Kids can sometimes be the hardest people in your life to find gifts for. Trends move fast and what's hot one month could be out the next. But if 2021 has shown us anything, it's that what's old is new again — and "old" isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Kids might not be playing with Cabbage Patch Dolls, but they are revisiting some classics like LEGOs and Hot Wheels. Shop All Day contributor Jenn Falik stopped by TODAY to give us a complete breakdown of these fresh takes, plus she shared why kids are giving them some love right now (Hint: One of them has taken off on TikTok).
Whether you're knocking your holiday shopping out of the way before the holiday season arrives or just want to be in the know, Falik's picks cover a range of ages, so no one on your list will be left empty-handed. But, if you're not ready to shop right now, you can add the picks that catch your eye to a custom holiday gift list on Amazon. You and your loved ones can keep all of your gift ideas in one spot (and take the guesswork out of what everyone wants this year). Read on for the six toys that are causing a stir right now.
Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2021 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!
Best toys for gifting
This sturdy wooden grocery store set is one that won't be an eyesore in your home. Fun features like a hand-cranked conveyor belt, bagging area, beeping scanner and more make it an interactive experience that "customers" ages 3 and older will love. It's a classic set that will really let their imagination get to work while still providing a real-world simulation. Falik says this timeless pick is suitable for both boys and girls and allows for endless hours of play.
This affordable option is made from durable wood and boasts several fun features such as an "ice" dispenser and freezer. It's great for multiple kids to play with at once and includes fun parts like dials they can turn, a spinning microwave plate and a grocery checklist they can use for fun.
This isn't your average LEGO set! It's the details and features of this course that set it apart from the rest. Falik loves that it combines the nostalgia of the video game and the classic look and feel of LEGOs with modern bells and whistles. It's ideal for kids ages 6 and up and includes 280 pieces such as digital coins for challenges, interactive Question Mark Blocks and Pink Yoshi, Boom Boom and Bone Goomba figures.
Remember these little things? They're back — and even adults might want one of their own now. The new generation of Tamagotchi toys feature a camera that you can use to take pictures with the character that you raise, as well as cook with them and find other Tamagotchi friends to play with.
This toy is going viral on TikTok — to be specific, the hashtag #Orbeezchallenge has 83.6 million views on the platform and counting. It's a great toy for sensory play and the viral element makes it even more fun. The kit includes more than 1,000 Orbeez Seeds and 500 "grown" Orbeez that come in five different colors. Once you add water to the seeds, you'll be able to grow them in just four hours to add more fun colors and water beads to the mix.
With all the buzz around the newest My Little Pony movie, this activity set is a timely gift that any little one will appreciate. Falik says her 6-year-old is obsessed with My Little Pony right now and loves that this set allows young learners to work on their fine motor skills in a fun way. Plus, since it's easy to pack up and transport, it's a fun activity that they can do with other family members during the holiday season.
Hot Wheels will always be a fan favorite. This Criss Cross Track set is a great way to spark up any kid's curiosity and problem-solving skills, thanks to the endless ways you can play with the tracks and cars. This new set features fun upgrades such as challenging intersections, hairpin turns and motorized boosters that give it a fresh feel.
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Inspired by her daughter's love for her own childhood doll, the Qai Qai doll isn't your average doll — it's a social media sensation. "When we started telling Qai Qai’s story on social media, we weren’t sure how people would respond, but it became obvious very quickly that a lot of parents could relate with how much Qai Qai means to our daughter," Williams told Shop TODAY in an email interview last year.
Challenge the STEM-obsessed learner in your life to complete this mystical robot, which uses over 600 pieces. It's a buildable, codable robot that can fuel their interests in an easy way.
Trikes will always be a go-to gift, and we're loving that this version features a covered basket that they can use to keep their belongings in as they ride. It's easy to transport thanks to the grip handles on the seat, so riders age 2.5 years old and older can take the fun anywhere.
Not ready for a kitchen set? Let them enjoy the fun of being in the kitchen with this 25-piece set. It comes with a rolling pin, toy mixer and more that they can use to whip up treats so sweet, they'll wish they could eat them.
This Paw Patrol set unfolds and can be packed up in a matter of seconds. It includes two exclusive vehicles, accessories and a sticker sheet that they can use to let their imagination run wild during playtime, especially once they add their favorite characters into the mix.
Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:
- Unique gifts for the 14-year-old that's hard to shop for
- Stocking stuffers that's better than what's under the tree
- The ultimate gift guide for kids at every age — from babies to teens
- Surprise! These gifts can be delivered straight to their door