An Honest Holiday Toy Guide of Our Most Played With Toys! PART 1
This is Part 1, and focuses on kids ages 6+. If you are looking for a gift guide for younger children, see Honest Holiday Toy Guide Part 2.
Not only do I have 4 kids but sometimes I feel like I have owned every toy ever made at one point in Mom life. That makes me an adult toy expert, right? Being a toy expert is actually good for nothing…. except when someone needs gift advice!
Why this list is so helpful:
ALL of these are toys we actually OWN, that my kids have loved for years!
ALL of these toys can be found on Amazon
This is not sponsored or a list of toys I am getting paid to promote. (If you buy through the links I make (very) small amounts of money but that is not my purpose). I want to share ONLY what we as a family have loved the most in our 10 years of experience raising kids and buying toys!
I do want to note that most of the toys are around 6+, although our 4 year old likes plenty of them. Most of these particular toys are played with by my sons, but I would never call these boy toys - my kids just have different interests. Part 2 is for children ages 1-7.
For reference Leo is 4, Sofia is 7 and Robbie is 10.
1. My kids love to play with this drone inside and out of the house! It is built easily enough for all ages of kids to understand. We got it last Christmas and it is well loved. Instead of using a remote to control the drone, my kids move it around and push it away from them by just holding up their hands in the air. There is a video on the Amazon link I believe.
2. Pie Face is my kids’ favorite game. It is my least favorite. They always, always beg us to play. You make the decision if you want to bring this game into your home. I don’t regret it… usually!
3. This Lego Bricks book is a good twist when you have a zillion legos all mixed together. This was pulled out all summer long. It gave my kids new ideas on what they could build, using the same old toys. Because the book has so many new ideas, it is fun for them to come back to all the time.
4. We have owned so many of these Sky Ripperz and I always buy a few at birthdays and as stocking stuffers. They inevitably get stuck in tall trees because they can be shot impressively high in the air. So much fun while we have them though- and affordable enough to replace frequently!
5. I bought Spot It this year to bring to the airport as something to do. It’s a fairly fast game if you only play once, so we keep it in the kitchen for a quick game when the kids are whining before dinner, etc. I find this game to be the perfect thing when a child needs some Momma time… but I don’t have forever.
6. First my 10 year old was obsessed with Bop It. Every single day it was in his hands. Soon enough, my 4 year old figured it out, and he started playing while his older brother was at school. Eventually he beat the high score. Of course the two of them fought over it constantly after that. I will say after they were both able to beat the game they lost interest… but it took them months to get there!
7. Also good for those brainiac kids is the Megaminx. If you have a kid that solves Rubix cubes, this is the next level. Robbie has spent hours and hours on this puzzle, but he has only been able to beat it a few times.
8. After beating #6, it was clear my boys needed a bigger challenge. We bought Bop It Tetris for our 10 year old only, since he was all in his feelings about his little brother beating him at Bop It! Of course as life would have it, his little brother caught onto this game after a few weeks of trying to decipher it. At this point we’ve had Bop It Tetris for about six months and nobody has beat the game yet…. and it is played with every. single. day. I love that it’s a puzzle. Good for their brains, right?
9. This Waterproof watch is easy to set up and simple to use. Robbie wore this for a full year until the strap broke last summer. I told him I would take him watch shopping and he insisted we get this same one again. He uses the alarm to wake up in the morning, and times things all the time. It’s nice that it’s waterproof so he never takes it off!
10. This “active camera” was gifted to us, and our whole family has had so much fun til it! It is like an affordable GoPro for kids. It takes video footage and pictures, and is waterproof and sturdy- it comes in a case so you can play rough with it. My 10 year old loves to strap this onto his bike/motor bike and record himself biking down hills. The fun part comes when he loads the videos onto the computer. A very well used toy in our home!
11. Stomp Rockets don’t last forever, but maybe if you are a family that takes good care of your toys they would. 😆 We have replaced the rockets (they sell the rocket replacements) a few times for my kids. I love this toy because it gets them outside… and it’s entertainment for our whole family.
12. Another mom of 4 recommended this wooden marble run years ago to me and it’s been worth it’s money and more! The grandparents bought a second set last Christmas to add on to it. My kids love to build the marble race track as much as they enjoy watching the marbles come down. At first I had to help build it (they were younger…. I think my oldest was 6) but after a few times he got the hang of it and could build it on his own. This particular set is the one we started with because it had some fun pieces in it, although they sell smaller and bigger sets. In my opinion you want a few of the fun pieces like the loop-de-loop in your set (this one has it).
13. This snap circuit board has my son so intrigued. This is definitely one of the toys that holds kids’ attention- I know Robbie still loves it as much as when it was new, and this was a birthday gift from last May. The reviews seem to say the same thing.
14. We’ve owned this plasma car for about 5 years now. Robbie saw a youtube video of how it works and saved up his money! The first year we only kept it in the house for rainy day play. No pedals, no batteries- it seems to ride by itself!
15. As a mom, this basketball hoop is one of my favorite basic toys that I think every sports loving kid should have in their room. Here is why: This is what my son’s friends want to do when they are here and I make them turn off the Play Station. They all bang around in his room on this thing for a good half hour at least, and that just makes Moms happy, ya know? We have had a couple in the past, but this particular one is going to be the one that lasts. It is better quality than the others I have seen, and sturdy enough to withstand a beating. We just hung it over his closet door.
16. A bird or squirrel trap, for the nature loving boy! Believe it or not my son has his Grandpa’s trap from when he was a kid, and it is the same brand and in excellent condition. He asked us for a smaller one though so we bought this one a few years ago- he leaves it outside with bird seed and a few times a week when he comes home from school he’ll have a bird in the trap. He hasn’t tagged them, he just lets them go…. usually after showing them off to a neighborhood friend or two. 😏
17. I know a dirt bike looks terrifying, but I eventually came around to it once I saw that this is just a totally scaled down, battery-powered bike. Robbie and two of the boys in the neighborhood have this same dirtbike and they ride around like a little gang. It is super quiet and they all wear heavy duty racing helmets that makes us Moms feel better (although really this doesn’t go that fast).
18. Not a toy- but this hilarious shirt makes a great gift! I gave it to Robbie last year at Christmas. He actually wears it all the time- he finds it funny too!
19. This nighthawk rider is a favorite of both my daughter and son! (Video of Robbie riding it on my instagram feed here). We have only owned it for about a month, so time will tell, but I have a good feeling about it because so far it has gotten so much use. After school it is usually the first thing both older kids run for. While I was writing this article I asked the kids to name their top 3 favorite toys, and they both named the nighthawk!
20. Every few years we buy the kids these books at Christmas because they are the kind of books they pick up again and again- there is always something new to find. I keep them downstairs and I find them left open on the sofa quite often. Even the kids who can't read enjoy looking at the pictures and sharing all the weird things they see with us!
21. A ukulele for the music lover! Good quality, my younger one has a lot of pretend jam sessions on this but my oldest actually taught himself a simple tune, and for that reason I love this little instrument!
Like every parent says at Christmas, we are really trying to scale back this year! I mean it this time though! (Please God let me follow through! 🙏🏽) More experience gifts and better quality over quantity. So what IS on our kid’s Christmas list that Santa will actually be getting them?
A nugget, for sure! These little manipulative couches for kids get RAVE reviews and I can’t wait to count myself as Nugget owner! We did this fun photo shoot with them almost a year ago and I have had my eye on it all year!