1. An inflatable Flybar pogo trick ball, which is like a bounce ball, a pogo stick, and a balance ball all in one. This will come in clutch when your kiddo is hyper after eating a bunch of candy and needs a way to channel some of that energy. BTW, this is super durable, holds up to 160 pounds, and they'll provide a free replacement ball if it somehow breaks.
Promising review: "This is my second. First for my daughter, then her friend. Can not beat the quality. Don't waste your time or money on those other generic cheap ones." —Shelly
Get it from Amazon for $27.99.
2. Or, a compact and lightweight Razor "RipStik Ripster" board that's kind of like half a skateboard. It only has two wheels which will allow your little daredevil to twist and turn and feel like they're snowboarding or surfing.
Promising reviews: "I got this for my son's birthday and he LOVES it. He's really hard on it and it's still working great. It's not made cheap or it would have been broken by now as many times as he's slammed it into things. My son is 12 and just over 100 pounds so it's really durable." —Elizabeth Sanchez
"Great Gift for 12-year-old granddaughter! She loves this and has really done a great job with it. She is always coming up with new challenges with it! High quality!" —Lorac
Get it from Amazon for $58.25+ (available in two colors).
3. An animal bath-bomb making kit because your tween will be able to get creative and make their own bath bombs. Plus, it's also a STEM activity so you can sneak in some educational fun during the holidays!
Kiwi Co offers craft subscription boxes and one-off boxes with all the materials and instructions needed to make it easy for parents to do enriching science and art projects with their children.
Promising review: "My grandson loved making the bath bombs! Thanks for including the recipe for making even more!!!!" —Mamaw
Get it from Kiwi Co for $19.95.
4. A 12-sided fidget toy with gears, buttons, a joystick, a switch, stress balls, and more to keep your kiddo entertained no matter where they are. It's small enough to take on planes, long car rides, or just about anywhere they need a distraction.
Promising review: "Bought for my 9-year-old grandson. He loves this thing. He falls asleep with it in his hand, and as soon as he wakes up he’s back at it. Keeps him busy in the car for long trips and when he’s just feeling a little ‘fidgety’. Great purchase." —Debondeweb
Get it from Amazon for $7.99+ (available in seven colors).
5. A Tamagotchi Pix, if you're feeling nostalgic and want your child to experience one of your fondest memories from your childhood (with some upgrades, or course). This version features a color screen, camera, and the ability to connect your virtual pet with a friend's device for a virtual playdate. BTW, if you're feeling a bit jelly that this one has more ~bells and whistles~ than the '90s version, you can always play with it when your kiddo is sleeping. 🤫
Promising review: "My 7- and 9-year-old daughters love this. It is a cute throwback to the '90s Tamagotchi with some clever upgrades (color screen, camera, connectivity to other Tamagotchi, multiple animals, personalization of house, etc). My only complaint is that two AAA batteries will only get about 30-40 min at a time and then require a screwdriver to change. I wish it had the ability to plug in and charge but otherwise it is a cute and fun toy." —A. McArthur
Get it from Amazon for $38.48+ (available in six colors).
6. A solid-wood Melissa & Doug deluxe magic set for the not-so-little magician in your life who is ready to learn slight of hand and other more complex tricks. This set features 10 tricks like the disappearing ball, the vanishing coin, number prediction, and more.
Tricks include: disappearing ball, magic coin box, secret silks, great escape, magic number prediction, "money maker," Egyptian prediction, vanishing zone, cylinder squeeze, and vanishing coin.
Promising review: "I got this for my 9- and 7-year-old, and it is the best! The other magic sets we have gotten them are cheap and very obvious how the tricks are done. Some of the tricks in this actually amazed adults (especially the coin in the four boxes). I highly recommend it!" —Cara
Get it from Amazon for $31.99.
7. A glow sketch pillowcase that'll allow your artist to use a light to create doodles and drawings that will glow in the dark. Don't worry, the drawings won't illuminate all night, they last about 5–10 minutes. The best part? They leave no stains or messes behind!
Illuminated Apparel GB is a small biz based in the UK that has developed a bespoke luminescent ink to create unique interactive clothing and pillowcases for children.
The set includes a machine-washable pillowcase and a glow pen for drawing. Draw by charging up the unique luminescent ink on the pillowcase. Then as the glow fades the artwork will magically disappear leaving a clean canvas to create a whole new masterpiece — no mess, just fun!
