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32 Toys You Still Have Time To Get That'll Make The Kids Put Down The iPad

Reviewers say these toys will keep your kiddos engaged for hours and cut down on screentime. I call that a win-win.

We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

What a year! The holidays are finally here! And while we’re doing our best to make sure the products we feature will arrive in time, shipping times are especially tricky this year, so we suggest shopping as early as you can.

Stock and shipping times can vary depending on where you live, which product you purchase, and more. So order earlier than you think you need to and be sure to double-check the retailers’ websites for shipping information to ensure that your gift will arrive in time for when you need it.

1. A Snap Circuits kit to give young engineers a hands-on intro to how electrical circuits work while they figure out how to assemble over 100 ~working~ circuit projects with 30+ electronic parts that snap together easily on the included plastic grid. (No tools needed!)


The kit comes with over 32 electrical components including snap wires, slide switches, an alarm circuit, a music integrated circuit, and a speaker. (Each piece is numbered and color-coded to make identifying them easy.) Plus, a plastic grid and a project manual with 101 different electronic projects.

Recommended for ages 8+. Adult supervision advised.

Promising review: "Can I give this 6 stars? My 6-year-old son didn't ask me ONCE today for his tablet, video game or to play on my phone. He ignored a new movie on TV (one he had been BEGGING to see) because he was playing with this toy. He spent a couple hours working with his dad, a couple experimenting by himself and another few HOURS working through the projects with his aunt. I LOVE THIS TOY!" —SnappinMom

Get a set from Amazon for $20.99 (also available with 500 projects).

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

2. A wooden puzzle equivalent to playing Tetris but in tactile form that'll ~exercise their brain~ without any screentime.


Reviewer's say this is a great toy for all ages — from 3 to 12.

Promising review: "This puzzle has been a huge hit with my 4-year-old and 6-year-old grandsons. Each was able to play with it in a unique and challenging way. The quality is great and it is light weight as well so it is easy to store and get out." —BoiseMom

Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

3. And a wooden geoboard that comes with 35 pattern cards to challenge your child's dexterity and imagination while attempting to create shapes using rubber bands. Aaaand as they become more accomplished, they can even recreate the designs on the cards.


Promising review: "This item was exactly what I needed for some of the younger children because handling the rubber bands helps develop their fine motor muscles. ƒ. They make designs and love it. For older ages there are cards with designs for them to try and duplicate. Young children can also make shapes and letters thus developing math and literacy skills. This is a sturdy, well-made geoboard." —Kathleen Loden Barbuti

Promising review: "Bought the geoboard for my 4-year-old grandson who enjoyed making his own pictures and designs. As a retired math teacher, I can tell you that geoboards are great hands on learning tools for children of any age. My seventh-grade students loved when our lessons involved 'playing' with geoboards!" —anne porter

Get it from Amazon for $21.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

4. A sight word Bingo game; if you've ever asked yourself, "How do I take the frustration out of learning sight words and make it FUN?" then this game is for you.

Word board with chips, cards, and packaging

The set comes with 36 playing cards, 264 playing chips, caller's mat and cards, and a storage box. This version is a fun twist on the classic, but instead of calling out numbers, the leader calls out words (there are 46 most-used words), players search their cards for a match and place a red chip on the match. Once a player has covered the spaces on their card needed to win, they call BINGO! 

Promising review: "Getting my daughter to do sight words has been a nightmare lately, she pretends she has no idea what anything is and refuses to sit down and try. But, with this game, she wants to play for hours!!! I give her two cards and we all play together as a family, she thinks it is the best game and it really is helping her learn her sight words!! Finally something that gets her excited about learning!!" —Rebecca

Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

5. A National Geographic geodes kit that'll blow any junior geologist's mind and give them an excuse to smash rocks with a hammer., Amazon

This science kit includes 10 natural crystal-filled geodes, one pair of safety goggles, three display stands, and one learning guide.

Promising review: "My daughter is 10 and this kept her busy for HOURS! She had so much fun and was excited every time she got a glimpse of what might be inside. A couple of them were pretty cool, while the rest were just white. She didn't care, she loves them all. She was so proud to gift them to her grandparents." —Michelle

Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in three sizes).

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

6. Otrio, a twist on the classic tic-tac-toe sure to become a game night favorite with all ages — from your 8-year-old nephew to Grandpa Joe.

concentric circle pieces on otrio's wooden board

To win, players must get three circular pieces of their color in a row in either ascending or descending order; get the same-sized pieces in a row; or get three concentric pieces in the same space, but beware of other players attempting to block you! 

