If you're a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent or someone used to shopping for kids, you know it's never too early to start holiday shopping for little ones. You've seen the most popular toys fly off the shelves and trendy STEM games sell out in minutes. Most of all, you know exactly how hard it is to find the perfect gift for anyone who is between those toddler to preteen years.
Luckily for you, Shop TODAY editorial director Adrianna Brach stopped by TODAY to share some of the hottest and most giftable toys this year. Whether the kids on your list are just learning to walk or could solve an all-ages puzzle, we've got something for everyone from well-known brands like Crayola, Magic Mixies and more. The best part? They’re all under $50.
There's a lot to sort through, but you can narrow it down by age and category while you browse. From toys that will teach kids valuable skills to games that make family nights more fun, here are some of the hottest gifts to shop this year.
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Amazon toy gifts seen on TODAY
Thanks to social media and word of mouth, over 4 million of these award-winning puzzle games have been sold. Kanoodle is a brain teaser that comes with 200 2D and 3D puzzles ranging from beginner basic to “deviously difficult,” plus 12 puzzle pieces, a 48-page illustrated puzzle book and a carrying case. According to the brand, this is recommended for ages seven to 107, so everyone can get in on the fun. Since it’s pretty compact, this one also makes a great stocking stuffer or travel game.
This tracing pad helps kids create an advanced drawing at a much easier level. According to the brand, the tablet lights up so little ones can easily see the traceable lines and it comes with over 100 images to choose from!
Magic Mixies have been all the rage on social media for a few years now, and this new one is living up to the hype. You have to create a special potion and say the magic words to get the Mixie to appear — in this case, the blue potion will turn clear and a soft Pixling doll will magically appear in the bottle.
Pro tip: Brach recommends using this toy on a table or countertop because it can get a little messy with the potion — nothing a paper towel can’t fix, though!
Designed for ages one to two years, this baby walker helps little ones develop balance, teaches coordination and promotes confidence. It’s got slip-resistant, no-scratch wheels to keep them safe and your floors mark-free, soft handlebars and a cushy seat to keep them comfortable as they cruise and limited steering that only goes 135 degrees, so it keeps kids from turning too far or falling to the side.
This castle-inspired tent is designed for ages one to five years. It’s got little star lights which make it feel like a really special secret place for kids to play, read and relax. At 55 inches, it’s surprisingly spacious and the brand says it can fit up to three kids at once. Plus, it’s made of a polyester taffeta material that’s easy to clean and durable, so it’s safe to set up inside or outdoors.
This cool experiment kit allows them to build their own mechanical hand that they can wear and operate with their own fingers. As they conduct experiments, they’ll learn about air and water power and hydraulic transmissions.
Toys for toddlers
Not only is this plushie cute and soft to carry around for little ones, but the brand also says it can help children communicate feelings. The plushie is flippable: One side is happy and the reversed side is angry.
Want to develop those motor skills even more? This hedgehog toy comes with 12 colorful quills, and your little one will work to fit each one into the holes designed in the shell. This gift is ideal for boosting those counting and sorting skills as well.
This sensory play bin is out of this world! Kids can dig through two pounds of space rock and search for astronauts, aliens and more galactic mysteries!
This may look like a little baker’s dream, but it also serves an educational purpose. It features 30 phrases and songs and teaches kids to count while kids have fun warming up some “delicious” treats.
Little ones can explore their musical and audio skills with this play bench. It features a removable xylophone, and the brand says this can help kiddies develop hand-eye coordination.
You can never introduce them too early to the joys of a farmer’s market. And, of course, they’ll learn color coordination and their fruits and veggies with this sorting set.
Your little biker will be ready to ride with this tricycle. It features Harley Davidson graphics and realistic driving sounds and effects.
Your toddler will never want to put Elmo down. The classic Sesame Street character features two modes of play; they can dance along to the "The Elmo Slide" song or follow along to "Elmo Says."
Whether they're learning to walk or just always on the go, this activity walker will be sure to keep them busy. It can help them stand, walk, learn words, shapes, animals and play music!
Toys for 3- to 5-year-olds
If you have or know a child that can't get enough of craft time, this Crayola tub will keep them fully stocked for months. There are 240 crayons for art projects, coloring books and more, and it's recommended for ages three and up.
Get ready for school with this adorable baby doll set. The doll comes with a backpack and worksheets that you can decorate with stickers. Plus, it drinks out of a bottle and then wets, so your preschooler can practice diaper changes!
Little superhero enthusiasts will love this set of their favorite Marvel heroes. Including Iron Man, Black Panther, Spiderman, Captain Marvel, Captain America and Thor, the brand says that each one has moving arms, legs, and head.
Toys for 6- to 8-year-olds
This bubble bath party is filled with surprises. According to the brand, you fill the top of the ball with the included broken hearts and it will reveal a glittering surprise — a unique L.O.L. Surprise Doll!
If you remember making string hand designs with your friends, now you can share that with your kids, too. This book features five shapes to try, which include the original cat’s cradle, the Eiffel Tower and more. They can break it out with playtime with friends and long car rides.
The science project volcano is a childhood right of passage. This National Geographic science kit allows big kids to erupt a volcano, grow crystals, conduct a digging experiment and more.
This isn't just your normal remote control car, it can climb walls and ceilings. It features a two modes for the floor and wall and comes with a remote control that allows the car to spin, turn and speed ahead.
Have a little science fan on your hands? Let them test all their scientific theories with Barbie! This set comes with all the accessories they’ll need, including a microscope, beakers, lab coats and more!
From the live-action film “The Little Mermaid,” kids will love helping Ariel transform from a mermaid to human — you just push her seashell necklace!
This iconic ‘90s toy has been making a comeback, and this time with a galactic twist — you can take care of Grogu. In true Tamagotchi fashion, with proper play and nourishment, the Star Wars character will grow into one of 12 final appearances, says the brand.
Introduce your child to the world of science and discovery. This kid's microscope has up to 400 times zoom and comes with prepared slides of plants, rocks and minerals. Plus, there's an opportunity to build their own slides, too!
Toys for 9- to 11-year-olds
The brand says this family-fun game is both fun and educational; it can teach kids how to spell words while offering a little friendly competition.
This Lego set has the ability to create up to 10 structures with moving ramps and balls. The brand says it comes with an 80-page book with “crystal clear instructions” to avoid any possible frustrations.
Coming in over 15 designs, this magnetic puzzle box can turn into over 70 designs, says the brand. Reviewers say it keeps their kids busy and love that you purchase multiple backs for continuous building.
Pokemon fans will love building their favorite characters. This bundle comes in a set of five and features popular Pokemon, including Pikachu!