Today I went on air with KXII to chat about the cool trends I see in kid’s toys this year. There are two main trends I see with the top lists and gift-giving trends this year: 1. Traditional Toys are Cool Again and 2. Parents Want Toys With Lasting Value. Note that any toy with a * is on the ASTRA Best Toys List this year – selected for encouraging engaging play in a variety of ways, high-quality, and fair pricing. I love ASTRA’s mission to encourage shopping locally so find your local toy store, if you have one, to help support the community economy. Links may be affiliate links which does not raise your price but helps support Untrained Housewife.
Traditional Toys are Cool Again
Some of the top toys this year are heirloom-style favorites or toys that are making a generational come-back. I see brands that were popular when I was a kid enjoying a resurgence in popularity. As a parent it is cool to see my kids playing with something that _I_ remember playing with when I was their age.
0-2 years Seaplane – By Green Toys – 12 months and up – $19.99. 100% recycled milk jugs and made in the USA makes this a favorite choice from this year’s ASTRA Best Toys List.*
Hobby Horse – Rainbow by Mamas and Papas – 24 months and up – $34.99 suggested retail price. I love the bright colors, sturdy durability, and modern twist on an heirloom design.
Xylo Roller – by Janod – 18 months and up – $37.55. A wooden rolling toy is always a hit, but add the musical capabilities and you have a two-for-the-price-of-one. Creative and musical play!*
Swish Toys – by Manhattan Toy – 3 months and up – $14-16. These are available in a brightly-colored wooden version or in a natural wood version. A fabulous manipulative toy that can be bent out of shape and will spring right back.*
Montessori Organic Wooden Baby Toy Set – Newborn-9 months depending on the item – $23.99. Natural, sustainably-harvested maple with organic finishes, this set has three, lovely toys for a growing baby.
3 and up
Squigz Kids Construction Kit – by Fat Brain Toy Co. – 3 years and up – $25. Love the unique construction method of this kit and kids will love it also. They can stick to walls and windows and kids always think that’s cool.*
Princess Twilight Sparkle Pony – My Little Pony – 3 and up – $39.97. Big-sized my little pony with jewels and colorful hair and barrettes. A classic from when most parents were little, now back and bigger than ever.
Bunny Peek-a-Boo – by Smart Toys and Games – 3 and up – $24.99. Wooden pieces fit together in a variety of brain-teasing ways with more sixty challenges kids get to figure out. I love this one so much.*
Rainbow Loom Kit – (Formerly Twist Bandz) – 3 and up – $39.99. The must-get toy of the year, make sure you are getting true rainbow loom kits and not knock-offs which can have sharp edges and lead or other toxins in them. Kids can do this solo about 7 and up but will need grown-up help before that.
Calico Critters Supermarket – by International Playthings – 3 and up – $60. I adore the detail and highly realistic look of this supermarket set. The Calico Critters all have that vintage, heirloom feel but this set is just gorgeous. Reviewed in-depth here.*
Rainbow Fairy Wings – by Douglas Toys – 3 and up – $19.99. What child doesn’t love to play dress up? And these huge wings will bring fairy-tales to life!*
4 and up
Zingo Sight Words – by Think Fun – 4 years and up – $19.99. I love the Think Fun games because they are totally fun and educational at the same time. Zingo combines the fun of playing bingo with learning difficult to sound out works.*
Cargo and Passenger Aircraft – by Playmobil – 4 years and up – $97. Lots of pieces for play for children – especially boys who seem to adore airplanes and everything to do with them.*
5 and up
Pulsar Powerballs – by The Orb Factory – 5 years and up – $14.99. Create your own bouncy balls with crystals that will light up. I love that kids can create their OWN playthings blending science and art.*
X-Treme Sticker Maker – by Faber-Castell – 5 years and up – $29.99. Make your own stickers at home. This machine is easy to use and encourages creativity in kids.*
Lego City Advent Calendar – by Lego – 5 years and up – $32.50. I love the advent calendars like these where kids get a lasting value and things they will play with for a long time. Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar is listed for 7 years and up at $43..
6 and up
Ring Stix Lite – by Ring Stix – 6 years and up – $15.79. Great outdoor activity, these ring stix will fly up to 30 yard! I love that they also float so are suitable for multiple seasons of play.*
Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 Stunt Set – by Q-Ba-Maze – 6 years and up – $85.99. This huge kit includes over 100 pieces including cubes, stilts, chutes, and connectors. Kids can build in a variety of ways to help them maintain interest for months!*
Vortex Revonix 360 Blaster – by Nerf – 6 years and up – $39.99. This is a big blaster that is very sturdy feeling to me. I also love that it will hold many discs (up to 30!) so the kids can play longer stretches at a time.
Dinosaur Excavation Kit – by Magic Cabin – 6 and up – $16.98. Dinosaurs have enchanted children for decades and this is one of the most realistic excavation kits available.
Deluxe Art Box Supplies (over 110+ pieces) – by Magic Cabin – 6 and up – $65.98. A wooden box set filled with art supplies, this kit has two drawers to hold everything and when it opens up it doubles as an easel.
8 and up
Spirograph Deluxe Kit – by Kahootz Toys – 8 years and up – $24.99. I loved this remake of the spirograph toy, everything fits into the carrying case and you can use the art set on the go! Genius.*
Snap Circuits Sound – by Elenco – 8 years and up – $63.99. High-tech meets tons of fun with this educational kit. Kids learn basic electronic skills with over 185 exciting projects.
Air-Stream Machines Experiment Kit – by Thames and Kosmos – 8 years and up – $62.90. This kit has over 50 pieces plus a motor and safe, soft-bladed fan. Follow the directions to build the 10 guided machines, and then let kids play on their own using their new skills!*
Laser Maze Game – by Think Fun – 8 and up – $26.95. One of my absolute favorite games of the season, this brain-teasing game involves mirrors and lasers for high-tech fun.
Timeline Games – by Asmodee – 8 and up – $14.99 each (some as low as $12). The Timeline games come with original Timeline, Timeline Diversity (I reviewed it here), Timeline Historical Events, and Timeline Discoveries. Quick play time means the game is easy to fit into spare moments.
14 years and up
Super Magnetic Tidal Wave Putty – by Crazy Aaron’s – 14 years and up – $14.05. This over-sized putty is magnetic so you have to be careful not to let it around small children who might swallow it. Cool blue color and the possibilities for fun are many!