Recommended for two to four players ages 8+.

Promising review: "Perfect game for all ages. My 8-year-old daughter, 12-year-old son, and 70-year-old mother enjoyed playing together for hours." —A. Rosen

Get it from Amazon for $29.99 (also available in plastic).

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

7. A Lego movie activity kit to unleash any aspiring filmmaker's creativity. Prepare to be impressed when they get the hang of making short stop-motion videos (using their phone, tablet, or computer) in no time!


The set includes a 78-page book of ideas and inspiration, 36 official Lego Minifigures and props, foldout paper backgrounds, and punch-out animation frames.

Promising review: "My son saw this book in his school book order sheet and HAD TO HAVE IT. So I bought it off Amazon for his 6th birthday. He built his own mount for his iPad Mini and was making stop-motion videos in no time! I was worried it would be too advanced for him, but once his dad showed him how to use the program and how to move the pieces just right, he was all set! It keeps him occupied for HOURS and I love that it’s an interactive way to channel his creativity and do something else fun with the millions of Lego sets he has. Definitely pleased with this purchase!." —justcruzn

Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

8. A marble run set for providing endless possibilities to build creative structures — all while developing their problem-solving skills. They'll be ~ah-mazed~ at the results when the marbles roll through the mazes they create.

Promising review: "My 5- and 3-year-olds (and me) have spent hours building towers and watching marbles clatter down these chutes, steps, gears and spirals, HOURS! And they’re not bored yet! It’s also educational learning the physics of slopes by experience. Plus, it comes with enough marbles that losing a few doesn’t matter." —Joyce Parker

Promising review: "This is a really neat toy that has provided literally hours and hours of enjoyment for my 4-year-old nephew (and me!). The pieces fit well together, it is very sturdy and stands up well even on carpet. There are an infinite number of ways to build these runs, and this toy never gets boring. Highly recommended." —Becca

Get it from Amazon for $43.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

9. And a Gravity Maze game to challenge kids to use spatial reasoning to solve the puzzles and figure out how to construct pathways to get the marble to drop to the final cube.


The game comes with 60 challenges that range from beginner to expert so it will hold their interest as they work their way up to the trickier ones.

Promising review: "What a great combination of construction, puzzles, and games! My 5-year-old and 8-year-old niece were able to challenge themselves to some of the levels (the 8-year-old was was more capable of solving them on her own). The adults also found themselves fixated on playing the different levels as well! It was challenging and fun! We love marble runs and games so this was a perfect fit. This is one of the few games that everyone asks to play and it's perfect when we have guests of kiddos over and keeps everyone busy and engaged for hours!" —Crystal Brown

Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

10. A pack of parachute toys ingeniously designed not to tangle despite being tossed excitedly from the top of the stairs or a balcony over and over.


Promising review: "Whoever thought of this design is genius. My 5-year-old loves these and it's his favorite gift among all the other (much more expensive) ones we got for him. The no tangle design is genius. I can't count how many of the standard string-type ones we have gotten tangled before finding these." — hiker0811

Promising review: "My son had received a parachute guy at a parade over the summer and loved it. I wanted to get him some as a stocking stuffer and I found these. These are AWESOME!!! They don’t tangle, they are made of awesome material (not plastic bag material), and are so fun to be used again and again. He loves throwing the over the railing at the top of the steps!! —Moyse family

Get a pack of four from Amazon for $12.66.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

11. And a Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza card game that'll have the whole family in tears from *belly laughing* so hard.


Pass out all the cards to the players and keep all the stacks face down. Everyone takes a turn putting a card down in the middle, while saying "taco," "cat," "goat," "cheese," and "pizza," in that order. If the picture on your card matches the word that's said, everyone races against each other to slap their hand on the central pile of cards. Whoever is last must take the pile of cards and add them to their stack, and the person who runs out of cards first wins!

Promising review: "The title says it all! You must buy this game if you’re looking to get your kids off their butts, computers, phones, or TV! My children sat for hours, five to be exact, just playing this and laughing. It was a lot of fun for my husband and I to hear them not fighting and doing something together. Loads of fun!! We even loved playing with them!! 🥰🤘" —Melinda Haiden

Get it from Amazon for $8.76.

Current shipping time is nine days for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

12. A Melissa & Doug activity book with a pair of safe scissors to channel their (*cough* destructive) energy into a creative activity that'll put their fine motor skills to the test.


