58 Best Gifts for Kids 2021
Our list of the best gifts for kids includes everything from learning toys and creativity-inspiring tools to the hottest toys of the holiday season.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
RD.com, Via Amazon.com (2), Via Baketivity.com
The ultimate gift lists for kids
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when shopping for gifts for kids. Not only is every little human is unique in terms of their interests and tastes, but toy trends tend to change rapidly from year to year. This is why Reader’s Digest has spent time researching trends and pouring over the best of toy round-ups to bring you a curated list of what to get every kid on your list.
From STEAM-approved kits teaching them about topics such as volcanic eruptions, food science, and coding to all the latest sure-to-sell out Barbie, Hot Wheels, and L.O.L. offerings—and even the most-coveted new toys of the season—we have put together a list that would give Santa a run for his money. And, if you are shopping for gifts for teens, gifts for tween boys, gifts for toddlers, and gifts for boys, we’ve got those lists too.
Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron
Every year there is a toy that sells out long before Black Friday, with parents scrambling to find one for double or triple retail price on eBay. Judging by all top toy lists of 2021, including Amazon, Walmart, Target, and TTPM, this will likely be it. Moose Toys’ Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron enables kids to create a magical mist, which after a little hocus pocus reveals a “Mixie.” Your kids will love all the sounds and reactions that their new furry friend and cauldron make. Our advice? If you find one in stock, buy it immediately. While you’re at it, pick up one of these top stocking stuffers for kids. Ages 5+
Since released in the Spring of 2020, the Barbie 3-in-1 DreamCamper, a camper van with a swimming pool that transforms into a truck and boat, has been a hot item. Children love all the surprises and many functions it performs, and of course, bringing Barbie and her friends on a camping adventure. Ages 3+ We also found the perfect gifts for the mom who says she needs nothing but deserves everything.
Hot Wheels Monster Trucks T-Rex Volcano Arena playset
You can’t go wrong with this supersized Hot Wheels Monster Trucks set, bringing together the collectible cars, monster trucks, dinosaurs, and lots of action. The volcano lights up, makes noise, and “erupts” every loop until the T-Rex breaks through. If the cars fail to make it through the loop, they fall into the volcano until they explode. Ages 3+ Also, make sure to check out these best children’s books.
VTech KidiZoom PrintCam
Chosen as one of the top toys of the season, this fun first camera enables kids to click, preview, and print photos right away. It comes with enough paper for 80 images (extra printing paper sold separately) and kids can add stickers, filters, and borders to any image and also turn their photos into drawings they can color. Ages 4+ Stumped on what to get dad? Here are the best gifts for men who have everything.
L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G Movie Magic Studios
Destined to be one of the most sought-after gifts of the season, L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G Movie Magic Studios includes 12 of the popular dolls, 70 unboxing experiences, and even a box that doubles as a movie studio. The kids will have hours of fun making “movies” with their dolls. Ages 4+ For older sibs, check out the best stocking stuffers for teens.
WowWee Got2Glow Fairy Finder, Pink Jar
There is so much buzz around WowWee’s breakout toy of the year, the Got2Glow Fairy Finder, which has nabbed a spot on pretty much every hot toy list. Catering to elementary-aged children, this whimsical toy will set children on a virtual quest to catch 30 fairies in their magical jar, and once they do, they are responsible for their care. You’ll also want to check out the cutest stocking stuffers for toddlers. Ages 5+
LEGO Friends Grand Hotel
Children will have loads of fun building this 1,308-piece tri-level Parisian-style mansion, which comes complete with four sophisticated mini-dolls and seasonal accessories (think pumpkins for fall, snowballs in winter, and ice cream cones in summer). The hotel even has a working revolving door! LEGOS makes some of the best Amazon Prime gifts for when you’re pressed for time. Ages 8+
Butterfly Craze Pillow Beds
These wildly popular pillow bed covers will make lounging more fun. Simply stuff them with five queen-sized pillows and you get a cozy recliner for playtime, reading, television watching, or slumber parties.
Move2Play Kidz Bop Microphone
Kidz Bop fans will have a blast singing along to their favorite tunes courtesy of the young musicians with this karaoke microphone. It also comes with a voice pitching changing feature, so they can hear themselves sing like never before. Have the kids sing some of these funny Christmas songs to practice. Ages 4+
Jenga Giant game
The whole family can enjoy this supersized set of 54 large Jenga pieces, which stack up to over four feet. The hardwood set also comes with a heavy-duty carry bag for all the pieces. Here are some other classic board games the whole family will love. Ages 8+
Twee Mason’s Planets solar system sidewalk chalk set
Support a small business, a good cause, and your child’s affinity for art with this set of handcrafted, vibrantly hued sidewalk chalk of all the planets—including Pluto! An added bonus? Two dollars from every sale of Mason’s Planets will be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to support Autism research, making it a gift that gives back.
