Finding awesome toys can be tough, especially when a lot of them feel sort of samey. Luckily, we’re here to help.
KIDKRAFT UPTOWN ESPRESSO KITCHEN
Get ready to have the best fake dinner of your life when your little ones are able to cook on this kitchen set. With elaborate details that range from an icemaker to raised stove tops and a paper towel holder, it’s the perfect durable set to last for years of kid meal prep. Available at amazon.com. $163
AMERICAN GIRL DOLL
Girls and dolls have gone hand in hand for generations, so why not get them a doll that will last for generations? American Girl dolls have a variety of characters with educational back stories from which to choose or the option to create a look alike. And don’t they say two is better than one? Available at americangirl.com. Starting at $60.
THINKFUN GRAVITY MAZE
Gone are the days of penciling a line from start to finish. With this 3D gravity maze that challenges kids’ logic and reasoning skills, they’ll be entertained for hours. Turn it into a multiplayer game by taking turns trying each level! Available at thinkfun.com. $30
WONDER WORKSHOP DASH ROBOT
Become the best gift giver ever with this top-of-the-line interactive and educational robot. Dash connects to an app and will give kids hours of STEM-related challenges and activities. They’ll be having so much fun, even the kids who insist they hate learning won’t be able to resist. Available at store.makewonder.com. $150
Computers and coding is becoming a more important skill to have every year. Give your little one a jump start with this fun caterpillar toy! Work on fine motor skills, critical thinking and let them explore interests in one of the most booming fields. Who knows, maybe you’ll find out you have a little Steve Jobs on your hands! Available at kohls.com. $45
THAT’S GROSS SCIENCE LAB
There’s something about the idea of something being gross that attracts young boys like moths. If you know a boy like that, this kit is perfect. With basic chemistry experiments to make things like “snot slime” and “stink bubbles” the educational fun can last for hours. Available at barnesandnoble.com. $25
PET VET PLAY SET
This is perfect for young animal lovers. Give them the opportunity to examine and treat pretend pets (though we can’t promise they won’t try treating any of your actual pets as well). The set comes with everything from a stethoscope to a pretend cast to encourage imaginative playtime as well as empathy and care. Available at melissaanddoug.com. $30
FURREAL PET MUNCHIN’ REX
Anyone else ever want their own baby dinosaur? This adorable toy lets kids feed, care for and play with their own pet dino. With over 35 action combinations, it responds to being petted, fed or waved at with head and arm motions and sometimes will even hop and beg. Available at Hasbro.com. $50
Any tot or toddler can become the next skateboarder or surfer with this toy. Designed to help develop core strength, and popular in schools, this freestyle board allows anyone 3 and up to spin, twist, wobble or slide around on any surface. Available at amazon.com. $38
Legos: fun to build with, painful to step on when not wearing shoes. Despite this well known fact, it’s still a favorite among kids and families alike because they offer something for every age. Whether it’s a train that helps kids learn to count or a complex replica of the entire Star Wars Universe. Decide what works best for your family and have fun for hours. Available at lego.com.