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From educational to silly fun, these are the toys your little ones will obsess over this year. Wooden Toys
Shopping for playthings can trigger a cavalcade of emotions, with a visit to the toy store turning out to be fun, challenging -- or even stressful. Your goal is to get the best goodie, one that'll march, shake, bounce or roll its way into your little one's heart. But you can easily find yourself getting dizzy while checking out the retailers, both online or in person. Upping the stakes is the simple fact that today's hottest toy can easily find itself in tomorrow's bargain bin. You've got your work cut out for you, for sure.
But looking for the best toy for your kiddo shouldn't be a hair-raising experience. To help make things a bit less fraught, we've rounded up a collection of the hottest toys of 2024. What you'll find here is all sorts of neat stuff, from some cool STEM necessities to die-hard classics that've stood the test of time. So, scroll through the list below -- we're sure you'll find a bunch of gift ideas for any kid in your life. Then all you'll have to do is narrow things down.
Twenty-five years after it was first launched, Furby is back. And you know what? This modern-day version of the classic doll is actually pretty cool. It comes with five voice modes, a bunch of dance moves and over 600 unique responses. It can communicate with other Furbies and is quite huggable. Past concerns about the Furby can be kicked to the curb -- there's no Wi-Fi connectivity, no app and no LCD screen eyes. Basically, it's more doll than robot, which is a huge plus.
The Barbie Dreamhouse is back with an updated look, open design and a load of new features. There are over 75 storytelling pieces in this three-story set, including a water slide, a working elevator and an awesome closet. In fact, with so many amazing upgrades, it's quite possible your little one may want to move in.
Fingerlings are back too, and these finger monkeys are more than meets the eye. Equipped with more sensors, these fuzzy cuties know when they're on your finger and have more animated features than ever before. Each monkey in the set comes in a different color and personality, which means they're programmed with a variety of different reactions. Might as well collect them all.
WowWee's Dog-E isn't the first robot dog to hit the toy market, but this pup has a bunch of unique features that make it stand out from the pack. Each Dog-E is unique in their colored light designs and personality traits -- you won't know which version you've got until it's out of the box. There are over 200 sounds and reactions to expect with your new robot pup, including real dog sounds, tail wagging and a cute little run. An accompanying mobile app adds further interactive play, allowing you to teach it tricks and track its basic needs. If your little one has been begging for a dog and you're apprehensive about all the responsibility, Dog-E may be the pet for you. Read our WowWee Dog-E Robot Dog review.
Bitzee is a screen-free interactive pet that kids can play with, care for and take with them anywhere. It loves treats and is reactive to touch, swipes and other movement. Each one begins as a baby and grows through three evolutionary stages, culminating in a final stage that unlocks a special game. Fifteen interactive animals like a cat, unicorn and bunny can be unlocked, the more your kiddo plays with Bitzee.
If your child loves to imagine themselves in the Star Wars universe, enhance the magic with an interactive L0-LA59 droid. LOLA, as it's known, features over 45 light, sound and movement combinations and three different modes of play. Attach LOLA to the included stand in Hover Mode, or put it in Companion Mode by attaching legs. On the Go Mode means it's zooming through the galaxy (with some help from you).
Bring Spidey and His Amazing Friends home with this 27-inch-tall playset inspired by season 3 of Marvel's hit animated series. Multiple play zones like a spinning transformation chamber, command center and garage will keep your little Spidey fan busy. It wouldn't be complete without a Spidey figure (his eyes even light up!), a 7-inch vehicle, and four attachable accessories. Go webs, go!
Not ready for an actual pet? Little Live Pets is here for you. The Mama Surprise guinea pig set includes a soft, interactive mama pig and three babies that appear in the hutch. Note: An adult is needed to set up the hutch so kids can experience the "birth" surprise element. Mama has over 20 sounds and reactions, and the set includes accessories for your new pets.
Australia's animated dog family has won our hearts. And with a line of fun, quality toys, they have our wallets too. Gift your little one hours of playtime with this interactive playhouse set. The large (17 inches tall and 30 inches wide) house folds up for easy storage, and you can pop Bingo, Bluey, Chatterbox and Nana in there, plus all the accessories. When kids press the octopus, lights and sounds are activated for leveled-up play.
