As parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, godparents, etc, we try to pay attention to what out kids want leading up to Christmas, but still IT CAN BE SO HARD! The market is flooded with a wide range of toys and electronics geared towards kids. We question if the item will be quality, is it worth the price tag and if its something they will play with for a couple short months then discard or if it will be something that brings enjoyment for years to come. It can be so overwhelming!
I have spoken to a lot of parents leading up to writing this blog post and feel I have a good idea of what is hot right now and will stay that way awhile! I have broken the guide up into several categories based on age to make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for! PS. I know these toys can be found from multiple vendors, so I searched a few stores and linked the lowest priced items!
Ages 0-2: This time of a child’s life, they are just started to figure everything out. Their senses are developing and it can be difficult to hold their attention because EVERYTHING is new and exciting to them. Bright colors, sounds and interactive toys are key to children this age. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Smart Car: This was given to my oldest for his first Christmas and it quickly became his favorite toy! He would sit in it for 20 minutes at a time, which is crazy for an 8 month old! This car is loaded with fun! Obviously, your child can sit in it and “drive”. A light up dash sings and tells you were you are going. It has cube storage in the doors to place different shaped objects and balls in to. Your child can change the radio, the weather, learn ABCs and numbers and beep the horn! We still have this toy. It was been passed down to my youngest, but my 3 year old will still be seen playing with it! In over three years, we have only had to change the batteries once! You can get the car in either blue or pink and at only $50, it is a great value for the fun it gives!
- Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike: This is another great investment piece that will stay with your child for years!! It is fully adjustable to grow with your child. In the earlier stages (9-18 months), attach the push bars, sun shade and 3 point harness for an easy stroller that your child will actually have fun riding in! I think its the interactive bit. They are sitting up, they can hold the handle bars. It feels like they are doing something, so you don’t get the restless fussiness that often comes from a child not wanting to sit in his stroller any more! As your child grows, begin removing pieces until you have a full fledged tricycle. The tricycle also comes with a little trunk which my kids love to stow away special finds (usually rocks and pinecones) as they cruise. My oldest is 3 and still going strong with this! Years of enjoyment for only $70! I’ve linked the classic red color. I know I have seen this in pink too, but I cannot find it to link at this time.
- Play Tent: Kids love to have their own little spaces. Independence really starts young. My son loved the adorable tent that my husband and I got him a couple years ago and we just ordered this cute canvas tent for my youngest’s bed room. I love the white canvas, because it will match all decor! Stick in some pillows and a few of their favorite stuffed animals and they have a ready made hideaway and on occasion, a nap spot!
- Fisher-Price Deluxe Play n’ Kick Piano Gym: This is another fun piece that will grow with your baby! Even the tiniest of babies can be placed on their backs to enjoy the lights, sounds and colors. As they grow older, they can begin reaching for the colorful toys and their little kicking feet can play the piano. This play mat can be adjusted to provide entertainment to babies whether they are on their backs, stomachs or sitting up! This particular bundle also comes with two maracas, which are great to keep in the car or diaper bag to entertain little ones on the go! At less than $50, this is a totally worthwhile package!
Ages 3-5: This is such a fun stage! Children are learning so much and saying so much! They are completely mobile, potty trained, eating at the table and telling you exactly what they want or don’t want….OK maybe that part isn’t so fun! Haha! This is the stage where children are really starting to use their imaginations, so you want to get toys that reinforce that play.
- Melissa and Doug Play Kitchen: This adorable play kitchen comes packed with interactive features. The sink handles swivel, the dials on the stove turn, and it even has an ice dispenser built into the freezer that will distribute two ice cubes! There is tons of storage for accessories and even a play microwave! This is the perfect little mini kitchen! Don’t forget to pick up a set of play cookware and food to finish out the kitchen! The kitchen itself is on sale for $109, and accessories run about $15-$30.
- Amazon Fire Kid’s Tablet: I love this thing. I seriously love this thing. I was already a Prime member when I bought this tablet for my son’s third birthday, so we had episodes of Mickey Mouse and Paw Patrol saved to Amazon TV. When I took the tablet out of its package and registered it, every single child related video we had downloaded straight to it automatically. None of our more adult movies. It knows. The tablet comes with a year of Free time so my son has access to thousands of books, interactive learning games, videos and music. The charge holds for a long time too! While we take advantage of the parental settings and built in screen time limits at home, this has been a sanity saver on long car trips! I definitely recommend this tablet if you are on the hunt for one! Full price, the tablet is $99, but you can often find it on sale for $79 or even $69! It was $69 the day I linked all this, so fingers crossed it stays that way!
