The best toys don’t just collect dust in a closet or toybox. They become a cherished part of someone’s childhood. Do you have a kiddo on your list this year, yet no idea what to give for the holidays? We’ve rounded up the best toys of 2020 for all different types of kids so you can give a gift that will trigger a reaction of pure excitement and appreciation.
This year, some of the most popular toys are completely interactive, which means kids spend hours at a time nurturing and bonding with the toy to experience new entertaining features. Beyond interactive toys, educational options like STEM toys make perfect gifting options, along with building sets, classic fun toys, and cute plush picks, too!
For parents, we’ve got the inside scoop on the hottest toys of 2020. Or, if you’re ready to be the *cool* aunt or uncle this year, we can help you pick the best toys for your niece or nephew. Be sure to order your gifts early this year, as we expect major shipping delays due to COVID-19. Read on and pick out one (or more!) of the trendy best toys for kids from our list of favorites.
1. LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor
BEST SPLURGE-WORTHY TOY
For the first time in seven years, LEGO is releasing a new addition to the Mindstorms series, which lets kids (and adults) build their own robots using LEGO bricks. We’ve been waiting on this release for months, and we expect this toy to finally go on sale in mid-October. The new 5-in-1 set will feature robotic and coding elements that combine Lego’s history of encouraging building and creating with today’s technology. Users will be able to build the five robot toys in the set and use their newly-acquired coding skills to instruct the characters to walk and talk. Kids will even be able to create their own codes and provide direction to the characters through the Robot Inventor app.
We expect this to be one of the year’s hottest toys, and it looks so fun we might add it to our own Christmas lists. Recommended for kids ages 10 and up, this is sure to be one of the year’s best Christmas gifts for kids.
2. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
BEST SWITCH GAME
How do you make the iconic Nintendo game Mario Kart even more exciting? Bring Mario and Luigi to life. The new Nintendo Switch game Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit comes with a physical Mario in a cart as well as pieces to build a course. Up to three players can control the small RC racer, bringing the nostalgic video game to life. Set to be released in October, users will be able to choose between the Mario or Luigi themed pack. Just watch out for those bananas!
3. Botley The Coding Robot 2.0
BEST NON-SCREEN CODING TOY
The fan-favorite Botley Coding Robot is back and features new improvements in its 2.0 series that kids will love. As one of the only coding toys that does not require the use of a screen, Botley helps kids learn how to code and create sequences that include lights and noise. Direct the brightly colored and fun Botley robot around an obstacle course using coding cards, tiles, and a remote control that is user-friendly enough for kids ages five and up. This is one of our favorite coding robot toys, and it’s sure to be a hit on Christmas morning.
4. Clixo Crew Pack
BEST BUILDER TOY
Promote STEM-based learning that is only limited by the user’s imagination with the Clixo Crew Pack. The inventive new toy comes in a variety of shapes that all feature magnets for an easy and secure connection. Kids can follow instructions on how to create a variety of objects, from airplanes to tiaras, or create their own structures. A versatile, screen-free toy that can be used at home or while traveling, Clixo offers a variety of add-on packs to help kids who want to continue building and creating.
5. LEGO DOTS Desk Organizer
BEST DIY TOY
The Lego Dots Desk Organizer is an easy to use DIY kit that young craft enthusiasts can use without the help of a parent. Perfect for aspiring interior decorators or any young student who wants to spruce up their desk space for virtual learning, the brightly colored kit makes it easy to create a custom organizer. The set comes with extra pieces and creates a useful holder with two sections and a small drawer.
6. Jojo Siwa Circle Society Rainbow Roller Skates
BEST FOR ACTIVE KIDS
YouTuber Jojo Siwa was just added to Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2020, so there’s a good chance the preteen in your life will love these durable synthetic patent leather roller skates endorsed by the social media star. Featuring JoJo’s signature on one side and trademark color palette throughout the design, the roller skates are available in two sizes and can be expanded to create a secure fit for young users.
7. Creatable World Deluxe Character Kit
BEST FOR KIDS LEARNING ABOUT INCLUSIVITY
Mattel is continuing to be a leader in creating dolls that are inclusive and diverse and that includes their new line, Creatable World. The gender-neutral dolls come with enough wigs, outfits and accessories to create 100 unique looks. Available in a variety of skin tones and hair colors, the dolls are bendable and poseable and allow kids to play freely without the confines of gender constructs.
8. CurliGirls Hayli
BEST FOR BUDDING STYLISTS
CurliGirls has introduced three new characters for 2020 that all feature the perfect canvas for budding stylists. Future hairdressers can curl and straighten hair, add clips and create inventive styles using the straightener, tiara, beads and hairbands included. Choose from the Birthday Girl, the Popstar and the Ballerina. When kids are ready to create a new do, simply add warm water to the doll’s hair.
9. Play-Doh Slime, Cloud, Krackle, Stretch, Foam
BEST MESSY TOY
We don’t know how they keep doing it, but Play-Doh continually manages to find new and inventive ways to help kids have the cleanest-messy fun around. The company’s new six-pack is part science experiment, part art attack and features a variety of Play-Doh compounds in ooey, gooey fun. Kids will love experimenting with different textures, including slime, foam, and super stretch Play-Doh. Squeeze, squish and squeal with delight using the new Play-Doh set that adults may also want to spend time playing with.
10. PJ Masks Transforming 2 in 1 Mobile HQ
BEST LARGE SCALE TOY
PJ Masks fans will love this new transformer toy that sits at an impressive 3 feet tall. Acting as the headquarters of the PJ Masks crew, the toy features five levels, a working elevator and comes with three vehicles for hours of play. The fourth level includes a controller that enables kids to activate lights and sounds to help bring the toy to life. There’s a spot for housing villains and kids can feel like real superheroes with a toy that features several details from their favorite TV show.