Promising review: "Scissors skills are important both in and of themselves and because it strengthens the hand muscles to be used for learning to write. My 4-year-old LOVES this book. We received it this week and she has used it for a couple of hours each day. Many of the pages are cutting things out and putting them together (four-scoop ice cream cone, pizza with pepperonis, the components to build a house or a car, puzzles). We've used tape or glue to put the components together. This book is interesting enough to have caught the attention of my older children as well, although I make them let her do the cutting. :D Would make a great gift as it is so unique." —Mom of 7

Get it from Amazon for $6.49.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

13. And a Melissa & Doug Paw Patrol Double-Sided Tabletop Easel that'll inspire creativity in SO MANY WAYS with a magnetic dry-erase board, chalkboard, pull-down paper roll, activity sheets, and wooden magnets. In other words, just the thing little artists need to make *pawriffic* art., Amazon

The art center comes with a dry-erase marker, drawing compass, five colored chalk sticks, eraser, 50-foot-long paper roll (12 inches wide), 10 activity sheets, 12 wooden pup and vehicle magnets, and a pup header card.

PS: I personally vouch for this awesome easel. It doesn't take up as much space as a floor standing one (also folds flat for easy storage BTW) and fits nicely on our kids' table. Both my 4-year-old and 15-month-old are absolutely enthralled with it and have been doodling nonstop since it arrived.

Get it from Amazon for $31.65.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

14. An inexpensive Pop2Play foldable indoor slide because it LITERALLY pops up in minutes to instantly turn any room into a playground when it's raining outside. Plus, it folds down flat for easy storage once playtime's over.,

The slide's capable of holding up to 50 lbs.

Promising review: "We just received our slide and it took less than five minutes to get it out of the box and set it up. Super easy and convenient with two little girls waiting to see what was inside the box! My girls (3.5 & 1.5) got on this slide immediately after opening it up and I am not even kidding when I say they played on it for an hour straight. I was surprised at how nice and how sturdy the slide was considering it's made of cardboard. The girls had a blast playing on it and when it was time to go to bed it took about 15 seconds to fold it up to store until tomorrow. I love that it folds flat for easy storage so if you want it out of the way it can be. Very happy with our purchase!" —Amanda Sobol

Get it from Amazon for $26.99 (available in two styles).

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

15. A 360-degree-rotating 3-in-1 LED globe, constellation map, and night-light to make it possible to explore the world and stargaze from the bedroom.

A reviewer's split image photo of the globe in world map form and lit up in constellation mode

Promising review: "My 12-year-old and 6-year-old sit and play with it for hours at a time. It lights up. Not too big fits on a desk perfectly." —Kristina Chew

Get it from Amazon for $49.95.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

16. And a beginner microscope STEM kit that gives off serious grown-up vibes and comes with a starter metal microscope and everything else a budding scientist needs to examine bugs, leaves, and fascinating world of nature around them.


The kit comes with sample slides, cover slips, tweezers, scalpel, specimen vials, adjustable lenses, collecting lamps, and a sturdy storage case.

Promising review: "My 9-year-old niece was asking for a microscope for her birthday and I decided to buy it and I am so happy that I did. This kit has everything that your young scientist needs! I mean it has everything, there are blank slides and labels, tweezers and 'scapulas,' small vials, and so much more. It even includes shrimp eggs to hatch. How cool is that?!? My niece was so excited about this present that at her birthday party she had all the kids taking turns looking at slides of onionskins and dragonfly wings and leaves. This is a great starter microscope for a little scientist and it is educational fun for the whole family. This makes a great way to get kids and adults off the electronics and learning about the world around them." —craftysarah

Promising review: "Gift for 10-year son. He loves science! This is a GREAT microscope, especially for the pricing. Love that it comes with a carrying case and everything fits really well into it. Thanks is his first experience with a microscope and definitely needs adult supervision in the beginning." —Patricia VanAmberg

Get it from Amazon for $39.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

17. An Air Hogs Super Soft Jump Fury, a beyond-cool remote car that jumps up to 22 inches high but lands super soft — meaning kiddos can show off its epic jumping action to make their buddies jealous without damaging walls or furniture.

the jumping vehicle thats umping up stairs

Promising review: "My boys love this toy! The Air Hogs Super Soft Jump Fury remote control is easy to drive and full of surprises! The first time it jumped I screamed! The kids love it! While we couldn't get it to jump on slopes, it worked great on gravel and concrete, plus it's safe for indoors. We had ages 3–10 try it and everyone had an easy time with it. Lots of fun!" —Becca8g1

Get it from Amazon for $34.99

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

18. A scratch paper art set for making you nostalgic for your childhood when nothing was more satisfying than drawing on the surface to reveal the rainbow colors underneath.


