inside. It’s like a surprise every time! And guess what? Kids are into it. They’re all about collecting them and uncovering the mystery inside.

  • Bargain Find: Even though this toy looks pretty cool, it’s not costing a fortune. And when it comes to toys, affordable can be a real plus for most parents.
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BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Not a Long-Term Pal: Okay, so here’s a heads-up – this might not be a lifelong buddy. Some folks found that once they put the pieces together and saw the result (a “bobba tea”), that was it. No ongoing play value, but hey, it turned into a Barbie accessory, so not a total loss!

  • Quality Quirk: While it’s fun to put together, this toy might not hold up forever. Some people noticed that the quality isn’t super top-notch, which means it might not last as long as you’d hope.

  • Plastic Problem: Oh boy, here’s a gripe – the packaging! You know how you sometimes open a toy, and there’s just way too much plastic wrapping? Yeah, that happened here too, and it’s a bummer for the environment.

  • Crafty Cleanup: When you’re done creating, you’re also left with a lot of extra plastic bits and pieces from the packaging. So, after the fun, you’ve got some clean-up to do.

4.

LITTLE TOYS YOUR KIDS CAN MAKE

Amigurumi DIY Crochet Plushies

Amigurumi Bundle

10 + Yrs. Old

The Woobles

None Required

Currently on TikTok there are more than 2.2 billion (yes, billion) video views  on the Amigurumi hashtag. So what’s it really all about?

Amigurumi is a Japanese term that refers to the art of crocheting or knitting small, stuffed creatures or characters. The word is derived from the Japanese words “ami,” which means crocheted or knitted, and “niugurumi,” which means stuffed doll.

These cute little crocheted toys now come in a wide variety kits that give you everything you need to create your own little pal.  There are so many to choose from like penguins, dinosaurs, unicorns, narwhals, coffee cups, avocados and so many more.

WHAT TO LOVE:

  • Beginner’s Bestie: If you’re a total newbie to crochet, this kit’s got your back. Folks who were basically starting from scratch found the step-by-step videos and instructions super helpful. So, if you’re thinking about picking up crocheting but have zero experience, this might be your gateway.

  • Achievement Unlocked: Imagine this – you start with a bunch of yarn and a hook, and you end up with an adorable little plushy. Sounds cool, right? Well, people who gave this kit a shot managed to make these cute creatures and felt pretty accomplished. So, it’s like your own mini victory.

  • Everything’s Included: This kit comes with everything you need. Yarn, hook, and even pre-started loops to save you from frustration. No need to run around gathering stuff. It’s like a crochet package all ready to go!

  • Crash Course in Crochet:  The kit doesn’t just hand you materials, it also teaches you how to crochet. Those step-by-step videos walk you through the process, helping you learn stitches, patterns, and more. So, it’s like a crochet class in a box.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Not as Easy as They Say: Some people thought this kit was gonna be a breeze for beginners, but reality hit them differently. They struggled with the initial stages, like getting the hang of the hook. So, if you’re new to crochet, you may have a bit of a learning curve.

  • Stretchy Situation: So, picture this – you’re making your plushy, and suddenly, the starting loop stretches out like crazy. It messed up the whole thing for some folks, making their project go all wonky. Just a heads-up that this could be a hiccup.

  • Video Frustration: Alright, here’s a gripe – those video instructions. Some people found them a bit annoying. They’re short, like 30 seconds each, and there are a ton of them. Plus, if you’re holding yarn and a hook, clicking “Next video” constantly can be a pain.

5.

A MYSTICAL SURPRISE PLUSH TOY

Magical Mixies Crystal Ball

Magical Mixies Crystal Ball Toy

5 - 9 Yrs. Old

Moose Toys

4 AA, 6 AAA

Ok, so if there really was just one toy for your little ones this year, I would name Magical Mixies Crystal Ball as it!

After the huge success of their magical cauldron last Christmas (you’ll see it listed below) this year it’s all about the crystal ball that your kiddos will use their magical skills, their wand, and they’ll complete all the steps to cast a spell and see a real cute cuddly surprise actually appear!

Their Magical Mixie has more than 80 interactions, reactions, lights, sounds and so much more. They’ll even give their little cuddly buddy a “voice” and wait for it to teach them things too!

WHAT TO LOVE:

  • Enchanting Sounds: Picture this – you wave the magic wand and it’s like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. Beautiful sounds, sparkling effects – it’s like casting real magic. Super cool if your kids are into that whimsical vibe.

  • Interactive Play: Get ready for some interactive fun! You can control the magic with the wand’s movements. It’s like you’re a wizard or a witch, making things happen just by waving that wand. How cool is that?

  • Colorful Light Show: Imagine your room turning into a rainbow disco! The toy’s got rainbow lights that flash, and you control them with your magical moves. So, you get to create your own light show while you’re at it.

  • A Fun Friend:  As they begin to teach and nurture their little plush pet, they’ actually start bo build a friendship with them.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Pricey Spells:  This one can be a bit pricey (originally between $76 – $84).

