15 Unique Toys to Give to Kids Who Seemingly Have Everything
Between birthday parties (remember those?), holidays past, and rewards for good behavior, we know a few kids who have more toys than they know what to do with. If there was ever a time for a playroom edit, it’s now. We may be in lockdown, but we can still clean up! Once we’ve culled and donated the old, we plan to make some space for the new. Here, 15 delightfully unique toys to fill your home with wonder through the winter and beyond.
1. Moon Torch
Turn your kid’s flashlight obsession into a STEAM-fueled educational experience. In addition to standard-issue, late-night reading, under-the-covers illumination, this battery-powered guy is a conversation starter as it projects an accurate image of the moon onto any surface. Make shining it up on the ceiling part of your bedtime routine, then tell your kids about how scientists recently discovered water on the moon’s surface. Good night? You know it.
2. Rollplay 12 Volt Nighthawk Ride On Toy
Riders of this battery-powered, foot-pedal-operated vehicle can lean, glide and careen around obstacles at up to 6 mph. It’s low to the ground, so crashing and falling should (hopefully) lead to minimal injury. But the ride is nevertheless exhilarating. Set up a course of cones in an empty parking lot or local park and redefine the word “zoom” for a while.
3. Teifoc Cottage
Teifoc is a new-to-us German crafting company we can’t believe we ever lived without. We are hereby canonizing it alongside Legos, Keva Blocks and Magnatiles. Why? Kids work from instructions to build everything from simple cabins to elaborate castles (or they can ditch the pamphlet and create any structure of their own design). The unique materials are actual, reusable cooked-clay bricks, held together with a cement-like mortar made from sand and corn-extract. This signature sticking agent is water soluble and totally safe. To build a new structure, simply soak your bricks in water, dry them, and start over.
4. Discover Kids Remote-Controlled Dragon Breathing Pet Toy
Powered by an egg-shaped remote control (and a hint of magic, obviously) this mythical creature stomps, flaps its wings, roars and breathes “smoke.” The puffs coming from this magic dragon’s mouth are actually non-toxic water mist from a refillable chamber in its neck. A mere detail that no wizard or fairy queen needs to know.
5. SmartLab Toys Crazy Drinks Science Lab
A parent’s greatest fear when she gives a child a science kit is that he or she will accidentally (or maybe not-so-accidentally?) eat some of its contents. Well, you can wipe that worry away! (PS: You will definitely still be wiping other things, like your countertops, floors, and possibly pets.) This box includes experiments that yield drinkable slime, (grape) purple potion and assorted fizzing, bubbling, non-poisonous elixirs. Runners up in the edible STEM category: Copernicus Brew it Yourself: Caveman Cola Kit and DIY Bubble Gum.
6. Discovery Kids Adventure Scope
Ever wonder what the underside of a car looks like? Want to see up inside a chimney or inside a cave, tree hollow or bird house? How about stealing a view of what’s going on around the corner in the next room, without having to peek and be caught? Amateur spies and curious cats will make excellent use of this system, which features a 3-foot flexible video camera with LED lights connected to a small LCD Screen “that is perfect to look over, under, in and around.” It even goes underwater so you can see beneath the surface of lakes and rivers. Scoping things out has never been so much fun.
7. WisToyz Kids Toys Hover Soccer Ball Set
Who knew we needed the floaty lightness of air hockey combined with the satisfying contact of soccer? The makers of this hover disc system sure did. It floats on air and lights up night games with bright LEDs (and it goes without saying that in our world, “night games” begin at 4 PM). With nets included, it’s ideal for indoor scrimmages in uncarpeted dens or hallways. The best part? Almost every happy parent reviewer noted that unlike the real thing, it’s nearly impossible to break stuff playing Hover soccer in the house.
8. Baby Fortune Cookie Booties
Ages: 6-12 months
You surely know a delicious baby who would look adorable in these handmade shoes, dreamed up by Oregon designer Della Slowick. Next time you hold said baby and declare, “I’ll eat you up,” just remember these booties are fleece, and not actually digestible. Oh, and the takeout-inspired packaging? Totally delectable.
9. Light Up Drawing T-Shirts
These washable tees feature a luminescent panel on which kids can draw, using the included mini light wand, a flashlight or even the light from a smartphone. Their illuminated doodles fade in about five minutes, leaving their wearable canvases blank once more. Star light, star bright, what will I draw on my shirt tonight?
10. Secret Decoder Ring
Wouldn’t it be great if, when they said “coding,” this is what they meant? Major props to any parent who has the patience to spell out “I love you” in code numbers on the card that goes with it.
Kids bouncing off the walls? Encourage them to bounce on a SpiroSpin instead! Imagine if a seesaw and a merry-go-round mated: This would be the result. Under each seat is a bouncy orange wheel that allows kids to catch major air. Or they can just spin round and round, as fast as they can for as long as they want. (Anyone who has children knows that spinning in circles is a primary activity.) The manufacturers assure us this set-up has an “exceptionally sturdy” base and easy-to-grip handlebars, but we wouldn’t balk if you strapped a helmet on anyone who gives it whirl.
12. Montessori Screw Set
Inspired by the educational philosophy that says young children are capable of—and benefit greatly from—learning real-world, hands-on skills, this pine board (handcrafted in Russia) is a fine-motor-skill bonanza. Even tiny hands can use a variety of tools (including a wrench and screwdriver) to manipulate and remove the screws, storing them in the board’s conveniently-placed insets. Over 200 rave reviews on Etsy should seal the deal—and keep parents from having a screw loose on long days indoors (sorry, couldn’t resist).
13. Kawaii Slime Company Slimes
This isn’t the same old slime. Whether you’re opting for their PBJ-inspired Goober Grape Slime or Glittery Dill Pickle variety, Kawaii Slime Company is ready to mesmerize the slimer in your life. Also on offer? Scented Cola Cream Slush Slime and fizzy Japanese Soda Slime. It’s official: Etsy is the custom slime shop of our dreams. Soothing, sensory, sweet and savory squishables, right this away.
14. Women of Change Bath Balm Gift Set
Watch this video to learn the story behind these organic, vegan, essential oil-infused bath bombs and then put your money where your values are. In short, they are hand-made in Madison County, Mississippi, primarily by women in recovery, people with disabilities and those who have lived in chronic poverty. Per their mission statement, the company hires these individuals with the aim of “restoring lives by providing dignified work for vulnerable people in our community.” We’re partial to the set that features the likenesses of Frida Khalo, Amelia Earhart and Maya Angelou on the chic packaging. Pair the bath bombs with Brad Meltzer’s “I Am..” biographies on the same women and voila: You’ve got the perfect bath-time gift package for a future feminist founder.
15. BrandNewNoise Loopy Lou Voice Recorder
Ages: All ages
Brand New Noise is a Brooklyn-born company founded by Richard Upchurch, who began hand-crafting voice recording gadgets for his nephews to inspire creativity. And that’s precisely what this one does. Hold the Red ‘record’ button and talk, sing, whistle, etc. into the microphone on top. Press the black button to hear what you’ve just recorded. Next step? Flip the switch to the left or right, and play back your recording either once or on a continuous loop. Finally, the knob allows you to slow down or speed up the sound, creating effects that range from eerie to ridiculous. Kids’ absurd phrases and delighted laughter played on a loop? Sounds like music to our ears.