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The 2022 Holiday and Christmas Toy Gift Guide for Every Kid (and the Kid in Everyone!)

The 2022 Holiday and Christmas Toy Gift Guide for Every Kid (and the Kid in Everyone!)

It’s officially toy season! Well, it’s never not toy season for most kids (and many grown-ups), but with the upcoming holidays, it’s time to begin thinking about what to get for the toy lovers on your list. You’ve probably got a growing list of gift recipients to shop for – your kiddos, nieces, nephews, godchildren, grandchildren, plus family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and associates (and their kids… whew!) – so we’ve put together this Toy Gift Guide for 2022, filled with ideas for everyone on your list, curated by Zulily’s resident toy experts.

What’s new in toys this year?

Toys that encourage open-ended creative play, such as building toys and pretend playsets. “Anything unlocking imagination through play helps kids’ storytelling abilities and can underscore social play with friends,” says Amy Lisko, Buyer at Zulily. “Let kids dream big, and there’s no end to the magic of play.”

The DIY spirit is also still thriving, as Arts & Crafts toys let kiddos channel their artistry, become inspired and contribute to a feeling of accomplishment. “From making their own slime, to painting ornaments, and even coloring their own playhouses, these sorts of toys and activity sets are letting kids be original and truly one-of-a-kind,” adds Pam Merritt, Director of Kids Merchandising.

But above all, Associate Toy Buyer Joe Glass believes, finding the right toy is key to an engaging playtime. “Of course, you don’t want a toy to be opened and then just sit on a shelf,” Glass says. “With the right match, you can ensure a young one’s time will be focused, fun and full of beneficial development.”

Explore this toy gift guide, sorted by interest and personality type, to help make toy shopping decisions easier – and way more fun – this year.

The Thinker & Problem-Solver

The thinkers and problem-solvers in your life probably love the satisfaction of solving a puzzle or expanding their knowledge of various topics. There’s always an exciting supply of crossword and puzzle books, jigsaw puzzles and strategic games to choose from, so be sure to check back often.
Christmas trivia, stickerless speed cube and Minecraft activity book

 

Christmas Trivia Card Game

Get into the holiday spirit with fun trivia questions the whole family can enjoy. You’ll be loaded with festive fun facts after each play. Ages 12 and up.

Sticker-less Speed Cube 80s Mod

A fun spin on a classic. Customize the tension on this puzzle cube and enjoy endless puzzle-solving fun as this cube has no stickers, so it will never look worn. Ages 8 and up.

Amazing Activities for Minecrafters Paperback

Minecraft-themed puzzles and games offer hours of entertainment to engage the Minecraft addict in the family or friend group! Great for screen-free time while still “living” in the magnificent world of Minecraft characters and locations. Ages 7 to 10.

The Voracious Reader

The passionate book lovers in your world will be thrilled with more books to dig into. Bookmark these titles and check Zulily’s Book Shop, an always-changing library of tomes and book sets.

Hardy Boys Books 1–4 Boxed Paperback Set

The Hardy boys are still the coolest kid detectives. See what adventures they get into this time with this paperback book set published by Simon & Schuster. Ages 6 to 9.

Nancy Drew Diaries Supersleuth Collection Boxed Set

This boxed set of chapter books will satisfy all the mystery lovers who are drawn to follow Nancy Drew on ten of her wildest adventures. Ages 8 to 12.

Thunder Girls Adventure Collection Boxed Set

Follow the Thunder Girls as they adventure through time with mystical creatures. Published by Simon & Schuster. Ages 8 to 12.

Huge Book of Graphic Novels for Minecrafters

Fans of Minecraft will become deeply engaged with Phoenix and what she finds out about her family in this graphic novel published by Skyhorse Publishing. The adventure begins – and may even involve some dragons along the way! Ages 7 to 12.

The Builder, Engineer & Tinkerer

Have someone in your life who loves construction and three-dimensional problem-solving? Here are some great choices for hands-on, challenging gifts.

Plus-Plus Basic 1200-Piece Puzzle Building Set

One simple set contains endless possibilities and hours of fun. We love these sustainable toys by Plus-Plus, and even their factory in Denmark is 100% powered by wind. Ages 5 to 12.

LEGO® City Stuntz 60342 The Shark Attack Stunt Challenge

Awesome stunt action! Activate the toy stunt bike and release it, avoiding the spinning shark wheel in order to strike the barrels and reveal the pirate’s treasure chest. As with all LEGO builds, the possibilities are endless as kids can expand and customize their stunt course with any additional LEGO bricks they have at home. Ages 5 and up.

Small World Toys Build-a-Pirate Ship Kit

Ahoy, Mateys! Crafty kids will love building this model pirate ship by imaginary play favorites Small World Toys. Skulls and crossbones adorn the black sails waving high above the ghastly vessel featuring many other bootyful details that kids can build themselves. Ages 8 and up.

