Whether your eye is already on the holidays or you're shopping for a toddler or baby's birthday, honing in on the most popular toys kids want isn't as easy a feat as you might think. From singing dolls and LED robots to musical dinosaurs and Play-Doh dentist sets, there's a lot from which to choose. But that also means there's a great toy for every kind of kid out there.
I remember the days as a kid when I would circle every single product from the Toys "R" Us Big Toy Book. Sure, I didn't get everything on my list, but it was always fun to check out the hot new toys and gadgets, even if I wasn't promised it. This year, with so many toys on the market, it's hard to configure which ones are worth spending money on and which ones just appear to have all the bells and whistles. Because of that, I did some digging and rounded up the hottest new toys, as well as the classic options that still top the toy lists year after year.
Even if the event you're shopping for is months away, from experience, it's best to start brainstorming gift ideas early. That way, you're less stressed when that holiday season or birthday party weekend actually gets here. You'll thank me later.
1An Egg That Hatches Into An Animal
Hatchimals offer the closest thing kids might get to a real egg hatching experience. A cute bird waits to be hatched while kids play and interact with the egg. The kids can feel the the bird's heartbeat, before the toy comes out of the egg when it's time to hatch. And the fun's not over yet — the kids will be able to teach their new Hatchimal to walk, talk, and dance.
2A Singing 'Elena Of Avalor' Doll
Elena of Avalor is not just Disney's newest princess, but she's also the first Latina princess. And everyone is loving her. Elena is dressed in her signature red gown, while carrying her guitar. Press her heart necklace to hear her sing "My Time," the theme song from the TV show.
3An Adorable Fire-Breathing Dragon
Torch has made it to many gift lists, and for many good reasons. For one, the My Blazin' dragon is absolutely adorable. This little guy has over 50 sound and motion combinations activated with touch. For another, Torch also breathes flame colored mist when you fill his tank with water. He even comes with a marshmallow treat that changes colors when you feed it to him.
Leave it to this furry red muppet to top every toy list this year. This high-tech Elmo doll sings, dances, and can even say your child's name. But what's really cool about this Elmo is that parents can personalize their kid's playtime by using him with the learn2love Elmo app. There, parents can input their kids' names along with interests and activities to make Elmo part of the fun.
5An Interactive Bugbot
This robot toy knows how to shake it. Featuring an LED multicolored tummy, this baby toy loves to dance by shaking its hips and head, encouraging your baby to move around, as well. BeatBo also provides a learning experience by playing games about coloring, counting, and more.
6A Caterpillar That Teaches Kids to Code
It's never too early to start coding. This caterpillar toy teaches babies the fundamentals of coding by allowing them to connect the segments, in order to make it move. The caterpillar lights up when the proper segments are connected, and there's no wrong sequence. Each combination directs the caterpillar which way to go.
The Pokémon craze made huge comeback this year, so I'm not surprised that this Pikachu plush made many toy lists this year. With more than 10 sounds and phrases, including his signature ones, and light up features, this toy will top any Pokémon fan's holiday list. He also looks super cuddly.
8A Zoo-Themed Activity Cube
Every toy your tot is obsessed with packed into this activity cube. This toy features a fun bead maze, peak-a-boo doors, and other fun games. It also sticks to its zoo theme with painted animals found all over the cube. Your child will never get bored.
9A Jungle-Themed Activity Walker
This activity walker turns into a table and panel for endless play. Among the 70-plus sounds and games that this walker offers, there is also a monkey slider, peek-a-boo lion, and spinning toucan ball to keep your baby entertained and smiling all day. The walker also projects lights to encourage babies to take their first steps.
10An Adorable Troll Doll
The DreamWorks movie Trolls is a widely popular choice for kids this year, so it's no wonder this doll was featured on a number of must-have lists. At 14 inches tall, Hug Time Poppy sings and speaks 25 different phrases from the movie. Brush her hair to watch it light up and use her light-up bracelet to interact with the doll.
