If you feel like the holidays arrived faster than usual this year, you’re not alone. With early Black Friday deals and worries about supply chains, shopping early seems to be the norm. We’ve rounded up some of the most popular toys for this holiday season, but don’t wait too long to buy: From magical cauldrons to mesmerizing puzzle boxes, this year’s hottest toys are selling fast.
Parents looking to reduce screen time yet still keep their children entertained: Consider the Toniebox. This screen-free device is made for story time and dance parties, and is cute as a button. It also garners rave reviews from parents. Swap in characters such as Elsa, which includes four songs from “Frozen,” or pop on the Playtime Puppy for classics like “B-I-N-G-O” and the “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” For $14.99, you can also buy additional characters (including Ariel, Moana and Peppa Pig) with their own unique soundtrack. Ages 3+
Studies show that fidget toys can help reduce stress and anxiety. This Amazon bestseller is a fidget gadget and sensory stimulator packed into one fascinating puzzle box. This little cube transforms into over 70 different shapes, and you can buy more than one puzzle box and connect them to create even more dynamic forms and 3D art. It is mesmerizing enough that you may want to buy one for yourself for boring Zoom meetings. Ages 8 and older, but reviews say kids much younger enjoy it. It does have magnets in it, so it is not safe for kiddos ages 3 and younger.
Move over, Barbie Dream House! This epic furnished four-story dollhouse includes working lights and an elevator, and is packed with surprise features such as rotating rooms and convertible furniture. Word to the wise: There are several steps involved in assembly, so plan ahead if you hope to present this on Christmas Day in its full glory. Includes batteries. Both NY Mag and The Toy Insider predict this one will sell out fast, and we can see why! Ages 4+
Rated as a top toy of the year by Target and Walmart, you might have to hunt around to find this one, but it’s worth it. Mix up some magic at home with this interactive cauldron and wand set. Add potions and watch the magic swirl to reveal a soft plush toy to aid little wizards in the next concoction. It is interactive to touch, with over 50 sounds and reactions. Tip: It may be out of stock online, but it could be worth looking for in stores. Our local Target had it marked as unavailable online or for store pickup, but it was in stock at the store. Ages 5+
Highly rated on Amazon, it may well be that its simplicity is what makes it so popular. Using the included tracing sheets and colored pencils, kids can recreate just about any image or work of art by sliding it into this cool light-up pad and tracing along. Perfect for reluctant artists or school projects. Ages 6+
This character’s instant popularity came on faster than light speed, and it hasn’t stopped yet. This year, “Baby Yoda” needs his snacks! The Child makes more than 40 sound and motion combinations. He comes with four different accessories that you can place in his hand, and he reacts with cute noises and movements. He can even perform a two-handed Force move, inspired by season two of “The Mandalorian.” Ages 4+
All the holiday baking is sure to inspire your little ones to create their own special cakes and treats in a play oven. Mix up a “cake” and watch it rise in the oven, wait for the “ding,” and then decorate your cake with the included accessories. The set includes five cans of Play-Doh. Hurry on this one; it is frequently out of stock at major box retailers. Ages 3+
This kid-friendly camera and digital printer all-in-one allows kids to take pics using the color screen and then instantly print them in black and white to create their own coloring sheets, money, comics strips and more. Kids will love that it also takes videos and even has games, and parents will love the parental controls to restrict screen time and printing. Not only did it make the Walmart top toys list, but it was also a kids’ choice winner. Pack this one for any winter getaways and let the kids document family adventures. Ages 4+
A 2017 Toy of the Year winner, this 3D maze meets marble run is designed for one player. Follow the cards to meet challenges, from basic to advanced, and then explore new configurations on your own. Ages 7+
Every year there’s a Lego set that sells out, and this year it’s likely to be this one. The interactive Lego Adventures With Mario Starter Course set includes a responsive Mario character that reacts to movement via color sensors and built-in LCD screens. Kids can build different worlds for Mario to explore and add expansion packs to keep it going. Contains 231 pieces! Ages 6+
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