Best Gifts for Kids: Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

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The Best Gifts for Kids

1. Fun Whole brick building sets with light kits

We’ve played with many LEGO knock off sets throughout the years, but this one from Fun Whole is the first one that passed our rigorous standards and made a best-of list. It’s partly due to the high-quality blocks that are nearly indistinguishable to actual LEGO blocks {minus the LEGO logo, obviously}, and partly because the designs are just so cool. Oh, and did I mention the lighting kits that their sets come with?

Building these is a bit of a challenge and is definitely better suited for older kids, but we found it to be a nice 3-night project with the older kids. It was something we looked forward to each evening when we could chat and build together, and the building process was really fun. The end result is a really cool castle on the cliff that has a crank so the water really moves, and it has a light kit you can add for even more display value.

best gifts for kids

Fun Whole has a line of light up brick kits, including the Castle on the Cliff. You can buy Fun Whole sets direct from their website here:

2. BringTheHoopla hula hoops

What’s more fun than a hula hoop? No, I’m not talking about the dollar store variety that bends and cracks within days of owning it. Hoopla Hoops are custom designed and handmade with durable materials so they are fun for all ages and can withstand tons of play. Their handmade hoops are perfect for beginners learning to get into the spin and overall hoop dance basics.

Made with a spiral of decorative tape and gaffer tape for grip and a pop of color, Hoopla Hoops come in both kids’ and adults’ sizes and range from 36″-42″ in diameter. The weighted hoops are not filled with water or sand like other brands, and instead the hoop itself is heavy-duty polyethylene tubing with custom wraps. The result is a high-quality hula hoop that will last through all the hula routines, tricks and more. They are also collapsible, so they are perfect for on-the-go fun as well. When you get where you’re going, just let it expand again naturally and then clip it back together like below.

best gifts for kids

You can find out more and read about all the benefits of hooping at

3. DIY miniature dollhouse kit

As you probably know by now, all of us at Rave Central are miniature obsessed. We pretty much always have a dollhouse on our gift guide, but this year we went a different route. This kit is for an older kid, as each item in it is handmade by you – including the teeny tiny accessories. Not necessarily designed for playing with as much as for a great building project for your creative kiddo. However, it’s a great size for adding to your American Girl dollhouse when finished as a mini toy for your 18″ doll.

It’s just a little over 5.5″ inches tall, which is utterly adorable. I can’t wait to display this little cutie on a shelf in the American Girl house… after my biggest kiddo and I build it together, that is. For me, that’s the best gift.

You can buy it at

4. Wanderwild backpacks

One of my most favorite gifts for young kids is a great, sturdy backpack. Whether your kiddo likes to hike or travel, or they simply want to carry a few things over to grandma’s house, a great backpack like those in the Wanderwild collection are sure to be a hit.

These aren’t just cute little backpacks, although they are that as well. With extra padded back panel and bottom for heavy loads, reflective tabs for safety, extra deep pockets for all your gear, and added tech pocket, these can easily be used for years as your child grows.

Although these can be used from Pre-School on up, they are recommended for elementary age for school purposes and up to 8th grade for activities. Most of their bags can be personalized with your child’s name for $10 for an extra personal touch.

Check out all the different bag styles as well as all the adorable patterns to choose from. From magical to demure, there’s a style to suit any little wanderer. Choose your favorite, and then choose your personalization to make the perfect grow-with-you bag for your kiddo.

Check out their different style backpacks, lunchboxes, and more at

5. Plush Steiff Tonie characters

We love Steiff and we love our Toniebox, so this collaboration of Steiff plush friends with included stories is pretty much a dream come true. My kids have had a Steiff collection since I was pregnant with my oldest, and I had one well before they were born, so Steiff has been a part of our family for decades. In fact, you can read all about Steiff and our love of all their adorable plush critters here and here. While you’re at it, you can read all about our love of our Toniebox here.

best gifts for kids

We cannot wait to check out the adorable Steiff Tonies in person and see how sweet and snuggly they are. Honestly, we’re already in love. Now, we just need to fall in love with their special stories.

You can find these new Steiff friends searching for “plush” tonies at or on

6. Nintendo Switch Sports

Get up and get moving with Nintendo Switch Sports. Perfect for the long winter ahead to keep the whole family laughing and competing. Having something that we can do that’s active, indoors, and doesn’t involve a ball flying around my house is a dream come true. That, in a nutshell, is Nintendo Switch Sports.

best gifts for kids

The game includes a leg strap accessory so it can pick up kicks and leg movements, and you can hold the other Joy-Con for arm movements. Controls are intuitive, so you can hit the court {or lanes, or field, or arena} and get started right away. You can swing, kick, spike, and bowl in the comfort of home, getting the whole family moving while staying indoors.