Kids love forts -- it's a fact. The Tiny Land kids fort is a fort-builder's dream. Children can spend countless hours building a variety of structures with the 130 pieces included in this set. Caves, tunnels, rockets and houses -- the sky's the limit for what can be constructed. Every parent knows their little one will eventually seek out their own safe space, and a fort is the perfect place for some private time. Plus, this thing is pretty darn cool.
If you're looking for a cool sensory toy, check out the Bumpas weighted plush doll. These wide-eyed stuffies come with weighted arms that can sit on your little one's shoulders, be a pillow buddy or act as a weighted blanket for extra comfort and emotional support. Sometimes, a Bumpas hug is all one really needs to feel better.
All kids love slime. And this STEM kit from National Geographic comes with eight varieties of the substance. Magnetic putty, glow-in-the-dark putty, fluffy slime and color-changing slime are just some of what you can expect to find in this box. There's education to be found here too, as an enclosed learning guide explores the science behind all this goo.
If you're not wanting to bring slime into your home, Playfoam Naturals offers a natural sensory-satisfying product that's fun to play with. This kit is great for preschool learning and allows your little one to exercise their fine motor skills while learning to squish this plant-based substance into letters and numbers.
Shopping for a science-minded kid who likes conducting experiments? Look no further than the Beast Lab. This unique experiment-based set is here to save the world. No, seriously: The Beast Lab poses the idea that the only way to protect humanity is with Beasts. Shark Beasts, to be specific. Thankfully, you get two in this set -- the Havoc Hammerhead and Mayhem Megashark. Adorned with over 80 lights and sounds, and a collection of important ingredients like Attack Serum, Roar Rocks, Fossil Fragments, Skin Scrapings and the Pandemonium Crystal, your kid will mix these oddities together to create the ultimate Beast. Once that's done, it's world-saving time. Hey, no pressure.
Sesame Street's Elmo will get your little one up and dancing. The 14-inch tall interactive doll encourages movement and singing, which is never a bad thing. He speaks in English and Spanish. Like the Just Play Elmo Plush, your kiddo can press Elmo's right hand to play a game of "Elmo Says" -- a fun, preschool-friendly riff on "Simon Says."
Cowabunga! This new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Fire Delivery Van brings the Mutant Mayhem fun to life. The van has room for all four Turtles and Master Splinter and it comes equipped with a fully functional pizza cannon. Eight pizzas can fit in this handy weapon, which will surely stop Super Fly and his minions in their tracks. And hey, after their battle is over, the gang can snag a pie for a well-earned snack.
Kids who enjoy building will love this DIY kit. They can put together a 2-foot vending machine that doubles as a coin bank. Soda bottle-shaped gummy candies are included so kids can stock their machine and start vending. Bonus: This kit isn't all fun and games; it's a STEM project in disguise. Lessons in math and money, gears, gravity, force and more are embedded in this cool gift. Best for kids ages 8 and up.
Looking for a perfect gift for the little builder in your life? This Magna-Tiles 32-piece set offers loads of imaginative play. This fan-favorite STEM toy comes with road and building tiles, and extended magnetic cranes that will hone your kid's fine motor skills and keep them thoroughly engaged.
A fun set from Lego, Olivia's Space Academy contains 757 pieces. Build a Shuttle model, classroom, mission control and observatory. Four Lego figures and science accessories -- including a planet model -- complete the science scene. Best for ages 8 and up.
This sweet hair salon set will thrill any kiddo who loves cute little animals. If you already have some Calico Critters playsets, Pony's Stylish Hair Salon makes a perfect addition to your "town." The salon includes a posable pony figure complete with silky hair and a dress and over 40 accessories. Best for ages 3 and up.
Snap Circuits are the perfect gift for curious kids. There are over 100 electronic projects possible with this STEM set, which is best for ages 8 and up. Build a flashlight, photo sensor, siren and more. The best part is that kids are learning about the fundamentals of electricity as they play.
Toys Child Kitchen Toys This is the mother of all dinosaur toys. At over 3 feet long, Super Colossal Giganotosaurus is an impressive play thing. He can gobble up action figures (and luckily you can rescue them via his belly) and generally wreak havoc. Best for ages 4 and up.