25 best toys for little kids

Little kids aged five to eight will love these fun new toys, which have been tested by real families. Bonus: Many will bring out their creative side, too!

Photo: Carmen Cheung

Looking for the best toys of 2019 for your little kids? We had five to eight year olds put toys through the ringer to come up with their favourite 25—a tough job, we know. These were the ones that came out on top.

1. Sprinkle Art Shaker

Crayola sprinkle art shaker best toy 2019
Image courtesy of Crayola

Sprinkles without the mess?! Load the shaker with a template, outline it with glue, fill the vial with sprinkles, close the shaker lid and give it a shake. You can create glittery art without the sparkle explosion! Crayola, $23, thebay.com

2. Pomsies Wave 4

furry rainbow pomsies best toy 2019
Image courtesy of Pomsies

Psst, this furry pet wants to be your buddy. Loaded with 50 responses that are triggered when you press its mouth, head or nose, Pomsies love to be tickled—and when you dance. The fluffy tail wraps around your wrist or backpack. Pomsies, $20, walmart.ca

3. Friends Lighthouse Rescue Centre

Lego lighthouse friends rescue centre best toy 2019
Image courtesy of Lego

Being a lighthouse keeper is important work. Mia and Emma stay on the lookout and use their water scooter to rescue animals. When they’re off-duty, they like to hang out in the TV room, the office or on the observation deck, which has a lamp that shoots beams of light. Lego, $80, lego.com

4. Food Tubes Taco

Food tubes taco best toy 2019
Image courtesy of Plus-Plus

Who knew a tube of little bricks could be so much fun? (We knew.) Tucked inside is everything kids need to build their own 3D taco. But don’t stop there: The pieces can also be used to make kids’ own creations. Plus-Plus, $10, qhousekids.com

5. Treasure X: Quest for Gold

Treasure x quest for gold board game
Image courtesy of Treasure X

Flip a card and make your way around the board. Find buried treasure and unlock chests to collect loot. But don’t get too confident, sailor: If Exis attacks, you’ll lose all your riches and it’ll be back to the beginning for you. This game is great for strategic thinkers. Treasure X, $13, toysrus.ca

6. Zax

Zax foam axe best toy 2019
Image courtesy of Zing

Axe throwing is a popular activity, but it’s not the safest for kids. Now littles can work out their aggression and test their hand-eye coordination with a soft foam hatchet that suctions to any flat surface. Zing, $16, mastermindtoys.com

7. DIY Puffy Charms

Puffy charms box set
Image courtesy of Craft-tastic

The world is your…pineapple, with this tricked-out set of DIY adornments. Using 210 puffy stickers, 110 metal rings and yards of cord, little crafters can get busy creating 3D charms, from pandas and pears to planets and pizza. It’s so simple: Place two puffy stickers together to form a charm and get to work accessorizing. Craft-tastic, $20, mastermindtoys.com

8. Mars Research Vehicle

Playmobil mars research vehicle best toys 2019
Image courtesy of Playmobil

Mars is covered in red dust and has lots of canyons and craters. It’s a good thing your little astronaut has a research vehicle to check it all out. Functioning lights make it easy to see and the tool arm is interchangeable with a drill bit or defence mechanism, depending on what they encounter. Playmobil, $55, toysrus.ca

9. Rainbow Surprise Dolls

Poopsie rainbow surprise slime dolls
Image courtesy of Poopsie Slime Surprise

These fashion icons have 20-plus surprises to unbox and play with, including a bevy of rainbow and shimmery slime powders that can be added to the doll’s translucent outfit or her ’90s platform combat boots. Poopsie Slime Surprise, $80, toysrus.ca

10. Sera’s Magical Flower Boat

Sera's magical fairy boat with unicorn
Image courtesy of Schleich

The gang’s all here and ready to set sail on a mystical boat ride. The flying squirrel will sit in the crow’s nest, while Sera steers and keeps an eye out for choppy water or pirates. The baby unicorn likes to chill in her own little dinghy. Come nighttime, the trio can cozy up in the convertible shelter. Schleich, $70, indigo.ca

11. Pixie Crew Educational Panel

pixie crew educational panel with smiley face
Image courtesy of Pixie Crew

This two-dimensional design activity will stoke imaginations and create works of art. Here’s how it works: Young artists grab a pixel and push it into place on the silicone panel. Anything goes design wise, but they can get inspiration online if they’re feeling stuck. Not happy with the placement of a piece? It’s easy to remove and manipulate the pixels. Pixie Crew, $16, indigo.ca

12. Transformers Cyberverse Spark Armor Ark Power Optimus Prime Action Figure

Optimus prime action figure
Image courtesy of Hasbro

Hailing from the planet Cybertron, this robot stands an impressive 12 inches tall. Optimus Prime harnesses the power of AllSpark to transform from a ship to a truck to a robot in powerful Spark Armor in 11 easy steps. Hasbro, $70, walmart.ca