The camping adventures begin as soon as your tot rolls up the RV. This Little People toy teaches kids about the great outdoors, thanks to the 50 plus songs and sounds related to camping. When your kid is done playing, store everything inside the RV.
12A Bumpy Developmental Ball
Babies can up their developmental skills with the bumpy ball. The bumps make it easy for babies to grab, so they learn how to throw and catch. There's also a rattle that helps with babies' hearing, and the bright colors help them associate colors. A great gift for any new baby.
13An Old-School Preschool Toy
The most popular Christmas toy from decades ago has made a comeback Celebrate Play-Doh's 60 years with this retro Drill 'n Fill set. Your tot plays dentist by filling cavities, brushing teeth, and making braces with Play-Doh. Who knows, it may inspire a future career path.
14A Ball-Popping Musical Dino
This musical dinosaur is a best seller because babies find it so much fun. They'll be so entertained catching the balls as they exit the dinosaur's mouth, or popping from its back as the dinosaur plays music. It's a great toy for babies to develop their motor skills and learn cause and effect. In other words, they'll have a ball (pun totally intended).
15An Enchanting Smart Castle
This VTech castle is fit for any prince or princess. This enchanting castle features several "MagicPoints" that activate special lights and sounds. It also includes a Magic Princess that says phrases and speaks with other Smart Friends (sold separately).
16A Splashy Octopus
This octopus bath toy makes a great gift for any tot. This little guy aims to make bath time fun for toddlers by letting them play ring toss. The Octopus comes with three plastic rings that fit inside its tentacles.
17A Kid-Friendly Drum Set
Surprise your future rockstar this holiday season with this VTech drum set. It features four modes of play, including free play, letters, numbers, and follow along, and nine different melodies for your kid to learn. Your toddler will be a musician in no time.
18A Baby IPod
Does your baby love music? Then this Baby Einstein musical toy will be a hit. It plays seven different classical melodies for your kid to develop a taste for the musical. The caterpillar handle makes it easy for your child to grab, and a colorful keypad allows for volume control.
19A Potato Head Who Isn't Afraid of No Ghost
Who you're gonna call? Mr. Potatohead? Yes, this spud got a Ghostbusters makeover this year. He's armed with a proton pack and wand to fight off any ghost in his way. He ain't afraid of no ghost.
20A Musical Tea Set
Basically Mrs. Pott's long lost cousin, this LeapFrog tea set plays seven songs that teach kids about socialization and manners, while they also learn counting and colors. It comes with 10 play pieces including tea cups and cake pieces.
21A Smartphone For Tots
Tired of your kid demanding to use your smartphone? Buy them their own, instead. This baby phone from VTech has the same features of a smartphone, except one, it's obviously for babies and two, it features 12 pretend apps that respond when touched. So yeah, it's basically a smartphone. Also, it saves your home phone numbers so your baby can pretend to make a call.
22This Happy-Go-Lucky Soccer Ball
This soccer ball is all about teamwork and taking turns. It lights up and makes sounds when it's shaken, rolled, or its many features are activated. Plus, who would've thought a soccer ball would be so cute?
23A Mini Gotham City/Metropolis Complex
Who said superhero rivals couldn't be friends? Batman and Superman both live in harmony in this DC Super Friends play set from Fisher-Price. Four power pads have superheroes doing cool things, like taking flight and other heroic actions.
24A Head Start in School
Give your toddler a head start in preschool with this learning system from LeapFrog. With 16 books featuring 30 plus activities, your kids will challenged with every page they turned. They'll enter school with confidence.
25A Super Fun Activity Walker
This VTech walker is a best seller for a reason. It has so many features that encourage creativity and motor skill development. From farm-animal piano keys to a phone, your baby will spend hours exploring the different sounds and music that this walker plays.
26A Classic Toy
This Little People toy is a classic and a best selling toy for a reason. Pull the level to activate different farm animal noises and songs. Your baby will love the surprise element of this toy because you never know which animal is going to speak next.
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