- Tonka Construction vehicles: Both of my boys love these so much! Their imaginations are really unleashed as they work their own pretend construction sites! Tonka is impeccably tough too, making them great for indoor or outdoor play! Just don’t leave them out in the elements, they are metal and therefore susceptible to rust! Actually, Tonka is so tough, that all of their toys come with a lifetime guarantee for everything EXCEPT for rust! So long story short, don’t leave them outside and you will have it forever! These can even be passed down to future generations! Most of the Tonka vehicles are under $35! The Dumptruck and Bulldozer are two favorites.
- Barbie Dream House and Camper: Barbie is coming up on her 60th Birthday next year and she is still going strong as one of the most popular toys for girls! Of course, kids can’t JUST have the Barbie Dolls, the accessories are a must! The Barbie Dream House remains an ever popular favorite, now followed closely this year by the Barbie Dream Camper. The camper is at the top of the wish list for a lot of girls this year! The camper unfolds to reveal everything a lady could want in a pink camper as well as a fun swimming pool! It also comes with a cute little campfire and marshmallows ready to roast! The Camper is about $85 and the Dream House will run about $169.
Ages 6-10: This is where gift giving starts to get a bit more difficult. Kids want the most expensive electronics and cell phones! Like really, slow down children! I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was 16. All it did was call people and if I wanted to send a text, I had to press #2 three times to get a C and #7 four times to get an S and don’t even get me started on punctuation! But times have changed and these remain at the top of kid’s most wanted lists, but there are still plenty of fun options too that just allow a kid to be a kid.
- The active toys: Pogo Stick, Bicycle and Hoverboard. Obviously pogo sticks and bicycles are two classics that brought joy to us, our parents and even our grandparents. They are still going strong today! The hoverboard is definitely new to the game, but has shot to the top of a lot of children’s Christmas lists! My top pick for the Pogo Stick is the original brand and maker, Flybar Maverick! This pogo stick comes in several color options and is less than $45! For bicycles, I also like to stick to the classics like Huffy and Schwinn. If they’ve been around for awhile in a flooded market like children’s bikes, then they are probably pretty good! Just don’t forget to pick up a helmet to go with! Most bikes run around $100. Last is the hoverboard. This was a toughie for me to put on the gift guide. I wanted to add gifts that are fun and interactive, but also safe! Last thing I want is an angry message from a mom saying that her child fell off and hurt themselves in some way. I decided to add it, because this has been a top pick for kids lately. So I scoured through various hoverboards to find the ones that were top rated and had good safety features. I landed on the Gotrax Hoverfly Self Balancing Hoverboard. It is well priced as far as hoverboards go at under $200 and comes in a variety of colors. Also, the self balancing software is definitely a plus!
- Technology: Lets talk gaming systems. There are two that reign supreme right now and they are the Xbox One S and the Playstation 4 Slim. Our family has used both Playstation and Xbox over the years, and you know it really comes down to preference. They both come with 1TB of storage. They are both Blu-Ray and 4K TV compatible. They both have options to play via the internet with friends. They both have loads of accessories. I think in the end this is just like the Android or iPhone debate. You either like one or the other. In this particular case I am going to lean to the Xbox. It is $50 less than the Playstation AND comes with 4 Minecraft games, which is crazy popular right now!
- Brain Power: I still love games and toys that cause kids to THINK, BUILD and use their IMAGINATIONS. All that shouldn’t be tossed out the window just because a child is getting older. Parents focus so much on the early developmental years, but we can’t forget about their needs as they grow. One interactive toy I love are good ole Legos! There are hundreds of Lego sets to choose from that suit all interests and price ranges! These are really fun for the kids and parents to do as well! We parents need to take what bonding time we can get at that age! Lego City and Lego Friends are two fun ones!
This is going to sum up the gift guide! I is TIRED! But I certainly hope that this list helps you out if you were stumped on what to buy! Let me know what you think in the comments below! You can also reach out to me on Instagram! Thanks so much for reading!