  • Holy Batteries, Batman:  In total it takes 10 batteries (6 AA batteries and 4 AAA).

  • Hit Me Again:  While your kids can “replay” the magical crystal ball reveal 40 times, after that you’ll need to buy a refill pack to play again.

6.

A CUTE PET WHEN YOU'RE NOT READY FOR THE REAL DEAL

Little Live Pets “Mama Surprise” Guinea Pig Family

Little Live Pets “Mama Surprise” Guinea Pig Family

4 + Yrs. Old

Moose Toys

6 AAA Required

If they’ve been begging for a pet and – well – you’re still not ready to do it, you can’t go wrong with the latest from Little Live Pets. This guinea pig and her little ones are as real as they come without actually being real! 

These interactive cuties have more than 20 different sounds and reactions. But first your own little ones will have to take care of and nurture the “mama.” Once they do and her heart lights up, she’ll reveal her three super cute babies. They’ll open up the hutch for the big reveal and then can take care of them too. 

With more than 20 different pieces they’ll have blast and you won’t have to worry about cleaning up any poop. A total win/win.

WHAT TO LOVE:

  • Obsession Central: Imagine finding that one toy that instantly becomes your absolute favorite. Well, some lucky kids out there have stumbled upon this magical toy that hooks them in and doesn’t let go. Picture this: they play with it for hours on end, and it’s like they’ve found a new best friend. Who wouldn’t want that level of excitement?

  • Independent Fun: Now, imagine this – a toy that you can set up and play with all on your own. No need to bug the grown-ups for help; you’re in control of the whole adventure. It’s like having your own little world of play that you can manage all by yourself. How cool is that?

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Blink-and-Miss Magic: This toy grabs their attention, but then suddenly, it’s gone. Some folks found that their kids played with this toy intensely for a brief period, but then it was on to the next thing. So, if you’re in it for the long haul, you might need to keep hunting.

  • A Dash of Replay: Now, let’s talk about replay value. While the little ones are adorable and the initial excitement is real, some reviewers felt that the charm started to wear off after a couple of play sessions. The magic might still be there, but it might not be as enchanting as it was at first.

7.

A TOY FOR THE ULTIMATE HARRY POTTER FAN

Harry Potter 12 Grimmauld Place LEGO Set

Harry Potter The 12 Grimmauld Place LEGO Set

8 + Yrs. Old

LEGO

None Needed

There use to be a time when Harry Potter LEGOs were few and far between. 12 Grimmauld Place is a 1,083 piece secret building filled with so many magical action and adventures.

It comes with 9 of the most iconic figurines, really captivating and intriguing interior design, and a real “woah!” moment when the magical headquarters is finally revealed. While this LEGO set is more the older kiddos (8+) it’s actually a must have for the Harry Potter “adults” too.

WHAT TO LOVE:

  • HP Obsession Satisfied: This Lego set becomes a perfect match for the ultimate Harry Potter fan (and even the older kids too – like teens). With its intricate details and familiar characters, it’s like a dream come true for any Potterhead. Plus, if you’re into collecting Harry Potter Lego sets, this one might just become your new favorite addition to the collection.

  • Assembly Adventure: Now, picture this – you’ve got a set with tons of pieces, but the magic lies in how quickly it comes together. Some reviewers mention that the assembly process is a breeze, taking only a couple of hours for a full-blown masterpiece. If you’re a tween with a love for Lego challenges, this one strikes the balance of being intricate yet achievable.

  • Attention to Detail: Let’s talk about the little things – this set is packed with them! From hidden surprises to nods that only a true HP lover would catch, the details in this Lego set are like Easter eggs waiting to be discovered. If you’re a fan who appreciates these tiny touches, prepare to be impressed.

  • Proud Display: Now, imagine completing this magical build and proudly putting it on display. Just like your other prized Lego sets, this one becomes a centerpiece of pride.
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BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Missing Complexity: For those craving a real challenge, this might not be the most complex Lego set in the wizarding world. If you’re used to intricate builds that test your skills to the max, you might find this one a tad simpler than you’d prefer.  If your kids are on the younger side, they should be fine.

  • Hidden Playtime: Finally, let’s address the playtime aspect. While this set might look amazing and be fun to build, some reviewers noted that the playtime with it might not be as extensive as they’d hoped. It’s like enjoying a spell that works for a limited time before needing to recharge.
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8.

SOMETHING TO GET YOUR KIDS OUTSIDE

Tangle NightBall Light-Up Basketball

Tangle NightBall Light-Up Basketball

8 + Yrs. Old

Tangle

6 Cell Batteries

The Tangle Nightball Basketball is a unique and innovative basketball that lights up when in use. The ball itself is made of durable rubber and has a textured surface for improved grip. It also comes in a bright, eye-catching color that makes it easy to see in low light conditions.

One of the best features is its built-in LED lighting system. This not only makes the ball easy to see at night, but also makes it easier to track its movements. It’ll stay lit for up to 50 hours (with batteries) making it perfect for long games or practices.