Promising review: "I can not give these enough stars! These are the best thing ever, they keep my 5-year-old entertained for hours!" —turbo1795

Get it from Amazon for $16.79.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

19. An affordable drone probably because most kids have been begging for one for months. This will *propel* you to instant fave status.

Promising review: "Simply said — amazing. We bought one of these for each of our four children, 8 years old through 16 years old. I have flown drones for years; but I will not let my kids near my expensive drones, but they've always asked. So my wife and I bought these for our kids for Christmas. I still cannot believe how good they are. The seller could charge two to three times more for this product." —MartinQ

Get it from Amazon for $41.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

20. Banzai Bump N' Bounce Body Bumpers for impromptu battles in the yard or living room that'll elicit nonstop silliness and laughs.,

PSA: Make sure helmets are worn during bump-offs.

Promising review: "Great for the kids. The kids have been playing with this for hours. One of them even asked if they could sleep in it. It’s great for winter indoor fun. I highly recommend this product." —RyanAndFaith

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

Current shipping time is 8 days for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

21. A battery-free race track to put their fine motor skills to the test as they figure out how to get the car through the obstacles by using levers and buttons. The coolest part? There's a magnetic helicopter waiting to pick up the vehicles.


The track includes a toy police car, ambulance, and fire engine.

Promising review: "You know how you want to give gifts that are educational and fun? Gifts that encourage kids to explore and figure things out for themselves through play? Gifts that do not involve screens or videos or batteries, that do not flash or make annoying noises or 'talk' in a squeaky voice that sets the dog to barking? This is the gift you want to give. Easy to assemble, fun for adults to play with before wrapping, perfect for little kids upon opening. A little challenging for the 2-year-old to always keep the cars on the tracks and to line up the car with the helicopter for pickup, but something to learn and grow into. The 4-year-old declares it his favorite toy. This grandma loves it because it's kid-powered, appealing, and sturdy, and who doesn't love to push buttons, turn cranks, and close up a drawbridge. Very pleased I found this and broke my rule about no plastic gifts!" —Kindle Customer

Get it from Amazon for $49.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

22. A Stomp Rocket launcher that'll teach the kids basic physics (without suspecting it!). They'll have such a *blast* as they jump on the launch pad, count down to liftoff, and watch the rockets soar up to 200 feet high.

The stomp rocket launcher

Promising review: "I purchased this as one of my stepson's birthday presents this past fall. He just turned 8, and I was trying to get some more outside toys to play with. I thought that he'd enjoy it, but I had no clue how popular this freakin' toy would be. All of our kids, ages 2–8, LOVE this thing and so do all of the neighbor kids. It is played with every single time the kids are outside, sometimes for hours. I have never seen my kids play with ANYTHING for hours, but they sure do with this. Taking it out guarantees that every kid under the age of 12 will appear in our yard." —TheLeeFamily

Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

23. A sink with a working faucet and ~real running water~ that'll get them way too excited about washing dishes. The best part? The toy dishes change color in warm water. (It might even teach them to help IRL).


The best part? It recirculates water stored in a tank under the sink so they can play for hours without wasting water. 💦

Promising review: "My 3-year-old daughter absolutely loves this sink. She got this for her 3rd birthday and it was the best present she received. She puts all her play food and dishes in this sink and scrubs and scrubs away. She also loves to wash her hands in this sink with her pretend soap. This sink works perfectly, and easy to assemble. The key is to make sure you fill up the sink with as much water as asked or it will not come out of the spout. We love it so much I plan to buy three more for my nieces and nephew. ❤️" —Marissa

Get it from Amazon for $34.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

24. A solar-powered DIY robot kit so young STEM enthusiasts can get the *gears* in their head turning as they build 12 different types of moving robots.

The kit includes 190 pieces, a solar panel, and detailed instructions.

Promising review: "I purchased this as a gift for an 8-year old boy. He loves to build, loves robotics, dinosaurs, and Godzilla. :) He LOVES this set! He sits for hours on end, which is an amazing accomplishment for any 8-year-old, playing with and building all the different robot toys. And, this isn't just for little boys. A friends 8-year-old daughter loves them, the 48-year-old parent loves them, and the 75-year-old grandpa loves them. Fun for the whole family!."—MBC

Get it from Amazon for $25.49.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

25. A Disney Princess necklace activity set with more than 30,000 5-star reviews (!!!) that'll make any child feel like true royalty.


