Not sure what to get for the the kids on your list this holiday season? To help make your children's gift shopping easier, we've rounded up 17 of the best playthings for all kinds of kids. These toys, games and tools, just right for toddlers to tweens, are certainly super fun. But they also pack a slew of other benefits. From a reconstructable mansion that imparts STEM skills to a playmat that encourages toddlers to get moving while learning their ABCs, these gift ideas give your kids so many boosts—in so many ways.
Whether you're giving your kiddo his or her first Fingerling, or adding to an existing collection, this present is sure to please. Baby Monkey Liv, who responds to touch, sounds and movement, and can speak monkey babble, blink and turn her head, comes with a mini playground, where she can swing, hang and invite other friends to play. Ages 4+ ($25, target.com).
Your tyke can be the leader of his own parade with this set, which lets him create four animals out of building blocks, including a hippo, giraffe, monkey and toucan, and then attach them to a bright blue elephant he can roll around the house. When the parade's done and the party's over, the detachable body of the elephant can be used as storage for all the pieces. Ages 1-5 ($30, amazon.com).
Here's one present your kid will have no problem waiting for: Hatchimal's newest surprise, which has not one, but two creatures waiting to hatch from inside an egg. There's just one catch: your child needs to nurture the egg in order to help the creatures—either Giravens or Peacats—emerge, and when they do, she'll have to interact with them so the Hatchimals develop from baby to toddler to kid. Ages 5+ Available for pre-order. ($65, walmart.com).
Perfect for younger kids, this board game makes things interesting by getting players complete a series of tasks, from changing the position of the cars at the starting line to adjusting the position of certain obstacles, before the race even begins. When it's go time, the platform at the top of hill can be released so the cars go flying toward the finish line. May the best player win! Ages 3-5 ($20, amazon.com).
A common complaint about tech toys for kids? They don't encourage them to get moving. Not this toy. When you download the free Mission to Tech City app to your digital device and then connect it to the Smart Cycle via Bluetooth, your kids have to pedal or drive their way through digital towns while playing educational games that teach spelling, reading and rhyming. The best part? The faster they pedal, the faster they'll move onscreen! How awesome is that? Ages 3-6 ($150, amazon.com).
Turn bathtime into a treat for your little ones with this clever toy. Simply pour bubble bath liquid and water inside the cone at the top, and then pull the lever to create foam your child can collect with any of three ice cream cones included. It even comes with a sprinkle shaker to make serving up bath treats even more fun. Ages 18 months+ ($25, amazon.com).
For the kid who has a need for speed, this scooter/bike hybrid—which requires your kid to peddle in order to move forward—fits the bill and is perfect for quick strolls through the park or around the neighborhood. Ages 7+ ($180, toysrus.com).
Even the iconic doll is getting in on the glamping craze, and she's doing it in style, of course. With just the touch of a button, her RV expands into a two-foot-long glamping playset, complete with a full bathroom, two hammocks, a pool with a water slide and kitchen and dining areas. The play set even includes a sleeping area for Barbie and a friend on the roof of the camper so they can gaze at the stars, and materials so they can build a campfire and roast s'mores. Ages 3-7 ($94, amazon.com).
Planning to splurge on your kiddo this holiday season? Look no further than this playset, which blows all other garage play sets out of the water. Hot Wheels' latest version is three feet tall, has enough room to store over 140 cars and includes a track where two cars can race side by side and a motorized elevator. A gorilla that tries to swipe cars out of the elevator and a pterodactyl that removes cars for its nest add to the excitement. Ages 5+ ($200, amazon.com).
This Hot Wheels game takes racing to a new level. Players compete on a digital track displayed on an iPad, but can only control their car's actions by throwing down tokens on the launchpad where their Hot Wheels figurines are placed. The game includes six cars designed specifically for MindRacers. Ages 7+ ($80 for the OSMO iPad base and MindRacers launchpad, bestbuy.com).
Kids love opening and unwrapping things, and this gift gives them ample opportunities to do so with a total of 50 surprises, contained in either ball-shaped containers or bath fizzies. Ages 6-10 ($70, toysrus.com). If it's sold out, you'll get redirected to the ToysRUs.com home page, but keep trying!
