17 best toys for big kids

Score big with that hard-to-buy-for older kid with these new toys that were tested by real families.

Photo: Carmen Cheung

Buying the right gifts for kids can be a challenge, which is why we had real kids test out these awesome games, crafts and (more complex) toys. Whether your kid is into STEM, adrenaline or science, this awesome list of toys has you covered.

1. Not Parent Approved Card Game

not parent approved card game gifts for kids
Image courtesy of Not Parent Approved

A family-friendly take on Cards Against Humanity, players fill in the blanks in scenarios like, “In my dream there were zombies” with answers like “farting, moving away and acting casual.” Not Parent Approved, $35, amazon.ca

2. BeyBlade Burst Turbo Slingshock Cross Collision Battle Set

beyblade collision set gifts for kids
Image courtesy of Hasbro

A quadruple rail system will force your BeyBlade top into the ring for a white-knuckle clash with its opponent. Battle Ring mode is the best for defence, and Slingshot mode propels you into the ring. Hasbro, $80, toysrus.ca

3. Y’art Flamingo Craft Kit

flamingo yarn art gifts for kids
Image courtesy of Kahoots

A special grippy canvas secures the yarn as your little Van Gogh weaves it around the design template. And don’t worry if they make a mistake: The yarn will easily lift off and can be placed down again. Kahoots, $20, mastermindtoys.com

4. Vex Robotics Build Blitz

Vex robotics build blitz gifts for kids
Image courtesy of Hexbug

The little engineer in your life is going to want this 800-plus-piece set. The snap-together pieces (no tools required) can build various motorized robots—seven, to be exact. Construct a monkey, a crane or a race car, and use the VEX Pilot App to make your creations move. Hexbug, $195, hexbug.com

5. Pretty Pixels Eraser Maker

pretty pixels eraser maker sweets version gifts for kids
Image courtesy of Ban Dai

So cute and kawaii, this DIY kit lets kids make cupcake and doughnut-shaped erasers. Load the template into the mould maker, and use tiny tweezers to place small bits of rubber into place. Add water, microwave it and then let it cool to set. BanDai, $23, amazon.ca

6. Circuit Blox Lights Starter

e-blox lights circuit builder
Image courtesy of E-Blox

Kids use colourful transparent blocks to build a multitude of designs that can connect to a sound-activated module. LED lights illuminate your structure when you speak or play music. E-Blox, $25, scholarschoice.ca

7. Turbo Jetts

razor turbo jets electric shoe jets
Image courtesy of Razor

Look at you, gliding by in style. These electric jets fasten to your kids’ shoes with a strap and can be secured to a range of sneaker sizes. The rechargeable 12-volt lithium-ion battery lets you rip around at a speed of 16 kilometres per hour for up to 30 minutes. These are best for kids age nine and up with strong coordination skills. Razor, $140, amazon.ca

8. Spa Lab Bath Bombs

spa lab bath bombs kit
Image courtesy of Smart Lab Toys

Kids can make their own fizzy bath bombs to enjoy or give as gifts with this fun set. Everything needed to make 20 different all-natural bombs is included. Experiment with colours, scents and various mould shapes. It’s also fun to learn the cause and effect of why these little fizzers create so much fuzz through sodium bicarbonate reactions. Smart Lab Toys, $37, toysense.ca

9. Tiny Pong Solo Table Tennis Kids Electronic Handheld Game

tiny pong toy
Image courtesy of Hasbro Gaming

Keep the ball bouncing from one side of the net to the other without letting it fall in this solo hand-held table tennis game. Match point! Hasbro Gaming, $25, toysrus.ca

10. 3UP 3DOWN Card Game

3up 3down card game
Image courtesy of Ok2Win

In this fast-paced card game, each player receives nine cards: three face down, three face up and three for their hand. The goal is to be the first to get rid of all your cards by matching the discard pile with the same or a greater number. Ok2Win, $33, amazon.ca

11. Boomtrix Showdown

Boomtrix showdown play set
Image courtesy of Goliath

Woo hoo! Get ready to have a bouncing good time with this trampoline set. Kids can tell gravity to back off as they launch metal balls through a riveting course of trampolines, a stunt ring and obstacles to score a goal. Not only is it fun to watch, but setting up the course also requires imagination and fine motor and planning skills. Goliath, $50, mastermindtoys.com

12. Scorpion

blue scorpion toy
Image courtesy of Hexbug

Say hello to your stinging little friend. This battery-powered scorpion has a moving tail and bouncing legs for crawling all around the house. It scurries at warp speed, so watch out. (Available in five colours.) Hexbug, $20, hexbug.com

13. King Me!

King Me game
Image courtesy of Ravensburger

This two-player game is a journey, with the goal of capturing your opponent’s pieces. Travelling through various regions, like the Bone Yard and the Red Forest, players use a deck of cards to make moves and earn points. Ravensburger, $33, mastermindtoys.com

14. Artie 3000 The Coding Robot

Artie the coding robot
Image courtesy of Educational Insights

Artie will draw whatever you design for him on a computer or tablet (no WiFi required). Place him in the centre of a single sheet of paper and tweak angles and degrees to make unique and interesting designs or to play games. Educational Insights, $100, well.ca

15. Claim and Save Game

claim and save board game
Image courtesy of Chalk & Chuckles

This board game encourages kids to create reserves to help save the animals. Players add grass hedges to create enclosures to protect their endangered species. The more endangered the animal, the higher the points kids earn. Chalk & Chuckles, $22, benjo.ca

16. Sparkling Slime Experiment Kit

Sparkling slime experiment kit
Image courtesy of Science4You

Ready to make a mess? This kit is packed with 14 experiments to create everything from sticky, sparkling dough to scented slime. The instructional booklet is written by real scientists and gives more than just how-tos—kids can also read up on the history and science of slime. To make the kit even more legit, the set includes gloves, goggles and a special dropper. Science4You, $25, indigo.ca

17. Fornite AR-L Nerf Elite Dart Blaster

Fortnite ar-l nerf elite dart blaster
Image courtesy of Hasbro

Modelled after the blaster in Fortnite, this motorized dart-shooter lets you take your game from digital to reality. The clip holds 10 shots, so you’ve got plenty of chances to slay. (WARNING: Do not aim the blaster at eyes or faces.) Hasbro, $70, toysrus.ca

Read more:
25 best toys for little kids
33 best toys for preschoolers
25 best toys for babies and toddlers

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