While I really love my local independent toy store and support it all I can, for the daunting task that is shopping for holiday toys and gifts, Amazon has rescued me every year. I don’t know how else I could have handled last year’s one and only request for Santa — a rather large (and disturbing?) Poopsie Slime Surprise unicorn — while also flying to my sister’s house with not a square inch to spare in our luggage. This year, we are extra grateful to Amazon for another reason: their Toys We Love List.
Insiders at the mega retailer made this curated list of more than 100 toys, games, and puzzles, so that we don’t have to go hunting through the seemingly infinite possibilities and permutations of the site’s toy section. What criteria did they use to determine which toys made the cut? We don’t know for sure, but judging by the list, they were definitely looking for a little bit of everything, including the trendiest toys and brands, as well as the classics that will never stop being favorites.
In this list you’ll find great ride-on toys and interactive play mats to stimulate babies and toddlers. There are toys to ride, jump on, climb, and throw, for those extra-active little ones. There’s plenty available for preschoolers’ pretend play — from doll houses and kitchens to trucks and plushies. Even Serena Williams’ granddaughter Qai Qai makes an appearance. Bigger kids can get into STEM activities, silly games, and fashion. And the whole family can come together for board games, puzzles, and some very intricate LEGO kits. If your kids haven’t written out very specific instructions for you or Santa (like the year my son requested “a necklace that is a purple heart but it is a box with toys inside it” before either of us knew what Polly Pocket was), this list is an excellent place to start.
And since we don’t want you to be the least bit overwhelmed while shopping for gifts this holiday season, we narrowed that list of more than 100 toys to 13 of our own very favorites. Add these to your carts now, and you will feel so on top of things come December!
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A version of this story was originally published October 8, 2020.