Welcome to the famous MPMK Gift Guides and congrats on finding the most comprehensive and easy-to-use toy gift guide on the internet – already viewed over 7,000,000 times!
Now on to ALL of the most exciting gifts you can give an elementary-school-aged child…
$39.99 (4 – 9 years)
The Flying Owleez is sure to be one of the hottest toys of the year so it may be wise to grab it while you can.
Like the Hatchimal toys, the Owleez is a robotic toy that expresses a large range of emotions and responds to a child’s interaction. Kids will love taking care of their Owleez and watching as it thrives under their care.
What they’ll really go crazy for, though, is teaching Owleez to fly.
You’ve gotta watch the video on this one- my bet is you know a kid who will totally flip over this one.
One last thing- I appreciate that there’s both a pink and white version of the Owleez, making it a toy that will appeal to both boys and girls. While there are certainly plenty of boys out there who appreciate pink, my sons aren’t among them. The white version will be a toy all three of my kids will enjoy.
$34.99 (5 – 12 years)
One of my good friend’s recently texted me this about these, “My son just got this toy for his birthday and it’s a HUGE HIT.”
So I checked it out for this guide and the reviewers agree.
These are a super fun and inexpensive introduction to the world of drones and robotics. They’re super easy to control with just your hands and can be played with alone or in a group.
One of the major “it” toys of the year… If you want a gift that’s sure to impress, this is it.
$18.65 (7 – 12 years)
The first thing I thought when I saw this book was that it was a combo of two of my son’s favorite things: LEGOs and the game Mouse Trap.
I talk a lot in this gift guide about the value of open-ended toys and I think this book could really get a kid’s mind spinning in regards to what new contraptions they can invent…
From the manufacturer, “LEGO Chain Reactions is packed full of ideas, instructions, and inspiration for 10 LEGO machines that spin, swing, pivot, roll, lift, and drop.
Each machine alone is awesome, but put them together and you get incredible chain reactions. Then, combine the machines in any order you like to create your own chain reactions. Our team of experts worked with educators and 11-year-olds to invent the machines, then wrote a book that teaches the skills (and some of the physics behind the fun) kids need to create their own amazing chain reaction machines.”
The kit comes with 78 page book, 33 LEGO elements, 6 LEGO balls, 6 feet of string, 8 paper ramps, 2 paper pop-up signs, 1 paper funnel ramp, 1 paper flag, 1 paper bucket, 1 platform and the makers assure that you don’t need to worry that you won’t have the right bricks as they made sure you’ll need only the most common bricks, and that there are plenty of substitutes.
$24.99 (8 – adult)
As my kids are getting older, finding a good game that everyone in the family enjoys- and laughs a lot while playing- is like striking gold.
This year I’m most excited about the family version of Pick Your Poison, which is basically a board game version of “Would You Rather?“.
I’m grabbing this one for our whole family to play together this Christmas Eve and I also hope to use for many family game nights to come.
I think this will be one of those rare games that will get my kids talking and hopefully lead to conversations we never would have had otherwise!
$29.99 (6+ years)
There are a few things that I especially appreciate about this super fun game. First, parents report that it’s one of those rare games that kids of all ages not only like, but are also able to win against the adults.
Second, it can also be used as a single-player logic game during quiet time (I always LOVE that option). Finally, it’s a total classic and families absolutely love the components of both chance and strategy in the game.
And now it’s available in this sure-to-please Harry Potter version! We were sent this version to review and it was a big hit for my son’s recent 11th birthday– for both him and his 9-year-old daughter.
$31.99 (3 – 9 years)
If you’ve got a singer in the house a karaoke microphone is a great present to consider. We got a karaoke machine for our daughter last Christmas and it has been the best thing ever.
Anytime she has a friend over, they always immediately disappear into her room and start singing away. And she also spends plenty of time using it all on her own.
The only drawback was that it was kind of clunky and my daughter kept losing the cord. This new compact microphone version is brilliant!
Plus, it does so much more than just connect to your phone via bluetooth for karaoke.
It can also be used as a speaker and a recorder plus it has 48 colorful LED lights that flash with the rhythm of the music.
If you’ve got a performer in the family, this is the gift for them!
starting at $9.38 (5+ years)
This is the rare toy that truly is like no other I’ve ever seen.
