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    52 Toys That’ll Actually Make 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.

    1. Pixicade mobile game maker to turn screen time into a creative STEM activity by letting kids turn their own drawings and concepts into playable video games (build up to 1,600 video games). They can sketch the game on paper, snap a pic of it, and then play an animated version on their phone or tablet.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    This game comes with washable markers, instruction and quick start guides, and three activity books that cover 50 game design concepts, 30 instructional activities, and over 100 example games. You also need to download the Pixicade app available for iOS and android. The app only requires a camera and an internet connection. (iOS 8.0 and up, android 6.0 and up).

    Promising review: "Man I love this thing, but my 8-year-old and 6-year-old sons love it even more. We’re those parents who are a little fanatic about 'screen time' with our kids. Let me tell you something, MOST of the time is spent with the kids building their game. The markers, paper, and most importantly their imaginations of drawing new games are 90% of the fun because they know that their drawing will eventually ~come to life~ on the iPad. It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. The different colors are used to create different things that the game automatically recognizes on paper — e.g., use 'red' to draw hazards; use 'green' to make your character that can move, etc. My boys draw anything and, like magic, the screen brings it to life and the remaining 10% blows their little minds (and the parents minds, too). Not really sure how it works, but we have a giant notebook full of different drawings and games, two boys who can’t stop using it, and two parents who are totally OK with this kind of 'screentime.'" —Lil

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

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

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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.

    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.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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. It also encourages imagination and creativity and counting. 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 $23.99.

    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
    Amazon

    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.

    5. A giant wooden Connect 4–style game you'll wish you'd had when you were a kid because it'll take family fun to a whole other level.

    Chroma Fling / Etsy

    Chroma Fling is a small biz based in Cincinnati, Ohio, that specializes in personalized gifts and accessories.

    Promising review: "The game is very well made. It was very easy to assemble and even included a small screwdriver to tighten the two screws. The carrying case makes it easy to transport and to store. This product exceeded my expectations!" —Alan Hicks

    Get it from Chroma Fling on Etsy for $129.99 (available in six disc colors).

    6. A splurge-worthy Toniebox starter set, a shockproof, intuitive speaker cube that even the youngest kids can use on their own. Turn it on, pop a Tonie on top (aka fave characters like Elsa, Simba, and more), and it instantly starts playing songs and stories.

    The pink speaker cube surrounded by Ariel, Cinderella, Simba, Elsa and Playtime Puppy figures.
    Amazon

    This bundles includes a pink Toniebox, charging station, Elsa Tonie from Frozen, Ariel Tonie from The Little Mermaid, Cinderella Tonie, Simba Tonie from The Lion King, and Playtime Puppy Tonie. (PS: Once you have the starter set, you can keep adding more Tonies to their collection).

    It's really hard for me to overstate just how much I love this little box. It has quickly become by my 4-year-old's sidekick. She carries it from room to room, and especially loves belting out Frozen songs with the Elsa Tonie. It has also helped spark her interest in new stories. She wasn't familiar with Moana, but after listening to the Moana Tonie, she asked to watch the movie. This audio player stimulates her imagination in ways that screens do not. 

    Promising review: "My 2.5-year-old loves this Toniebox!! She absolutely loves the Frozen Tonie! It’s great with helping her sing and become more vocal!! She loves it so much I’ve ordered more Tonies for her! She loves switching them out to play a different song and knows which Tonie play each song! This is the perfect toy for her! Easy for her to use and operate! She knows how to increase and decrease the volume with only showing her one time! Super impressed with this toy. Hands down one of my favorite purchases!" —Donna LaFrance

    Get it from Amazon for $134.99.

    7. A Silly Poopy's Hide & Seek game, which involves hiding a fake rainbow-colored poo that says "yoo-hoo" and gives other hysterical clues about its hiding place. Kids who delight in toilet humor will get a total kick out of this.

    John Mihaly / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "This game is HILARIOUS. My kids love playing with it and taking turns hiding it. (8, 6, and 3 years). They all think poop is funny and run around yelling 'Silly Poopy, where are you?' It keeps them busy for at least half an hour at a time and they leave me alone. Also? It's pretty durable. I found it outside in my garden in the 20-degree winter weather. I guess my 8-year-old left it out there for a few days. It also gets thrown down the stairs and Silly Poopy just keeps on giggling and having fun." —Adele

    Get it from Amazon for $12.98.

