15 Kid-Approved Toys That Won’t Collect Dust – Holiday Gift Ideas Starting at Just $2!

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Shop the best toys for kids this season – all these cool toys are kid-approved! 

Young kid sitting on blue strider bike in driveway

Top toys kids will actually play with beyond the holidays. 🎁

Holiday shopping for a kid between the ages of 3 to 10? Skip the junky trends and shop our tried & true cool toys that will last!

It may seem a little early to start thinking about Christmas gift-giving and cool toys to buy, but as part of our Christmas Shopping Challenge, each week we’ll be sharing the best gift ideas for everyone, including spouses, kids, coworkers, book lovers, and more. Our goal is to help you cross off your shopping lists by November, letting you better-fit gift-giving into your budget and have less stress and more family time when the holidays arrive.

Here are the best toys for kids (ages 3 to 10):

Collage of various cool toys on white background for kids gift guide

1. Squishmallows are one trend that’s here to stay and there’s no such thing as enough. 

Christmas gingerbread, squishmallow sitting on bed with cool toys

This is one toy we know will sell out fast this holiday season! Squishmallows are one toy that kids can’t get enough of and we don’t see this trend going anywhere anytime soon! They’re so squeezable, ultra cuddly, and this special edition gingerbread latte Squishmallow is by far the cutest we’ve seen yet! So, if you’re looking to add to a kiddos collection, be sure to grab this one!

Or bookmark our Squishmallow deals page for the latest deals on styles you know the love!

2. Kids of all ages will love this fast-paced matching game.

Match madness board game cool toys sitting on white countertop

Match Madness Board Game – $19.99 (regularly $29.99) 

Grab this board game if you love gifting games that will create experiences over things! Our Hip sidekick, Erica, said this board game has been a huge hit between her three kiddos at home. It’s a fast-paced matching game with plenty of cards, so it could easily be played for hours on end!

3. Zingo Bingo is a fun game for younger kids to practice sight words.

Zingo bingo cool toys game sitting on blue and white plaid blanket

ThinkFun Zingo Bingo$19.99 (regularly $21.99)

Our Hip sidekick, Amber, said she loved playing this game with her kids when they were younger! It’s like Bingo, and is also a fun, educational way for early readers to practice sight words and language skills. Considering it has over 22,000 5-star Amazon reviews and is made by a world-leading game manufacture company, there’s no reason not to add it to any younger kiddo’s collection!

4. Chelsey said this marble run is better than any of the other ones on the market.

Hand putting marble in assembled and colorful cool toys marble run on rug in living room

Marble Genius Marble Run $54.99 (regularly $69.99)
Clip the 5% OFF digital coupon
Final cost just $52.24 SHIPPED

Our Hip sidekick, Chelsey, said she’s had this exact marble run set for over three years, and it trumps nearly all the toys in her home! She said she specifically recommends this set with over 12,000 5-star reviews because she has purchased many other sets that were too tiny and broke easily. She said all three of her kids are always so mesmerized by this toy, and she loves that you never play it the same way twice!

5. The Hungry Hungry Hippos game is timeless and something kids will want to play every day.

People sitting around red table with hungry hungry hippos cool toys board game

Hungry Hungry Hippos Game$17.69 (regularly $21.99)

This is the board game to grab. If you know that a kiddo doesn’t have this in their game closet yet! Our Hip sidekick, Erica, said that this game never leaves their living room ottoman because her kids love it so much. The concept is to have your hippo eat the most amount of balls, so it’s a quick game, or it can be played endlessly.

6. Walkie-talkies are fun indoor or outdoor toys for kids and these ones are rechargeable.

Blue, purple and yellow walkie-talkie laying on countertop with black rechargeable cords

Rechargeable Walkie Talkies 3-Pack $27.99 (regularly $39.99)
Clip the $3 OFF digital coupon
Final cost $24.99 – just $9.33 each!

Although these walkie-talkies may seem like they’re on the steeper side, we love that they are rechargeable, so you won’t be wasting money on replacing batteries constantly! They will work for 48 hours with every full battery charge and they have a range of up to 3 miles and 22 two-way channels. They’ll more than pay for themselves with the endless amount of fun your kids will have with them! Even better, we love the kid-friendly colors too!

Hip Tip: Check out this set of Spider-Man walkie-talkies if your kiddo loves him! Our hip sidekick, Emily, bought this set for her Spider-Man-loving nephew to go along with this Spider-Man book and said that they were such a hit!

7. These toys are unique Montessori toys that give kids a hands-on activity they’ll love digging into.

Stock photo of kids, hand, chiseling dinosaur from excavation kit egg

I Dig It Dinos Dino Egg – $2 (regularly $9.99) 

Kids don’t need to be a dinosaur lover to appreciate this hands-on toy and they make great stocking stuffers, too! With this toy, kids can excavate their very own dinosaur from the egg using chisel tools. It’s hands-on, fun, and something unique to keep them occupied even on rainy days.

8. Kids will learn, explore, and create with these fun-themed sensory bins.

Close up of garden themed sensory bin on wood table

Sensory bins are more great gift ideas for kids if you’re looking to keep their little hands, busy! These bands in particular are highly rated on Amazon, and are currently on sale for such a great price! Plus, they offer many different themes from an ice cream shop to outer space and even gardening.

Shopping around? Check out these sensory bins from Mama Joy that our hip sidekick Chelsey loves for her kiddos!

9. TeeTurtles are cute and practical stuffed animals to have at home. 

hand holding up blue and yellow stuffed octopus over kids flower bed

Just when you thought your kiddo had enough stuffed animals! The TeeTurtle reversible octopus went viral on TikTok and now every kiddo needs one and they make great gifts for stocking stuffers. With a simple flip of this plushie, you can change the facial expression of each TeeTurtle. Plus, they’re even a great way for kids to express how they’re feeling.

10. Wonder Stix are the crayons your kid didn’t know they needed and are incredibly versatile too.

Hand holding a wonder, stix crayon in front of kids drawing on window

Wonder Stix Crayons, 12-Pack – $9.37 (regularly $10) 

Despite the steeper price compared to other crayons, these Wonder Stix boast some seriously incredible features that make them the most versatile crayons ever. I’m confident to say they’ll keep your kids occupied the longest too. They’re easily washable, come in many beautiful colors, and can write on any nonporous surface – including glass windows! 🤩 Needless to say, they’re a stocking stuffer you’ll want to grab if you love gifting cool toys. 😉

To find out more, read my full review on these unique crayons along with the other 7 top crayon brands I tested.

11. An age-appropriate subscription box will be the gift that keeps on giving to any kid.

little girl playing with little pasports

  • Early Explorers: Ages 3-5 – Explore a new world theme each month like music, oceans, and dinosaurs.
  • Animals Wild: Ages 3-5 – Go wild with pop-up playsets, cool games, and more.
  • Science Junior: Ages 5-8 – Launch a lifelong interest in science, technology, engineering, and math.
  • Space Quest: Ages 6-8 – Cosmic activity kits, science-fueled stories, and out-of-this-world posters.
  • World Edition: Ages 6-10 – Discover a new country each month, with souvenirs and hands-on activities.
  • Kitchen Adventures: Ages 7+ – Cook, play, and connect over global recipes, activities, and stories.

boy playing with Little Passports box filled with cool toys

Little Passports is a fantastic monthly subscription box for kids! Every month, a new package will arrive filled with age-appropriate toys and hands-on activities making it a gift they’ll love unboxing too! Every month they’ll get to introduce to the world around them through monthly, age-appropriate activity kits. If they don’t already, they’ll quickly discover new passions for travel.

Hip Tip:  Our team also recommends these 7 other subscription boxes for kids in case you’re shopping around for more cool toys to get delivered to your doorstep.

12. A good play kitchen should be a staple in every playroom.

plastic kids play kitchen on carpet floor

Step2 Best Chefs Kids Kitchen Play Set$89.99 (regularly $109.99)

We know there are a plethora of play kitchens to choose from, but our Hip sidekick, Amber, said how much her kiddos loved this one when they were little so if you need something tried and true that will keep them occupied look no further! It’s interactive with lights and sounds and comes with 25 cool toys and accessories so there’s no need to purchase any extras. This is the perfect “big gift” to have sitting under your tree this year.

13. Grab some travel-friendly cards to practice letters and words. 

alphabet water cards on couch

Coolplay A-Z 26 Alphabet Water Cards$10.99 (regularly $10.99)
Clip the 5% OFF digital coupon
Final cost $10.43 SHIPPED

These reusable learning cards come with a water-filled pen to make the learning and fun truly endless and safe for all ages. The bright color letters and pictures on each card will inspire young learners and we love how travel-friendly they are too.

14. Strider bikes are built to last and will last through more than one kiddo. 

boy on blue strider bike on pavement

Strider Bike – $109.99+

If there’s one balance bike you need to buy, it’s a Strider bike. We know there are a lot of off-brands to this balance bike, but many moms on our Hip team can attest to the fact that the Strider brand lasts! Our Hip sidekick, Chelsey said they used the SAME Strider bike for all 3 of her kids for 6 years and counting! (shown above) . As a bonus, they’re also equipped with flat-free tires which really is true considering none of us have ever experienced a flat. Needless to say, they more than pay for themselves over the years!

What’s more, a good balance bike teaches kids to ride bikes better and earlier so you can skip spending money on training wheels too.

15. Little Live Pets are cool toys that are likely on the top of any kiddo’s wish list. 

Little Live Pets My Puppy's Home Interactive Puppy and Kennel cool toys for holidays

Little Live Pets – My Puppy’s Home$49 (regularly $59.99)

This adorable set is an engaging kit that lets kids build a doghouse and, once complete, reveals an interactive pet puppy! It responds to touch, plays with a toy bone, and leaves cute paw prints on the welcome mat when his or her water bowl is filled. They may be a “trendy” toy, but it’s one splurge we think is worth it for how adorable they are!

Check out these other deals on Little Live Pets if you’re shopping around for more cool toys.

Here’s all of our current gift ideas for everyone on your list.

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 4

  1. Ana

    These are great! Would love a list of teen-approved gift ideas.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Glad this post was helpful for you, Ana! πŸ’“ Sara has curated some amazing holiday lists with all the links on this post, if you wanted to check those out! There’s gift lists for teen boys, teen girls, and more! πŸ™ŒπŸ₯°

  2. Kristina

    I’ve had those same walkie talkies for over a year. I made beaded necklaces so my daughter could wear one while riding her bike around our apartment complex and than I can get a hold of her without having to get her a phone.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      What a fun and unique way to keep in touch with your daughter on her bike, Kristina! πŸ₯°

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