Imagine if three of the all-time most loved toys in history- Hot Wheels, Pokeman Cards and Transformers- had a baby… you’d have Mecards.
You really have to watch the video to understand the magic of how this works… but basically kids “battle” by each rolling their cars over a facedown card.
What happens next is some crazy cool “magic”. The car not only turns itself into an action figure, it also picks up and displays the magnetic card to show who has won the battle.
Both my son and daughter have gone through big Pokeman card stages, mostly so they could battle, and I just know that my son is gonna flip out when he sees this.
In fact, every year when I start working on these guides I vow that I will not buy anything for the kids yet… Nevertheless, 4 of these Mecard sets are on the way to our house as we speak.
Each vehicle comes with 3 cards and I’m thinking a good starter pack for would be 4 vehicles (which will come with 12 cards). To see the true magic of these cards, you have to check out the video above- you will be sold!
The last thing I really like about this set is that the cards make it really easy to tailor the game to the age of the player– you can keep it super simple for preschool and kindergartners and much more complex for elementary aged kids.
$26.88 (ages 10+)
My 5th grader loves puzzles but this one really took it up a notch. After Ravensburger (our family’s very favorite puzzle maker) sent it to me, I gifted it to my son for his 11th birthday.
He built it right away and was kinda blown away by the 3D car that he was able to build… and the fact that it was a Porsche 911 didn’t hurt either. This one is a great gift for any older kids you’re shopping for this year.
$34.99 (ages 3 – 12)
A few years ago tutorials for making your own electric play dough were popping up all over Pinterest. I would excitedly click on them with the intention of whipping up a batch for my kiddos, quickly get defeated by ingredients I didn’t know how to get, and give up.
I was so excited when I was sent some samples of Squishy Circuits- the answer to my prayers! I’m so excited about the possibilities for teaching the kids about circuits in such a fun new way!
It’s got so much that kids love, i.e. play dough and and things that light up, and there’s a Squishy Circuits app with easy, step-by-step instructional slides and videos for all of your project
This one is a multi-award winner and sure to be a big crowd pleaser!
(part Llama, part Unicorn)
continue to be one of t
With over 250 sounds and reactions, Llalacorn shrinks down when she’s held; chases her accessory up and down; sings along to music; grows tall to reach the high note and more.
This one is going under the tree for our daughter this year for sure.
$45.99 (8 – 15 years)
This clever kit is the all-time-best-seller on our gift guides and another multi-award-winner that takes advantage of kids’ natural interest in building toys (like LEGOs) to teach the principles of electricity.
The components aren’t intimidating, snap together simply, and can be used to create a bunch of cool projects. The standard set comes with 60+ pieces to create over 300 different electronic projects. The pieces include snap wires, slide switches, an alarm circuit, a music integrated circuit, and a speaker and are numbered and color-coded to make identifying them easy.
The latest and hottest iterations include:
- Snap Circuits Lights – This colorful lights edition puts on quite a show and is another favorite around our house.Just connect any MP3 player and be amazed as your music creates a mesmerizing light display.No two songs will ever produce the same light show. Includes prepunched patterns for motor, strobe light, and color-changing LED, lighted and glow-in-the-dark fans, strobe integrated circuit, color organ controlled by MP3 player, voice, or finger. Builds over 175 experiments.
- Snap Circuits 3D Illumination – Allows kids to go beyond the flat surface to build circuits horizontally, vertically and even upside down. The 3D setup means you can actually build a house and there’s even a projector that projects things onto the wall.
- Snap Circuits Arcade – Lets kids actually build – and play! – mini arcade games. There’s also an incredibly cool fan that can be programmed to project any word or phrase onto it with lights.
The components in Snap Circuits combine to create working circuit boards just like the ones found inside televisions, radios, and other electronic devices. (Note: there is a conversion set that turns Snap Circuits Jr into this bigger set when your kids are ready to move up.)
The HUGE popularity of these sets means there are now lots of options to choose from, check out this video for the run down:
For bigger kids, you’ll definitely want to check out the reduced priced Snap Circuits Student Electronics Training Program down this year from $199.99 to $127.45 as well as the Alternative Green Energy Kit.
