"What do I get for a 4.5 year old who likes trucks and cooking shows and hates anything blue?" These are the sorts of questions you find yourself asking when the holidays close in and the small people in your house expect to be rewarded for the stellar behavior they haven't exhibited. Below is our answer, 101 of the hottest and most creative toys out there, divided by age so you get it just right. In the spirit of the season, Romper is donating every sample toy we received to Children's Aid. Please click here to support their work.
These fun maracas are perfect for little ones who are just discovering the joys of sounds and colors, and the interactive play will keep them grooving all day long. Even better, the colors and varnish are certified non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about your curious baby accidentally putting a maraca in their mouth.
If you’ve been searching for a stuffed animal that takes play time to the next level, look no further. This adorable bunny has a built-in teething ring, a crinkle-carrot that jiggles when you tug on it, and some colorful ribbon tabs that are intended to help with sensory development, so your baby’s mind can develop while they play. Bonus? It’s 100% organic.
The magnetic building blocks from My Family Builders double as both a toy and a teaching tool. The blocks were designed to be inclusive of families that come in all shapes and sizes, so they allow you to talk to your kids about diversity in a way they’ll understand. Plus, children won’t get bored with this toy by the week after Christmas, thanks to the more than 1,000 possible combinations for characters and families.
This Hungry Hungry Hippos Ride-On lets toddlers push or ride on a hippo that’s just their size. The hippo actually “eats” the colorful balls thanks to its ability to move its head up and down, and kiddos will love that they can see the balls moving around in the transparent seat below them once they’re eaten up. Your toddler will be entertained for hours, and you don’t have to clean up.
Why get your little one a bike with training wheels when you could get them a cool scooter instead? This retro-looking balance bike from Janod is designed to help kids practice their balance and coordination, so they’ll be ready for a big-kid bike when the time comes. Your toddler will have a blast scootering around, and the seat is adjustable so the fun can continue as they grow.
Great for kids who love animals and the outdoors, this Replica Farm from The Field can be thought of as a garden of creativity. Kids get to use their imaginations as they build their farms exactly how they want them, and they can change the design as many times as they want for lasting play. The parts are all included, so you’ll just have to open the box to get started.
The American Girl Doll of the Year is Luciana, an astronaut in the making whose fashion sense is out of this world. Kids will love her trendy look, from her galaxy-themed dress to her purple-streaked hair, and the doll comes with a book about Luciana’s dreams of exploring space — subtly encouraging children to explore STEM careers. Psst: Check out her astronaut outfit if you want even more gift inspiration.
An awesome alternative to classic bedtime stories, My Fabulous Storyteller provides 48 audiobooks written by professional authors, along with six free goodnight stories, that your kids will love. You can download more stories in eight different languages at the online Luniistore to help your kids develop their language skills even more. It’s also great for long road trips or plane rides.
Music-loving tweens will go crazy for this color-custom Loog Pro Electric Guitar. Loog guitars use the first three strings of a normal guitar, so beginners can learn without getting overwhelmed. Plus, each instrument comes with access to the Loog app, which provides video lessons, a digital tuner, and a digital songbook with tunes by your kid’s favorite artists, so they’ll be playing like rock stars in no time.
Creative middle schoolers will love these aesthetically pleasing puzzles. Budding artists can explore the ways colors work together by fitting the pieces together, and they’ll love the challenge provided by the minimal design. The puzzle comes in five color combinations and three sizes, and each one is made with a sturdy art paper for lasting use. Happy puzzling!