Promising review: "What a great, quirky item, my boy loves it (as do we, and I’m tempted to get them for the adults' bed). Really lovely item and arrived in good time and the customer service has been helpful throughout. 100% recommend for a different gift." —Naomi Turner
8. A Pictionary Air Harry Potter drawing game for the little wizard in your life who is ready to live out their dream of attending Hogwarts. Players will be able to choose a Hogwarts house and draw images in the air (that'll appear onscreen) using a wand for their teammates to guess.
How it works: Download the free Pictionary Air app, and the active player will appear, along with their sketch, on the screen of your smart device. Players can cast gameplay onto their TV with compatible streaming devices.
Promising review: "I bought this as a gift for my 9-year-old nephew. We played it immediately. The kids were able to get the app and figure out how to play within a few minutes. We played with ages ranging from 9 to 50, and we all enjoyed trying to guess what was being drawn. We loved the wand. As one other review mentioned, the cards seem to be very easy or very difficult. We all thought it was lots of fun, and I may have to get one for myself now!" —JC
Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
9. A Rainbow Loom Mega Combo set because it'll keep your creative kiddo entertained and out of your jewelry box. This set includes over 7,000 latex-free rubber bands so they'll be able to make a bunch of multi-colored bracelets for their family and friends.
Promising reviews: "My 9-year-old son asked for this set. He enjoys building and creating with his hands (origami, specs, magna tiles, legos kind of kid). He made color-coordinated bracelets for a family reunion. Together we found YouTube videos and learned how to make several different kinds of bracelets. We have taken this set with us on a few trips and found it to be a great activity to share with other children and adults alike. He has made about 75 simple bracelets and still has plenty of supplies remaining. This is a great birthday gift for kids of either gender if they enjoy being creative." —jsslake
"My daughter loves it. I already bought two of these. She got one for Christmas, and now she's on the second one. She loves making bracelets for her siblings and friends in school. It keeps her entertained for hours!" —Keilyn
Get it from Amazon for $22.92+ (available in two set options).
10. A Kids Against Maturity card game to upgrade family game night if your child has outgrown Candy Land. This includes 600 question and answer cards filled with "age-appropriate toilet humor and funny innuendoes" that'll have everyone laughing out loud. The player with the funniest answer is the winner — time for the family comedian to shine!
Promising review: "OMGoodness, this is a hilarious game! It's very easy to play, much the same format as Apples to Apples, if you're familiar with that game. No boring rules to learn; just open the box and play. We played this with various ages and had a great time. I am 53, my son is 23, and my niece and her husband are 30 with a 10-year-old son. The innuendos went over the 10-year-old's head (perfect!), but there was enough fart and poop humor to keep him, and us, giggling. If you're uptight, this is probably not the game for you. If you don't like wind-breaking humor, you might want to 'pass' on this game. But if you want to laugh your butt off with the family, this is a must-have addition to your game night rotation. Laughter is a great stress reliever." —chattyone2
Get it from Amazon for $24.99 (clip the coupon on the product page to save $12).
11. A pack of hair chalk pens so your fashion-forward child will be able to experiment with colors without dyeing their locks. These pens make it simple to add temporary color to hair — and it washes out easily.
Promising review: "My girls absolutely loved this easy to use hair chalk! The directions were super easy to follow and my 10-year-old and 8-year-old were able to do this kit all by themselves! The colors were vibrant and fun. It worked great in my daughter’s dark blonde hair and my other daighter’s Medium brown hair. The chalk did not drip or stain anything or make any kind of a mess which made me super happy!!! It washed out perfectly in the shower and again did not cause any staining or mess! I absolutely recommend this fun and adorable hair chalk set!" —Jen
Get a pack of 10 from Amazon for $14.90.
12. A Crayola light-up tracing pad that'll help your artist tap into their creativity and work on their drawing skills. This pad illuminates images so your child can trace their fave pictures and create a work of art.
The tracing pad comes with the light-up board, 10 tracing sheets, 10 blank sheets, a graphite pencil, and 12 short colored pencils. (The set includes detailed pictures to trace, but there are more templates online that can be downloaded for free.)
Promising review: "I bought two of these for my grandsons, one who just turned 10-years-old and the other who was 9-years-old and both were completely excited to receive! They love, love, love the light-up tracing pad and coloring with grandma! A big Christmas gift surprise!!" —Linda V.
Get it from Amazon for $26.99.