See all the love we have for Nintendo Switch Sports here. You can find Nintendo Switch Sports on

7. Targus stylus for Chromebook

Is your kiddo always on their Chromebook? Why not surprise your tween/teen with a new stylus that is compatible for Chromebook. This Active Stylus for Chromebook is tested and certified as “Works With Chromebook,” which means it meets Google’s compatibility standards and works seamlessly with your Chromebook. The best part? No driver or Bluetooth connection needed. Just turn it on and start using it.

It also has a pressure-sensing tip for accurate writing and variable line weights, as well as palm rejection that allows you to rest your palm on the screen without causing interference. This, for me, is huge as that’s always been my biggest complaint with styli I’ve used in the past.

You can purchase the Targus active stylus from and from

8. Carrera GO!!! Build ‘N Race slot car racers

I’ve talked before about how much we love Carrera GO!!! here at Rave Central, and this year we were super excited to play with their Carrera GO!!! Build N Race slot car racers. With LEGO compatibility, you can build all sorts of creations and race them around the slot car track.

best gifts for kids

This isn’t just a typical racetrack where it’s either on or off, the Carrera GO!!! track actually takes a bit of skill {and luck} to master. This means that even the older kids love playing with it and challenging themselves.

The 1:43 scale Carrera GO!!! Build ‘N Race slot car set includes 11.81-ft electric track, cars, power adapter, and building block compatible crossbars and clips. Build and race as is, or add in your own LEGOS and have even more fun.

We have a few sets of Carrera GO!!! racing track sets and I love that they are all compatible so we can build a monster track around our house. And, now, thanks to the Build N Race set, we can build the cars themselves, too.

You can buy Carrera GO! racing track system at various retailers such as, as well as Carrera’s website.

9. Blackbeard’s Treasure Hunt game

It’s an ultimate race for the gold with Blackbeard’s Treasure Hunt game. With multiple ways to play, including an option for preschoolers on up, it’s a great family game for kiddos. Color match, collect dice in the correct order, and then unlock the treasure chest to find the gold. Round ends when someone unlocks the chest, and then they keep one piece of gold and play resumes until someone collects three pieces of gold.

My kids love the keys that open up the chest, and it’s really cool that everyone gets their own key to collect their dice in. Of course, opening the chest and having the gold spill out is everyone’s favorite part. We’ve been looking for a fun family game that was easy enough for the little one, but fun for everyone, and the Blackbeard’s Treasure Hunt was the perfect fit.

Recommended for 4 on up, and for 2-4 players. You can purchase Blackbeard’s Treasure Hunt on

10. Goki rainbow blocks

There is something just so classic and iconic about Goki’s rainbow blocks, which is why you see them on every curated toy room shelf. Not only does the Goki rainbow set look adorable on a display shelf, the wooden blocks are also incredibly fun to play with. You can set the rainbow up in numerous ways, from whimsical to geometric, for playtime or for display.

We were beyond thrilled this fall when we heard the news that Goki products are now available in the US – finally! Before this, we had to pay a premium to buy them from Germany, or if we got really lucky and found them in a specialty toy shop. But, now that they are officially available in the US, I see a whole lot more Goki in our future.

If you aren’t familiar with Goki, you’re in for a treat. Goki is short for Gollnest and Kiesel and is now the largest toy company in northern Germany. They make dozens of artisan and eco-friendly wooden toys from sustainable, European forestry. Their goal is to ban the four plastics PVC, PU, ​​ABS and PS from all their toys and instead use environmentally friendly alternatives. In addition to environmentally friendly products, they also give back by creating natural resources and to date they have planted 400,000 trees.

My kids have been playing with the Goki Rainbow set ever since it arrived on our doorstep, and it’s been a game, a puzzle, and the backdrop for so much play already. I know that it’s going to be well loved throughout the years, and the bonus is that it will display beautifully when not in play.

You can shop at

11. PLAYMOBIL school bus

In a best gifts for kids list, we always include at least one PLAYMOBIL item, and this year I couldn’t resist the school bus. When I was young, I had a secondhand school bus toy and I played with that for years and years. I loved putting the kids inside the bus and carting them off to my DIY school, but this PLAYMOBIL bus is what I always dreamt that bus would be. We’re talking front and rear flashing lights, extendable stop sign, double doors that open and close, and a removable roof for more play value.