Overall it’s a great choice for players of all ages and skill levels (best for those at least 8 years old). It’s durable enough to withstand rough play, yet still soft enough to provide a comfortable grip. The ball’s textured surface also makes it easy to control, even when your hands are sweaty. And, its bright color ensures that you’ll never lose sight of it during a game!

If you’re looking for more outdoor toys and games, we have a separate list here.

WHAT TO LOVE:

  • Bright Lights, Cool Bounce: Picture playing basketball in the dark with a ball that lights up! Reviewers loved how the ball’s lights made the game exciting, especially at night. It’s like having your very own light show on the court.

  • Family Fun: Now, think about enjoying quality time with family. Many mentioned that this ball brought them together for some awesome games. It’s like the ball is a ticket to unforgettable family moments.

  • Alternative to Screen Time: Imagine getting off those screens and playing outdoors. This ball seems to be a hit in getting kids away from video games. It’s like a magic spell that breaks the screen addiction spell.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Expensive Battery Buffet: Some reviewers felt like they were spending too much on batteries to keep the ball glowing. It’s like the ball has an appetite for pricy power.

  • Losing Light: Imagine the lights on the ball going out too soon. Some reviewers had issues with the lights not working properly, even after changing batteries. It’s like a fireworks show that fizzles out before the grand finale.

9.

A TOY THAT CATCHES FAIRIES

Got2Glow Virtual Fairy Finder

Got2Glow Virtual Fairy Finder

5 - 9 Yrs. Old

WowWee

3 AA Included

This super cute Virtual Fairy Finder is the must-have toy that allows kids to explore the magical world of fairies through a virtual reality experience. The toy includes a jar-shaped device that features a camera and an LED screen, which displays images and videos of virtual fairies.

To catch their fairies, your kids need to aim the camera at the included fairy target cards, which trigger the appearance of a virtual fairy on the LED screen. The toy includes multiple fairy target cards, each featuring a different fairy character with its own unique personality and backstory.

Your kids will have a blast collecting more than 100 different virtual fairies in their magical jar. They can even trade with their friends. Even better? They can interact with their fairies too.

WHAT TO LOVE:

  • Endless Play: It’s really a toy that keeps your kids busy for hours. Reviewers loved how their kids were totally engrossed in playing with these fairy finders, especially on the first day. It’s like having a magical entertainment solution.

  • Exciting and Engaging: They’re fun for all ages, and the pet version is another fan favorite. It’s like holding a pocket-sized adventure.

  • Family Fun: Imagine playing a game that involves the whole family. Reviewers highlighted how much fun they had, collecting fairies together. It’s like discovering a shared magical world within your own home.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Batteries Not Included: Picture a toy that needs batteries but doesn’t come with them. Some reviewers faced this issue, which was a bit disappointing. It’s like buying a car without the keys to start it.

  • APP Download:   You need to download an app for additional functionality.
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10.

A TOY THAT HELPS YOUR LITTLE ONES CHILL OUT

The Meditation Toy Mouse

The Meditation Toy Mouse

2 - 5 Yrs. Old

Fisher Price

3 AA Included

You know we love all things mindfulness and meditation around here, so we had to include the popular Meditation Mouse that provides calming sounds and even guided meditations that are simple enough for 2 – 5 year olds to follow along with. This cute little mouse has a tummy that lights up to help calm and comfort your little one. Plus, there are three different options to choose from so you can decide if they need some extra relaxation during the day, something to help them wind down and get ready for bed, or nighttime soothing sounds.

WHAT TO LOVE:

  • Mindful Interaction: According to the reviews, these mindfulness and meditation toys seem to excel in facilitating mindful interaction for children. 

  • Effective Sleep Aid: Many reviewers found this toy to be effective sleep aids for toddlers. Parents noted that the toys helped create a soothing environment, leading to better sleep patterns for their children. Also, the calming effect wasn’t limited to children alone; adults who used these toys also reported improved sleep quality and relaxation.

  • Calming Effect on Stress and Tantrums:  Parents shared instances where the toy helped soothe their sensitive toddlers during tantrums and stressful moments. The Meditation Mouse also appeared to promote relaxation and quicker calm-downs, making them valuable tools for managing emotions.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Connection Time: People generally liked how it helped them relax, but some reviews mentioned a bit of a wait before they could actually start feeling the calming effects. It’s not a huge problem, but for those who want to chill out quickly, this wait could be a little annoying.

  • Volume Control Challenges: Most folks found this toy really effective, but there were some who had trouble adjusting the volume to just the right level.  However, even with this issue, it didn’t seem to ruin the overall positive experience that people had with it.

  • Preference for Specific Modes: So, it has different settings or modes that you can pick. Some people totally loved the modes that had nature sounds or music because they found those super calming. But not everyone was on board with every mode. For instance, there were mixed feelings about modes like white noise or ocean waves. Some folks didn’t think they were as good as the other modes they liked more.

11.