11. Toys by Battat B. Symphony Musical Toy Orchestra for Kids
BEST FOR MUSIC LOVERS
Kids of all ages are entranced by music. The B. Toys by Battat B. Symphony Musical Toy Orchestra for Kids features 13 brightly colored toy instruments that can be used to create beautiful music of their own invention. There are also professionally recorded melodies including nursery and classical music. We won’t be surprised if this toy orchestra sells out, so order one of the best toys of 2020 while you still can.
12. Star Wars The Child ‘Baby Yoda’ Animatronic Doll
BEST FOR STAR WARS FANS
It’s not secret that the SPY team loves The Child, or that we prefer his nickname Baby Yoda. With season two of The Mandalorian arriving just in time for Christmas, we’re betting this animatronic doll is going to be one of the year’s hottest toys for kids and adults alike. Celebrate your Star Wars fandom with the cutest toy in the galaxy. This animated toy has 25 sound and motion combinations for hours of adorable fun.
13. Paw Patrol Chase’s 5-in-1 Ultimate Cruiser
BEST FOR PAW PATROL FANS
This is another product from Amazon’s Hot Toys list, and it’s set to be released in October. Delight the Paw Patrol fans on your Christmas list with this interactive cruiser, which features four smaller vehicles and a model of Chase the paw patroller. There may come a time when Paw Patrol doesn’t show up on lists of the best toys for Christmas gifts, but this is not that year.
14. Smart Snacks Alpha Pops
BEST FOR TOTS
The Smart Snacks Alpha Pops by Learning Resources reinforces upper and lowercase letter recognition as your little one matches together the colorful frozen pops. Plus, the pops strengthen hand muscles and increase coordination while promoting imaginative play!
15. Best Toy from Your Childhood: Hungry Hungry Hippos Game
BEST CLASSIC TOY
People of a certain age range may remember the classic Hungry Hungry Hippos Game from its distinctly fun and weird TV commercials. Now it’s back in all its colorful, jaw-snapping glory and it’s the perfect toy to surprise your favorite kiddo with this holiday season. It’s not only fun for them, but even you can join in on the excitement and play immediately after opening.
16. Owleez Flying Baby Owl
BEST FLYING TOY
Owleez are all the rage and certainly a hot gift for the 2019 holidays. This interactive baby owl with giant, doe eyes actually flies. She features over 100 sounds and interactions. Here’s the secret: The more your giftee practices flying with the Owleez, the better the baby owl will fly. That nurturing aspect of the toy is super rewarding and addicting for kids.
17. Spider-Man Remote Control Helicopter
BEST SUPERHERO TOY
RC toys always provide endless hours of fun for kids, but you don’t have to shell out hundreds for this drone. This RC helicopter kills two gifting-birds with one stone thanks to a Spider-Man theme, allowing your giftee to literally make Spidey fly. If you have a Marvel fan in your midst, this toy is sure to put a smile on their face.
Does your giftee love Spider-Man as much as we do? We’ve got a huge list of the best Spider-man toys and collectibles for fans of all ages.
18. Wildluvs Juno My Baby Elephant
BEST FOR THE ANIMAL LOVER
If you have a kiddo on your list who adores animals, she (or he) will go gaga for Juno My Baby Elephant. Juno has super large, inviting eyes and she interacts with kids by using her wacky trunk to pick up her mouse and peanut. Keep an eye out though, she might throw them right at you.
19. Hatchimals Wow Llalacorn
BEST FOR THE TRENDY KID
Hatchimals are hot for the holidays and this year’s brand new release is on every kid’s wish list. These whimsical-looking Hatchimals will hatch from their egg when nurtured in traditional form, yet they’ll start growing almost immediately, and they won’t stop getting taller until the Hatchimal reaches three feet.
20. Amazon Fire Kids Edition Tablet
BEST TABLET FOR KIDS
This full-featured tablet has a vibrant HD display, plenty of internal storage and long battery life. This tablet for kids makes such a great gift as it will quickly become your best ally during periods of travel, grocery store trips, waiting room visits, and more. The tablet has an endless amount of kid-appropriate content including apps, games, videos, books and educational series. And on top of all the kid-friendly content, it comes with a case that is ready to stop any sudden drops.
21. Elanco Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit
BEST STEM TOY
Designed for kids in second grade and above, this snap-together electronic kit includes easy-to-install pieces and tons of extra features. With more than 30 separate pieces and 100 different build options, it’s sure to keep kids entertained for weeks on end. Projects include a flashing light, photo sensors and an adjustable volume siren.
22. LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle Building Kit
BEST LEGO TOY
Who says LEGO is just for kids? For fans of the Harry Potter series, this top toy of 2019 is still a must-have for Harry Potter fans in 2020. It includes everything you could ask for, from a tower-clambering dragon to a tree-smashing womping willow. You’ll also find a number of dementors flying around and everyone’s favorite giant spider, Aragog. There’s plenty of fun to be had with this kit after it’s all built up. It’s not recommended for super young kiddos since this castle kit contains 6,020 pieces.
23. Wild Republic Jumbo Sloth Plush
BEST PLUSH TOY
The best toys don’t have to be cutting edge, expensive or trendy. After all, who wouldn’t love this adorable stuffed sloth? When it comes to stuffed animals, the bigger the better. This snuggly sloth measures 30 inches tall (that’s tall) and is fully washable. Plus, what kid doesn’t obsess over sloths at some point?
24. Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit
BEST POP CULTURE TOY
The Droid Inventor Kit is an innovative “edutainment”-style Star Wars toy. It’s great for curious kids, offers programmable settings and a variety of different possible end products, letting you really “invent” your Droid.