7 Toys your kids will love

Gift ideas that will empower, educate and engage your kids
By Sarah Bregel    Published on 12/04/2017 at 9:00 AM EDT

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It’s that time of year again, when your kid’s holiday wish lists grow longer by the day. As parents, it can be hard to tell which items your kid will play with only once and which ones will end up being a well-loved favorite. Here are some amazing new toys that both you and your kids will love this holiday season.

SmartGurlz Robot & App ($79.99)

This revolutionary toy might look a bit like a doll, but it is so much more. It’s a self-balancing robot controlled by an app that teaches girls the tools they need to learn coding. Not only does it teach essential S.T.E.M. skills for the potential future programmers of the world, but it’s a blast to play with for hours And while your kid might not realize they’re learning as they make their robot cruise through the house, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing this is one item that has the power to educate through play.

Orbeez Magic Chef Kit ($29.99)

Get kids amped to be in the kitchen. The Orbeez Magic Chef kit comes with “magic seeds” that grow to 150 times their size when hydrated. The result allows kids to create amazing kitchen masterpieces like sushi and hamburgers and so much more. No, you can’t eat them. But since they don’t stick or stain, this super cool kitchen play-set is virtually mess free. Now that’s magic!

Slumberkins ($42-44)

Every kid needs a new cuddly pet to snuggle up to. But what about one that comes with a lesson? The sweet Slumberkins dolls’ slogan is “cuddly creatures with intention” and that’s exactly what they have. Not only are they soft and loveable (as well as machine-washable!), they each come with a storybook tale that offers a valuable lesson, such as loving people for their differences, managing anger or frustration, or overcoming other difficult struggles.The tales are so touching and inspiring that kids of any age will want to love the dolls up. They also come with a sweet cardboard quote that can be held onto or framed as the perfect reminder of the creature’s lesson.

Mermaid Pillow Company Pillows ($47.99)

These cool pillows not only make bright and shiny bedroom additions, they are also so much fun to play with. They come in a variety of styles, like Superheroes or Mermaids, which all have a shimmery, sequined side that you can write or draw on, or just swish, swish, swish! While everyone will enjoy the mystical powers of a mermaid pillow, the calming effects for kids with sensory issues can be especially helpful during car rides, at bedtime and more.

Whirly Board ($119)

Here’s a fun, energizing toy that can be used inside or outside in any weather. It’s a balance board that helps kids gain strength and stability. With its circular balance piece, the whirly board is different from most other balance boards on the market because you can move a full 360 degrees. Not only will it help aspiring skaters get an edge, it’s also just plain fun to hop on and take for a whirl!

Boodle Box ($36.99)

The Boodle Box is filled with all the coolest fashion accessories for teens and tweens, so you don’t have to worry about being up on what’s hot! Boodle box has it covered. There are different age groups to choose from, too, so you can pick the best box for your individual child. For kids who love experimenting with the latest trends, there is tons of crafting (with patches and more!), and good old-fashioned dressing up to be done. Give it as a one time gift or a monthly subscription to keep the fabulous fashion rolling in.

Stomp Rocket Stunt Planes ($29.99)

This is a toy that not only gets kids outside and moving, but it also teaches them. They’ll learn S.T.E.M. skills and concepts like force, gravity, and aerodynamics by watching how each of the three planes move differently due to their varying shapes. Plus, they are so much fun to use and virtually anyone can do it. Kids will love running, jumping, and of course, stomping to watch their planes soar!

Each of these gifts allow kids to either move, explore, and engage in a totally unique way. They’ll be sure to have a happy holiday with any item on the list, but one that’s filled with quality play, too.


Sarah Bregel is a mother, writer, and deep-breather based in Baltimore, Maryland. She writes frequently about motherhood, marriage, birth, postpartum and more. Her work has appeared on The Washington Post, Vice, Vox, Longreads, Good Housekeeping, Parents, and in multiple anthologies.

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