SOMETHING LITTLE FOR THE DISNEY FANS

5 Surprise Disney Mini Brands

Surprise Disney Mini Brands

2 - 8 Yrs. Old

Disney

None Required

Yep, they’re still into everything mini. These are the latest mini collectible from 5 Surprise; Disney mini brands! They’ll be able to collect popular Disney items like mini Buzz Lightyear, mini Spiderman, mini Elsa, mini Minnie Mouse, and so many more.

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Excitement of Rare Finds: Some of these Mini Brands come with rare items, and that’s got kids all kinds of excited. Imagine discovering something super special that not everyone else has. It’s like uncovering hidden treasures!

  • Thrill of Unboxing: Opening up these Mini Brands is like a mini adventure itself. You never know what you’re going to get inside, and that element of surprise is always a win.

  • Perfect Stocking Surprises: People love how these Mini Brands fit right into stockings. It’s like a mini surprise party!

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Double Trouble: Imagine getting all pumped up to see what’s inside, and then bam, you end up with duplicates! Some folks got more than one of the same Mini Brand, and that can be a bit of a bummer.

  • Tiny Size Dilemma: These toys are seriously mini, like really, really small. Imagine expecting them to be a bit bigger, and then they’re actually teeny-tiny. Some reviewers were a little surprised by their small size.

  • Mismatched Themes: Imagine hoping for a certain theme, like superhero stuff, but ending up with something completely different. Some people got Mini Brands with themes that didn’t match their preferences. It’s like ordering a burger and getting a salad instead.

12.

A TOY THAT SHOOTS 100-FEET INTO THE AIR

The Original Stomp Rocket

The Original Stomp Rocket

5 + Yrs. Old

Stomp Rocket

None Required

Ready for them to get outside and release some of the pent-up energy? You can’t go wrong with Stomp Rocket! You may remember this from when you were a kid because it’s been around for decades. It allows kids to launch rockets by stomping on the spring-loaded platform, launching the rocket into the air – in fact it can even go up to 100 feet into the air. Some can even do tricks or stunts in mid-air! This one comes with 3 stunt planes to launch – the Looper, the Glider, and the Wildcat. It really is a blast (pun intended).

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Engaging Playtime: These stomp rocket toys are a big hit with kids. They keep them engaged for longer periods. How cool would it be to jump on the air pump and watch these rockets take off into the sky – sometimes up to 100-feet in the air!

  • Versatile Fun: Imagine having a rocket launcher that doesn’t just shoot straight up and down like others. These rockets actually fly and glide in different patterns, giving you more exciting action. It’s like having a mini air show in your backyard!

  • Active Exercise: When you’re stomping on that pump to launch the rockets, you’re not only having fun but also burning off energy. It’s like combining playtime with exercise, which is a win-win.

  • STEM Learning: Now, these rockets aren’t just about play; they’re also a chance to learn. Imagine asking questions like why one rocket goes farther than another or why one does loops. It’s like a fun way to explore science and experiment with different flight paths.
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BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Occasional Connection Issues: Picture this – sometimes, the air might get trapped, and the rockets don’t take off as expected. Imagine stepping on the pump, but the rocket stays grounded. It could be a bit frustrating when you’re all set for liftoff.

  • Weight Matters: Imagine being a little kid and trying to stomp on the pump. If you’re not that heavy, the rockets might not go as far. It’s a bit of a challenge for the tinier tots to get the rockets soaring like they want.

13.

SOMETHING FOR KIDS WHO FIDGET

Pop Fidget Toy (2-Pack)

Pop Fidget Toy (2-Pack)

3 + Yrs. Old

Pop Fidget

None Required

Remember the fidget spinner craze from a few years ago? Now it’s all about the  Pop Fidget. Perfect for those who have some sensory needs or just need a little help relaxing and de-stressing. These are currently the top sellers on Amazon today. They come as a 2-pack too!

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Engaging Entertainment: These bubble toys have proven to be a hit with the kids. Their eyes light up as they interact with these toys, enjoying the simple yet satisfying act of popping bubbles. The varying colors add an extra layer of excitement, making it a visually appealing playtime.

  • On-the-Go Fun: These toys aren’t just limited to one spot. They’re like your trusty travel companions. Keeping one at home and one in the car means your entertainment goes wherever you go. These portable pals are ready to keep you occupied during those car rides or wait times.

  • Vibrant Variety: It’s not just about the pop; it’s also about the colors. These bubble toys come in a range of vibrant shades, making them visually captivating. The soft and rubbery texture adds a tactile dimension, enhancing the overall sensory experience.

  • Subtle Learning: These toys aren’t just about mindless popping. They’re low-key educational tools. Kids can explore colors and patterns while engaging with these toys. They’re like a covert way of introducing learning while having fun.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Soft Sensory: Some users found the sensory experience a bit softer than expected. They were looking for a more pronounced pop sound and sensation. For those seeking a more intense tactile response, these toys might not fully satisfy that craving.

  • Diverse Popping Difficulty: A noteworthy point is that the square and circle versions of these toys have slightly different popping experiences. The square ones seem to require a bit more effort to pop. This can be seen as both a challenge and a potential source of variety.

