The 25 Coolest Gifts to Give a Kid This Holiday Season

Popular Mechanics Editors
·5-min read
Photo credit: Staff
Photo credit: Staff

From Popular Mechanics

It’s been said before, but holiday shopping is stressful. Especially when it comes to buying for kids. So we rounded up the best toys to gift this holiday season no matter what they’re into, whether it’s Star Wars, the cosmos, or playing with goop. (If you’re searching for a more specific present, don’t forget to check out our gift guides for kids: for boys, robotics kits, car toys, and more.)

Lego Star Wars Resistance A-Wing Starfighter

Ideal for the Star Wars fanatic who happens to also love Legos, this build will keep them entertained as they fit pieces together to bring the Starfighter to life and reenact epic battles from the movie franchise.

Treasure X Aliens Dissection Kit

Curious, science-minded kids will appreciate the hands-on, somewhat-slimy fun of the funky Treasure X Aliens.

Nerf N Strike Elite Strongarm Toy Blaster

No need for warnings of “You’ll put your eye out!” when they’re messing around with this Nerf and its flexible foam darts.

Play-Doh Compound Variety Pack

Play-Doh has come a long way from when it was accidentally invented in 1955—its intended use was wallpaper cleaner. This assortment offers a range of textures.

Flipside Game Puzzle

Easier than solving a Rubik’s Cube, with some nostalgia for the good ol’ days of Bop It.

Popular Playthings Playstix


Playstix inspire the same building fun as Legos, and you run less of a risk of your kid losing small pieces for you to find later (often by stepping on them).

Daring Book for Girls

From camping, to crafts, to women in history, this book has everything to keep them intrigued and away from the screen. If you don't have a little girl to buy for, there is also the Dangerous Book for Boys.

Blume Dolls by Skyrocket Toys

These nifty little dolls grow like plants—except you don’t have to wait several weeks to see anything happening. Sprinkle a little water on each toy and watch their hair, well, bloom. And they’re ready for play with right after.

K’nex Thrill Rides Roller Coaster Building Set

Set up your own roller coaster track, then go for a whirl using the phone app and virtual reality headset.

Hatching Toothless Interactive Baby Dragon

Like a modern-day Tamagotchi, this egg contains Toothless from the popular kids’ movie franchise How to Train Your Dragon. Once he’s hatched, your kid can feed him and play a version of hot potato to avoid his “plasma blast.”

Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition

So cute you might want to keep it for yourself, this Baby Yoda can move, giggle, and even use The Force. Afterward, however, he will be sleepy and can be put down for a nap.

Pop Pops Snotz Hammer Toy

Kids have a tendency for liking gross things—take Pop Pops Snotz. They’re basically bubbles of slime waiting to be popped. Plus, they can be combined to create a big ol’ pile of goop. Only gift this if you don’t mind a bit of cleanup.

Playmobil Mars Mission Play Box

The kit allows users to build their own space station from which to explore the mysterious red planet.

Nintendo Switch Lite

For those who have been extra good this year, give them a Nintendo Switch Lite. It’s portable and works with all physical and digital Switch games that work with handheld mode.

3D Pen Set for Kids

Help your kids doodles come to life with this 3D pen. The package comes with the pen, a doodle pad, and two packs of colored plastic string, and kids can either follow one of the provided patterns, or create their own.

Walkie Talkies

The thrill of a cell phone without the monthly bill.

Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper


Great for toddlers to school-age kids, this is an easy-to-use and affordable alternative to the pogo stick. The foam block at the bottom also makes it ideal for use indoors and outdoors—plus it won’t mark up your wood floors.

Lego Boost Creative Toolbox Robot Building Set

This 847-piece kit combines classic Lego building blocks with STEM education. Kids can make the standard robot or a programmable cat, guitar, Lego builder, or tank.

Wise Owl Outfitters Kids Hammock

Whether you hang it up inside, in the backyard, or at the campsite, this hammock designed just for kids promises a sturdy hold and simple setup with ropes and carabiners. Plus, it’s made with the same hardy nylon used in skydivers’ parachutes.

Hot Wheels Mystery Machine

Hot Wheels’ id line uses special identity tags that allow users to register the cars with the accompanying app and log their laps and speed. So now you can prove definitively your Mystery Machine is the fastest.

Moon and Star Projector Light

Give them the sweetest dreams under the stars. This projection night light comes in 13 different colors, and has a dimmer night light mode as well as projection mode which displays a moving display of stars from up to 15 feet away, and over 250 feet of surface.

Planet Board Game

For two to four players, this hands-on board game is simple enough to break out for family game night, but offers fascinating geometric play that’ll engage adults, too.

Kids Digital Camera

Built for tiny hands and inevitable drops, this digital camera is a great starter for your little photographer. It comes with 32 GB of storage and up to two hours of battery life.

CASDON Replica Dyson Ball Vacuum

To answer your question...yes it works. While it won’t replace your adult-sized vacuum, it can pick up some small scraps and crumbs—the crumbs that your toddler probably leaves behind anyways.

Original Stationery Ultimate Slime Kit

Like we said, kids love slime—and now they can make their own from scratch with this kit of endless combinations of glitter, foam, jelly beads, and (non-edible) scented fruit and candy.

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