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Shopping for little ones is one of the most fun bits of Christmas, but it can also be quite overwhelming. The sheer amount of incredible toys, games and other cool stuff on shelves for kids these days can make it pretty tough to narrow down your choices.
But that’s why we’re here to help! We’ve put together a list of our picks for the best Christmas gift ideas for kids this year, all of which are highly rated by shoppers and our own trusted review process.
Here are our choices for the best toys for Christmas 2021.
Best Kids’ Christmas And Holiday Gift Ideas
Sometimes you just can’t beat a classic. The Little Tikes toddler slide has been a favorite of little movers and their parents for years because of the simple, safe fun it offers. The slide is 23 inches tall and 39 inches long and is built for indoor or outdoor use. It also folds up for neat storage when you’re tired of looking at it.
If two toy trends have become ultra-hot in the past decade, they have to be slime and surprises. This slime-maker kit combines them in one sparkly, unicorn-themed package with 10 easy recipes for kids to follow. While slime can be a notorious pain for parents, the Amazon reviews for this set are glowing, especially from those who bought it for kids ages 6-8.
This gift is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it will delight any young prankster on your list. The wooden box is really meant to hold another gift, like a gift card or cash, but the fun comes when the recipient slides it open. That’s when a realistic-looking fake spider pops out and lands on their finger! Thousands of Amazon reviewers have praised this prank toy, saying it provides endless laughs on unfortunate victims at gift exchanges.
Sensory toys are a blessing for kids who need a little help staying calm or getting focused. This kit packs 35 of them into one box and has thousands of five-star reviews from Amazon shoppers. The toys are widely varied and include everything from fidget spinners to stretchable putty to puzzle cubes.
Bubble machines are guaranteed winners for toddlers, and this bubble lawn mower is much more fun to play with than many of them you’ll find. Kids can push the mower around the yard or the house, but don’t have to be rolling it for the bubbles to flow. A one-touch button toggles the battery-powered bubble blower on and off.
If a little one on your list is around that 18-month mark, this educational toy is one that parents will appreciate for several reasons. It doesn’t make noise, doesn’t require batteries and even acts as a storage container for its own parts! This colorful little hedgehog lets young kids work on fine motor skills and counting in a fun, cute way.
Kids bath bombs are more about fun and flash than relaxation, and this pack of them plays right into that. You’ll get six bubble-bath bombs here, each with a different color and scent. But that’s just half of the story, because the real fun comes when the whole thing has dissolved, revealing one of 71 different cute bath toys.
Playing dress-up will never go out of style, and this is the kind of outfit that can light up a child’s imagination. It turns them into a little mermaid, complete with a colorful tail dress, a crown, a wand and a pair of seriously fancy gloves. This mermaid toy set comes in sizes for ages 3-10 and has picked up thousands of top reviews from Amazon shoppers.
There’s a reason this Little Tikes basketball hoop set has an average Amazon score of 4.8/5 from more than 30,000 reviewers. It’s durable enough to withstand both active little ones and life outside the house for years to come. In addition to the basketball hoop itself, which adjusts to three heights with a simple latch, the package comes with three balls.
For the price, this has to be one of the better values you’ll find on Amazon this holiday season. This top-rated kit packs 40 different sensory toys (aka fidget toys) into one box, meaning the kid on your list can leave a few everywhere to help them focus and feel relaxed. Stress balls, puzzles, squishy animals, spinners and marbles in mesh are just a few of the dozens of handheld toys in here.
What little kid wouldn’t love their own rocket? This rocket launcher toy comes with eight colorful foam aircraft that children can easily load and fire themselves by stomping on the launcher and blasting air into them. In addition to blasting rockets up to 100 feet into the air and burning up some energy, they can even learn some physics lessons from this toy. Win-win.
A good pop-up tent gives kids a cozy place to have fun inside the house and this one even makes its own fun. This colorful kids’ tent is adorned with a jungle scene and includes a button that will ring out with sounds of the animals that live there when pressed. There are also dinosaur, dragon, mermaid and unicorn themes with the same feature if those are more up their alley.
Kids obviously love expressing themselves but the messes that come with those shows of creativity can make it tough on parents. That is why water doodle mats like this have become such a brilliant gift option over the past few years. They work by using just plain old water with the included pens and brushes and clean themselves off simply by air drying. This top-rated one from Toyk has a cartoony ocean theme and measures 40 inches by 28 inches.
If romping, stomping dinosaurs are what the kid on your list is into, this water doodle mat option is the one to grab. This aquatic drawing pad is also even more formidable, as it stretches out to 60 inches by 40 inches and can be stuck to the window or wall using the attached suction cups. More than 3,000 Amazon buyers have given it an average score of 4.7/5 stars.
Walkie-talkies are another one of those things that kids will seemingly always be into. They can be the first form of personal, long-distance communication that many children experiment with, and these kids walkie talkies from Selieve have all the features you’d hope for. They’re light, easy to use, cool-looking and can switch among 22 channels.
You can’t really miss with a Lego kit at the holidays, and this one offers plenty of bang for the buck. With this 174-piece Lego dinosaur set, the builder can bring to life three iconic prehistoric beasts: pterodactyl, triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex. To do each new build, the previous one must be taken apart, adding some all-important replay value.
While a hover soccer ball definitely sounds like a futuristic sci-fi toy, it’s very much a gift you can get pretty cheap this holiday season. This one from Bamgo even lights up for play in the dark. It hovers using an air-blowing motor that runs on four AA batteries and can be kicked around the room with little concern, as the padded bumpers are made to protect the furniture.
A smaller option in the slime kit category is this one from Laevo. Like the one we mentioned above, this slime kit is unicorn-themed but it’s about half the price. This kit still packs in some surprises and lets kids make a truly unique batch of sparkly slime using the mix-ins, glue and activator that are all included.
Any kid who is into STEM and especially engineering will think this is a pretty sweet addition to their collection. This marble maze uses nothing but gravity and a pre-built set of towers and widgets to let the player set up mazes with any number of solutions. Single-player games have become pretty common, and ones like this are great for those solitary, thoughtful kids who love a challenging puzzle.
Nerf battles have evidently gotten a lot more intense! This set of four inflatable Nerf obstacles offers a great value for the price and will turn a backyard shootout into something more like a round of Fortnite. The obstacles include a tire, fence, wooden crate and barrel of toxic sludge.
You can really wow the tyke on your list with this kids digital camera that boasts some impressive storage capacity out of the box. They’ll get 32 gigabytes of space on the included micro SD card, which can be swapped for an even more generous one at any time. This sturdy little camera is built for kids as young as 3 to handle, and it even has a reverse-angle lens if they want to take their first selfies.