  • Size Consideration: While these toys are perfect for small hands, they might not be the ideal fit for everyone. Some users felt that a slightly larger size would have been more comfortable for their grip. It’s like having a fantastic treat that could be even better with a bit more substance.

14.

A TOY THAT DEFIES GRAVITY

Air Hogs Zero Gravity Car

8 - 14 Yrs. Old

Spin Master

3 AAA Required

It’s the remote-controlled toy car that can drive on walls, ceilings, and other smooth surfaces that you’ve been seeing all over social media.

To use the Zero Gravity Car, you just need to attach the car to a smooth surface using the suction fan located underneath the car. Once attached, use the included remote control to drive the car forwards, backwards, left, or right. The car can move at a fast speed, adding an exciting and thrilling element to the play experience.

It’s designed to be totally durable and can withstand crashes and falls – within reason, of course.

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Gravity-Defying Action: These cars are not your average remote control cars. They’re like something out of a sci-fi movie. They zoom around walls and even stick to side walls, all guided by a simple red laser pointer. This feature alone has amazed kids and parents alike, and they describe it as a mind-blowing experience.

  • Durable Design: Despite their lightweight feel, these cars are surprisingly tough. They can handle falls from heights without breaking. This durability has been a pleasant surprise for reviewers, especially parents who have seen the cars survive tumbles that would normally spell disaster for other toys.

  • Easy Entertainment: Users have found these toy cars to be really user-friendly. While there’s a learning curve to master the laser control, it’s an engaging process that leads to some cool skills. Even those who initially struggled found that practice pays off, leading to more precise control over time.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Surface Dependency: The cars ability to “stick-to-the-wall” magic does have a caveat. They require a perfectly flat surface for their gravity-defying tricks. Even slight bumps or uneven spots on the wall can lead to a fall. Some users found this frustrating since they expected a bit more flexibility.

  • Control Learning Curve: While the concept is exciting, mastering the laser control takes some practice. Figuring out the right distance and angle for precise control over the car’s movement isn’t an immediate win. Some users found this learning curve to be a bit challenging, especially at first.

15.

SOMETHING TO HELP WITH THEIR FINE MOTOR SKILLS

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

18 Months + Yrs. Old

Learning Resources

None Required

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog is a toy designed to help children develop their fine motor skills. It includes a plastic hedgehog-shaped base and twelve colorful quills that can be inserted and removed from the base.

To play with Spike, your little ones need to pick up the quills and insert them into the holes on the hedgehog’s back. The quills are designed to fit snugly into the holes, providing a tactile and sensory experience for kids. The quills are also different colors and textures, providing opportunities for color recognition and sensory exploration.

Once all of the quills are inserted, you can remove them and start the process over again. It’s really designed to be engaging and repetitive, allowing children to practice their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination while having fun.

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Long-Lasting Engagement: This toy has proven to be a hit over the years. A user mentioned that they initially got it for their baby who’s now almost 3, and the child is still playing with it. This speaks to the toy’s ability to engage and entertain kids over an extended period.

  • Safe for Different Ages: Parents appreciate that the toy’s components, like the “quill” pieces, are not small enough to pose a choking hazard. This feature makes it suitable for children of different ages, even those as young as 10 months.

  • Educational Value: Many reviewers highlight the educational benefits of this toy. It’s mentioned that it helps with developing fine motor skills, color recognition, concentration, pattern recognition, counting, and even number recognition. The toy’s ability to provide both play and learning opportunities has been a strong selling point.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Safety Concerns: One reviewer mentioned that the pieces that stick into the hedgehog are susceptible to splitting open if chewed, potentially leading to small pieces breaking off. This raises a safety concern, especially for younger children who might still explore toys through their mouths.

16.

SOMETHING TO HELP WITH THEIR FINE MOTOR SKILLS

The Bluey Mega Play Home

The Bluey Mega Play Home

3 - 8 Yrs. Old

Moose Toys

None Required

If you have a preschooler or toddler to shop for, chances are you know all about the super famous Bluey!

Now you can bring the fun from your screen into your home with the official Bluey Mega Bundle Playset. The house itself has 4 different rooms that your little Bluey figures can play inside, along with an outdoor patio, BBQ, and picnic table.

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Age-Appropriate Fun: This Bluey Mega Bundle Home, BBQ Playset seems to hit the sweet spot in terms of age suitability. Reviewers mention that their children, ranging from a 2-year-old to a 6-year-old, absolutely love playing with it. This suggests that the playset appeals to a wide range of young kids.

  • Long-Lasting Enjoyment: Reviewers have highlighted the lasting appeal of this playset. Some mention that their child has been playing with it for a long time, which speaks to its engaging nature and replay value. This means it won’t be a toy that’s quickly discarded.

  • Easy Storage and Portability: The fact that the playset folds up easily and can be conveniently stored has been praised by parents. One reviewer mentioned it can be stored at the foot of a bed, which makes cleanup and organization a breeze.

