2020 Gift Guide: 9 top toys for boys and girls

Children will enjoy playing with Elmo, Big Bird, Oscar and other Sesame Street characters with a colors and geometry set.  
Courtesy of CreateOn
Children will enjoy playing with Elmo, Big Bird, Oscar and other Sesame Street characters with a colors and geometry set. Courtesy of CreateOn

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

This year’s popular choices for holiday toys.

During Christmas, kids tend to accumulate lots of toys, which can be music to some parents’ ears. From a code-friendly robot to help kids learn STEM concepts to a dollhouse that looks like a mini-mansion and a bevy of popular character-themed toys like Wonder Woman, Trolls, Elmo and more, this nice list (thankfully no one made the naughty one, right?) will have kids ages 3 and up clamoring to play. All nine items in this roundup can keep kids engaged, promote creativity and reduce screen time, especially for those who had to learn remotely. And, while kids are busy playing, parents may actually take a little time out for themselves.

Press to play. What do you get when you pair DreamWorks action figures and a movie with a classic board game? The Trolls in Trouble, which features characters such as Poppy, Branch and Queen Barb popping around the game to get to the finish line. Cool new elements include a guitar space for shortcuts and Trolls-themed pegs, and a few traditional ones remain, like a die that can change the trajectory of a player’s game and the iconic Pop-O-Matic dice roller that’s still hard to resist pressing. Best for ages 5 and up. $14.99, macys.com.

The classic Trouble game is modernized with Trolls tricks.
Courtesy of Macy's
The classic Trouble game is modernized with Trolls tricks. Courtesy of Macy's

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Welcome home. The epitome of luxury living in a dollhouse comes in the form of three stories, six rooms and a working elevator in the appropriately titled L.O.L. Surprise OMG House. Made from real wood, the house or doll mansion, whichever you prefer, includes a mini cold water pool, hot tub, furniture, functional lights and sounds, bunk beds for sleepovers, a walk-in closet and more. Be sure to purchase dolls separately to get the housewarming party started. If space is an issue, opt for the L.O.L Surprise! OMG Clubhouse, which features two shipping containers that fold out, pop up and convert into the ultimate three-story clubhouse playset with hangout rooms, exclusive furniture, sports activities and more. The house is best for children 6-11 years old. $199.99. The clubhouse is best for children 4 years old and up. $49, macys.com.

Two shipping containers fold out, pop up and convert into the ultimate L.O.L. Surprise! three-story clubhouse playset with hangout rooms, exclusive furniture, sports activities and more.
Courtesy of Macy's
Two shipping containers fold out, pop up and convert into the ultimate L.O.L. Surprise! three-story clubhouse playset with hangout rooms, exclusive furniture, sports activities and more. Courtesy of Macy's

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Build it. In an interactive magnetic tile building game called Colors With Elmo, Sesame Street characters such as Big Bird, Oscar, and of course, Elmo, help kids learn colors, numbers and geometric shapes. Produced by CreateOn, the easy-to-use game is a great alternative to screen time and encourages hands-on learning activities, solo or with siblings. Best for ages 3 and up. $39.95. amazon.com.

Children will enjoy playing with Elmo, Big Bird, Oscar and other Sesame Street characters with a colors and geometry set.  
Courtesy of CreateOn
Children will enjoy playing with Elmo, Big Bird, Oscar and other Sesame Street characters with a colors and geometry set. Courtesy of CreateOn

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Make a splash. Kids can explore water through fun STEM-based games with Splashology, which allows them to ride the waves with a boat tray, squirt streams of water or turn a sink into a different kind of bubble bath. Available at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, the game introduces kids to volume, buoyancy and flow with every splish and splash and includes seven experiments via colorful waterproof cards. Ideal for kids 3 years old and over. $19.99. 275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW, Atlanta. 404-659-5437, childrensmuseumatlanta.org.

Kids can explore water through fun STEM-based games.
Courtesy of Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Kids can explore water through fun STEM-based games. Courtesy of Children’s Museum of Atlanta

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

All dolled up. Decked out in an iconic red, gold and blue costume, boots, bracelets and notable Lasso of Truth accessory is the Wonder Woman 1984 fashion doll. As fierce as ever, this Mattel collectible version is prepared to pose for pictures as well as battle the Cheetah or any other toys that cross her path. Little brothers with nemesis toys, beware. Best for ages 6 and up. $14.99. shop.mattel.com.

Roll with it. Preschoolers can learn to code with the Fisher-Price Code ‘n Learn Kinderbot. Equipped with vibrant lights, buttons and a secret code booklet, this interactive toy teaches early math concepts, colors, letters and directions. While kids are occupied with learning, parents can focus on things like work-from-home, cooking or just taking a quick timeout. Best for ages 3-6. $59.99. amazon.com.

Bright colors. For worry-free coloring, gift kids with the Frozen 2 Deluxe Art Set and Stackers Craft Kit by Crayola. The set includes items and stencils to make 3D stackable versions of Sven and Fire Salamander; a kit filled with watercolor paint, paper, metallic crayons, glitter glue, stickers; and most importantly, something parents can appreciate: a real magic market that only works on the accompanying coloring paper. Best for ages 3 and up. $35.97. crayola.com.

Ready to ride. Get ready to rev up and roll out with a Mercedes Benz C63S AMG kids electric ride-on car. Like the real thing, which parents may have, this kiddie version by Moderno Kids is packed with bells and whistles including a MP3 USB player, 12V battery power, LED Lights, a soft leather-like seat with seat belt and parental battery operated remotely to ensure kids stay close to paved surfaces at home. While there are multiple speeds, the maximum is 4 mph, so the chance of a fast break is unlikely. Best for ages 2-5 years old. $299.99, modernokids.com.

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