While everyone else was soaking up the last few weeks of summer, my team of elves and I have been living and breathing toys all day, every day to add the finishing touches to The Toy Insider’s 12th annual Holiday Gift Guide. This year’s list is our biggest yet, and we are so excited to share these incredible toys with parents and gift givers.
The older kids get, the harder it is to find toys that will make their eyes pop after they eagerly rip off the wrapping paper. Grade-schoolers are expanding their worlds into a broader community of schoolmates and teammates. When pacing the toy aisles, look for toys that encourage them to seek out and pursue their passions. Toys and games can help develop an appreciation for science and the arts, while also strengthening their problem-solving skills and promoting family fun. Kid-safe websites and tech toys are the gateway to an entirely new world of play.
Once kids hit the tween ages, socializing should be a key activity. While tweens and teens are comfortable with technology and the digital world, they also enjoy playing games, expressing themselves, and staying active. Provide opportunities for them to try new things, both on their own and with their peers.
If you’re still scarred from the Hatchimals Frenzy of 2016, check out the hottest toys that will be the most sought after for kids ages 6 and up this holiday season.
These adorable mini monkeys are the perfect-sized companions for little ones. Fingerlings adorably wrap around kids’ fingers, so kids can keep their new friends right at their fingertips. The tiny tech toys (try saying that three times fast!) feature sound effects and have eyes that blink, hands that grip, and a cute, curly tail. It’s time to monkey around!
They’re baaa-aaack! New Hatchimals are arriving from Hatchtopia, and they can’t hatch without a little love from their owners. These eggs hold a very special surprise that will delight kids throughout this holiday season. What will kids hatch this year?!
If you have a tween or teen at home, chances are they are OB-sessed with JoJo Siwa, the bubbly blonde that never leaves the house without sporting an oversized bow. Young performers can use this karaoke machine to channel the singing and dancing sensation, while they sing along to their favorite JoJo lyrics that appear on screen using the included CD. Get ready to go center stage!
The thrill of blind bag collectibles keeps getting better. This epic line of collectibles features seven layers of surprises hidden inside. Each layer reveals a hint of which fierce, fashion-forward L.O.L. Surprise doll kids will unbox. The surprises include a secret message, stickers, a baby bottle, shoes, an outfit, a fashionable accessory, and the L.O.L. Surprise doll. What a thrill!?
Kids will love this magical kit, and parents will love that it is completely mess-free. Kids take an Oonie pellet and place it in the inflator. Then, they watch in amazement as the tiny pellet expands into an Oonie. The inflated pellets stick to each other, so kids can create whatever they imagine first. It’s not a balloon and it’s not a bubble— it’s an Oonie!
There’s nothing that a trip to the mall can’t solve, and this Super Mall features three levels of fun. The Fashionistas can pick up a trendy outfit at the boutique, or try out a new ‘do at the beauty parlor. When they need to refuel, they can grab a quick bite at the food court, and even catch a new flick at the movie theater! Count me in!
Riding off of the collectibles trend, these edible treats add a new twist to the sensation. The squishable, slow-rising toys produce a fun transformation every time they rise after kids press down on them. The collection features tasty-looking bakery products including slices of cake, cinnamon buns, ice cream cones, s’mores, and more. Squish, squish!
Fans can bring the newest adventures in the Star Wars franchise to life with the Star Wars Resistance Bomber LEGO set. This set comes with more than 1,400 pieces and features working stud shooters, a handle on top of the ship, and side panels that open to reveal tons of play features hidden inside. May the force be with you!
Year in and year out, Hasbro never fails to introduce a new wave of Nerf blasters that take blaster battles to new heights. This model features the first easy load hopper for high-speed reloads and comes with a 100-round capacity to blow the competition away. It’s game time!
Every single gamer has been obsessing over this console ever since Nintendo first broke the news this year. This two-in-one gaming system lets kids dock to play on a TV at home, or they can lift it out for on-the-go fun. The two Joy-Con controllers offer new styles of play, featuring motion-sense technology and HD rumble. It’s never-ending gaming fun.
It’s time to get moving and grooving! These motion-activated electronic bands let kids create unique musical beats. With more than 400 sounds to choose from, DJs-in-training wear both bands and layer their beat onto a song. Hey, DJ, turn up the music!
Laurie Schacht, also known as The Toy Insider Mom, has covered the toy industry for more than 20 years. The Toy Insider is a year-round resource for parents, grandparents and other gift-givers looking for the best toys for their kids. The Toy Insider also produces an annual holiday gift guide featured in Family Circle magazine. Visit thetoyinsider.com for the latest toy news, reviews, giveaways, and more.
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