With technology and special effects combined with good-old-fashioned fun, the best toys for 2021 will keep childhood magic alive. With Magic Mixies, kids mix up a potion and—poof!—summon a new stuffed pet. LEGO Vidiyo Party lets children create their own music in virtual reality. And the Spirograph Animator reinvents a beloved classic toy, using a light show to add animated effects to your child’s spiral designs. The editors at TIME for Kids have compiled a list of the top toys for children this year.
Your Magical Ability
It Magic Mixies Magic CauldronMoose Toys has a great spell book that kids can use to help them create magic potion. Once they’ve added all the ingredients, the mixture will foam and bubble. Kids then wave a magic wand, say the magic words, and—poof!—a mist rises from the cauldron. The Mixie, an adorable animal made of mist is visible when it clears. This is the Got2Glow Fairy FinderWowWee sends children on a hunt for virtual fairies hiding in plain view. You can find them anywhere, including in your bedroom, garden or kitchen. Once kids have gathered the fairies and placed them safely in the electronic jar, they can “bond” with the magical creatures by feeding and hugging them. Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron, 5+ years; Got2Glow Fairy Finder, 5+ years
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It is not your ordinary camera. It can take photos. The best part is that it takes photos. VTech KidiZoom PrintCamYou can even add borders, digital stickers and other effects to your snaps! Once your portrait or selfie looks perfect, click the print button to instantly get a black and white version. It can be used to make comic strips or to color your pictures. There’s also a video-record function and fun games built in. There is enough paper in the camera to produce 80 photos. There are refill packs available.
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All Your Marbles
Put your family’s scientific minds to work with one of these Rube Goldberg–style contraptions. These are the The Marble Rush Ultimate SetVTech’s X-ray technology sends marbles flying along tracks and ramps. It also lights up a cone and fires a cannon. These paths are easy to put together in different configurations because they have color coded parts. The enables you to fly higher and more efficiently. National Geographic Makeway Magnet Marble Run. The magnetic pieces allow you to create marble runs on vertical surfaces such as whiteboards or refrigerators. The set comes with a learning guide that explores scientific concepts such as energy, gravity and Newton’s laws of motion. (VTech Marble Rush Ultimate Set is for children 4+. National Geographic 100 Piece Makeway Magnetic Marble Run is for children 8+.
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Create and Code
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Family Game Night
Quick! What’s an item you find at a grocery store? Good! Name another. Hurry! Hurry! GibGabFat Brain Toys makes it easy to think and speak faster than your opponent. You will face an opponent on the electronic board. Select a category using one of the cards. Press a button, and you’re in a head-to-head battle. GibGab can be played with two players or a group of friends to play tournament-style. There are many ways to play GibGab. Disney Pixar Toy story Talent ShowFunko Games brings the beloved characters of the film franchise to your family game night with ‘Funko Games. This game is super active and players can show their talents in various themed challenges. To win prize tickets and the most prize ticket points, complete the challenge. (GibGab for ages 8+, Disney Pixar Toy Story Talent Show for ages 6+).
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Moments of Mindfulness
Are you looking for something that is calm and doesn’t require a screen? The tactile toys can be used to focus and soothe your child’s senses. These toys are available in the following sizes:Mindful Maze boards from Hand2mind, little ones can use their fingers to move through various patterns—including waves, rainbows, and stars—as they pace their breathing to each task. Dimpl PopsFat Brain Toys’ newest product, X-Ray, offers a new level of sensory pleasure. You will find exercising your fine motor skills relaxing and fun with the irresistible popping of silicone bubbles. (Mindful Maze, Pre-K-8, and Dimpl Pops (3+).
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This pair of toys can transform screens with virtual and augmented reality technology. Bill Nye is their guide and kids can travel into outer space with him as their guide to discover black holes and the cosmos. Bill Nye’s VR Space LabAbacus brands. This kit includes VR glasses and a 96 page activity book. They bring life to the world. There’s also an 85-piece set of materials that kids can use to build a planetarium and do 30 hands-on experiments. The Lego Vidiyo app allows kids to create music videos. Simply download the app and scan your Lego figurine to create an augmented reality music video. You can download the app and scan your Lego figurine to create a music video that will take place in augmented reality, wherever you are. Party Llama BeatBoxSet includes 16 BeatBits, a Party Llama figurine and a scanning stage. Every BeatBit can be used to make a unique video effect within the app. (Bill Nye’s VR Space Lab, ages 8+; Lego Party Llama BeatBox, ages 7+)
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Candy Claw Machine, from Thames & Kosmos, puts an educational spin on the classic arcade game. The kit allows kids to build their claw machines using cranks and turns, as well as belts and levers. Then they can add their favorite treats—a supply of lollipops and decoy candy boxes is included—and practice reaching for prizes. You can also get three different claw types so that your child can scoop or score.
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The classic PlayMonster toys have been reworked to appeal to a whole new generation. The new PlayMonster toys are now available in the Koosh Sharp Shoot game, soft and squishy Koosh balls—they were all the rage in the late ’80s and ’90s—are used in a slingshot game that tests a player’s aim. You can find the following: Spirograph AnimatorThe Spirograph Animator is a new twist on the classic Spirograph. It allows kids to draw intricate geometric shapes. Spirograph animated is a fun way to take the experience one step further. After creating their designs, kids can set them up on the animator. The animator turns the drawings and lights up the animation, creating an animated effect. (Koosh Sharp Shot, ages 6+; Spirograph Animator, ages 8+)
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You can bring it to life
These kits allow young gamers to experience the design process and develop their skills. Nintendo’s Game Builder GarageThe interactive lesson in design and programming is available on Nintendo Switch. This guide guides them as they make seven exciting games. Once they’ve learned the basics, kids can create almost any game they can dream up. BitOGenius Inc.’s Pixicade Mobile Game Maker It is ideal for those who love art. You will receive five marker washables and paper. After they use the Pixicade app to snap a photo of their work, it’s transformed into an animated game that can be played on a smartphone or tablet. (Game Builder Garage, ages 8+; Pixicade Mobile Game Maker, ages 6)
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3D: Moving from 2D to 3D
You can keep little hands busy by Cubles. These toys are made of 100% recycled paperboard and can be used as part puzzle or origami. Cubles are made from 100% recyclable paperboard. Children create shapes using the whiteboard. Follow color-coded instruction tabs to make them. You can make a toy that is three-dimensional by combining pieces. Cubles can be transformed into a wide variety of animals, such as dinosaurs and dragons. They also turn into characters from beloved children’s book series, such as Little House on the Prairie Dog Man. Cubles are small and don’t require scissors or glue, so they’re especially helpful for keeping kids occupied during holiday road trips. Cubles, 6+
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