The holidays will be here before you know it, which means it’s time to start thinking about presents! Feeling stumped about what to get the youngest recipients on your shopping list? You’re not alone.
The experts at Good Housekeeping took on the task of sorting out the best holiday gifts for kids of all ages by vetting 500-plus new toys for safety, quality and skill-building. And the winners had to go through a rigorous test that included:
- Good Housekeeping Institute's engineers making sure toys met safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
- Passing assembly, construction and durability evaluations. They conducted a drop test to ensure that they wouldn’t shatter into small pieces and pose a choking hazard, examined toys for pinch points and sharp edges.
- Judging from the toughest critics. Final decisions came from 100 children, ages 1 to 13, who assessed the fun factor in the GH Media & Tech Lab and at home.
Here are just a few of the kid-approved toys that landed on this year’s list. Be sure to pick up a copy of the November issue to see the full roundup!
1. Hasbro Furreal Roarin' Tiger, $117, Amazon
This playful tiger responds to sound and motion — he roars when you roar and moves when you pet him. Kids went wild for how furry, huggable and interactive he was, and GH engineers were wowed by his 100-plus sounds and animations. (Ages 4+)
2. Despicable Me Dru's Super Lair Playset, $28, Amazon
Dru’s lair is equipped with everything mischief-makers need to create some Mineez mayhem, including a radar launcher, trapdoor, silly sounds and more. (Ages 5+)
3. Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush & Draw Pad, $20, Amazon
Let your budding artist’s creativity run wild without fear of spills or stains. Kids will have hours of fun painting colorful pictures and parents will appreciate that it’s mess free! GH Tip: Keep wipes on hand; you have to clean the light brush when you switch shades. (Ages 3+)
4. LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart, $40, Amazon
With this full-service cart — stocked with magic (magnetic) scoop, cones, four flavors of ice cream, syrup and three toppings — kids can take orders and create tasty-looking combinations, build memory and sequencing skills by choosing from six animal order cards and develop gross motor skills by pushing the cart around. (Ages 2+)
5. HABA Symphony Croc, $40, Amazon
Encourage your child's love of rhythm and foster fine motor skills with this crocodile-shaped music set, complete with a drum and two mallets — making it great for play-date duets — xylophone, guiro wooden block and bell. (Ages 2+)
6. Fisher-Price Little People Animal Rescue, $40, Amazon
Tots can send the fire truck and spinning helicopter into action. Plus, there’s plenty of sounds, songs, phrases and light to keep kids engaged. Engineers were wowed by the quality design, easy folding for storage and well-sized pieces. (Ages 1+)
7. LittleBits Droid Inventor Kit, $100, Amazon
Star Wars fans and future innovators can follow step-by-step instructions to construct their own R2 unit and then use the free Droid Inventor app to teach it new skills, like head spins and self navigation, and even send it on special missions. (Ages 8+)
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