  • Quality and Accuracy: Multiple reviews emphasize the quality of the toy. From the well-made figures and accessories to the accuracy in replicating scenes from the show, the playset appears to be faithful to the source material and holds up well during play.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Kind of Pricey:  It’s a little on the expensive side for a smaller playset, when compared to some other similar toy options.

17.

A GAME THAT'LL KEEP THEM LAUGHING

Not Parent Approved Game For Kids

Not Parent Approved Game

8 - 12 Yrs. Old

Not Parent Approved

None Required

Everyone is obsessed over this family-friendly game! It’s like ‘Cards Against Humanity’ but for children and 100% family friendly. It’s the perfect game to bust out during the holidays too!

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Spark Creativity: This game is loved for its ability to spark creativity, spontaneity, and quick thinking among players. The prompts challenge imaginative minds and encourage everyone to showcase their sense of humor.

  • Family Bonding: A significant theme is how “Not Parent Approved” brings families and friends closer through shared laughter and inside jokes. The game fosters connections and creates memorable moments that everyone can enjoy.

  • Endless Entertainment: The expansion seamlessly integrates with the original set, providing endless combinations of cards that keep players entertained for hours. This means you won’t get tired of the game quickly; there’s always something new to explore.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Age Appropriateness: While the game is marketed as family-friendly and suitable for ages 8 and up, there are concerns about the appropriateness of some card content for younger kids. Some reviewers found topics and phrases not entirely suitable for the suggested age range.

18.

A MUST-HAVE FOR THE PAW PATROL FANS

Motorized Paw Patrol Jet to the Rescue

Motorized Paw Patrol

3 - 9 Yrs. Old

Spin Master

3 LR44 Batteries Included

It’s the must-play toy from Patrol Patrol they’ll be asking you for right about…now! The Paw Patrol Jet to the Rescue is totally motorized so all they have to do is push the button and watch it light up, make sounds, shoot those launchers, open its wings and more.

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Kid Obsessed: The Paw Patrol toys are clearly a hit among kids. Kiddos as young as 5 years old absolutely love them, making these toys a source of joy and entertainment for young fans.

  • Durable and Playable: Many reviewers highlight the sturdiness and durability of these Paw Patrol toys. They are designed to withstand enthusiastic play, ensuring they last through hours of imaginative adventures.

  • Compatible and Versatile: These toys are noted to be easy to use with other toys, which adds to their versatility. They can be integrated into various play scenarios and seamlessly combined with other Paw Patrol toys in their collection.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Assembly Hassle: Some reviewers mention that the toy requires assembly, including attaching decal stickers. This process can be a bit challenging, especially aligning stickers perfectly. This might be a source of frustration for both kids and even some of the parents.

  • Price Consideration: While the toys are loved by kids, a few reviews note that they can be considered somewhat expensive for what they offer in terms of functionality and play value.

19.

A BUILDING TOY THAT'S STEM-APPROVED

Magna-Tiles Building Tiles

Magna-Tiles Building Tiles

3 + Yrs. Old

MagnaTiles

None Required

If you want the kiddos to be able to learn a bit while they’re playing, this is the STEM option for them! This award winning building set comes with 32 colorful tiles that will help them work their creative and problem-solving muscles and build something really cool.

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Durable and Colorful: These tiles are praised for their durability and vibrant colors. They can withstand lots of play and still look great.

  • Imagination Boost: Many reviewers highlight how these tiles fuel imagination. Kids can create all sorts of buildings and structures, from parking garages to creative designs, which keeps them engaged and entertained.  Plus, it’s an overall amazing STEM toy for the kiddos.

  • Unlimited Building Options: The building possibilities with these tiles are limitless. Whether it’s constructing unique designs or experimenting with new ideas, these tiles offer a wide range of building options.

  • Family Fun: Parents can enjoy these tiles too. Building together with your child is not only enjoyable but also encourages bonding and collaborative play, which can be a lot of fun for everyone involved.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Cost: While these tiles are great, they can be quite expensive. The quality and play value come at a price, which might be a drawback for some families.

  • Small Set Size: Some reviewers note that the set they purchased was relatively small. This means there might be limitations to the scale of creations, which could be a bit limiting for kids with ambitious building ideas.

  • Add-Ons Needed: A couple of reviewers mentioned that they plan to add more tiles to the set in the future. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does imply that a larger set might be needed to fully explore the potential of Magna-Tiles.

20.

THE PERFECT TOY FOR THE COCOMELON FAN

CoComelon Boo Boo JJ Doll

CoComelon Boo Boo JJ Doll

2 + Yrs. Old

Jazwares

3 AAA Included

It’s the plush toy based on the popular children’s YouTube channel, CoComelon that your little ones have been watching on a loop for what seems like 72 consecutive hours.

This time, poor little JJ has a boo-boo and your kid has to figure out where he’s hurt.  It can be his foot, knee, head, or even elbow and JJ will provide the answer by lighting up where it hurts so your kids can play doctor and use the bandage set to help him heal.

When you press his cute little tummy, JJ will play part of “The Boo Boo” song, which will basically be stuck in your head for a lifetime. 