My preschooler is OBSESSED with making these necklaces and I love that it keeps her off the screen. She totes her creations around in the adorable carry case and enjoys making mommy (and daddy!) wear them.

Promising review: "My 4-year-old daughter and I just opened this up and made EVERY necklace, with plenty of beads to spare. May I just say how wonderful of a surprise this was. This is a great activity to have that special mommy-daughter time." —Jessica Richardson

Get it from Amazon for $9.74+ (available in 16 styles).

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

26. An LCD writing tablet that'll encourage future Einsteins to practice their numbers and letters. They might even consider trading their iPad for this cool gadget.


Promising review: "This tablet has entertained my 4-year-old grandson for hours at a time. He loves that he can erase at will and that the drawings are multicolored. I highly recommend this item for 18 months old and up. I bought a pink one for our 18-month-old granddaughter, and she too is just enthralled with it and the 'power' she has to erase, create, erase, create! They loved them so much, that we bought another set of two different colors so that they would have them at home as well as at 'Grammy's.'" —Kindle Customer Red Heart

Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

27. A foam pogo jumper far safer that the good ol' pogo stick, with a sturdy foam base to stand on, so little hurricanes can burn off their energy hopping from room to room as grown-ups secretly wait their turn.


Promising review: "I was happily astonished upon receipt of this pogo stick. It kept my 4-year-old grandson busy for hours at a time during the bitter-cold days of this holiday season. It is well made and adjustable as children grow in height. It encourages developing a fine sense of balance. The material is tough enough to withstand use outdoors, but gentle enough to be used on hardwood floors or rugs. It is a great birthday gift for any child 4 to 8 years old." —frankie

Get it from Amazon for $16.99 (available in 13 colors).

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

28. A flower-building activity set — a STEM-based toy (literally and figuratively) to make the imagination of horticultural enthusiasts blossom while creating bouquets and gardens.,

Promising review: "I bought this flower garden as a gift for my 3-year-old daughter. She absolutely loves it! She has always enjoyed blocks and this is something different that has kept her engaged for hours! We highly recommend this product to others!!" —Ashley Petersen

Get it from Amazon for $14.98+ (available in two sizes).

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

29. A giant bubble wands kit for keeping kids and grown-ups *mesmerized* thanks to the two-handle wand that makes the most ~ginormous bubbles~ they've ever seen.,

The kit comes with the giant bubble wand, two pouches of bubble concentrate, and a booklet to help you become a skilled bubble creator!

Promising review: "Fantastic product!! My 8-year-old son played outside with them for two solid hours...unplugged...happy as can be! I definitely recommend and will buy again!." —Pxysis

Get it from Amazon for $14.95+ (available in six styles).

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

30. A Craft-tastic "Make a Fox Friend" kit so budding crafters can make an adorable fox stuffie along with glam accessories (while learning basic sewing skills!). They'll especially love changing their foxy friend's outfits over and over.


Promising review: "My daughter opened this on Christmas day and worked on it for hours. She could do most things by herself, or with a quick demonstration. She especially loves that she can change the fox's clothes and potentially make more herself, patterned from the ones included. Perfect gift for any fox-loving girl!" —VBB

Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (also available in bunny and mouse).

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

31. And a paintable squishies kit that comes with paint, glitter and the most adorable unicorn, rainbow, and narwhal — just asking to be bedazzled and squeezed.


The kit comes with four slow-rise squishies, four large bottles of paint, two quality paintbrushes, sprinkles, color guide, and easy-to-follow instructions.

Promising review: "Perfect for my 8-year-old's birthday gift! I looked at quite a few squishy paint kits, read quite a lot of reviews of each, this one surpassed the others. My little one was ecstatic when she realized what it was! She immediately had to dive right into it! I’d say she was more than happy with it!" —katelyn banaszak

Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

32. A rainbow-colored saucer swing guaranteed to add a pop of color to any room and become the kiddo's fave ~hangout~ spot in the playroom or yard.,

Promising review: "This swing is awesome! It super sturdy. I have a 5-year-old (almost 6), 4-year-old, and 2-year-old, and they all fit nicely on it together, and it’s tons of fun! Was easy to put together, took 15 mins if that." —RALPH

Get it from Amazon for $62.99.

Free two-day shipping for Prime Members; shipping times subject to change.

The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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