Don’t know what to give the kid in your life this holiday? Join the club. It can be difficult to know what to buy—especially elementary and middle-school-aged kids. Their interests tend to vary and change from year to year. But don’t worry, we have you covered. Working with The Toy Insider, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the best toys of 2022 for older kids.
Here, find something that covers every interest—from active to educational to creative options. There are cool Advent calendars (which provide surprises every day for 24 days in December!), games to play with the family, truly advanced LEGO builds, bumper cars for at-home fun and so much more.
Whether you’re shopping for your own kiddos or looking for your nieces, nephews, grandchildren or kids in the neighborhood, you’ll be sure to find something they’ll like on this list. No matter what their interests or your budget, there are awesome options for everyone.
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Fun and Educational Toys for Older Kids
Each day holds a new surprise. This geological take on the Advent calendar is perfect for kids ages six and up who are fascinated by rocks, gems and fossils. The fun and excitement culminates on day 24 when they unearth a shimmering Quartz Point, excavated from a mini dig brick. National Geographic Rock, Mineral & Fossil Advent Calendar, $29.99 on Amazon
From the masterminds of Luki Lab comes the next STEM-authenticated toy of the Pinxies building set. Kids ages six and up can exercise their imaginations as they join explorer and expert builder Koral on an all-new journey on her butterfly balloon. The set comes with colorful paperboard panels and building links, plus accessories and a sticker sheet. But it doesn’t stop there. Kids can enjoy even more Pinxies fun by watching new short-form animated YouTube episodes. Pinxies Butterfly Hot Air Balloon, $29.99 on Amazon
Expanding upon the Kanoodle line of brain-busting games, Kanoodle Fusion will light up your child’s critical thinking, problem-solving and color recognition skills. Its illuminated gameboard and blendable game pieces entice players (ages seven and up) to mix primary and secondary colors to solve 50 brain-bending puzzles. Kanoodle Fusion, $21.99 on Amazon
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The award-winning Snap Circuits Junior is back and just in time for Snap Circuits’ 20th anniversary. Used by educators across the globe to teach children (ages eight and up) to have fun while learning about electronics, Snap Circuits Junior can be used by younger kids who are curious how things work— all from the comfort of their own home. They simply snap the set’s pieces together to create real, working circuits. Snap Circuits Junior, $28.99 at Walmart
Watching the marbles roll down these tracks is like watching magic—but you get to see how the “trick” is done! Designed for kids eight and up, each set is made up of hollow stacking cubes and a variety of perfectly flat tracks. Once put together, the paths cut out of each track widen almost imperceptibly, creating an invisible slope that propels the marbles forward. It is mesmerizing, not to mention educational, and encourages spatial reasoning, creativity, engineering skills and problem-solving. Trestle Tracks, $41.95 on Amazon
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Creative Kids Toys
Build the excitement of the holiday season with the gift that gives each day. Filled with 24 fun accessories, toys and crafts, this Advent calendar also features fun riddles and Christmas trivia that kids (ages eight and up) can share with the whole family. Gorgeous Gifts Advent Calendar 2022, $34.99 on Amazon
Store-quality slushies you can make at home. The ICEE Machine only requires four simple ingredients in order to make the perfect slushie: water, ice, ICEE flavoring syrup (sold separately), and salt. And with step-by-step instructions, kids (ages 12+) can prepare their favorite slushies themselves. The machine makes up to four 8-ounce servings. Icee Slushie Making Machine, $150.00 at Neiman Marcus
Bolster creativity with the 3Doodler Start+ Maker Bundle. With the press of a button, kids (ages six and up) can unleash their imaginations and draw their visions in 3D. Ideal for young inventors, this open-ended, educational toy gives kids an outlet to realize their ideas visually. The kit comes with more than 20 design projects of varying levels, but can also be used time and time again during free play. 3Doodler Start + Maker Bundle, $59.99 at the3doodler
Bring the fun of creating personalized avatars to the real world. Meet KawaiiPie, A_VibeThng, and Dreamer 3.0, three Avatar Stars of the Metaverse. Each doll comes dressed in her own signature look with bonus outfits and sticker packs to help customize her. Kids ages six and up can also mix and match clothing items, face stickers, tattoo stickers, and clothing decals to create more than 100 possible new looks. And they can even play with the Avastars in the Metaverse. My Avastars, $24.99 on Amazon