I also love that it comes with figures and accessories galore, so unlike my old bus, everything is included for play. We already have the PLAYMOBIL school that we’ve loved for years, and now we have an awesome bus to pick up students and bring them for learning every day. I know this bus is going to be as loved even more than I loved that old bus all those years ago, and I cannot wait to help them set up scenes and watch their imaginations soar.

You can shop PLAYMOBIL at or

12. World’s Smallest Toybox

As you know, my kiddos are obsessed with miniatures of all kinds. That means that we have all the American Girl dolls, all the Barbies, all the PLAYMOBIL and dollhouses. When we found World’s Smallest series, we were basically in heaven. The scale fluctuates a lot and there are minis for pretty much the entire range of miniatures the kids play with – all the way from 18″ dolls to 5″ dollhouse characters.

The fun of World’s Smallest blind packs is that you never know what mini doll size is going to get a new accessory. The coveted size right now is Barbie-ish sizes, but that changes by the day. Some days we’re setting up a toy shop for American Girl, other days we’re creating a Barbie candy shop. And, I love every second of watching them get giddy over the newest little accessories to play with.

Oh, and did I mention that many of the minis are absolutely playable? The mini board games are a huge hit here because you can actually play the game, just in miniature form. When we’re done playing, we simply display them in the American Girl dollhouse beautifully. This Polaroid Land Camera was a huge hit because when you press the button, a developed “picture” appears which make my little one so excited.

World’s Smallest are absolutely perfect for stuffing all the stockings this year. All our little ones have a few mini toys they are dying to find, and we’re hoping that we get lucky this holiday season!

You can purchase World’s Smallest toys at and see why they made our best gifts for kids list.

13. GigaBot robots

Build a GigaBot with 33 rebuildable pieces to transform a small energy core into a 13in fully poseable figure, and then back again for storage or travel. Build, disassemble, and swap with other GigaBots to create your own unique GigaBot. With 6 GigaBots in the series to collect, there are numerous bots you can create all your own.

My nephew reviewed this one for me, and he loved the fact that the GigaBots were small and compact for storage and travel, but that they were HUGE when he built them. This is definitely one that you would want to get multiple bots for even more fun.

Collect all 6 GIGABOTS in the series to reconstruct their energy cores into their battle mode! Each GIGABOT figure is fully poseable and contains a unique set of toy combat accessories. You can buy all the GigaBots on

14. Mario Kart Tour game

My kids love Mario Kart and it’s the little one’s favorite multi-player game when it’s just the three of them playing. They have memorized many of the courses and characters and know it all like the back of their hand…. Or, at least they did. This year Nintendo has started releasing new courses in waves, and the Wave 3 includes fan-favorites like Wii Maple Treeway, 3DS Rainbow Road, and GBA Boo Lake, as well as new seasonal course, Merry Mountain.

A total of 48 more courses from throughout the Mario Kart™ series are racing to the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game as paid DLC. Content will release in 6 waves of 8 courses until the end of 2023 and is available two ways – at no charge through Nintendo Switch Online, or as an add on expansion pack for purchase without online subscription. Half of the courses are available for play right now, with 24 more courses that will be available throughout the next year.

My kids were super excited to find this adorable Super Mario themed package on our doorstep this month from Nintendo, along with a code to download the newest courses. It’s going to be a very Mario Christmas here!

Get ready to race and show off your seasonal spirit at Merry Mountain this year: Booster Course Pass for the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game on the Nintendo Switch™ system.

15. Gravitrax

My kids found Gravitrax at specialty toy stores near us a few years ago and they quickly fell in love. My kiddos love planning and building tracks out, and this marble course is a fun shift from traditional racing courses while including tons of physics and design elements.

The starter pack comes with 123 pieces, which includes track pieces and building panels, as well as risers to lift and lower parts of the track as you see fit. That way you can add speed where you need it and slow the marbles down before a tight curve. I love the trial and error that goes into each creation, as well as seeing how proud the kids are when their plan works all the way to the end.

The coolest thing about the Power starter pack is that there is a remote starter that releases the marble on command from the dome starter. You can press the remote button over and over to release the marbles quickly, or you can add in the additional Power starter block booster piece into the track that will automatically release the next marble as soon as the first marble passes by. This allows you to put all the marbles into the hopper and release them via the remote control, or you can have it all automated and have the Power starter block booster piece release it for you. The result is more fun than you would think that it would be, with marbles flying down the track at record speed.

You can buy Gravitrax at specialty kids stores, as well as online.

Best Gifts for Kids

I hope you found some gems on this list of best gifts for kids, and that the kid in you was delighted to find something that makes you happy. You can shop all of our Ultimate Holiday Gift Guides here.

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