Best Unique Toys for Kids

by Shawn Bean and Christina Vercelletto

Best Unique Toys for Kids
Shop Story

Check out Parenting editors’ picks for the best and most unique toys for kids—perfect for holiday gifts!


1 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

Brilliant Creations Advanced Notebook


Educational fun (yes, really) and a can-do price made the Brilliant Creations Advanced Notebook a top pick in this category. An actual mouse and touchscreen up the crucial authenticity factor.

2 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

City Square Off


I need two more blocks for that high-rise! That's the kind of challenge that'll keep 'em playing City Square Off. The first to determine which shapes work—without spilling over the city limits—wins.

3 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

Fab Badge Maker


Who needs the Scouts? The Fab Badge Maker has all the goods (glitter stickers, gems, fabric swatches) to make ten doodads that attach to backpacks, jackets, and hats.

4 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

Fijit Friends


Sage and Willa, two of the four Fijit Friends, are in a class by themselves. They light up, dance, tell jokes, and speak dozens of phrases.

5 of 20 Image Credits: Game Wright



The object: Line up your FlipOut cards so you have four-of-a-kind in a row. The trick: The cards are double-sided, so opponents can take them to use in their own rack. The twist: The player with the most colorful socks goes first, so dress to win.

6 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

GeoSafari Talking Electron Microscope


Just gift a white lab coat along with the GeoSafari Talking Electron Microscope and a scientist is born. He'll view 60 specimens and hear hundreds of snippets about animals, plants, the human body, and more.

7 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

Hot Wheels Video Racer


The Hot Wheels Video Racer gives the term “put you in the driver's seat” new meaning. The hot rod has a video cam built in, feeding footage back as it flies along the track.

8 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon



Eww (you). Awesome! (him). The lifelike Larvae scurry and change direction when they hit an obstacle.

9 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

Master Builder Academy Space Designer


Calling all Lego maniacs to the intricate and intense Master Builder Academy Space Designer set. High-level construction secrets abound (superior stability and sideways building!). Each kit makes three different models, so the thrills have a longer life span than with other construction sets.

10 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

Paper Jamz Pro Series Microphone


Beware, Nicki Minaj! Paper Jamz Pro Series Microphone lets li'l Beyoncés belt it out with harmony and backup.

11 of 20 Image Credits: Moma Store

The Art Quadrat Puzzle


There isn't just one right way to put The Art Quadrat Puzzle together; it boosts creativity by allowing lots of options. Any which way it's done, the mod design and vivid colors make it worth displaying.

12 of 20 Image Credits: Discovery

The RC Spinning Lights Car


It's a stunt vehicle like no other: The RC Spinning Lights Car careens on two wheels, does a flawless 360, and blinks a rainbow of colors. (One editor here continues to play with it under her desk.)

13 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

Remote Control Spaceman


He's a mysterious Remote Control Spaceman in a faceless black helmet, powered by double rotors and hovering above the couch. The cat is sure to freak. And your kid will, too, in the best possible way.

14 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

Spy Net Video Watch


Your kid can channel his inner Bond with the Jakks Pacific Spy Net Video Watch. The built-in microphone and camera capture 20 minutes of footage—more than enough to bust little sis for taking cookies before dinner.

15 of 20 Image Credits: Walmart

Animal Planet Air Swimmers


The entire office was awestruck by the elegant motion of the Animal Planet Air Swimmers. The remote control flies the clownfish so realistically, you can smell the salt air.

16 of 20 Image Credits: American Girl

American Girl historical doll


Dateline: New Orleans, 1853. Cécile, the newest American Girl historical doll (joining the likes of Kit and Molly), hails from The Big Easy. In her divine teal frock and spiffy boots, she's what every girl hopes to see under the tree.

17 of 20 Image Credits: Flex Dex

Clear29 LT


Half-pipe dreams come true on the totally rad Clear29 LT light-up skateboard. Dusk riding is a no-brainer, but daytime cruises are equally awesome.

18 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

S9-R Sports Sedan


There's no cooler rig than the S9-R Sports Sedan, which swept this category with a slick design, rockin' cobalt wheels, and interchangeable parts. Bonus: Four figurines—dead ringers for the Blue Man Group dudes!—ride inside.

19 of 20 Image Credits: Griffen Technology

Crayola ColorStudio HD app and iMarker


With the Crayola ColorStudio HD app and iMarker, an iPad becomes a portable easel. There are preset pages to color, blank ones for scribbling, plus cool animation.

20 of 20 Image Credits: Amazon

Perplexus Genius


A steel ball rolls along the curvy chutes, ramps, and trapdoors as you rotate and flip the Perplexus Genius, a mesmerizing 3-D maze.