Little Tikes First Tool Bench Toy Set

Your little one’s imagination can run wild with this interactive toy tool set by Little Tikes complete with all the accessories needed for a construction adventure. So much fun! Ages 2 to 4.

Little Tikes Big Waffle Block Set

These big blocks let bitty builders create forts, castles, ships and more with just a little brain power. The large, interlocking set helps develop hand-eye coordination, 3-D thinking and cooperation skills. There’s no end to the designs little ones can make with this Big Waffle Block Set by Little Tikes. Ages 2 and up.

The Scientist & Inventor

Science experiments, dinosaurs and inventor kits, oh my! Check out these next-level favorites for the STEM enthusiast on your list.

Smithsonian Plasma Ball

Little scientists can experience a dazzling plasma light show right at the tips of their fingers with this plasma ball that demonstrates how electrical currents work from the legendary Smithsonian museum. Ages 10 and up.

Smithsonian Robo Spider Building Set

Little ones can build their own robotic spider featuring eight multi-joined legs for realistic movements with this fun science set. Ages 8 and up.

Small World Toys Solar Science AM/FM Radio Kit

Harness the power of the sun when budding scientists build their own solar powered AM/FM radio by Small World Toys. Ages 8 and up.

Little Tikes Stem Jr. Explorer Lens Set

Help your child see the world in a totally new way and introduce scientific exploration with these awesome goggles by Little Tikes featuring four different lenses that reveal, retract and refract. Ages 3 and up.

Educational Insights My First Microscope Set

Get up close with nature: This kid-friendly microscope magnifies objects up to eight times their size thanks to two eyepieces and an easy-to-use focusing knob by Educational Insights®, designed by teachers and parents to spark kids’ imaginations. Ages 3 and up.

The Athlete

If you’re shopping for someone who is never found without a jersey on – or a ball or racquet in their hands – try these gifts on for size.

Sport Squad Football Target Toss

Thanks to a lightweight design and effortless assembly, this versatile target toss game by Sport Squard lends hours of football fun to your next picnic or tailgate.

Little Tikes Easy Hit Golf Set

Practice makes perfect for active kids with this starter golf set that provides all the essentials for a day on the course – or the backyard. Ages 2 to 6.

Cipton Orange & Black Light-Up LED Basketball

Light up your skills with this impact activated LED Basketball that makes it fun to keep the game going past sundown.

Etna Products 3-in-1 Game Center

Start the Basketball, Hockey, or Soccer season anytime with this arcade-style game that comes with an adjustable hockey stick and 3 balls for each game. Ages 5 and up.

The Artist

Have an artist who’d love a DIY craft kit or some enticing art supplies to help transform their imagination and talent into cherished artwork? Here are some wonderful tools to support the creative ones in your circle.

Super Slime Factory Kit

Go DIY with your love of all things Slime with this kit that lets you customize creations from translucent slime to slime filled with confetti and glitter! Ages 6 and up.

All-Around Easel

This two-in-one easel features a magnetic dry-erase board on one side and a chalkboard on the other to provide plenty of space for little ones to be creative. Plus, it includes two storage bins to help keep things organized. Ages 3 and up.

Tip Top Pottery Kit

Budding artisans can make and then paint their own ceramic creations. This is an excellent activity that encourages hands-on creativity. Ages 8 and up.

The Collector

For those who can never get enough superhero figurines, specialty trains or LEGO sets, here are some ideas to add to their collections.

LEGO® Harry Potter™ 76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit

Build the Honeydukes™ Candy Store and The Three Broomsticks pub with this engaging LEGO® set, sure to impress your little witch or wizard, whether they’re reenacting their favorite moments, creating new magical adventures, or eager to display on their shelf. Ages 8 and up.

Funko Figurines

Funko designs unique, must-have pop culture collectibles, accessories and toys the collector in your life will adore. You’ve no doubt seen Funko bobbleheads everywhere, from superheroes to TV characters – they’re iconic!

Squishmallows

These super-soft, super-squishy plush animals are beloved by tweens and adults alike for their supreme hug-ability. Squishmallows, like certain bean bag plushies of previous decades, they have become quite the collector’s item and bed-top accesory. Age 4 and up.

The Adventurer & Explorer

From the daring tot who transforms the living room into Mt. Everest, to the armchair traveler who enjoys their adventures vicariously, we’ve got some exciting gift choices to keep your explorer intrigued.

SpyX Night Mission Goggles

See up to 25 feet in the dark. Be a secret agent in your back yard! Ages 6 and up.

