1. A foldable indoor slide so freezing temps won't ruin your little one's day. This slide will come to the rescue if you need a fun activity when your kiddo is on the verge of crying out "I'm bored!" but the weather isn't ideal for a trip to the park.
Promising review: "I got this for my 2-year-old daughter's birthday and she LOVES it. She is a little nervous on the playground and she took to this right away. It folds down easily and sets up easily — the design is brilliant. It was actually so easy that I watched the 30-second set up video just to be sure I got it right lol. My 8-year-old son got on it too and it held up. We live in an apartment so this is something that she can climb on safely without taking up a ton of space. Love this product!!" —jenna
Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in three designs).
2. Or a Montessori indoor play gym if you need your child to play inside but they have a lot of energy. The best part? Your kiddo won't freeze their bum off sliding down one of those metal slides at the park — brrrr! ☃️
Goodevas Kids is a small biz based in NY that sells wooden children's play sets, climbing walls, and bookshelves.
Promising review: "This product is amazing! I did so much research regarding quality and cost before purchasing one and this was the best one! My baby absolutely loves this! It is very sturdy and strong. It came with everything you need and the website has the instruction videos which made it so easy to follow and put it together. Also, customer service is so quick to respond and very caring! I love that you can adjust the height and angle of the triangle ladder. You can also move around the 4 products and change it up so you can have different set up which i like!" —teni240
3. A Gravity Maze game to challenge your little brainiac to use spatial reasoning, planning, and engineering to figure out how to get the ball through the maze and on its target. Sounds super technical, but it's learning that feels like fun. Plus, it'll give you some time to chill on the couch.
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 $22.99.
4. A Melissa & Doug activity book with a pair of safety scissors so your kiddo can develop fine motor skills and tap into their creativity. This book is filled with mazes, puzzles, and hands-on activities that will keep your child entertained for a while.
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 $5.49.
5. A sensory swing so your tiny acrobat will be able to swing and bounce up and down when they have a ton of energy but it's too cold to trek outside.
Recommend for ages 3 and up.
Rest Nets is a small biz based in Israel started by a mom who created these hammocks as a way to give parents "an extra pair of hands" for entertaining kids.
Promising review: "My 4.5-year daughter loves this swing! We have it installed in a French doorframe and has been very secure. She loves to swing while we are cooking or hanging out. I anticipate it will get so much love over the years. We love having it indoors during the winter since playgrounds aren't as practical. It was one of her favorite Christmas presents." —Chris Wiegand
6. Or a Wiwiurka wooden trapeze bar for your little gymnast, which can be used indoors or outdoors. They'll be able to climb, spin, and swing to their heart's content.
Recommend for ages 3 and up.
Note: Mounting hardware not included.
Wiwiurka is a Mexican woman–owned small business located in Tepoztlan, Mexico that creates sustainable children's toys using water-based paints and non-toxic materials that are inspired by Pikler, Montessori, and Waldorf’s educational standards.
Promising review: "My kid won’t get off this trapeze! He loves it and he is getting so much better at his 'tricks' every day. When we ordered it we hopped it would keep him busy but we never imagined how much time he would spend on it. It’s beautiful, high quality and so much fun. I wished I would have had one as a kid." —Montserrat K.
Get it from Wiwiurka for $55 (originally $75; available in three colors).
7. A flower-building activity set so your *budding* genius can tap into their imagination and build amazing flower displays. This STEM activity comes with hundreds of pieces for endless possibilities.
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 $9.98+ (available in two sizes).
8. A glow-in-the-dark fort-building kit for your soon-to-be architect or engineer. Your little builder can create anything they can think of, like a castle or rocket. The best part is, when you shut the lights off, their creation will glow.
Promising review: "Got this for my niece who was 4 and she could play this for hours. She put her blanket over it, made flags, turned it into a wand, and bunch of other versatile ways to play. It’s a great buy if you want to keep the kid busy for hours. It’s a bit challenging at times to get it dissembled but it was super fun for her. Easy to store back in the bag or box." —S Cheung
Get it from Amazon for $37.86+ (available in four styles).
9. A Montessori climber set, because your kiddo will get so much use out of this multifunctional play set. They'll learn how to climb, grasp, and balance while getting all of their energy out. Then, (when they're exhausted) simply flip it over and add a cushioned pillow to turn it into a rocker.
Kidodido is a small business that sells wooden Montessori toys, children's furniture, and nursery decor.
Promising review: "This toy is an amazing purchase! My son is 13 months old and loves climbing. He immediately climbed to the top of the arch and beamed at his dad and I. The pillow is also super comfortable!" —Katherine Hines
10. A wooden puzzle that is like real life Tetris, minus the screen time. This puzzle can be played over and over for some fun away from their tablet — while giving you some time to take a breather.
Reviewer's say this is a great toy for all ages — from 3 to 12.
Promising review: "I was pleasantly surprised with how popular this was! I just bought it as a side gift for a child just because it was cheap and it was a puzzle-type toy. However, this kept both kids and adults immensely entertained for hours. It was challenging for everyone but a fun challenge. I’m purchasing another so we can race each other to finish at the next gathering." —Mrs. Dinkleberg
Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
11. A Disney Princess necklace activity set to help your little one stay out of your jewelry box and create their very own one-of-a-kind necklaces.
This set comes with a carrying case, five Disney Princess rubber charms, 150 beads, and four silicone necklaces.
Promising review: "My 3-year-old twins loved it, entertained for hours which is rare. Perfect for teaching coordination, color patterns, encourages creativity. The necklaces are a soft, stretchy material with a safe breakaway clasp but that also stays on well. I wore a necklace for hours around the house and didn't fall off. The beads are cute and a good variety of colors. Overall great project, loads of fun for toddlers." —Lyss
Get it from Amazon for $8.99+ (available in 13 styles).
12. A shape-shifting puzzle cube that will keep your child captivated while they manipulate it into over 70 different shapes. It's like origami, but with magnets.
For ages 8 and up.
You can also collect all 12 puzzle box designs to connect multiple magnetic cubes to build even larger structures and sculptures.
Promising review: "I was hesitant about spending $25 for this toy and even more concerned when it showed up and I saw the size, but this got the award for favorite Christmas gift. Both my 9-year-old and 12-year-old play with it constantly!" —Blair001
Get it from Amazon for $25+ (available in 22 designs and a two- or four-pack).
13. A pack of popping tube sensory toys, because they're wayyy less messy (and not as painful to step on) compared to a ton of tiny Lego bricks. Your child will be able to use them to build shapes, letters, numbers, or anything they can imagine. And, they're simple to pop into place and pull apart.
For ages 3+ and up.
Promising review: "These are fun for kids of all ages. My grandbabies love them because they can hold them in their baby hands. They are brightly colored and flexible. Unlikely to hurt anything. Older kids like them for the noise they make when they are stretched or closing. They create long chains (they attach to each other) and wild twisty things. All in all, a good toy for this grandma to have in her house." —Katy
Get a pack of eight from Amazon for $8.97.