Putting the LEGO bricks together is only half the fun of this NASA-inspired Lunar Research Base. Once built, kids (ages seven and up) can let their imaginations roam. They can move objects with the sky crane drone, retrieve samples from the VIPER rover, and carry out experiments in the science and botany labs. Or, hop aboard the moon buggy and head over to the airlock and accommodation dome to store their equipment until the next mission! LEGO Lunar Research Base, $129.99 at Target
This is not just any old video game—it’s entirely what you make of it! Kids (ages eight and up, with assistance) can create and draw their own multi-level video game–and then play it. The Pixicade Quest kit comes with four books that teach game design and features 120 examples, 45 activities and 40 drawing pages. Once complete, kids can share their game on the Pixicade Arcade for others to enjoy playing as well. Pixicade Quest, $29.99 at Specialty Stores
Gone are the days of sticky clay pottery sets. This pottery press uses sand dough, an air-dry, mess-free material that kids (ages six and up) can use to make all sorts of items. It’s easy: Just roll a ball of squishy dough, drop it into the mold base, and pull the handle. Voila! Kids can begin to craft their very own pottery. Made by Me! Sand Dough Pottery Press, $19.99 at Walmart
Kids (ages eight and up) can define their own version of beauty—and style—with this glam kit. The all-in-one beauty center features 28 real, vibrant and stylish lip, cheek and eye colors. Plus, it comes with accessories, including a ring light and a built-in phone stand so kids can share their makeovers with friends. Shimmer ‘n Sparkle Ultimate Beauty Studio, $29.99 at Target
Action and Adventure Toys for Older Kids
Pretend play is some of the best play. This line of electric-powered mini-stunt skateboards comes with hyper-poseable skaters and crazy stunt play sets. The action figures twist and bend like they are actually boneless. And the fun doesn’t have to stop—the set has a power charger that quick-charges the board in seconds. Great for kids who are six and up. #BONELESS, $17.99 at Target
The fun of the bumper car comes home. The Flybar Bumper Car XL is three times larger than the original bumper car and can fit one adult or two kids comfortably. Race, chase, spin and bump to your heart’s content. Made with soft rubber bumpers to protect walls and furniture, the Bumper Car XL has easy-to-use joysticks, flashing LED lights and a 120V wall charger. And safety is a priority with a maximum speed of 3 MPH and adjustable safety belts to keep kids of all ages (best for kids eight and up) and sizes in place. Flybar Bumper Car XL, $299.00 at Walmart
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The ultimate electric bike for kids (ages 12+). This 24-inch bike can go up to 20 miles on a single charge and allows kids to ride up to 16 MPH with its 250-watt pedal assist hub motor. The alloy frame features a coil-sprung suspension fork to smooth out bumps in the road and 1.95-inch-wide tires for extra grip and stability. Plus, mechanical disc brakes help stop safely in all weather. Schwinn 24” Healy Ridge Electric Mountain Bike, $999.99 on Amazon
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Kids will get so caught up in training their digital monsters that they may not even notice they are exercising! This brand-new inter-ACTIVE band helps kids stay active and compete with friends by encouraging them to raise and train digital monsters. Featuring a full-color LED display screen and built-in activity monitor, this wearable device asks kids (ages eight and up) to complete missions–like shadowboxing, squatting, sprinting, walking and more—to evolve their monster and make it stronger. Kids can play solo or with friends, making for hours of fun physical activity. Vital Hero, $64.99 at Walmart
Beyblade action to the max. This set has everything needed for battle: the exclusive QuadDrive Collision Nebula Beystadium, two right/left-spin launchers and six spinning tops. Kids (ages eight and up) can also compete in the Beyblade Burst app to unleash tops in virtual battles with other Bladers! Beyblade Burst QuadDrive Collision Nebula Battle Set, $89.99 at Target
Collectible Toys for Older Kids
A throwback to the iconic, cultural Star Trek series, this 18-inch replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise will bring back memories–and bring hours of fun to children of all ages. Featuring battle lights, a light-up bridge, impulse and Nacelle warp engines and authentic verbal commands by Captain Kirk himself, this model ship is sure to become a collector’s item for the next generation of Trekkies. Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701, $39.99 at Target
