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You know you’ve picked a winner when kids are excited about your gift long after the Christmas tree has come down. The best toys don’t just collect dust in a closet or toy box. 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 trendiest 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’re excited to see it’s finally live.
The new five-in-one 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. 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. Educational Insights Circuit Explorer Deluxe Base Station
BEST SPACE TOY
This toy is truly out of this world! Kids will learn the fundamentals of circuitry while building a deluxe base station with a spinning sign, a planetarium with color-changing dome light, a voice synthesizer station with 10 space sounds, a communication station with a rotating radar dish, a powered space rover and a freewheeling space rover. The pieces light up when kids follow the symbols and connect the vehicle’s circuits, making this one of the best STEM toys for kids. The set comes with astronaut and robot figures for extra playtime. Be sure to give 15 AAA batteries too, because batteries are sold separately.
5. Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash Motorized Track Set
BEST TRACK SET
A classic Hot Wheels track set is a toy for the ages. It comes with one Hot Wheels car so kids can get zooming as soon as they open the box. They’ll have so much fun they won’t even realize the track challenges their problem-solving skills and piques their curiosity. Hairpin turns, crazy intersections and a major crash zone will keep them on their toes. There’s even a car feeder ramp to keep the action going. When they’re done for the day, the set has plenty of parking spaces for easy storage.
6. Plugo Tunes by PlayShifu
BEST FOR LITTLE MOZARTS
It’s never too early to start teaching little ones about music and this piano STEM kit is one of the best musical toys for kids since it also develops their memory skills, motor skills and hand-eye coordination. The app-based kit teaches kids ages five to 10 to play the piano, teaching them about musical notes and music intelligence. The piano only works with tablets and smartphones. The kit comes with a piano, three musical pops, two key-mapping stickers, a foldable gamepad (with a magnetic play area) and a help guide. It teaches more than 50 songs, ranging from rhymes to jingles and carols.
7. Shifu Orboot
BEST FOR LITTLE JET-SETTERS
Take your kids on a journey around the world without leaving your living room! All they have to do is scan a region on the Orboot Globe and the interactive app will transport them there to teach them about the location’s history, environmental science and much more. A top educational toy for kids, they’ll learn about geography, sparking curiosity about the wider world. The app has over 400 highlights and more than 1,000 world facts spanning six categories: cultures, monuments, inventions, animals, maps and weather. The box includes a 10-inch globe, passport, stamps, country flag stickers and a help guide.
8. Crayola Washable Paint Pour Set
BEST FOR ASPIRING ARTISTS
Wannabe Jackson Pollocks will have a blast with Crayola’s Washable Paint Set that allows them to explore paint pouring art. Parents will love that the paint tray means they can get creative without making a mess! The safe, non-toxic washable paints make cleanup even easier. The set comes with 10 two-ounce paints in five colors, three 6 x 6-inch canvases, a paint tray, beaker, pouring base, strainer and three stir sticks. Once they’ve used the three included canvases to create masterpieces, they can get more, since the paint set works with any standard painting canvas.
9. Little Tikes T-Ball Set
BEST FOR THE LIL SLUGGER
This classic will always be a hit toy for kids. In addition to teaching kids the basics of baseball, softball and wiffleball, the T-Ball set also helps develop their developing motor skills, batting skills and hand-eye coordination. Its adjustable height means it grows with your kids, so they’ll have it for years of fun. The set comes with five plastic tee balls and an oversized plastic baseball bat to help them hit home runs. With all that batting and swing practice, they’ll be ready for the major leagues in no time.
10. Osmo Coding Starter Kit
BEST CODING KIT
Learning to code is key for kids these days and they’ll have a blast with Osmo’s Coding Starter Kit. It comes with everything they need to gain coding basics except for an iPad, though it’s compatible with most models and includes the toy iPad base. There are three award-winning educational learning games for ages five to 10, using hands-on physical blocks and coding commands to control the character Awbie on an action-packed adventure. There are more than 60 puzzles, so they play on their own level to advance, ranging from beginner to expert. They’ll pick up the basics of programming, logic, coding fundamentals, teamwork, listening, critical thinking, observation, creative problem solving, music creation and pattern recognition.
11. Frozen 2 Sing-Along Boombox
BEST FROZEN TOY
Frozen fans can sing their little hearts out with this sing-along boombox that lets them turn any room into their own stage. It comes with a real microphone so they can sing along with the built-in music or connect your own device and sing along to any tunes of your choosing. Essentially a kids karaoke machine, it even has flashing lights for the full performance experience. Super lightweight, it’s easily portable and great to take on-the-go. It’s so much fun they won’t be able to Let It Go, making it one of the best toys for kids who can’t get enough of Frozen.
12. Imagine by Rubie’s Amazon Exclusive 19-Piece Spider-Man Dress-Up Trunk
BEST FOR MARVEL FANS
The Spiderman fan in your life will get a kick out of this officially licensed Marvel Spider-Man dress-up trunk set that lets them choose from three characters: Classic Spider-Man, Miles Morales and Venom. The trunk includes everything needed to pull off each look, including pull-on costume tops, fabric over-the-head masks, gloves for each character, a web shield accessory, a dog tag with a logo flashlight, a wallet with three character ID cards and a reusable trunk for storage.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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 pre-teen 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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. There are also professionally recorded melodies including nursery and classical music. We wouldn’t be surprised if this toy orchestra sells out, so order one of the best toys of 2020 while you still can.
21. Star Wars The Child ‘Baby Yoda’ Animatronic Doll
BEST FOR STAR WARS FANS
It’s no secret that the SPY team loves The Child, or that we prefer his nickname Baby Yoda. With season two of The Mandalorian now streaming, 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.
22. Paw Patrol Chase’s Ultimate Cruiser
BEST FOR PAW PATROL FANS
This is another product from Amazon’s Hot Toys list. 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.
23. 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 the colorful frozen pops. Plus, the pops strengthen hand muscles and increase coordination while promoting imaginative play!
24. 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.
25. Owleez Flying Baby Owl
BEST FLYING TOY
Owleez are all the rage and certainly a hot gift for the 2020 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.
26. 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.
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. 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 car-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.
31. 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?
32. 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.