Loog Pro acoustic guitar
Toys come and go, but learning how to play an instrument is a lifetime investment. The Loog Pro guitar is the perfect starter instrument for children eight and up. Pair this gorgeous three-string guitar with lessons for a super complete gift. Ages 8+
Boo-Dunnit? Players start this Clue-like game as ghosts, trying to figure out who was behind their demise, what weapon was used, and why they wanted you gone. Ages 10+
Petite ‘n Pretty At First Glow Makeup Starter Kit
Your aspiring makeup artist will love this starter set from Petite ‘n Pretty, a company dedicated to formulating age-appropriate cosmetics for children, tweens, and teens. This set includes their best-selling 9021-GLOW! Eye & Cheek Palette and 10K Shine Lip Gloss in Gia Pink, with everything pediatrician, ophthalmologist, and dermatologist approved. This could also qualify as a stocking stuffer your teen will love.
My Squishy Little Golden Dumpling
My Squishy Little Dumplings are a reminder that big fun can come in small packages. These adorable interactive characters may fit in the palm of your hand, but their personalities are larger than life when you squeeze their cheeks, tick them, shake them, or play with them. Ages 5+
MasterChef Family Cooking Game
Kick family fame night up a notch with MasterChef Family Cooking game. Cooks in training and fans of the cooking show will have a blast with mini cooking challenges and discover exciting new recipes and cuisines with over 22 kid-tested recipes. Ages 7+
Erin Condren Hello Kitty Kids Planners
Some things, like Hello Kitty, never go out of style. This super fun kid-centric planner from Erin Condren will help get them organized while keeping them entertained, offering a place to keep their academics, finances, and personal plans organized while offering them thoughtful prompts and goal-setting opportunities. Ages 5+
Crayola Tabletop Easel Art Case
Little Picasso’s can take this portable painting studio everywhere. The case with a built-in easel is equipped with over 65 painting supplies, including crayons, sketch pencils, washable paints, papers, and stickers. Ages 4+
West Elm Kids’ Ada Twist, Scientist Shape Pillow
Fans of Ada Twist, Scientist can stay inspired all night long with this fun pillow from the latest West Elm Kids collaboration. Other fun items from the collection include graph-paper wallpaper and a molecule-shaped lamp.
VTech KidiBuzz 3
While you might not be ready to buy your child their first phone, the latest KidiBuzz smart device will hold them over for a while. The smartphone-looking gadget allows them to message parent-approved contacts, take and share photos, and play games with access to Learning Lodge and LeapFrog Academy. Ages 4+
Disney Princess Ultimate Celebration Castle
This castle is what Disney Princess dreams are made of! Another one of Amazon’s top toy picks, it was designed with princess inclusivity in mind, built to house all the favorite heroines, including Belle, Tiana, and Ariel. The castle comes furnished and has magical features, including light firework-resembling light shows and even plays music. Here are some more magical Disney gifts for Mousketeers young and old. Ages 3+
VTech Ivy the Bloom Bright Unicorn
Ivy the Bloom Bright Unicorn is a magical robotic unicorn who spreads her wings and sparkles with light when she talks or sings. Everything from eyes and hair to wings changes color with the touch of a button on the magic wand, the included hair clips can jazz up her tail, and she even sings and dances to music. Ages 4+
Baketivity subscription box
Kids cooking subscription box Baketivity will fire up their interests in the kitchen. Every month a box is sent, which includes everything needed to whip up a specific recipe, like heart-shaped cookies, along with themed puzzles, games, crafts, and more. Or if you prefer, you can purchase a one-time kit selecting a specific recipe.
Pinxies Vet Care
What is more fun than playing doctor with pets? STEM authorized Pinxies Vet Care set includes 110 imagination-inspiring pieces that form together to build the actual structure and five mythical creatures/patients to treat in it. Ages 6+
The Woobles Penguin Crochet Kit
If your child has expressed an interest in crocheting, this beginner-level kit is the perfect place to start. It includes everything needed (crochet hook, yarn, needle, and stuffing) in addition to interactive video tutorials.
