Okay parents: Listen up! The 2019 holiday shopping season is getting a little bit of a late start this year since Black Friday doesn’t happen until November 29 and Cyber Monday is on December 2. There’s no reason to panic, however, because we’re going to help you hone in on the “must-have” toys of the year for your little (or not-so-little) ones and get your shopping list ready.
Here are our recommendations based on what’s hot this year.
There is something truly magical about a toddler during the holidays. All it takes is one big smile to make your season complete. Top toys in the two-and-under age bracket include:
The Baby Shark Singing Puppet
You’ve heard the song — and the odds are high that your toddler absolutely loves it. Well, this charming little hand puppet will sing to your toddler for you. (You can also get the Daddy Shark and Mommy Shark puppets if you’re wanting to create a chorus.)
Fisher-Price Linkimals Smooth Moves Sloth
You can be forgiven if you want to steer your toddler away from Baby Shark — and you have options. The Linkimals Smooth Moves Sloth is an interactive toy that claps and moves along to the songs it plays. Its colorful lights make it an eye-catching favorite for little ones!
From about two years of age through five, kids are fascinated with everything adult and want touchable toys that allow them to mimic their elders. That’s why we’re suggesting the following toys:
Kidz Delight Tech-Too My First 2-in-1 Tablet
Your little one loves to get hold of your tablet or laptop (if you’ll allow it), so why not get your child their own, inexpensive tablet. Kidz Delight offers an interactive tablet for this age group that is designed to teach small children the mechanical skills needed to use the real thing in a fun, creative way.
Play-Doh Baby Shark Set
No childhood is complete without Play-Doh, so Pinkfong and Play-Doh collaborated to bring your child a new playset based on the “Baby Shark” song. The kit has 21 tools and 12 cans of non-toxic Play-Doh, out of which your child can make a whole family of sharks!
This is the age when it’s great to focus on a mix of toys that combine learning and fun. Whether you choose toys that will help your child advance in school or just help social development, there’s a lot out there from which to choose. Here are our suggestions:
LeapFrog LeapStart Go System
It’s always great to combine learning with fun, and the Go System provides a deeper, richer experience than just reading alone. You can buy more than 25 books and 400 different games and activities to add to the system — all of which can help your child enjoy reading, learn to solve math problems and get creative.
My Robotic Pet Tumbling Hedgehog
Some kids show their tech and mechanical skills rather early. If your child is a whiz with a screwdriver already, this robotic hedgehog is something that will entertain for weeks after the holiday is over. It has more than 170 pieces that have to be put together — but the reward is a robot that will roll, spin and bristle its spine on command.
The pre-teen years are complicated for parents and kids alike — especially when it comes to toys. Kids in this age group are bridging the gap between “not quite old enough not to want toys” and “too old to want just any toy.” It’s an awkward age, but we know what you can buy to make the holiday special.
Gravitrax Starter Set Marble Run
A finalist in the 2019 “Toy of the Year” contest, this Rube Goldberg-esque contraption will keep your pre-teen interested and maybe spark some creative interest (while also working on problem-solving skills). Your child can amaze you and experiment with gravity and kinetics all at the same time!
littleBits Base Inventor Kit
If your pre-teen is interested in technology, that’s certainly something to encourage. This Inventor Kit allows your child to build a customized, voice-activated robotic arm that can even be turned into a room-protecting alarm (among other things). Additional kits are available that can allow your child to later expand on his or her work.
Technically, teens don’t “do” toys, but that doesn’t mean that some of the things that appeal to them aren’t playful and fun. Don’t give up and resort to gift cards yet — here are a few suggestions that could make your teen look like a little kid again come the holidays.
The undisputed winner of the 2019 Toy of the Year Award, Unstable Unicorns is a strategy-based card game that involves unicorns, armies of destruction and a quest for ultimate power. What else do you need for fun? There are add-on packs available that make the game even crazier (if you dare).
Perses Mixix-5000 Nerf Rival Motorized Blaster
This fully-motorized Nerf blaster is undeniably awesome (no matter how old you get) and we suggest that you buy one for each of your teens and all of the adults in the house. (We’re not exactly suggesting a Nerf-gun war after your holiday breakfast, but we totally think it would be epic.)
Ultimately, these are just suggestions. You know your own child best, so don’t be afraid to go off-script. If your youngster is a big fan of “Frozen,” “Star Wars,” or “Harry Potter,” there are tons of toys available that they’ll love. Give your budding artist a pile of art supplies and take your little reader on a shopping spree at the bookstore. The most important gift will always be your love and interest in their lives.