The best toys of 2022 to give away this holiday season

OOur best toys of 2022 offer a variety of ways to play. Kids can stay active with the Vital Hero Digimon portable playgroup. Craft-Tastic Nature Scavenger Hunt potions let them get creative outdoors. And the Vex Robotics Art Start mixes art and engineering. TIME for Kids editors share their picks for the best toys of the year.

Get the build

Kids can get mechanical with these buildable toys. The Candy Vending Machine, from Thames & Kosmos, combines crafts and sweets. How sweet is it? Kids build the machine themselves, stock it with small toys and treats, then send pieces down customizable tracks to unlock content, while getting hands-on physics, engineering and math experience . (8 years and over)

Buy now: candy vending machine

If you’re looking for something more creative, check out Hexbug’s Vex Robotics Art Start. This kids-to-build STEM-based drawing machine lets young artists design detailed geometric patterns. Its adjustable beams and gears allow users to create different designs every time. (8 years and over)

Buy now: Early Art of Vex Robotics

Kids can build their own Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with the construction game I Am Groot, from Lego Marvel. Joints and hinges allow the little alien tree to move and pose. He can even be positioned to look like he’s dancing to the tunes of the kit’s fake tape. (10 years and over)

Buy Now: I am Groot

be active

Bubble popping goes electric with Pop It! Pro, the light-up fidget game from Buffalo Games & Puzzles. Kids pop the lighted bubbles as fast as they appear, moving through each level before time runs out. The multiplayer mode will keep your family busy for hours. (5 years and over)

Buy now: Burst it! Pro

Get the kids moving with Vital Hero, from Bandai Namco. This gamified wearable band takes them through a series of activity-based missions, including running, squats, and shadowboxing, to raise and train a Digimon on the device. With each successful mission, the character evolves. Kids can fight solo battles with other creatures or transfer their character to a friend’s device and battle it out. (8 years and over)

Buy Now: Vital Hero

To show creativity

The Kinetic Sand Swirl N’ Surprise, from Spin Master, promises colorful and practical fun. The set comes with two pounds of red, purple, green and yellow sand that kids add to the swirl machine, so they can create dazzling designs. Plus, there are tools for picking up, slicing, and shaping these sand art creations. The sand is squishy, ‚Äč‚Äčlike playdough, for a satisfying sensory experience and easy cleanup. Want to take the kids outside? (3 years and over)

Buy now: Kinetic Sand Swirl N’ Surprise

The Craft-Tastic Nature Scavenger Hunt Potions Kit, from Play Monster, encourages active exploration by having kids collect natural ingredients, so they can create seven “magical” potions. The kit includes a magnifying glass, tweezers, reusable bottles and a manual that tells kids what to look for. (4 years and over)

Buy now: Craft-Tastic Nature’s Scavenger Hunt Potions

Youngsters eager to learn about different cultures relish Eat2explore global cuisine boxes for kids. Each of the 23 kits explores the cuisine of a country or region and contains key ingredients, as well as a shopping list and recipes. A country guide and food passport add to the experience. Mainland packages are also available. (4 years and over)

Buy now: eat2explore

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