Outside of the bandages (that stick right on JJ) he comes with a total of 8 accessories to help give him a checkup and send him on his way.  If they love CoComelon, they’re going to love JJ.

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Imaginative Play: Many reviewers point out the imaginative play aspect of this toy. Kids love to dive into the world of role-play, and having a Cocomelon-themed doctor kit adds an extra layer of excitement. It encourages them to create pretend scenarios, fostering creativity and storytelling skills.

  • Sturdy and Well-Made: According to several reviews, the tools and components of the toy are praised for being well-constructed and sturdy. This helps ensure that the toy can endure active play, accidental drops, and the rough handling typical of children’s play, making it a reliable addition to your collection.
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BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Limited Appeal to Certain Age Groups: While younger kids seem to love this toy’s charm, older kiddos might find it less engaging or exciting. The toy’s design and features are primarily tailored for toddlers and preschoolers, meaning it might not hold the attention of older kids as effectively.

  • Ear Worms:  If your kids are into repetition you may go insane with the song being played over and over again.

21.

THE CUTEST SQUISHY LITTLE TOYS

My Squishy Dumplings

My Squishy Dumplings Toy

5 + Yrs. Old

WowWee

1LR44 Included

If you remember Fingerlings from a few years back, your kids will most likely be obsessed with “My Squishy Little Dumplings.” 

They’re totally interactive with more than 50 different fun reactions and emotions that’ll really come to life when you squeeze them and watch their squishy pop out! Currently there are four different Dumplings to collect, all with different looks, personalities, and accessories. The more you play with them the more their personalities will shine!

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Cuteness Overload: Okay, let’s get real – everyone agrees that these squishy dumplings are basically a cuteness explosion. Seriously, their design is so charming that they’re practically irresistible for anyone who loves adorable stuff.

  • Kid-Friendly Gift: If you’re looking for a gift for a young kid, these toys seem to hit the bullseye. Parents and grandparents mentioned that their little munchkins – especially those around 3 to 5 years old – had a blast playing with them.

  • Affordability and Value: You know what’s cool? These toys don’t break the bank. People liked that they could snag them at a decent price on Amazon. And let’s face it, getting a bang for your buck is always a thumbs-up.

  • Decorative Touch: Even if the fun part of the toy doesn’t last forever, that’s not a deal-breaker. These dumplings are so cute that some kiddos have been using them as room decor. It’s like adding a sprinkle of cuteness to their surroundings.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Limited Playtime: Now, here’s the scoop – a few people mentioned that the thrill of playing with these toys might fizzle out quicker than expected. This could mean that the fun might be more suited for the younger kiddos or those who like simpler play.

  • Age Appropriateness: Here’s the deal – a couple of reviews hinted that these toys might be a bullseye for younger kids (around 3 to 5 years old). However, older kids or “tweens” might dig the adorableness but might find the play aspect a bit lacking.

  • Limited Interaction: Even though these dumplings are cuteness personified, they don’t really do much when it comes to interactive features. So, if you’re hunting for a toy that’s super dynamic and engaging, these might not be the ticket.

  • Packaging Quirk: Now, here’s a little heads-up – a few folks had a bit of a mystery when it came to the packaging. Some cool accessories were apparently hiding in there, and a couple of people didn’t catch that right away. It’s a small thing, but it could be a tad confusing.
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22.

A TOTALLY INTERACTIVE DINO

Squeakee the Interactive Balloon Dino

Squeakee The Balloon Dino

5 + Yrs. Old

Moose Toys

6 AA Required

Squeakee may look like a big bad dinosaur, but he’s a total softy who loves to roar, chomp, stomp, dance, and more!  He’s totally interactive, with more than 70 different reactions, sounds, and moves.  Kids love to put his cute purple headphones on and watch him bust a move.

Squeakee will roar at you and you can even roar back at him, but if you roar too loud he may get scared, run away or even pop.  Don’t worry, you can inflate him again (and again).  

You can train Squeakee, tickle him (he’ll laugh), watch him dance, play tug-of-war, pop him, inflate him – you name it. 

He’s actually pretty funny and with more than 70 interactions, it’ll take a while for your kids to get bored.

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • A Lovable Playtime Pal: Imagine a toy that becomes your best buddy for playtime. Well, this one seems to be nailing that role. Many cool kids (and their grandparents, parents, and caregivers) can’t stop talking about how much they love playing with it. It’s like having a playmate that never gets tired!

  • Size Surprise: The size is much bigger than you expected. It’s like getting extra awesomeness! The bigger-than-expected size seems to be adding to the fun factor.

  • Interactive Engagement: Think about a toy that dances, talks, and responds when you touch it. That’s the kind of action these reviewers are excited about. It’s not just a regular toy; it’s like a friend that reacts and moves. It’s no wonder kids are getting hooked on it!

