9 Holiday Gifts That Will Keep Kids Entertained for Hours

by Whitney Coy
Nov 20, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. ET

How many times have you spent precious hours (and your hard-earned money) picking out the perfect holiday gift, only for your kid to put it down almost as quickly as they've unwrapped it? It puts a bit of a damper on your #PerfectChristmas plans, doesn't it? Nothing gets me in a “Bah, humbug!” mood faster, that’s for sure. But it won't happen this year, when you put one of these amazing presents under the tree.

Not only are these gifts we know your kids will be totally excited to unwrap, but they're also designed to give kids hours (and hours!) of enjoyment. Once they pick them up, they won’t want to put them down. And hey, if these toys and gadgets keep the kiddos busy for a good portion of the day, they’re kind of a gift to you too, aren’t they? After all, what’s a better holiday gift for a mom than a silent (and peaceful) night?

This post was sponsored by Nintendo 3DS. 

1 /9: Rory's Story Cubes

1/9 :Rory's Story Cubes

This game is about as simple as it gets, but that doesn't make it any less entertaining. Kids simply roll the dice and try to come up with a story incorporating all nine images they roll. It's trickier than you might think, and it's just the type of challenge most kids can't walk away from. They can play alone or as a group, and the game's small size and handy pouch mean it's perfect for at home or on the go. (Amazon, $8)

2 /9: View-Master VR starter pack

2/9 :View-Master VR starter pack

This View-Master may look a bit like the one you had way back in the day, but it's not. The View-Master your kid wants is actually a virtual reality headset and uses the View-Master smartphone app and experience packs to take your kids on adventures around the world. When they're wearing this headset, you won't even know they're there — and in a way, they won't be. (Amazon, $19)

3 /9: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions

3/9 :Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions

Mario and Luigi probably kept you entertained for hours once upon a time, and now they can do the same thing for your kids with their newest adventure: Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions. This Nintendo 3DS game (which is also compatible with the Nintendo 2DS systems) takes your kids on an epic, nostalgic adventure to rescue Princess Peach's voice. 

ESRB Rating: EVERYONE with Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes

Game in 2D.

(Best Buy, $39.99)

4 /9: Teddy Ruxpin

4/9 :Teddy Ruxpin

If you had a Teddy Ruxpin, you know the powers of the talking bear. He can tell stories that keep you entertained for hours, right? And this updated version comes with facial expressions and more lifelike movements. It's easy to download more stories and songs through the app, meaning how long he keeps your kids entertained is totally up to you. (Target, $100)

5 /9: Marble Genius Marble Run Super Set

5/9 :Marble Genius Marble Run Super Set

There's no end to the ways this marble run can be put together, so your kids will have a blast assembling new paths for the marbles to travel. Want to keep them busy even longer? Buy more than one set to give them even more pieces to work with. (Amazon, $40)

6 /9: Knot-a-Mermaid

6/9 :Knot-a-Mermaid

Every little girl wants to be a mermaid, and this DIY kit gives her everything she needs to turn herself into one. She'll spend plenty of time creating this wearable mermaid tail blanket  and then even more time pretending to explore the ocean floor. (Fat Brain Toys, $27)

7 /9: '642 Things to Draw'

7/9 :'642 Things to Draw'

This book is exactly what it sounds like — 642 prompts for things to draw. If you have a creative child, they'll be happy to spend hours creating detailed images within the pages of this book. And if they're not, the book just might help them tap into something they didn't even know was there. (Walmart, $11)

8 /9: Spin Master

8/9 :Spin Master

Want a few moments of silence in your house? Give your kiddos someone else to boss around for while. It'll take your kids hours just to build this robot, since it contains over 300 pieces. Once they've got it assembled, they'll still spend hours personalizing the commands and interacting with this tiny robotic sidekick. As an added bonus, they'll get a crash course in engineering and programming, something nearly every kid can benefit from these days. (Best Buy, $150)

9 /9: Zoomer Show Pony

9/9 :Zoomer Show Pony

What kid doesn't want a pony? This robot might be far from the real deal, but it still has the power to keep kids entertained — with a lot fewer chores attached. Using the included accessories, they can make this pony sing, dance and play games — she'll even follow them around or go where they tell her to. The only thing that will get kids to walk away from this toy is a dead battery. (Amazon, $70)