Picking the perfect Christmas present for children can be simple, but most kids have a scroll’s length list of toys they want or circle almost everything in Target’s annual big red catalog. To help you get started with the kids’ Christmas lists, the following 14 toys are on our hot list this year. There are playsets for Peppa Pig and Play-Doh, STEM toys, an animal care station and a classic take on a fun handheld colorful cube. Rounding out this gift guide is a Nintendo gaming device that may be on your child’s wish list but know that it’s a hot item with adults as well. All items are available as of the story date but better to shop early in the event Santa’s sleigh is delayed by some industry-wide shipping challenges.
STEM Master Builder 24 Piece Set. Learn math and create 3D structures with this set which contains a bevy of connecting shapes. Build shapes using step-by-step instructions or create your own; both help to develop color and shape recognition, fine motor skills and problem-solving ability. Best of all, each geometric shape contains magnets that connect to all other pieces. Ages 3 and up. $39.99. magformers.com.
Play-Doh Ultimate Ice Cream Toy Truck Playset. This life size kitchen playset gives kids a big space to express their imaginations with a dozen colorful cans of non-toxic Play-Doh modeling compound and more than 25 tools to create faux treats. At the soft-serve play ice cream station, kids can customize each creation with sprinkles, candy and check out customers at the register, mimicking the service of a real ice cream truck. Parents know children like to spread the joy of Play-Doh all around the house but to make storage and clean up time easier, this playset is designed with built-in storage plus a locking bin to keep things organized. And, Play-Doh bits can be swept to the rim and reused for play. Ages 3 and up. $94.99. target.com.
Mario Kart 24 Volt Battery Powered Ride-On. Straight out of the famed Nintendo Super Mario Bros. franchise is a race car that goes up to eight miles per hour and has three speed options. Add oversized rear wheels, game sounds, an adjustable seat with seat belt and your child will be ready to buckle up and race to the finish line. After, be sure to store it somewhere where parking tickets aren’t issued. Ages 3 and up. $399.99. target.com.
NeeDoh Dohnut. Fidgety fingers will appreciate the soft stretchy feel of brightly colored faux doughnuts that feed the need for squish. Thisflavorful-looking toy returns to its original form so children can play with it often. Ages 3 and up. $8.99-$9.99. claires.com.
Peppa Pig All Around Peppa’s Town Playset. It’s time to visit Peppa’s hometown with this adjustable track which can be arranged several different ways. The set also includes pieces such as Mummy’s red car, little piggies and more. Realistic sounds such as a narrator who tells several stories at certain destinations plus music and popular phrases will make kids follow Peppa’s path or create their own adventures. Ages 3 and up. $66.99. macys.com.
Holiday Poppers. Holidays are merrier with festive toys like nutcrackers, gingerbread men and snowman poppers, which go “pop” with six pastel foam balls that discharge from the mouth. The harder the popper is squeezed, the faster and further the balls go which can translate into lots of laughter this Christmas and beyond. Ages 4 and older. Prices start at $13.99. amazon.com.
Wiltopia Animal Care Station. Set in the exotic and fascinating Amazon rainforest, this playset is all about fun and sustainability since it’s comprised of mostly recycled plastic. Kids can dive into the colorful play world with six playsets and over two dozen different animal sets to check the animals, administer treatment, hop into the rowboat to explore the jungle and locate any animals in need of help and more. Further play can be accessed via the Wiltopia app. Ages 4 and up. $82.49-$109.99. playmobil.us.
Blackbeards’s Treasure Hunt Game. Follow the treasure map, unlock a treasure chest and collect gold in in this pirate-loving game for young swashbucklers who can learn colors, pattern recognition and develop fine motor skills. Ages 4 and older. $24.99. amazon.com.
Marvel Spider-Man Super Web Slinger. Suit up with a glove and web slinger to emulate Spider-Man’s signature web hand move used to capture nefarious characters. The set contains a can filled with special web fluid but can also be refilled with water, released by pressing a button. The web slinger can be used as a costume add-on or worn separately too. Ages 5 and up. $16.29. walmart.com.
Nintendo Switch OLED. This handheld electronic gaming system was released late last year but it’s still a hot item that kids (and some adults) want. Connect to the television for play at home or use the 7-inch vibrant screen with crisp colors. Standout features include an adjustable stand for comfortable viewing in tabletop mode and 64 GB of internal storage which can save games to the system. Ages 6 and up. $369. walmart.com.
Dexor Mini Jet. Derek becomes Dexor, a young boy who saves the world and finishes his homework on time in this action-themed building set. The 90-piece STEM-authenticated set also includes two interchangeable expressions, accessories and a sticker sheet for customizing the three vibrant colored jets. Ages 6 and up. $17.99. lukilab.com.
Transformers Converting Optimus Prime Remote Control. Parents may remember the cartoon, “Transformers” so this Autobot is as much for them as it is for their kiddos. Optimus Prime transforms from a robot to a forward, backward and spinning vehicle with the push of a button. With intricate details including fully functioning lights and sound, detailed motors and iconic phrases said by Optimus Prime, this Autobot will become a favorite – for generations. Ages 7 and up. $69.99. target.com.
Rubik’s Phantom 3x3 Cube. The classic Rubik’s Cube has been upgraded with touchable tiles that reveal each color, but only for a few seconds before fading back to black. The Phantom responds to the heat in your fingertips thanks to innovative thermochromic technology and can help improve cognitive memory, muscle memory, fine motor and problem-solving skills. Ages 8 and up. $14.88-$19.97. walmart.com.
Super Stunts and Tricks Candy Vending Machine. Kids who dream of having candy in their room will appreciate this STEM-based toy. After the machine is assembled, the included soda-bottle gummy candies are ready to be dispensed with a few cool stunts, ringing bells and more. Coins can be inserted which are then sorted and stashed in a bank. Ages 8 and up. $34.99-$49.99. michaels.com.
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