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The holiday shopping season is here and in full swing, which means it is time to pull out our credit cards and jump head first into the madness of gift-buying. Especially if you have a little one at home, toy shopping can be stressful, and with so many options, how do you know which toys to buy?
Luckily, Parents magazine has curated a list of the best toys for kids of all ages. To select the Parents Best Toys 2021 winners, each toy was vetted by experts, tested by kids and rated by parents. Award winners on this year's list were screen-free, brain-building and on trend.
To share some of these hot new toys, Parents magazine Editor-in-Chief Julia Edelstein stopped by the 3rd hour of TODAY. Read on to shop board games, play sets, plushies and more that you can gift your kids this season.
Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2021 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!
The buzziest toy of the season
This magical cauldron is one of the hottest toys of the season and is recommended for kids ages 5 to 8. This toy, which comes with a cauldron, spell book, magic ingredients, a pack of mist and a plush toy, allows kids to combine potion ingredients to create real mist. The magic mist is also refillable, so kids can continue inventing new potions.
Best furry friend
Adorable, soft and squishy, these stuffed animals can be a great companion. Available in a variety of sizes and designs, Squishmallows are a trendy phenomenon all ages are able to collect. There are also festive holiday editions available, which include a snowman, elf, a peppermint candy and more.
Best educational toy
This wood-encased LeapFrog board resembles a tablet but is designed to be a screen-free way to teach weather, nature and animals. The board has nine games that work to reinforce letters, counting and more. This toy is recommended for ages 18 months and up.
Best toy for your little artist
This spirograph animator puts a new spin on a classic game. This animator is designed for kids to create designs that are brought to life in 3D with a device that spins under the light, making it appear as though the drawings are moving. This toy is recommended for kids ages 8 and up, says the brand.
Best board game
This unique chess board is designed to teach the basics of chess to kids as young as 3 through silly stories, fun illustrations and custom pieces. Chess has been shown to increase test scores and improve critical thinking, says the brand, and with this set, learning the rules is made to be fun and simple.
Best play set
With this play set you can watch Play-Doh cake rise before your eyes. To use this set, all you need to do is add the Play-Doh to the cake pan, pop it in the oven, pull down the handle to watch it grow and wait for the "ding." Included are five assorted Play-Doh colors and all of the necessary baking tools.
Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s 2021 Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:
- 40 gifts for the 7-year-old who’s ready to take on the world
- From games to science kits, the 42 best gifts for 8-year-olds
- The 39 best gifts for 2-year-olds, according to experts
- 12 retro toys millennials will want to steal from their kids
- Classic games are in this year — here are the hottest ones to gift