For kids (ages three and up) who love to unbox surprises comes the Mini Brands Gold Rush – the Limited Edition ALL GOLD collection. Anticipation will build as they unwrap, peel, reveal more than 35 never-seen-before gold miniature collectibles. Think golden mini Babybels or a mini McCormick Black Pepper spice. Collect them all to create a golden mini-shopping world. Mini Toys Gold Rush Capsule, $9.99 at Target
The popular video game (great for kids ages eight and up) is brought to life in a collection of action figures. The Brawl Stars 4.5-inch Action Figures collection features four of the most popular brawlers to collect. It is spot on with true-to-game characters’ likenesses and accessories from the game. Brawl Stars 4.5-inch Action Figures, $19.99 on Amazon
These teenagers can move! These four turtle action figures (sold separately) each feature 31 points of articulation for lifelike agility. Each figure comes with multiple head portraits with different facial expressions and hand gestures, plus signature accessories (from boomboxes to removable sunglasses to camcorders). Perfect for ages eight and up, and they are available to buy in-store now! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Street Turtles, $19.99 at Target
Comfort on the go! These “purr-fect” comfort pets can help soothe children (ages four and up) anywhere they take them. Each is filled with beans and has a super-soft fabric so kids can squeeze their stress away. The line includes 136 new bean characters, 96 new Chonk characters and 24 new Jumbo characters. Cats Vs. Pickles Gold Wave, $4.99-19.99 at Walmart
Video Games and Board Games for Older Kids
The whole family will want in on this funny game that’s designed for ages 12+. Break it out at your next holiday party and test players’ knowledge with hysterical trivia questions. Guaranteed to get everyone talking—and laughing! Merry Dissmas (What Do You Meme?), $19.99 at Target
Do your kids love Disney? Do you love Disney? The whole family will enjoy taking an adventure through time with 2,000 trivia questions, spanning nearly 100 years of Disney history—from its early days to modern Disney and Pixar titles. The board game comes in a special black-on-black box and features golden game pawns inside. The Magical World of Disney Trivia Game, $39.99 on Amazon
Inspired by the wildly popular Pokéman GO mobile game, this card game (that’s perfect for kids six and up) features photorealistic artwork and unique gameplay scenarios. The set includes 10 Pokéman GO booster packs, a foil card featuring Mewtwo V, 65 card sleeves with Mewtwo, 45 Pokéman TCG Energy cards, six damage-counter dice, one competition-legal coin-flip die and more. Pokémon Trading Card Game: Elite Trainer Box, $49.99 on Amazon
Solving puzzles just got a little more interesting. Kids (ages seven and up) can decide how they want to play. Either race to solve the puzzle on the card by flipping, rotating or combining identical sets of five patterned blocks (the Quick-Play option) or take their time (Madness option) and go for the highest score. Either way, this puts kids’ problem-solving abilities to the test—in a fun way! Match Madness, $29.99 on Amazon
Middle-earth is in grave danger! Help Frodo and the Fellowship who are on their way to Mordor to destroy the One Ring by carrying out Gandalf’s secret assignments. Accomplish your mission and buy Frodo enough time to reach Mount Doom. Every Lord of the Rings fan (ages 10+) will love this mystery card game! Exit: The Lord of the Rings—Shadow Over Middle-earth, $19.95 at Target
As the latest entry in the classic Wii Sports™ series, the Nintendo Switch™ Sports game for the Nintendo Switch™ system allows players to kick, swing and spike their way to victory—playing with friends in person or online with friends or random opponents near and far. The Joy-Con™ controllers turn real-world actions into in-game movements for the ultimate competition in Soccer, Volleyball, Bowling, Tennis, Badminton and Chambara (swordplay). Plus, a seventh sport will be added via a free update this holiday; get ready to Golf! Nintendo Switch Sports (digital version), $39.99 on Amazon. A physical version of Nintendo Switch Sports that includes a Leg Strap accessory is available at a suggested retail price of $49.99.
Leg Strap accessory required for some Soccer gameplay.
Nintendo Switch Sports ESRB Rating: EVERYONE 10+ with Mild Violence
* Additional accessories may be required for multiplayer mode. Sold separately.
** Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required for online features. Membership auto-renews after initial term at the then-current price unless canceled. Not available in all countries. Internet access required for online features. Terms apply. nintendo.com/switch-online Nintendo Switch Sports, $39.99-$49.99 on Amazon
For more great options, visit thetoyinsider.com, and find additional toy gift ideas on the Toy Insider’s sponsored video:
Next up, 100 Best Christmas 2022 Gift Ideas for Everyone on Santa’s Nice List