The 25+ Best Gifts for Kids, From Movie Merch to Cool STEAM Toys

·13 min read

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When you’re shopping for the best gifts for kids, a stroll down any big-box toy department will deliver no shortage of movie-franchise action figures and character-powered playsets. While those are always a hit, finding one-of-a-kind presents (that still manage to pique kids’ interest beyond unboxing) doesn’t have to be a scavenger hunt. There are plenty of STEAM gifts for the curious kiddos, screen-free playthings to keep children and kids at heart entertained, stylish surprises for the budding design dilettante and cool gadgets that will power young giftees’ imaginations year-round.

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If you’re shopping for a kid’s birthday, graduation or another occasion, we’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for kids — yes, including some starring this year’s big and small screen characters. Check out our top picks below, and get more gifting ideas here.

KiwiCo Crate Membership

. - Credit: Courtesy of KiwiCo
. - Credit: Courtesy of KiwiCo

Courtesy of KiwiCo

There’s a crate for every age and interest from KiwiCo., which offers gift subscriptions for its STEAM-themed activity boxes ($19 to $24 each) for ages ranging from newborns to tweens and older. From the Panda Crate that encourages babies to explore, to kits focused on art, engineering, science, cooking, geography and culture for ages 5 to 100, recipients will love keeping their minds busy. Monthly deliveries come in one, three, six and 12-month options ($28 to $230 per subscription) and free shipping is included.

KiwiCo Crate Membership

$28 to $230 per term


Buy now

Cassaro Waldorf Climbing Tower and Slide Set

. - Credit: Courtesy of Amazon
. - Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Courtesy of Amazon

Your giftee (or their caregivers) don’t need to be Waldorf-education devotees to appreciate Cassaro’s multi-purpose climbing play tower, which can be used as a step stool for budding chefs, an art station with the detachable chalkboard or an indoor/outdoor slide. (Famous Waldorf alumni include Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock and Anna Paquin, among others.)

Buy: Cassaro Waldorf Climbing Play Tower with Slide and Chalkboard $299.00

Jurassic World x Accompany Fierce Creature Towel

. - Credit: Courtesy of Accompany
. - Credit: Courtesy of Accompany

Courtesy of Accompany

Jurassic World superfans can wear their dino devotion after the bath or pool with this playful fair-trade towel from Accompany’s collaboration with the blockbuster franchise. The artisan-made collection also includes home goods, serveware and other goods that support the livelihood of craftspeople across India.

Jurassic World x Accompany Fierce Creature Towel

$50


Buy now

Tovla Jr. Cooking and Baking Gift Set

Tovla Jr. Cooking and Baking Gift Set
Tovla Jr. Cooking and Baking Gift Set

Little chefs and bakers can safely whip up their favorite meals and treats with Tovla Jr.’s cooking and baking gift set, which includes three nylon knives, tongs, cookie cutters, measuring spoons and cups, a spatula, a whisk, a cutting board, an apron and recipe cards in a portable storage box.

Buy: Tovla Jr. Kids Cooking and Baking Gift Set $69.95

Ooly Switch-Eroo Color-Changing Markers

Ooly Switch-Eroo Color-Changing Markers
Ooly Switch-Eroo Color-Changing Markers

Aspiring artists will have a blast doodling with Ooly’s fun color-changing markers, which come in a set of 12 (but they’re really getting double the rainbow).

Turning Red 18-Inch Mei Panda Plush

Turning Red 18-Inch Mei Panda Plush
Turning Red 18-Inch Mei Panda Plush

If they’ve got 4*Town on repeat, this adorable plush of Turning Red‘s preteen protagonist Mei Lee is the perfect gift for kids who are superfans of Pixar’s latest hit film.

'Turning Red' 18-Inch Mei Panda Plush

$35


Buy now

SmooStat E9 Pro Electric Kids Scooter

SmooStat E9 Pro Kids Scooter
SmooStat E9 Pro Kids Scooter

Lead-footed kiddos can zip around in SmooStat’s E9 Pro electric kids scooter, which has fun flashing rainbow LED lights to brighten kids’ rides. An LED display shows the riding speed (the scooter can go 5, 8 or 10 miles per hour), battery level and scooting mode, and the 14-pound device easily folds and unfolds in two steps.

Buy: SmooStat E9 Pro Electric Kids Scooter $169.97

Petite ‘n Pretty At First Glow Makeup Starter Kit

Petite 'n Pretty - "Amazon Exclusive" Glow Basics Makeup Starter Gift Set
Petite 'n Pretty - "Amazon Exclusive" Glow Basics Makeup Starter Gift Set

For future makeup artists, Petite ‘n Pretty’s Glow Basics starter set includes non-toxic mascara, lip gloss, eyeshadow and blush with a kid-sized dual-ended synthetic brush and a handy carrying case. The products are vegan, cruelty-free and formulated without parabens and phthalates, so recipients won’t need to worry about any harmful ingredients in their beauty kit.