Kiddos will love cooking up meals using this playset, which includes 25 fun accessories, including a menu, cookware, wooden food pieces, a drink dispenser and a moving milkshake maker. On one side, there's a kitchen with an extra large oven, burners and dials and a two-shelf fridge, and on the other, there's a table for two where customers can test out their creations. Ages 3+ ($200, target.com).
Encourage your kiddo's artistic side with this sweet, personalized, marble crayon set, made from recycled crayons ($11+, etsy.com).
This 585-piece set has everything your child needs to build one impressive seven-inch high ski resort, including a ski lift, ski slope with a sliding function, a mountain restaurant and a rock climbing wall. Ages 8-12 ($58, amazon.com).
Bring the laser tag experience to your home with this cool set, which includes vests, a voice coach and plug-in headphones so you can hear the Laser X Soundtrack and Sound Effects. Ages 6+ ($45, target.com).
It doesn't matter how many times kids play with this. They'll watch in awe as the train plunges downward, jumps across the river and accurately lands on the other side of the bridge—every time. Ages 3+ ($70, walmart.com).
After a while, playing with the same dollhouse can get, well, a bit boring. But with the Invention Mansion, which is reconstructable, your child can create a new house setup anytime she wants—and add dazzling details like a trap door, zipline, bridge and climbing wall. Ages 6+ ($60, goldieblox.com).
Gift your super artistic kid with this device: It gives their Crayola markers the ability to act as an airbrush tool. Whether it's used with the set's accompanying stencils or to create one of your child's original designs, the results are out-of-this world. Ages 8+ ($30, target.com).
This game challenges your child to create the most difficult, exciting marble maze he can think of—which may or may not contain moving walls or traps (it will). Expect your kiddo to challenge you to solve it soon. Bonus: Every Maze comes with a free virtual reality viewer! Ages 8+ ($60, seedling.com).
Along with the help of some common household items, this kit helps kids learn about electricity via their own dough sculptures. Once they're created, the kit instructs on how to jazz them up with light and sound features. Ages 4+ ($31, techwillsaveus.com).
Unlike other race course sets, this high-speed one allows your child to build up and around household items and create road loops for crazy stunts. Ages 8+ ($80, lionelstore.com).
Creating an action figure to play with, a famous structure or a whole city—none of these are out of the question with this pen set, which brings kids' doodles to life by sculpting 3D figures using plastic. Ages 8+ ($50, the3doodler.com).
This wooden activity cube offers five opportunities for play for your curious little one, including a spinning alphabet, a zig-zag race path and a wooden bead rollercoaster. Ages 1–3 ($60, target.com).
Kiddos can get moving and learn a new sport with this play set, which teaches motor skills and color recognition to boot. Ages 3+ ($60, hape.com).
This dance mat features two modes: Move & Play and Dance & Learn, so your child will learn her ABCs, numbers, colors and shapes as she grooves to the music. Ages 9 months–3 years ($40, amazon.com).
Your little one's latest creation doesn't have to topple over if you don't want it to. Every piece of this building block set—which is great for encouraging hand-eye coordination—has a peg and hole so the pieces securely fit. Ages 1+ ($30, habausa.com).
Sometimes, simpler is better, which is exactly the case with this adorable foldable dollhouse. Cute and compact, it can go anywhere with your kid, but it doesn't skimp on the details like a slide, ladder and fold-out fridge. Ages 3+ ($30, sagomini.com).
On snowy days, kids can practice perfecting their form and achieving a strike every time with this rubber bowling set. Ages 4+ ($59, landofnod.com).
For your little one, sleeping in the dark alone can still be really scary—but he may not be ready to talk about it with you. Enter the Feelings Flashlight, which encourages kids to express their feelings and understand their emotions. When a child points the flashlight toward the ceiling or a wall, The Moodsters magically appear, provide wise words and assure that everything will be OK. Ages 3+ ($13, target.com).
Yes, it's a splurge—but consider this: Your imaginative child will love spending hours engaged in pretend play in this realistic and adorable looking play kitchen, complete with a fridge, oven, microwave, stove and sink. Ages 3+ ($165, amazon.com).