It’s the most wonderful (busy, stressful and expensive) time of year. But the good news is, you don’t have to refinance the house to snag some of the season’s hottest toys.
Our list of top toys for school-aged kids includes recommendations from popular retailers like Walmart, Toys R Us, Mastermind, Indigo and Amazon and features a mix of the familiar (LEGO and L.O.L. Dolls) and the new (claw machines and Pomsies). Unicorns, dinosaurs, and slime remain hugely popular and will show up on a lot of lists this season.
The best part about toy shopping is that it’s easy to do online because you don’t have to worry about size, fit or fabric. So skip the mall, grab your laptop and get shopping because the hot items are already selling fast!
Two of the season’s hottest trends together in one toy for less than $20? Sign us up! This kit has everything kids need to create the ultimate in unicorn slime including glue, activator, paint, glitter and mixing bowls.
$19.97 | Available at Toysrus.ca
Pomsies Lovable Wearable Pet
These lovable, wearable pom pom pets have long tails that wrap around wrists, ponytails or backpacks for on-the-go fun. The Pomsies come in several different colours and have up to 50 different sound reactions when you pet, cuddle or tickle them. Each one comes with its own brush to keep her fur nice and soft.
$19.98 | Available at Walmart.ca
Untamed Dinosaur Fingerlings
This year’s version of 2017’s hottest toy, the Fingerling monkey, comes in “tamed” and “untamed” mode. Choose tamed for nuzzles and purrs, untamed for roars and chomps. They react to sound, motion, and touch but be sure to watch out for those snapping jaws!
$19.88 | Available at Walmart.ca
Next generation of the squishy phenomenon from last year – these are plush squishy toys that smell sweet. Come in different sizes and prices, from cute little ones to hook onto your backpack to larger ones kids can sleep with.
The Grumblies will challenge Grandpa for the grumpiest guy at the dinner table on Christmas Day. Short-tempered and mischievous, they love to create chaos in the form of earthquakes and volcanoes. Try to tame them and you’re risking an epic meltdown. You’ve been warned!
$24.97 | Available at Walmart.ca
Igloo Mania Game
Ian the Innuit has put the final block on top of his igloo but those pesky penguins want to take it down! Be a penguin and try to pull the blocks out, Jenga-style, before he notices.
$29.99 | Available at Mastermindtoys.com
Scruff A Luv
Scruff A Luvs are rescue pets in need of a little tender loving care. They arrive in a matted ball of fur and need to be bathed, brushed and loved. Kids can “rescue” a puppy, kitten, or bunny and each one comes with a brush, collar, name tag, and adoption certificate.
Retails for about $30 at Walmart.ca, Toysrus.ca and Indigo.ca but currently sold out. Available for pre-order on Showcase.com for $39.99.
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty
This has been tried out by kids of SavvyMom staff, and they loved it! This non-toxic putty bounces, pops, stretches and tears. It comes in different formulas and colours (including one that is magnetic so you can make it ‘dance’) and some glow in the dark versions. Very cool.
Let’s Decorate a Cardboard Submarine
Decorate it, put it together, then wear it around the house on important dive missions that may or may not save humanity. This creative project will be hours of fun. Art supplies sold separately.
$39.99 | Available at Mastermindtoys.com
This gravity-defying orb is controlled solely through hands, so there are no remote controls to lose or run out of batteries. With motion-sensitive lights and sensors, it responds to your every movement. Just toss it in the air where it will hover and await your command. If only our kids worked the same way!
$49.95 at Indigo.ca
Neon Street Rollers
Roller skating has come a long way from the beige leather lace-up boots of the past. 2018’s version is a set of clip-on wheels that light up pink or blue. They easily transfer between shoes and no batteries are required.
$49.99 | Available at toysrus.ca
Moj Moj Claw Machine Playset
What IS IT with claw machines? Well, now you can stop feeding your loonies and toonies into the one at the rink and get your kids their own. Use the joysticks to snag your prize before the buzzer goes! Comes with six single mystery pack prizes.
$69.96 | Available at Walmart.ca
LEGO Friends Friendship House
Your kids can build the ultimate base for special moments for the friends of Heartlake City. This set is so great, you’ll probably want to move in yourself. It includes a kitchen, living room with craft table, bedroom, terrace, barbeque, hot tub, swing, three mini-dolls, three animal figures and more.
$71.89 | Available at Walmart.ca
This cute little robot can be programmed to dance, tell a joke, and even fart. If that doesn’t interest your kids in coding, then nothing will! It also doubles as a Bluetooth speaker.
$99 | Available at Mastermindtoys.com
Mail Order Mystery Subscription
While this isn’t necessarily a toy, it is SO fun, we had to include it. Mail Order mysteries are like creative little treasure hunts sent to your kids in the mail. There are four different themes to choose from, and each Mail Order Mystery unfolds through a series of six weekly installments. The letters are personalized to kids from the characters in the stories and they come with all sorts of objects and clues: old pirate maps, keys, newspaper articles, top-secret files, necklaces etched with ciphers, spy handbooks, wax-sealed missions and more. They’re designed to be a tech-free experience gift for kids between age 8 and 13.
$99 – $109 | Available here
LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall
This four-level building kit includes everything kids need to recreate the magical world of Hogwarts including fireplace, turret room with spiral staircase, treasure room, ten minifigures, wands, cauldrons, potions and, of course, a sorting hat.
$129.86 | Available at Walmart.ca
Littlebits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit
This kit comes with everything kids need to bring their own custom droid to life. Teach R2 new tricks and take him on missions. The product description promises easy assembly and step-by-step instructions to help prevent Christmas morning meltdowns.
$129.95 | Available at Indigo.ca
L.O.L. Doll Bigger Surprise
This ultimate unboxing experience includes more than 60 surprises including limited edition L.O.L. Surprise Dolls, Pets and Lil Sister. When it’s empty the sparkly pink case becomes a carrying case, suitcase or bath playset.
$129.97 | Available at Walmart.ca
Drone Force Angler Attack
This indoor/outdoor drone helicopter toy featuring multiple LEDs, glowing eyes and 150’ flight range is as cool as it is terrifying. If your kid will get a kick out of a flying, light-up, remote-control piranha, this is a must-have.
$145 | Available at amazon.ca
Nintendo 2DS XL
No matter what your opinion is on screens, there’s no denying that games are fun for kids, and Nintendo is a classic. The Nintendo 2DS XL is a portable gaming system that comes with Mario Kart 7 pre-installed, plus, you can easily add a few Nintendo Selects, which are games that feature classic characters from our youth (hello, Super Mario, Yoshi, and Legend of Zelda!) as well as your kids’ favourites like Olaf and LEGO.
Nintendo 2DS XL Mario Kart 7 Bundle: $199.99 | Available at various retailers
Nintendo Selects: $29.99 each | Available at various retailers
Slackers 70 ft. Zipline Kit
Perfect for the kid who’s outgrown toys but still expects to be wowed on Christmas morning, this kit includes everything you need (except the trees) to create your own zipline experience right at home, including strong steel trolley, rubber grips, seat, galvanized steel cable, attaching hardware and more. Soaring through your own backyard has never been so easy or so much fun.
$189.99 | Available at Mastermindtoys.com
Updated for 2018 living, the latest version of the iconic toy features three floors, eight rooms, a koi pond, smartphone docking station, and a rooftop pool because Barbie never does anything halfway. The set comes with more than 70 accessories ensuring hours of fun and lifestyle envy.
$247.97 | Available at Walmart.ca