  • Mixed Age Appeal: Now, imagine a toy that isn’t just for little kids or big kids, but for everyone in between. From tiny tots as young as 2 to older kids, this toy seems to have something for everyone. It’s like the ultimate crowd-pleaser.
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BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Heavy-Headed: Imagine a toy with a head that’s a bit wobbly. Yep, that’s the case here. Some reviewers noticed that the head of the toy can be a bit heavy, which might make it wobble a bit. 

  • Batteries Beware: Now, think about a toy that’s super interactive – dancing, moving, and talking. Well, that kind of awesomeness comes with a cost: six AA batteries. Some reviewers find that quite a handful and not too friendly on the wallet.

  • Scaring Potential: Imagine a toy that’s all fun but might have a “boo!” moment for younger kids. The toy’s loud sounds and sudden moves might be a bit startling for some tiny tots. It’s like a mini jump-scare in a playful package.

23.

A CHALLENGING TOY FOR THE OLDER KIDS

The LEGO Batman Batmobile

The LEGO Batman Batmobile

10 + Yrs. Old

LEGO

Coin Battery

It’s the must-have LEGO set from the latest Batman movie this year. If your kids (or even you) are into building challenging LEGOs, this one fits the bill. This sleek 1,360 piece Batmobile set is true-to-life, totally authentic from the movie, and still allows for fun playtime too (full functional) once it’s all built.

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • A Price That Packs a Punch: Imagine getting something that’s worth way more than what you paid. Reviewers are raving about the value. At $80, it’s already a steal, and they’re saying it would be worth even more at $100. And if it’s on sale, it’s like a golden opportunity you can’t miss.

  • Mind-Bending Build: Think of it as an adventure for your brain cells. The building process is like solving a super complex puzzle. It’s like giving your mind a marathon to run, and the finish line is your masterpiece.

  • Eye-Catching Design: Envision a Lego car that’s not just cool, but seriously awesome. It’s big, it’s detailed, and it’s even got lights! It’s like your room suddenly turned into the Batcave. This car’s got style, and it’s a showstopper.

  • Fun for All Ages: Here’s the deal – it’s not just for kids. Adults are totally geeking out over it. Whether you’re 10 or 100, this Lego set is like a universal language that speaks to everyone’s inner builder.

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BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Navigating Tricky Steps: Imagine you’re on a quest, and there are riddles along the way. Some steps in building this Lego set can be confusing, especially if you’re new to the Lego scene.

  • Not Little Kid’s Play: Here’s the thing – this Lego set isn’t your basic block fun. Some parts are complex, and younger builders might need a hand from a wiser Jedi… I mean, an experienced builder. It’s like having a mentor guide you through the labyrinth.

24.

A TOY THAT TEACHES

smART Sketcher

Smart Sketcher Toy for Kids

5 - 14 Yrs. Old

Fly Catcher Toys

None Required

I always love a “toy” that can help teach kids at the same time.  Introducing the Smart Sketcher – the must have tool that helps you turn your favorite pictures into amazing art!

It’s basically like magic because it projects the picture onto paper, so your kids can easily trace the outline and color it in. You can use Smart Sketcher to draw all kinds of pictures, like famous art pieces, animals, landscapes, and so much more.  You can even upload your own pictures to draw right from your own phone.

Overall it’s pretty easy to use, and it has lots of fun features to help you create your art, like making the picture bigger or brighter, and zooming in for more detail. Once you finish your art, you can show it off to your friends on social media or print it out to hang on your wall. There’s even a wide variety of additional collection sets you can purchase so your kiddos can draw things like stickers, historic architecture, museum art, fun greeting cards and more.  

Even adults are getting in on the action by using this to help create intricate designs for decorations on their cookies and other baked goods!

WHAT TO LOVE:.

  • Inspires Confidence: It’s like a kid-friendly tool that’s like their artistic sidekick. This gadget empowers you to draw like a champ. It’s like having a creative coach by your side, cheering you on.

  • Kid-Friendly Crafting: Think of it as a craft party where creativity is the guest of honor. Kids are loving it because it keeps them happily absorbed and helps them learn while having fun.

  • Easy Peasy Setup: Envision a hassle-free setup process. You don’t need to be a tech genius to get started. It’s like a user-friendly gadget that speaks your language.

  • Boosts Satisfaction: Picture this – your kid creates something, and it looks awesome.  And they’re proud. It’s like a confidence booster that’s always there to celebrate their achievements.

BE MINDFUL OF:

  • Foot Slippage: Imagine working on your masterpiece, and oops, it shifts. Some reviews mention that the device’s footing could be improved, so it doesn’t move while advancing the drawing. It’s like preventing a minor hiccup during your creative journey.

  • Size Challenge: Here’s the scoop – if you want a larger picture, you might need to get creative by setting the device on a book. It’s like finding a workaround to get the canvas you desire.

In Conclusion

So, my toy-seekers, this concludes my official list of the top toys (so far) this year.  Some are tried and true and some are totally new.  This year I wanted to make sure to focus on some challenges parents and other adults had with some of these based on their reviews.  These shouldn’t be a make or break for you on whether or not to purchase the toy, but hopefully it helps in your decision making process!

TOYS AND GAMES AND KID STUFF, OH MY!