I’ve worked with kids of all ages for most of my adult life. I’ve been a babysitter, a coach, and spent two years working with children on the autism spectrum. I can say with confidence that if I know anything, it’s toys! For the most part, kiddos don’t care if the toy is ‘technically’ working on their development or influencing good values – if it’s fun, they love it. It’s really as simple as that. With the holidays very quickly approaching, I’ve put together a list of toys that have proven to be a hit with the kids.
A lot of these toys and games will work on their motor, mental, or physical health, but if they don’t, they made the list because they’re just cool to have! So whether you’re looking for fun ways to positively influence your kids, or you just want to earn the title of Favorite Aunt/Uncle, let’s get this Christmas list of yours finished, so we can all get back to playing!
We hope you find these products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: We are a participant in the Amazon affiliate program and we may have additional affiliate relationships with some of the products featured here – as such, our company may receive a share of sales from links on this page. Prices on Amazon fluctuate so anything mentioned below might change as soon we publish it!
These Building Blocks Are Compatible With Most Major Brands
Even in a room with video games and tv, kids will still choose to play with these building blocks! It’s a great way to exercise their imagination and ingenuity – and did I mention it’s less than $15 for 50 blocks?
Keep Them Active With These Foam Swords
Growing up with a twin sister and older brother, we play fought a lot. Being the weakest of the three kids, MAN do I wish we had foam toys! These play swords will keep your kiddos active and (most importantly) safe!
These Pattern Blocks Will Challenge Them And They Won’t Even Know It
When I worked with my Autism Babies, they loved these pattern blocks! They can get creative and make whatever they want; or for the more structure-based kiddos, there are pattern cards they can use to solve their own little puzzle.
Get Them Creative With These Ball Pit Balls
The most interesting place I’ve seen kiddos play with these balls was in a toy tunnel. They pretended they had to ‘unclog’ the drain and spew them all out in one swift push! Kiddos love using their imagination, we just have to give them things like these Play Balls in order to let them use it.
This Car Carrier Truck Is Great Storage
There’s so many great things about this gift. Not only does it come with toy cars, but it has 28 slots to hold their other cars as well. I love that this Transport Car Carrier Truck has a retractable handle too, making it an easy way to travel with all of their favorite cars.
Make Cleaning Fun With This Housekeeping Set
As crazy as it sounds, kids actually love pretend cleaning. This Toy Housekeeping Set will let them be like their role models (Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa – they all clean!) – creating a whole new attitude around the chore. Cleaning can be fun!
Amuse Your Little Builder For Hours With This Build Your Own Racecar Set
This toy is so exciting for me – I love seeing little brains work! They will build and build with the Racecar Set. It even has its own working drill! Reviews rave about how it’s just complicated enough for them to be challenged, but not so hard that they give up. Great for ages 3 and up!
Add To Their Baby Doll Collection With This Accessories Set
If they like baby dolls, odds are that they have a favorite already. Instead of getting them a new doll, why not add cute accessories for the one they already love? A removable diaper, a bottle with disappearing milk, and you can’t miss the adorable little crocs!
These Water Guns Will Be Fun For The Whole Neighborhood
This 30-piece set will keep them excited for summer and some water-gun fun. For less than a dollar a gun, there are plenty to go around and plenty to replace one if it breaks. A perfect gift for kiddos with lots of energy!
An Easy and Safe Train Set
This Wooden Train Set is compatible with Thomas and Friends, IKEA, and loads more! What sets this one apart is its safety. Each piece is a solid block of wood – no loose or plastic parts. It will work their little brains while keeping them still for hours.
A Remote, Car Keys, and Cell Phone That’s Okay For Them to Lose
Oh my gosh, stop. I can’t get over how cute little babies are when they pretend to be adults. My kiddos used to set up all kinds of elaborate stories to apply the need for a cell phone and car keys. This Play Set has music and lights, too!
A Modern Stroller For Their Favorite Doll
We’ve all seen those super cheap-looking doll strollers that look like a piece of fabric was sewn to two plastic poles. Let them show off with the latest style for their baby doll with this Precious Toys Baby Doll Stroller. They’ll fit right in with Mom!
An Easy To Use Bubble Gun
Most guns like these require a pretty steady hand pouring the bubble solution into the barrel. They create a mess before the play even starts! What’s great about this Bubble Gun is that it is powered by winding it up and the bottles of bubble solution attach straight into the base. No more spilled bubbles!
This Toy Shopping Cart Is Collapsible
Pretend play is my favorite type. Kids love to shop for cute little groceries, and this cart is the perfect size for them! But what about when they’re not playing with it? What’s great about this gift is that it’s collapsible, so it’s easier to be put away.
The Perfect First Baby Doll
If they don’t have a baby doll, they need one! It is the perfect toy for cognitive function – what does the baby need? How do you hold a baby? Should you be quiet if the baby is sleeping? All of these questions can be worked through with this snuggly 12-inch doll.
A Secure Base For Even The Tallest Of Buildings
It’s absolutely devastating when a kiddo spends time on building something and it falls. These baseplates fix that problem! They are compatible with most leggo sets and fit seamlessly together, allowing for mom and dad to build that awesome play table!
The Cleanest Makeup Kit You Can Buy
I remember going into my Mom’s room when I was little and getting into her makeup. I put her blush (random, I know) all over my face and got her lipstick everywhere. To say she was unhappy is an understatement. This Makeup Kit is made from plastic, foam, and rubber, so they can pretend with mom without the mess!