$19.99 (ages 3 – adult)
I’m always on the hunt for a great game for family game night, or our Christmas Eve tradition of playing a crazy game with the family. The key components I’m on the hunt for are that the game is easy to learn, highly entertaining and suitable for kids (and adults!) of all ages.
This one totally checks all the boxes. Essentially frisbee golf with rubber chickens, players toss the target to get started, then take turns flicking’ their chicken at the target. Sounds easy enough, but these funky chickens bounce and roll, so hitting the target will test your chicken flicking’ skills!
My hope is that this might even be something my older elementary grade son will enjoy doing with his friends at playdates- you know, instead of ALWAYS defaulting to Xbox.
starting at $6.29 (6+ years)
These books are just so cool for kids that have a passion for art because they can use them to teach themselves how to draw all the things they want to.
We started with the thumbprint book, which is great for younger kids, and recently added the animal and vehicle drawing books for my son’s birthday as well as Picture Pie, which incorporates cutting and pasting shapes to make things step by step instead of just drawing.
$24.99 (3 – 12 years)
This 140 piece art set gets great marks for everything from it’s special looking case that keeps all the components snapped in place to the quality of the art supplies inside. If your child is getting serious about art, this gift will show them you are proud of their burgeoning skills and it’s sure to thrill.
My son and daughter seem so much more motivated to create since they received their own art case- and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the attractive case has them always picking up their art supplies and taking care of them with pride.
$99.99 (6+ years)
There are so many STEM toys on the market now that they can all kind of blend together. This Harry Potter Coding Kit from Kano, though, is a definite stand-out.
I love how it uses the magic of Harry Potter and the step-by-step building of a physical wand to encourage kids to learn coding.
This super innovative kit allows kids to build a wand that responds to their movements and then learn to code with 70+ step-by-step creative challenges. They can make feathers fly, goblets multiply, fire flow, pumpkins grow, and more.
My daughter is a huge HP fan and I could see her absolutely eating this toy up. And, of course, any toy that sneakily teaches coding skills while the kids are having fun is a big, big plus for me.
The tagline for this unique set says it all; Build a Wand. Learn to Code. Make Magic.
$19.99 (reading age and up)
Have you heard of this Uber popular game yet?! This hilarious card game made Kickstarter history by becoming it’s most backed project ever. Kids and adults alike cannot get enough of the bizarro premise of a kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette.
To play, players draw cards until someone draws an Exploding Kitten, at which point they explode, they are dead, and they are out of the game – unless that player has a Defuse card, which can defuse the Kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches.
All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens. Check it out, you’ve gotta see it to understand… and then your whole family will be hooked!
$19.99 (ages 4 – 14 years)
My son received this kit for his 9th birthday and it blew me away how excited about it he was. Why??? Because the football comes with 13 route plays embossed directly onto it.
For junior football enthusiasts that dream of being the star quarterback, this is HUGE. My son is so excited about having his buddies over and using the ball to easily and quickly call plays in the huddle.
I’m excited about a toy that encourages him to stay active and gives me an instant go-to activity whenever he has friends over. (He’s already excitedly planning his first backyard flag football party.)
The set comes with 10 durable stitched 3 flag belts designed to maximize side and tail flag exposure plus a kid-sized football featuring short distance and longer distance plays as well as the exclusive Spacelace® system making it easier to grip and throw.
It’s quickly gone to the top of my list of birthday toys to buy for every boy I know.
$24.99 (6 – 9 years)
I remember a friend of mine sending me a link to this toy when it first appeared on KickStarter. Since then, it’s been great to see the massive success of this engineering toy built with girls in mind and my daughter has become a HUGE fan.
This year she even requested a GoldieBlox birthday party. Each of the girls got one of these mini Goldieblox builds and we put the zipline action figure on top of the cake.
If you don’t know, GoldieBlox is a series of interactive books and construction toys starring Goldie, a curious girl with a love of engineering. Goldie’s stories leverage girls’ advanced verbal skills to help develop and build self-confidence in their spatial skills – so smart!
My daughter has tried out lots of the sets and the zip line is definitely her favorite (SO fun to watch her fly from the second to the first floor in our house) but she also gives really high marks to this dunk tank set, which she’s built and played with in many different ways.