13. Treasure X: Aliens Single Pack

treasure x aliens single pack
Image courtesy of Treasure X

Totally gross, but in the best possible way, this slime-filled alien is harbouring a Treasure Hunter. First, dissect the alien’s belly to reveal the hunter, and then look for weapons and space gems to add to their collection. When you’re done, go ahead and give him a squeeze. Goo will ooze from his eyes, mouth and nose. Ew! Treasure X, $20, canadiantire.ca

14. Fingerling Narwhals

pink fingerlings narwhal
Image courtesy of Wowwee

This adorable Narwhal will kiss your cheek, blink her eyes, flap her tail and make the cutest little sea creature sounds. Her horn also changes colour, so you’ll know exactly how she’s feeling. Wowwee, $20, walmart.ca

15. Invasion of the Cow Snatchers

invasion of the cow snatchers game
Image courtesy of ThinkFun

In this brainteaser of a game, players will need to beam up cows on the farm while manoeuvring around obstacles. Long-term play is guaranteed with 60 different challenges, ranging from easy to genius. ThinkFun, $40, indigo.ca

16. Tweet Beats Tree Set

Tweet beats tree set
Image courtesy of Tweet Beats

Mix and match these music-loving birds on different branches to create sweet melodies. Every feathered friend has its own unique musical style: Beach Bobby likes reggae, Jenny the American is a classic pop star, Binky fancies himself part of a British boy band and MC Jay is a rapper. Tweet Beats, $40, mastermindtoys.com

17. Blinger

blinger in pink
Image courtesy of Blinger

This tool is ready to affix teeny gemstones to just about everything—yes, even your hair. Place the item you’d like to bedazzle into the blinger and press down. Voila, a little bit of sparkle is left in its wake. The kit comes with 150 gems in a variety of colours. Blinger, $30, toysrus.ca

18. City Mars Research Shuttle

mars research shuttle toy
Image courtesy of Lego

Is there life on Mars? It’s time to find out with this 270-plus-piece exploration set. Inspired by NASA, it includes a research shuttle with a cockpit, a cargo door that opens and closes, space for stashing a drone and a rover with a grappling arm, solar panel and laser. Two astronaut mini figures can use the helidrone to explore their surroundings and then report back to Earth. Lego, $50, lego.com

19. Dragon Snacks

Dragon snacks toy
Image courtesy of Goliath Games

Dragon has very strange taste in snacks: He just ate all the treasure, and it’s up to you to get it back. Wave a hand over Dragon’s face, and his stomach will magically turn transparent to give you a sneak peek. His nose will glow a specific colour, and you’ve got to reach your hand into his mouth and try to retrieve the coordinating loot. Goliath Games, $20, walmart.ca

20. The Magic School Bus: Rides Again—Exploring Oceans

The magic school bus rides again exploring oceans game
Image courtesy of The Young Scientists Club

Beep, beep! Hop on board the Magic School Bus with Miss Frizzle and the crew. Developed by Harvard grads, this ocean-themed box of experiments takes small scientists on a deep dive into STEM learning. The Young Scientists Club, $30, theyoungscientistsclub.com

21. Robots Kombat Twin Pack

Robots kombat twin pack
Image courtesy of Ycoo

It’s a robot showdown in the ring with these duelling droids. Big, strong fists pack a punch that can help ward off your opponent. The set includes two wireless controllers and two robots, with glowing eyes and realistic sound effects, that can be manoeuvred into different actions and moves. Ycoo, $50, toysrus.ca

22. Emoji Window Art

emoji window art
Image courtesy of Creativity for Kids

Create window clings (perfect for the car) using 40-plus designs, 3D googly eyes and even shimmering paint. Outline your design, and get colouring. Let your creation dry and then peel it off and stick it. *Insert emoji wearing sunglasses here. Creativity for Kids, $28, amazon.ca

23. Tamagotchi On

tamagotchi on in purple
Image courtesy of Tamagotchi

The coolest little virtual pets of the ’90s are back! They can now make friends, get married and have their own little My Tamas. With millions of Tama characters, kids can play games, go shopping and pat themselves on the back for being so responsible. Tamagotchi, $80, toysrus.ca

24. Rockit Twist

rockit twist toy
Image courtesy of LeapFrog

With 12 preloaded games in varying levels of difficulty, kids can learn math, problem-solving and science, and create their own music in a fun, WiFi-free way. Parents will love the head-phone jack for quiet learning time. LeapFrog, $70, indigo.ca

25. L.O.L. Surprise! 2-in-1 Glamper

pink and blue glamper toy set
Image courtesy of L.O.L Surprise

Start your engines! This pastel caravan doesn’t skimp on accessories. With 55-plus surprises waiting to be unveiled, the toy has over 10 hangout areas, including a DJ booth and a runway. The headlights and horn really do work (safety first), and the two-storey water slide ensures dolls make a splash when they show up to the pool party. L.O.L Surprise, $150, walmart.ca

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

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Best toys for little kids 2017

A Hatchimal, Hot Wheels, Transformers and more! There are lots of amazing toys (all tested and approved by real kids) on this year's list of best toys for little kids.