    8. A Tamagotchi Pix, even cooler than the '90s version with futuristic features like a color screen, camera, and ability to *go on playdates* with your virtual pet by connecting to a friend's device.

    a review photo of the tamagotchi pix in pink
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "First off, this is the cutest and coolest thing ever! Remember, it’s for 6+, if you’re over 20 and find flaws I think we know how fun of a person you are. It’s adorable! I’ve taken sooo many pictures and taken such good care of it she's soo happy! I’m excited to have this by my side till the end of time! 🌈✨ There’re other tamagotchis out there, but none have a camera, which makes the Pix the coolest. 😇💖" —Gabii Webber

    Get the Tamagotchi Pix from Amazon for $59.99 (available in four colors).

    9. And an upgraded Lite-Brite just like the one you probably had when you were a a child — with a bigger screen and more pegs to inspire the kiddos to create illuminated art.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Y’all, talk about a throwback gift! I got this for my daughter for Christmas in 2019 — and within the first day she and I both played with it for hours! To say it’s her favorite might be an understatement. And it totally takes you back to your childhood. Get it you won’t regret it!" —Danielle Lavender

    Get it from Amazon for $12.12+ (available in two sizes).

    10. 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.com, 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 $21.99+ (available in two sizes).

    11. 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
    Amazon

    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 $29.97 (also available in plastic).

    12. 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!

    Amazon

    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 $19.68.

    13. 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.

    amazon.com

    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 $46.99.

    14. 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.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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.

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

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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.

    16. A Fat Brain door pong game, a fun alternative to classic Ping-Pong without needing to set up a table or collect runaway balls off the floor. Just attach to a doorway, and adjust the length of the string, so the kids can challenge each other to impromptu games when they're stuck inside.

    Child model playing ping pong with toy hanging from doorway
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Our son received door pong as a birthday gift. He plays it nonstop whether with others or by himself. It is easily the favorite toys he’s had in a very long time. It is well-made and great fun for all of the family! We like it so much that we have purchased two more for friends birthday parties." —Valerie Suelzer

    Get it from Amazon for $24.95.

    17. 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.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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.

    18. 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.com, 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 $44.44.

    19. An inexpensive Pop2Play foldable indoor slide that 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.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    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 $29.99 (available in two styles).

    20. A DIY puffy sticker kit easy enough for crafty kiddos (ages 6+) to tackle on their own with minimal supervision.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Great solo kit for my 8-year-old. I went on a craft kit spending spree when they closed the schools since I must continue working (I work from home everyday already) and do not want video games raising my 8-year-old for the next several weeks. So far this was the BEST kit of the ones I purchased. Here is why. She can work at the desk beside me solo (as in without interrupting me every few minutes for help, as with some of the other kits we have tried). She got the hang of how to assemble and cut these out by herself with minimal instruction, but with lots of fun and spent a good amount of the day working on them. I am happy with the time to money investment ratio." —MamaJJ

    Get it from Amazon for $11.30.

    21. 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
    amazon.com

    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.

    22. 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.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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.

    23. A Marvel Avengers Lego Advent calendar that comes with 298 pieces (!!!) to immerse kids in their fave superhero universe as they discover Minifigures of Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Thor, Captain Marvel, Thanos, and more.

    the marvel lego advent calendar
    LEGO

    Promising review: "I bought this for my 5-year-old grandson in Florida. His father looked it over and said it was very substantial, not cheap like some advent calendars, and that he thinks his son will really enjoy it this December." —Chris

    Promising review: "This is one of the best Lego Advent calendars so far, excellent Minifigure selection and is the cheapest way to get Infinity Gauntlet and all infinity stones." —Oscar W Romero G

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99.

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

    24. 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
    Walmart

    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 $39.99

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

    25. A puzzle game in a teeny-weeny tin aka Iota, which is basically Qwirkle in card form.

    small tin that says iota
    Amazon

    For two to four players. Recommended for ages 8+.

    Promising review: "We just got this tiny little game to bring on a family trip. We have a 5- & 7-year-old and I must say that this game is a great fit for our WHOLE family. One of our children is a very sore loser & it's hard to find games that don't make her flip out. We play this with no point scoring so it's more collaborative than competitive...and we can all have fun. It's challenging for the 5- year-old and for us grown-ups too. I plan to buy more packs of this inexpensive tiny little game to give as gifts. Very fun." —Mel W.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    26. A miniature baking set for the aspiring Dominique Ansel in your life. It's true what they say, "good things come in small buttery, gooey, sugary packages."

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    The set comes with a storage tin, rolling pin, wee knife, pizza/dough cutter, mixing spoon, three wee spoons, mixing bowl, pizza/pie pan, pie server, sheet pan, silicone cake and cupcake molds, two silicone finger mitts, and 48-page recipe book.

    Promising review: "This keeps my daughter busy for HOURS! My daughter saw this online somewhere, and she asked for it as a birthday gift. I expected it to be cute, but not useful. As it turns out, I was completely wrong. She has regularly made mini chocolate chip cookies, and she'll be doing mini calzones tomorrow. It's adorable and the recipes totally work. She and her friends LOVE it." —Elura C. Kish

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    27. 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.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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 $11.99.

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

    amazon.com

    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.

    29. Banzai Bump N' Bounce Body Bumpers so adults can referee (or participate in!) impromptu battles in the yard or living room that'll elicit nonstop silliness and laughs.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    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 $20.24.

    30. An Uno Minecraft card game if you've ever asked yourself, "What is the appeal of Minecraft? TBH, this might not answer the question but the combo is sure to be a hit with die-hard fans.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "My sons (7 & 4) love Minecraft! I purchased this for my 7-year-old as a birthday present and we play almost every day. So easy to play that my 4-year-old can play too and doesn’t need to ‘be on a team.’ Hours of fun for such a simple game." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99.

    31. A battery-free race track for putting 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.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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 $44.95.

    32. A Purse Pet aka an interactive pet full of ~purse-onality!~ It has 25 sounds and reactions and actually blinks, blows kisses, and responds to questions. Little fashionistas won't get bored anytime soon with this chic and sassy sidekick.

    a child wearing the unicorn purse pet
    Amazon

    Promising review: "My granddaughter turned 7-years-old. She had seen the Purse Pet on TV and said she wanted it. She loves it and plays with it a lot!" —Mary Clodfelter

    Promising review: "I love everything about this purse. My 9-year-old granddaughter loves this purse. It's not big and doesn't hold a lot, but it holds enough for a 9-year-old. I'm happy with this purchase." —Sugarmaple120

    Get it from Amazon for $19.97+ (available in three styles). 

    33. 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.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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 $12.99.

    34. A Lily & River foldable wood climbing triangle that'll not only keep your little whirlwind from climbing everything but will also ensure they're all tuckered out after a chilly day spent indoors.

    Two kids climbing the wooden triangle and ladder set
    Lily and River / Etsy

    Recommended for ages 6 months to 4+ years.

    Lily & River is a small biz, owned by a father, that specializes in building intuitive products for kids in their manufacturing workshop nestled within the desert foothills of South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Promising review: "The climber and ladder ramp came exactly as expected, and my kids (1 and 3) love it! It’s easy to assemble, folds up nicely, and is super sturdy. It also arrived much sooner than expected." —Annie Baird 

    Get it from Lily and River on Etsy for $197.95+ (available in four finishes and two accessory options: ladder or rock wall).

    35. 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
    Amazon

    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.

    36. 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).

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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 $31.99.

    37. A scavenger hunt so you can send bored toddlers on a mission to discover *treasure*, aka toys, books, clothing, furniture and other objects around the house.

    Mollybee Kids

    Promising review: "A must-have. My 2-year-old son is obsessed. Always asks to play 'find you' game LOL. Then we play it and every option on the game he actually thinks really hard then says, 'Come on, Mommy,' and runs me through the house to find the object. Highly recommended from a mom of four." —Britney bansley

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

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

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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 $12.99 (available in 16 styles).

    39. 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.

    amazon.com

    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 $29.99.

    40. 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.

    Amazon, amazon.com, amazon.com

    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 $19.99.

    41. A Wiwiurka triangular rope ladder you can hang from the ceiling or a tree branch to provide endless opportunities to swing, do acrobatics, or yell: "I'm taking off in the spaceship!"

    Split image of children playing in triangle rope ladder outdoors and indoors
    Wiwiurka

    Note: mounting hardware not included. The climber is capable of holding up to 175 pounds.

    Wiwiurka is a Mexican woman–owned business based in Tepoztlan, Mexico, that creates handcrafted and sustainable wooden toys using water-based paints and nontoxic materials to enhance imaginative play.

    Promising review: "My kids LOVE their tree climber. It was easy to put together and it's like a magnet for my 3-year-old who gets bored easily and wanders." —Brynn

    Get it from Wiwiurka for $180 (available in two sizes and two colors). 

    42. A set of Crayola Scribble Scrubbie pets that can be reused over and over again (unlike one-and-done sets). This will keep budding artists busy coloring the cute pets, scrubbing them, and coloring all over again.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    The Peculiar Pets set includes: one dragon, one narwhal, one yeti, one unicorn, one sparkly scrub tub, one scrub brush, nine washable markers, one standing play mat, and an instruction sheet.

    Promising review: "My daughter LOVES coloring, stickers, drawing, etc. so when I saw this prior to her fourth birthday, I thought she would enjoy it. It was a HUGE hit and it will regularly keep her occupied for an hour or so at a time coloring, cleaning, and coloring again (with only minor help when asked for more help cleaning and drying). Even my 6-year-old son who doesn't usually color or draw will join her periodically and seems to enjoy it. The markers are short and skinny, great for small hands." —a.b.

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

    43. 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.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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).

    44. 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.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    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 $13.98+ (available in two sizes).

    45. The Big Dig Sandbox Digger Excavator Crane that swivels 360° — basically a dream toy for any construction aficionado. They'll have a blast sitting on it and scooping sand and snow all year long (Now the Blippi song is stuck in my head: "I'm an excavator, hey, dirt, see you later...")

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "We got this for our son's 3rd birthday and he LOVES it! He had been asking for a ride on 'scooper dumper' since before Christmas, so we were happy when we found this option for him. I was pleasantly surprised that he was able to get a hang of it right away, it will last him a long time. Our 5-year-old daughter also enjoys playing with it. It’s very sturdy and they enjoy that it’s on wheels. Since we got this in the winter, we have it in the house and put foam blocks in a box that they can scoop out of. Very glad we choose to go with this style instead of the smaller ones that are like the ride on cars, this won’t outgrow the kids nearly as fast. Assembly was quick and easy."CG

    Promising review: "Grandkids love this!! Have had it for about one year and had to replace one broken screw. Very easy to put together. I’m 62-year-old Grammy and did it with no problem! 3-year-old twins using it...actually digs dirt and rocks...easy for them to drag around yard. I’m really surprised this has lasted this long and still looks good." —Julie Paulk

    Get it from Amazon for $47.83+.

    46. And a construction-themed folding play set with kinetic sand, a dump truck toy, and a working crane with wrecking ball and bucket attachments so they can dig, build, and crush to their heart's content without making a colossal mess indoors.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Received this as a gift for my 4-year-old and he LOVES it and could spend an hour with it at a time. It has become an outdoor toy, due to not wanting sand in my house — it’s definitely cleaner than regular sand, but let’s be realistic, it’s still sand so it does have the potential to get out of the box. Love the case for it, it closes up tightly. The trucks and molds are cute. We also got the two expansion kits, which are great, as well. I do suggest getting an extra bag of sand." —Sam I Am

    Get it from Amazon for $27.99.

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

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    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).

    48. A Crayola light board so budding artists can see their imagination come to life just like an immersive Van Gogh exhibit.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    The set includes an LED light board with removable tracing panel and and six gel markers. Just draw your masterpiece directly on to the light board — the removable back panel makes tracing images a snap. Then turn it on to light up your designs and showcase them in the dark. The board is reusable so you can wipe away old drawings and start all over again.

    Promising review: "This light board is awesome!! My 6-year-old loves to draw and absolutely loves this board. The markers nestle into the back of the board for storage which makes this mom happy, board cleans easily with a damp paper towel or wipe. This is a great car activity for traveling. Love the added feature of the removable blackboard for tracing — so fun! Will make a great gift for any art lover!" —Danielle Campbell

    Get it from Amazon for $27.99 (available in three colors).

    49. A Craft-tastic "Make a Fox Friend" kit for budding crafters to 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.

    Amazon

    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).

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

    Amazon

    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 $20.99.

    51. 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.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    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 $49.99.

    52. Or a sensory swing designed with an extra spring, allowing bouncing up and down in addition to swinging — ideal for endless aerial acrobatic fun. Do they make an adult version?