If you want to encourage STEM skills in a girl in your life I highly recommend Goldie Blox!
$14.99 (ages 7 – 12)
I’ve wanted to add a stop-motion kit to the gift guides for a while now but just couldn’t find one I was totally sold on. I think it’s such a great way to get kids creating and using technology in a much deeper way than they typically do.
Plus, there’s a lot to love about this simple Stikbot kit! First, of course, is the price. This could easily become one of our go-to birthday party gifts and could also work as with a Christmas gift or a stocking stuffer (would also be a really fun White Elephant Christmas Party present).
Second, you can tell the creators of the kit have really thought hard about what will get kids excited about stop motion as well as what might frustrate them.
The figures come with suction cups on the hands and feet so that kids can more easily make the small position changes necessary to get a good stop-motion video. And the free stop-motion app that’s included has a couple of really cool features like multiple green screen backgrounds and sound effects. Finally, I like that it’s set up to be used with a smart phone and even comes with a tripod for doing so.
And, if your kid really gets into it, there are lots of add-on animals, accessories and other figures you can add in (at a price perfect for kids saving up their own allowance money to buy). This one is going on the Christmas list for my 9-year-old for sure!
Psst – if you have a LEGO fan in the house, definitely also check out this LEGO Make Your Own Movie Kit.
$63.99 (ages 5 – 12 years)
My son got this set for his 9th birthday and I am so incredibly impressed (and so is everyone else according to the 1000+ stellar reviews). There is something so great about having a set of play guns you can hand over to boys and, unlike usual nerf guns, not have to worry about them knocking something over or hurting anyone with the darts.
And with these particular lazer guns, I love that there’s not a lot of equipment like vests, etc. to keep track of- all you need to play are the guns. The motion and sound effects are very cool; lights, sounds and vibrations when shooting and when hit and the drop down re-load is a nice touch.
They also have a lot of really nice features like the option to play solo or on two teams and the option to combine lots of sets together so everyone can get in on the fun. Plus, you can change the settings on each gun to determine if the player gets out after being hit 10 times or 25 times. This is great because you can give younger players a handicap and allow them to get hit more often before they’re “out”.
We actually brought them to my son’s birthday party with 15 boys and they got played with even more than the xBox and Wii (which is really saying something). Even my 7-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son were clamoring for a turn… I’m seriously thinking about buying another set for Christmas!
$19.99 (ages 5 – adult)
A gloriously smart combo of Connect 4 and the ultra popular Bounce-Off… this game of strategy and luck is equal parts exciting and goofy fun.
Talk about the perfect rainy day activity and just the thing to pull out for family game night. This one’s ideal for a range of ages and interests, it’s sure to be at the top of lots of kids’ Christmas lists this year and will lead to hours of good ol’ fashion family fun.
$15.99 (5+ years)
When my kindergartner came home from school one day asking me to teach him to play chess, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was excited because, despite spending a lot of our time together on sports-related activities, I have great memories of playing chess with my dad growing up.
On the other hand, I was afraid he was a little young for it and might get frustrated and give up on the game altogether. Enter “No Stress Chess”.
This genius game uses cards to teach young kids how to play in stages. The cards tell you which piece to move, so even children (and adults) who have never played the game can jump right in. The moves for each piece are on the cards as well as on the game board and the first stage makes the game about chance, not skill – you simply draw a card and do what it says, perfect for learning how the pieces work.
Once that is mastered, you can draw 3 cards at a time and decide which one you want to go with to introduce some strategy to the game. Finally, when you’re ready to play chess for real, just get rid of the cards and flip the board over to a traditional chess board.
*Post contains affiliate links.
Still want more ideas? Don’t forget to check out all 15 of the MPMK Gift Guides, organized by your child’s age:
For the hottest toys of the year see:
Plus, the rest of our guides organized by interest:
Tens of thousands of parents use these lists every Christmas to find the perfect gift!
If you like these recommendations, I encourage you to pin or bookmark them for later when you’re ready to start shopping.
I would also love it if you forwarded the list to your parenting friends or shared it on facebook – trust me, your friends will thank you for the help and you get to be the cool mom (or dad) with all the best resources. It’s a win-win.
Also, don’t forget for even more recommendations and alerts when we spot our gift guide items on sale: