From toddler ride-ons to science kits, Paw Patrol to Star Wars, these new toys for kids have all been tested by children, parents, and our own editors to earn a spot on our coveted list of winners.

By Adrienne Farr and Jessica Hartshorn
October 28, 2020
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Credit: Jeffrey Westbrook

It’s time to get circling for Santa! Our team of testers played (and played and played) with hundreds of new releases to help us craft our list of holiday winners.

We’ve got classics, favorite characters, surprise-unboxing toys, and science kits. We’ve got toys that get your toddler’s energy out, and crafts that keep your big kid engaged away from a screen. Wrap them up for Christmas or Hanukkah, and presto: Your kids can stay busy at home all winter long. 

Best Baby and Toddler Toys

With group activities limited this year, toys that keep tots moving feel important. Sometimes it’s as easy as giving them a toy that requires them to stand up to play. But there are also toys that will get them to dance or scoot, in addition to the classic toys they can just hug and love. Browse the winners here.

Credit: Jeffrey Westbrook

Best Preschool Toys

Imagination really takes off in preschool. Look for toys that allow kids to create storylines within a pretend world. Classic toys such as vehicles and play sets are hits, as are toys that reference their favorite characters. Browse the winners here.

Credit: Jeffrey Westbrook

Best Toys for School-Age Kids

Kids this age are ready to do things, whether it's to build, craft, or create. Try playing along to reinforce what they’re learning. And remember, a toy shouldn’t do all the work. It’s not a toy if there isn’t anything for a kid to do with it! Browse the winners here.

Credit: Jeffrey Westbrook

Best Toys for Big Kids

Kids ages 7 and up are not too old for toys, and definitely need things to do that don’t involve a screen. Everything on here will get them involved in hands-on play for a nice stretch of time. Browse the winners here.

Credit: Jeffrey Westbrook

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's December 2020 issue as “45 Toys That Wow.” Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here.

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