Buy: Petite ‘n Pretty Glow Basics Makeup Starter Kit $29.00

PureZone Kids Bear Air True HEPA Air Purifier

PureZone Kids Bear Air Purifier
PureZone Kids Bear Air Purifier

Kids these days are super mindful of germs — so give them the gift of clean air with this adorable bear HEPA air purifier by PureZone. Whether they’ve got allergies, asthma or other sensitivities, the device keeps their air clean with a four-stage filtration system and a True HEPA filter that removes 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns. It’s got three fan speeds, an energy-saving timer and seven calming ambient lights.

PureZone Kids Bear Air True HEPA Air Purifier

$100


Buy now

Star Wars Cuutopia Grogu Plush

Cuutopia Baby Yoda Plush
Cuutopia Baby Yoda Plush

If they can’t get enough of The Mandalorian and that Baby Yoda song (you know the one) this 10-inch stuffed toy of Grogu is one of the best gifts for Star Wars fans of all ages.

Buy: ‘Star Wars’ Cuutopia Grogu Plush $11.53

The Original Air Fort

Original Air Fort Cottage
Original Air Fort Cottage

It takes just 30 seconds to set up this inflatable air fort — yep, no hammering or nails required, just add a fan — that keeps kids entertained and (hopefully) contained. It’s 77 inches wide by 50 inches tall and can fit about three children, and comes with a carrying case and adhesive square fan tabs for easily connecting to a separate box fan.

Buy: The Original Air Fort $59.95

Hearth and Hand Kids Market Cart

Hearth and Hand Kids Market Cart
Hearth and Hand Kids Market Cart

Their summer lemonade stand just got an upgrade with this stylish market cart from Chip and Joanna Gaines‘ Hearth & Hand with Magnolia. It features the Magnolia brand founders’ signature rustic-modern aesthetic and has working wheels, storage shelves, charming metal bells and a front chalkboard.

Hearth and Hand with Magnolia Kids Market Cart

$100


Buy now

PlayShifu Plugo STEM Pack

PlayShifu Plugo STEM Pack
PlayShifu Plugo STEM Pack

Guilt-free screen time awaits with PlayShifu’s interactive Plugo learning toys, which turn iPads and Amazon Fire and Samsung tablets into mobile classrooms. Sync the educational accessories with the brand’s apps for hands-on games that teach kids how to count, add, subtract, spell and build their problem-solving skills. (The tech toy brand has plenty of other kits for dinosaur lovers, young globe-trotters and more.)

Buy: PlayShifu Plugo STEM Pack $117.99

Ada Twist, Scientist On-the-Go Lab Set

'Ada Twist, Scientist' On-the-Go Lab Set
'Ada Twist, Scientist' On-the-Go Lab Set

Preschool-aged scientists can concoct their own experiments with this portable lab like the one they’ve seen in Ada Twist, Scientist, the Netflix series co-produced by Chris Nee (Doc McStuffins) and Barack and Michelle Obama. The hands-on kit comes with a beaker, a flask, three test tubes, goggles, a ruler, an eye dropper, a funnel, a measuring spoon and a real working scale, plus stickers and experiment cards.

'Ada Twist, Scientist' On-the-Go Lab Set

$40


Buy now

Janie and Jack French Terry Summer Sweatshirt

Janie and Jack French Terry Summer Sweatshirt
Janie and Jack French Terry Summer Sweatshirt

Whether they’re 6 months or 12 years old, this stylish sweatshirt by Janie and Jack will keep kids cozy during summer nights.

Janie and Jack French Terry Summer Sweatshirt

$42


Buy now

Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller

Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller
Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller

Lunii’s My Fabulous storyteller lets kids choose their own adventures while encouraging their imaginations — and without screen time. Designed for ages 3 to 10, the interactive device includes 48 pre-loaded tales that prompt little ones to select their character, setting and other story elements. Best of all, you don’t need Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to set the device up; you can download new content by connecting the unit directly via USB cable to Mac or Windows computers.

Buy: Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller $79.90

CreateOn Galaxy Spaceship Magna-Tiles

CreateOn Galaxy Spaceship Magna-Tiles
CreateOn Galaxy Spaceship Magna-Tiles

If their enthusiasm for outer space is to infinity and beyond (and they’ve got all of the Toy Story merch they need), CreateOn’s exclusive Magna-Tiles spaceship building set will encourage them to continue reaching for the stars.

Buy: CreateOn Galaxy Spaceship Magna-Tiles $49.95

Little Tikes Jump ‘n’ Slide Bouncer

Little Tikes Jump 'n' Slide Bouncer
Little Tikes Jump 'n' Slide Bouncer

Why reserve bounce houses for just birthday parties when you can give year-round jumping fun? Made for ages 3 to 8, this inflatable jumper from Little Tikes comes with a heavy-duty blower, GFCI outlet, storage bag, repair patches and stakes.