This Dinosaur Doubles as Storage
Okay I admit, this one’s on here mostly because I think it’s cool. A dinosaur that holds other dinosaurs and cars?? Count me in! What I love the most about this gift is that it’s a storage carrier. It’s a great way to play and learn to clean up with the same toy.
The Perfect Rug For Their Imagination
This rug reminds me of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Just a quaint little town, where imagination is endless and you’re always friendly to your neighbor. The bottom grips the ground so it stays put, and all toy cars are welcome! This gift would go great in a playroom.
Normalize Helping Others With This Medical Playset
I love when we can work on inclusion with kiddos. Regardless of if someone is permanently in a wheelchair or just temporarily injured, this Medical Playset is a great way to help them learn proper accommodations while playing. Outside of the child psychology nerd in me – how cute is that little foldable wheelchair??
A Tea Set For Any Occasion
Sitting down for a nice cup of imaginary (or real) tea is a great way for you to talk to your little one with their guards down – you’re just having fun! We used things like this 15 piece tea set all the time to check in on mental health, or just enjoy their company!
This Bow and Arrow Set Is Made For Nighttime
What’s the only thing that makes toy bow and arrows even cooler? Making them light up! This set is a great way to work on fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. The string is thick too, so it won’t hurt their little fingers!
They’ll Have The Best Sand Castle On The Beach With This Sand Toy Set
Gone are the days of plain bucket-sandcastles. Kids these days are so lucky! This Beach Toy Set even comes with a little watering can so they can make the sand as wet as they need for shaping. Don’t live near sand? Dirt works just as well!
Another Great Build-Your-Own Gift For Your Little Constructor
Maybe they’re not into Racecars like the building set from earlier – this is for them! This Build-Your-Own-Toy-Cars Set seems like it would be easier for the younger kiddos. They can build up to six vehicles at a time, and the building blocks are compatible with most major brands.
This Garbage Truck Works Without Batteries
This Garbage Truck is too cool. It’s friction powered and the arm that lifts the garbage cans is spring-loaded! A lot of the reviews touch on how durable this toy is – it will outlast even the roughest of kiddos!
These Magic Tracks Can Go Through Almost Anything
Where do I even start? Not only are these Magic Tracks easy to assemble, but they glow in the dark, too! Your kiddo will be able to snake them through and over obstacles in your house, and you can’t forget the chomping dino head!
These Building Blocks Help Teach Shapes, Colors, Sharing, and More
You would be surprised how many things Foam Building Blocks can help teach. We used them mainly to illustrate shapes and colors with our Autism babies, but we learned that they’re amazing for social skills and sharing as well. A perfect gift for any toddler!
These Building Blocks Come With An Idea Book
The little rascal that I used to babysit loved his Brickyard Building Blocks! I literally just sat back and watched his little brain work (talk about a dream job). This package comes with a book of ideas too, keeping them building for hours!
A 14 Inch Firetruck That Acts Like The Real Thing
Okay, so it doesn’t actually squirt water, but I think that’s probably a good thing. This Remote Controlled Firetruck drives, turns, and sounds like the real ones! The ladder on the top reaches up to 12 inches, too – which I personally think is the coolest aspect about it.
This Doll Diaper Bag Is Perfect For Introducing New Siblings
Sometimes becoming an older sibling can be super stressful. Mom and Dad aren’t able to play as much – what gives?? This Doll Diaper Bag will help with that transition. It comes with cleaning, caring, and feeding accessories, helping them understand more about what it takes to care for a new baby!
This Tractor Blows Hundreds Of Bubbles Per Minute
Another great gift for bubble lovers. This Bubble Blowing Farm Tractor moves and blows bubbles on its own. The best part about it is that if it runs into a wall, it will back up and turn to continue the party! I can hear the high-pitched screams of excitement already!
Help Them Get Ready For School With This Teachers Supply Kit
Playing with this Pretend Teachers Supply Kit is a great way to get them prepared for school. It can be used to start learning numbers and school etiquette (like hall passes), or they can just have fun being a teacher for the day!
Giant Cards For Giant Games
These Jumbo Cards are such a unique gift idea. The possibilities are endless! Giant Go Fish? Absolutely. Giant Card House? Count me in! They’re durable and coated with protective plastic, so they’re great for playing outside, too!
The Ring Toss Game You’ll Be Remembered By
There’s nothing better than getting the kiddos outside and playing games like this Elite Sportz Ring Toss Game. It’s easy to set up and simple to play, so they won’t get discouraged. If they start beating you *wink wink*, have them back up to add some difficulty.
Keep Them Entertained On Long Road Trips With These Scavenger Hunt Flashcards
This gift is perfect for kiddos who travel to see family during the holidays. These Scavenger Hunt Flashcards keep them involved and having fun! It’s so much better than phones and movies that keep them in a trance. The large print is easy to see and it will make the trip go by in no time!
They’ll Finally Get To Play Soccer Inside With This Hover Soccer Ball
Not to brag, but I have ~wrecked~ some kids playing with one of these. They’re so fun and competitive for all ages! This Hover Soccer Ball is perfect for kiddos thinking they may want to play real soccer one day. It brings the fun of soccer without the craziness of a ball inside the house!
Non-Toxic Water Beads That Feel Weirdly Awesome
I’m sure you could guess by now, but these were a hot commodity around the clinic – they feel so cool! These Lil Gen Water Beads are great for counting, feeling, or just playing in. They make a great addition to bath time!