Space Adventure Roarin’ Rocket Play Tent

Blast off in this play tent for kids intent on visiting the stars. Fold up and store away when the space mission ends. Ages 3 and up.

The Dreamer & Pretender

Encourage the dreamers in your life to transform themselves and the world around them in dramatic and creative ways with these fun gifts.

Melissa & Doug PAW Patrol Red & Blue Wooden Dashboard Toy

Hit the road in your imagination with this interactive dashboard toy. Feel the need for speed with multiple mission cards that send young drivers to the rescue alongside their favorite characters. Any young gear head will love getting their hands on the wheel and switching gears for endless fun. Ages 3 to 5.

Barbie Gymnastics Playset

Barbie is having a moment – from hot pink Barbiecore fashion to the upcoming Greta Gerwig movie. She is ready to inspire and ignite imaginations again with 15 play pieces and accessories that take kids from the balance beam to the medal ceremony to win the gold. Ages 3 and up.

KidKraft Playsets

KidKraft’s playsets are well-made, realistic and exciting for imaginative kids to explore, learn and grow, with so many to choose from. Ages 3 and up.

The Budding Chef

Children love to pretend to cook and bake, and some even want to help in the (real) kitchen! Here are a slew of creative toys to encourage the chef in your life.

Little Tikes Pizza Restaurant Playset

Role play becomes gourmet with this real looking, sturdy and durable wood Little Tikes Pizza Restaurant Playset with 20+ accessories, where kids can dream up and “bake” their favorite pizzas and then serve them to friends and family. Inspired by those rustic pizza restaurants with wood-burning ovens, this dual-sided play set allows kids to play pizza chef, server or customer. Realistic lights and sounds plus working drawers add to the excitement. Molto bene! Ages 3 to 8.

First Oven Playset

Encourage creative play while educating little ones about household chores with this delightfully detailed playset packed with accessories, designed to develop responsibility. Age 2 and up.

Shop ‘n Learn Smart Checkout

Little Tikes Shop ‘n Learn Smart Checkout lets kids feel like mom and dad with a real interactive conveyor belt and scanner that reads groceries that they buy! Perfect for multiple kids to play and promotes imaginative play and helps with social skills. Ages 2 and up.

Imagination Generation Baker’s Dozen Wooden Donuts

Time to make (wooden) donuts! Colorful chunky donuts inspire pretend baking play and encourage the next trendy donut shop  ‘entre”play”neurs’. Perfect for multiple kids to promote imaginative play and help with social skills. Ages 3 and up.

American Girl Holiday Baking Cookbook

American Girl takes on the holidays with this cookbook of fun seasonal recipes. Make your favorite cookies together! Age 10 and up.

Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House! Stir & Serve Cooking Utensil Set

Your little chef will appreciate the pleasingly realistic effect of all the tools, which fit in a metal holder to encourage hand-eye coordination and imaginative play. Ages 3 and up.

The Animal Lover

Got an animal lover on your list? While plush toys and stuffed animals are always a hit, here are some elaborate gift ideas to encourage those who are fascinated by Earth’s creatures.

Constructive Playthings Veterinarian Set

Your little one will enjoy hours of imagination-sparking, creativity-nurturing pretend play with this veterinarian play set. Ages 3 and up.

Constructive Playthings 50-Piece Dog Academy PlaySet

Fifteen dogs and 35 accessories are included in this set perfect for puppy lovers ready to pretend play. Ages 4 and up.

The Performer

There’s someone in your family who loves to put on a show! Instruments, costumes and dancewear are wonderful presents to give kiddos, hopefully instilling a life-long love of music, drama and performance.

Constructive Playthings Electric Grand Piano

Complete with demo songs, instrumental accents and a sing-along microphone, this piano by Constructive Playthings offers little ones an instant way to steal the show. Ages 3 to 7.

Little Tikes Squishy Piano

Your little pianist can create their own tunes with this squishy piano by Little Tikes filled with sensory beads that light up as they play. Ages 12 months and up.

KidKraft Lil’ Symphony Guitar

This KidKraft guitar is child-sized for young strummers but has real strings that can be tightened and tuned. Comes with a full extra set of strings for replacement. Ages 3 and up.

Disney Encanto: The Magical Family Madrigal Hardcover

Let’s get singing with this Encanto themed book that comes with a microphone. You can get the entire family involved in this fun activity. Ages 6 years and up.

The Trendy Tween

In addition to considering nail art, hair coloring, or a ring light for their inevitable YouTube influencer channel, consider these gifts for your cooler-than-you tween.

Draw Kawaii in 5 Simple Steps Coloring Book BY STERLING

Kawaii is Japanese for cute, and this book has so many cute things to color and learn to draw! Age 6 to 9 years.

Friendship Bracelets

Tweens can get their creativity going and make handmade bracelets for all their friends! So many patterns and colors for all!