Buy: Little Tikes Jump ‘n’ Slide Bouncer (reg. $310) $188.00

Waffles + Mochi Cookbook

Waffles + Mochi Cookbook
Waffles + Mochi Cookbook

Got a future Michelin chef or Waffles + Mochi fan? The Neflix show’s 112-page cookbook will take kids on a hands-on culinary journey around the world as they whip up onigiri from Japan, delicioso stew inspired by Peru, kimchi grilled cheese and cloud meringues, to name a few.

Buy: ‘Waffles and Mochi’ Cookbook $13.03

Playtime Engineering Blipblox Toy Synthesizer

Playtime Engineering Blipblox After Dark Toy Synthesizer
Playtime Engineering Blipblox After Dark Toy Synthesizer

Pint-sized and grown-up hitmakers alike will love dropping beats on Playtime Engineering’s After Dark edition of its popular Blipblox synthesizer, which has a built-in drum machine with over 100 pitch-shifting samples, hundreds of melodies and endless ways for little DJs to create their own music. It can be plugged into keyboard, drum machine or digital audio workstation (DAW), and there’s even a headphone jack so DJs can listen and play without turning the rest of the house into a club.

Buy: Playtime Engineering Blipblox Toy Synthesizer $189.00

Meri Meri Gold Sparkle Cape Costume

Meri Meri Gold Sparkle Cape Costume
Meri Meri Gold Sparkle Cape Costume

Got a Waldorf kid who’s grown accustomed to wearing a brandless wardrobe? Whether or not they’re living the logo-free life, your aspiring thespian will love wearing Meri Meri’s whimsical sparkling gold cape costume, which comes with a sequin star wand.

Meri Meri Gold Sparkle Cape Costume


Buy now

Godzilla vs. Kong Supercharged Godzilla with Fighter Jet

Godzilla vs. King Kong Supercharged Godzilla with Fighter Jet
Godzilla vs. King Kong Supercharged Godzilla with Fighter Jet

It may be smaller than on the big screen, but consider this your warning that destruction and mayhem may follow when you give your favorite Godzilla vs. Kong fan this nine-inch tall figurine of the radioactive sea monster. If you really want to be the coolest aunt/uncle/grandparent, opt for this roaring set with both Godzilla and Kong.

Buy: Godzilla vs. Kong Supercharged Godzilla with Fighter Jet $18.20

Yoto Player with Disney Audio Cards

Yoto Player with Disney Cards
Yoto Player with Disney Cards

One of the coolest screen-free toys for kids, Yoto’s cool storytelling speaker reads aloud stories and plays music without the need for tapping or swiping (though you can use your phone to play audio using the Yoto app). It comes with two five-minute Disney story cards (or choose from other options), and the device can be used as a clock, night light or sleep trainer.

Buy: Yoto Player with Disney Audio Cards $109.99

Lego Disney Frozen Elsa’s Magical Ice Palace

Lego Disney Frozen Elsa's Magical Ice Palace
Lego Disney Frozen Elsa's Magical Ice Palace

One of the best gifts for kids who love Legos and Frozen, this 701-piece building set of Elsa’s Ice Palace will let them relive the movie’s magic — and inspire them to whip up their own creations that will never melt.

Buy: Lego Disney ‘Frozen’ Elsa’s Magical Ice Palace $129.33

Singing Machine The Mood Kids Karaoke System

Singing Machine The Mood Kids Karaoke System
Singing Machine The Mood Kids Karaoke System

For the kids who can’t stop singing their hearts out to Sing 2 or Vivo, encourage them to belt it out with this portable karaoke machine, which has Bluetooth for streaming music from your phone or another device, multi-colored LED lights and fun voice-changing effects. (And for family members who prefer silence, may we suggest a great pair of noise-canceling earbuds?)

Singing Machine

$50


Buy now

Petite Plume White Robe with Garnet Piping

Petite Plume White Robe with Garnet Piping
Petite Plume White Robe with Garnet Piping

Stylish kids will love unwrapping this comfy and chic robe by Petite Plume. Perfect for snuggling, it’s available in tot and tween sizes (from six months to 14 years) and in a range of other prints and colorways. Add monogramming for an extra personal touch.

Petite Plume White Robe with Garnet Piping

$58


Buy now

Coaa Coaa Kids Circus Pop-Up Tent

Coaa Coaa Kids Pop-Up Play Tent
Coaa Coaa Kids Pop-Up Play Tent

With space for up to three kids, Coaa Coaa’s whimsical pop-up play tent will transport little giftees to an imaginary backyard circus or an indoor animal wonderland.