Razor Flashback Kickscooter
This retro scooter pays homage to the early days of BMX with a SoCal sporty twist. Children age eight and up will have loads of fun riding around on the 12″ mag wheels with air tires and an extra-large deck with hand-controlled brakes. You might even be able to take a ride as the maximum weight is 220 pounds. Ages 8+
Minecraft Ultimate Ender Dragon Bundle
Minecraft fanatics will enjoy endless hours of play with this color-changing and sound-making set based around the mighty Ender Dragon, Minecraft’s ultimate boss, as he battles it out with Steve. Ages 6+
Hot Wheels City Ultimate Octo Car Wash
A brand new released from Hot Wheels City, the Octo Car Wash measures over four feet of splash-making, loop riding, color revealing fun. Ages 4+
Glo-Up Girls Kenzie Fashion Doll
Glo-Up Girls are super fun for kids who love a good makeover. Kenzie is one of glammest of the bunch, with Hollywood music manager aspirations and a fashion sense to rival a star. Ages 5+
Coding Critters Skye the Unicorn MagiCoders
A great intro to coding for kids four and up, the newly released Skye the Unicorn teaches screen-free coding in a super fun fashion. With a magic wand, kids can cast 12 coding spells making Skye light up, dance, and chase her ball. Ages 4+
Mega Construx Barbie Malibu House
If the actual Barbie DreamHouse is out of your budget, this should be your next-in-line gift for the Barbie lover. Mega teamed up with Barbie to unveil a building set for fans of the iconic doll. Your little builder can construct the Barbie Malibu house with this beginner set, which comes with everything from furniture to Barbie micro dolls. Ages 5+
f.y.b. Create Your Own Bracelet
Design the perfect piece of mini bling for your little one with this adorable bracelet, choosing from a variety of crystals and stones in addition to a meaningful charm
America’s Test Kitchen The Complete Cookbook for Young Scientists
Another great gift for aspiring chefs and scientists alike, the latest release from America’s Test Kitchen offers over 70 recipes and experiments, helping them answer questions like “why does popcorn pop?” and “what is gluten?” via delicious recipes.
5 Second Rule Disney Edition
The whole family can join in on this Disney trivia game, where everyone has just five seconds to answer a question about their favorite Disney movies, television shows, and characters. Ages 6+
Scandiborn Bigjigs Holiday Kit
Take your child on an imaginary vacation with this adorable pretend play kit, which includes everything they need for a warm weather trip—sunblock lotion, a camera, fake money, and passport included! Ages 3+
Little Feminist Book Club
It is never too early to start teaching your littles about girl power! A subscription to Little Feminist Book Club is a subscribe-by-age service delivering age-appropriate literature and non-fiction books for kids with diverse characters and meaningful messages.
PATET Lilly Llamacorn Painting Set
This whimsical paint-by-number art set includes four brushes, premixed acrylic paint, and an 8×10 printed canvas, giving your child the opportunity to create a masterpiece.
Nearly every child (and many adults!) have the Nintendo Switch on their holiday list. This on-the-go-slash-household device is great for keeping kids entertained with family-friendly games and also makes for a fun family night. It’s also one of the tech gifts you’ll want to keep for yourself.
Insect Lore Butterfly Garden
Nabbing a spot on Amazon’s 2021 Toys We Love list, Insect Lore Butterfly Garden includes everything needed (ten live baby caterpillars and food, a reusable habit, chrysalis logs, a butterfly feeder, and butterfly journal) to nurture a caterpillar into a butterfly. Kids will marvel as they watch their insects form a cocoon and eventually, spread their wings. Ages 4+
Disney Little Mermaid Princess Ariel Eau De Toilette Spray
A perfect first fragrance for the Little Mermaid lover, this fresh floral scent is formulated for the young—and young at heart!
National Geographic Mega Science Series Earth Science Kit
Another STEM gift Amazon picked as one of the top toys of the season, the National Geographic Mega Science Series Earth Science Kit offers 15 science experiences, ranging from tornadoes to volcanoes to crystal growing to geological digging. Ages 8+
Ride-on animals are all the rage with kids, and the handcrafted Power Pony was actually imagined by a child. The ride-on unicorn is powered by a patent-pending engine, ready to ride, spin, and race around, and also offers interactive sounds and lights to make the experience all the more fun.
Little Tikes Pelican Explore and Fit Bike
Is your little one constantly trying to hop on your at-home spin bike? If yes, they will love riding along with you on Little Tikes’ Pelican Bike, which allows them to exercise while keeping them entertained, equipped with a smart device mount to watch accompanying YouTube training adventure videos. Ages 3+
LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Luigi Starter Course
This newly released Lego Super Mario kit offers hour upon hour of fun. After your child is done building the 280-piece set, they can play with the interactive pieces, which even play sounds and music from the iconic game. Ages 6+
Huffy Disney Princess bike
Teaching your Disney-loving child to ride a bike with this princess-inspired version will be a breeze. It is equipped with everything from training wheels to a removable carriage-shaped front basket and accessorized with tassels and tons of bling. Ages 3+
Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet
The latest and greatest kid-centric Amazon Fire gives kids more freedom to explore via a digital store where kids can request apps pending parental approval. They can also make video and voice calls and play all their favorite age-appropriate games. Ages 6+
Squishmallow Fancy Octopus
Zobey, one of the latest additions to the Squishmallow crew, is super soft, adorable, and cuddly. How could any kid resist giving it a squeeze? Safe for kids of all ages
Moji the Lovable Labradoodle
If you can’t get your child that puppy they asked for, Moji is the next best thing. This cuddly interactive pet is equipped with a smart collar that communicates their puppy thoughts and responds to voice commands and touchpoints. Ages 6+
Story Time Chess
Winner of the People’s Choice Toy of the Year Award, this clever and fun game can teach chess to children as young as three years old how to play chess. A cast of adorable characters tells a series of fun and interactive stories, progressively teaching the old favorite game. Ages 3+