Fidget Poppers

The flexible silicone fidget toys that are sweeping TikTok for their never-ending soothing bubble-popping fun for kids and adults alike are now available in the shape of dinosaurs, pizza slices and, just in time for the holidays – Christmas trees! Age 3 and up.

LEGO® Dots Mickey & Friends Bracelets Mega Pack

Friendship bracelets get taken up a notch for DIY kids who also can’t get enough of Disney. Includes five adjustable bracelets and 344 Mickey and Friends decorative tiles.

Zulily’s List of Iconic Toys Through the Decades

Zulily’s toy team curated thousands of toys this holiday season, including from some of the most recognized, trusted, and iconic brands, to help ease your search for those perfect, quality gifts that will last year after year. That longevity is very sought after, according to a recent Zulily survey of 1,000 U.S. moms to better understand the impact inflation will have on holiday shopping. And nothing says longevity like some of our favorite time-tested toys. Let’s take a trip down memory lane with these iconic brands and toys through the decades.

One brick, a million possibilities

Twenty-five percent of moms said they consider a toy’s ability to promote their children’s imagination without bounds as a characteristic of an iconic toy brand. Having recently celebrated its 90th anniversary, toy icon LEGO® is not only synonymous with creativity, but they encourage young users to shape the well-known bricks into fantastical creations of their own. From the traditional, like the LEGO® City Fire Brigade, to the more contemporary, like the LEGO® Jurassic World 76944 T-Rex Dinosaur Breakout from one of the year’s hottest movies – giving the gift of LEGO® means giving the gift of inspiration.

Over six decades and 1 billion dolls sold

With kids’ awareness of the financial constraints caused by inflation, 39% of moms report that many kids are LEGO® Classic 11008 Bricks & Houses already expecting fewer gifts overall this year. So, moms are leaning into quality toys and buying from iconic brands they already know and trust to be long-lasting and high-quality. When Mattel, Inc. introduced her in 1959, Barbie® became a toy chest staple, and many moms remember being gifted their first doll as a child. With a multitude of interests and careers, you can find the perfect Barbie® doll and accessories for your child on Zulily, whether it’s a Fairytale Bride or an aspiring Gymnast.

Half a century delighting the kid in all of us

To extend the play value of toys and gifts, 27% of moms are looking to give gifts that promote creativity and togetherness with their children. For nearly 50 years, KidKraft, Inc. has been delivering toys made for make believe – and this holiday, Zulily has an assortment of KidKraft® toys that immediately transform playtime to together-time while encouraging creativity. From trying their hands at painting and drawing with the KidKraft® Easel Art Desk to scrubbing the deck and walking the plank with the KidKraft® Pirate’s Cove Playset, all ages will be inspired.

After the unboxing, the memories remain

Following the flurry of wrapping paper and ribbons, it’s really about the moments that family and friends will cherish after the holiday season. And following several years of pandemic-induced travel and gathering restrictions, it’s the desire to create memories that 35% of moms are hoping to capture through gift giving this year. Crayola® has been helping families create memories they will cherish forever since 1885 with its vibrant collection of art supplies. Moms can give the ultimate gift for any little artist with Zulily’s assortment of Crayola® art supplies and tools and watch as their children create works of art today that will become family heirlooms of tomorrow.

Shop early and Get Peace of Mind as Part of the Deal, too

It’s never too early to start checking off holiday gift lists, especially since you’re likely buying gifts for the entire family while juggling the other responsibilities and to-do lists that come with motherhood. If your gift giving habits are shifting this year as a result of ongoing inflation, you’re not alone. You may feel more inclined than ever to plan ahead and snag those most-wished-for toys early — and it turns out that is good for you, anyway. Zulily’s Brain of the Planner study has shown that planning ahead also reduces stress and allows more time for leisure, socializing, and spending time with family.

Zulily’s Santa’s Workshop – a dedicated shopping destination for holiday toys with savings up to 50% off – is keeping shopping fun and full of cheer by making it easy to find the perfect gift as you seek more quality toys at a great price, including all the toys on Zulily’s annual Top 25 Toys list, which features this year’s hottest toys from brands kids love, including KidKraft®, PicassoTiles®, Learning Resources®, Melissa & Doug, and more.

Methodology: Findings are based on a Pollfish survey of over 1,000 U.S. based moms between the ages of 25-44, with kids aged 18 or below. The survey was fielded in July 2022.  

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About The Author

Natasha McClain

Natasha McClain, a marketing copywriter and editor for Zulily, has written for a wide variety of industries and has been published by Kitchenware News, Washington Travel & Life, Dining Out Magazine, Bastyr, Blue Nile, McCauley Sound and New York Press. She's originally an East coaster now living in Seattle.

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