Coaa Coaa Kids Circus Pop-Up Tent

$33


Buy now

Yovako Galaxy Star Projector

Nook Galaxy Sar Projector
Nook Galaxy Sar Projector

Kids can use 10 light modes to create their own starry night, relaxing room or party zone with this Galaxy Star Projector, which uses a combination of 16 million colors to create illuminated scenes indoors across 195 square feet. The Bluetooth-enabled device syncs to a smartphone app so users can control it remotely, sync the projector to their own music, set a timer, turn it on using Alexa or Google Assistant voice controls and more.

Buy: Yovako Galaxy Star Projector $35.99

Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2 Kids Fitness and Activity Tracker

Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2 Kids Fitness and Activity Tracker
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2 Kids Fitness and Activity Tracker

Not everyone has spidey senses when it comes to chore time or taking a screen break. Garmin’s Vivofit Jr. 2 fitness tracker for kids helps young Spider-Man fans stay active by way of a parent-controlled app that motivates kids to get up and walk, complete household activities and more.

Buy: Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2 Kids Fitness and Activity Tracker (reg. $80) $64.21

Change Sings by Amanda Gorman

'Change Sings' by Amanda Gorman
'Change Sings' by Amanda Gorman

New York Times best-selling author and National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s new tome, Change Sings, is one of the best books for kids ages 3 to 8 years old. The 32-page picture book spreads a heartwarming message of being a positive force in the world — one that all ages will delight in reading.

Buy: ‘Change Sings’ by Amanda Gorman $7.35

Little Tokyobike

Little Tokyobike
Little Tokyobike

Stylish pedalers will be happy to zoom around the block in Tokyobike’s pint-sized bicycle (grown-ups can match with their own set of wheels, too), which comes with removable training wheels and is available in other chic colorways.

Little Tokyobike

$315


Buy now

Classic Fairytale Pop-Up Book by Robert Sabuda

Classic Fairytale Pop-Up Book by Robert Sabuda
Classic Fairytale Pop-Up Book by Robert Sabuda

Bring classic books like The Wonderful Wizard of OzAlice in WonderlandPeter Pan, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid to life with one of these pop-up books by acclaimed New York-based illustrator Robert Sabuda.

Classic Fairytale Pop-up Book Created by Robert Sabuda

$40


Buy now

Milton & Goose Almond Butter and Jelly Play Food Set

Milton & Goose Almond Butter and Jelly Play Food Set
Milton & Goose Almond Butter and Jelly Play Food Set

Spotted in the playrooms of Jessica Alba’s and Kim Kardashian’s tots, Milton & Goose’s wooden play food set includes pretend jars of almond and sunflower oil butters and jelly (sorry, nothing edible here), all made from solid maple with water-based paints.

Milton & Goose Almond Butter and Jelly Play Food Set

$48


Buy now

Clixo Rainbow Pack

Clixo Rainbow Pack
Clixo Rainbow Pack

This Toy of the Year 2021 finalist inspires kids ages 4 and older to snap together creations with these magnetic and eco-friendly play pieces. Available in a variety of sets, Clixo’s colorful toys are flat, so they’re easy to store (not to mention less of a pain to step on).

Clixo Rainbow Pack

$60


Buy now

My Very Own Trucks Personalized Book by Maia Haag

'My Very Own Trucks' Personalized Book by Maia Haag
'My Very Own Trucks' Personalized Book by Maia Haag

Personalize reading time and put your truck-loving giftee’s name right into the pages of this colorful book written by Maia Haag and illustrated by Jez Tuya.

Buy: ‘My Very Own Trucks’ personalized books by Maia Haag $39.99

Educational Insights Artie Max Coding and Drawing Robot

Educational Insights Artie Max Coding and Drawing Robot
Educational Insights Artie Max Coding and Drawing Robot

Designed for ages 8 and up, Artie Max teaches kids how to code in C++, Blockly, JavaScript, Python and Snap! (as well as in his own easy coding language) through creativity. The robot uses a fun learning program (a Wi-Fi-enabled tablet or computer is required) that translates kids’ code into colorful art.

Buy: Educational Insights Artie Max The Coding and Drawing Robot $59.99

Tobbi Maserati Kids Rechargeable Ride-On Electric Car

Tobbi Maserati Kids Rechargeable Ride-On Electric Car
Tobbi Maserati Kids Rechargeable Ride-On Electric Car

For the future driver (or caregivers) with expensive tastes, this mini Maserati will be the most luxurious ride on the playground. (You’ve seen similar wheels on the Instagram feeds of Chrissy Teigen, the Kardashians and countless other starry parents.) A fully-charged vehicle gives 60 minutes of play, and the kid- or parent-controlled car has real working headlights and doors, a horn and MP3 inputs.

Buy: Tobbi Maserati Kids Rechargeable Ride-On Electric Car $229.99

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