Best big kid toys of 2022

Thames & Kosmos Catch The Moon

$49

Strike a balance between strategy and fun by rolling the die and stacking wooden ladders atop a cloud to try and reach the moon. But watch out: If you topple your carefully balanced creation, there’s a pesky raindrop chip that will threaten your win. Do your best to avoid the showers because victory is measured by whoever has the fewest droplets. No umbrellas required! 

Tried & Tested:  “AMAZING!!!! 101%!” – Audrey, 8

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Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter Gringotts Bank 3D Puzzle

$35

How does the Wizarding World keep its treasures safe? Deep within Gringotts Bank. Goblins keep watch, but the Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon perched atop adds extra protection. Three hundred soft pieces connect to make an impressive 3D structure; you can find instructions online to assist with construction. 

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Spin Master Rubik’s Phantom

$25

Just when you’ve mastered the brain-puzzler that is the Rubik’s Cube, a new variation arrives on the scene—and it’s going to leave you in the dark. Instead of the usual brightly hued cubelets, the Phantom has a temperature-sensitive coating. Every tile is black, and only the heat of your fingers (as you turn and twist the cube) will temporarily reveal a colourful clue. 

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Lego Friends Friendship Tree House

$100

Friendship is the result of teamwork, and this 1,114-piece 10th anniversary LEGO Friends set proves that it really does make the dream work. All five mini-dolls—Mia and River say hey!— have a role in helping to make this bustling tree house oasis the place to be. There’s honey to fetch from the sustainable on-site hives, a turbine-powered elevator that ensures everyone can get to the top and tools that nurture creative passions like birdhouse building. When it’s time to play, you can swing, slide, and chase a cute bunny, or check out the retro Heartlake-themed treasures just begging to be found. 

Tried & Tested: Definitely hours of fun and great imaginative play.”  – Carolina, mom of two

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Hasbro Connect 4 Spin

$34

Balance is the latest twist to this classic game. Instead of the usual stationary grid, players plunk down their piece and then spin the column, potentially lining up four of your discs for the win. Use the two weighted discs—one per person—to shift things in your favour, but be careful: If both players line up four discs on one spit, the person who spun the column loses!

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Spin Master Pixobitz Studio

$40

Pixelated art is forever cool, and this portable, mess-free studio gets you designing with dots by stacking colourful cube-shaped beads called Bitz into a special tray and spritzing with water to fuse. Lay down one of the three template cards as your guide or wing it and design something awesome on your own. Next, accessorize with icons, outfits, facial expressions and more, using the fun sticker sheets. Honestly, the most challenging part of this craft is waiting for it to dry. 

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Lego Minecraft The Training Grounds

$100

Building a world in Minecraft takes on a tangible meaning in this 500-plus-piece build. Divided into two areas that can be stacked or played with separately, this set includes a dojo training centre for warriors to perfect their craft up above, and a blacksmith’s cave complete with everything needed to repair weapons below. Travel between the two by pulling a brick and revealing a secret trapdoor. Special Minecraft minifigs include a skeleton, ninja and rogue. 

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Klutz Mini Pom-Pom Food Animals

$30

OMG cute! It’s amazing what a dinner fork, some yarn, bead eyes and accessories can create. This DIY pom-pom craft kit has everything needed to make a potluck of pals, from a green apple bird to a mouse cupcake to a bunny ice cream cone and more! After assembling, gift to your friends or create a vignette on a shelf or dresser. 

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Ravensburger Star Wars Villainous Power of the Dark Side

$60

Using strategy and unique attributes and objectives based on the iconic villain of your choice— General Grievous, Kylo Ren, Moff Gideon, Darth Vader or Asajj Ventress—the goal of this game is to become the top bad guy. How? Follow the specific storyline for each character and then set obstacles, overtake opponents and gain lightsaber chits. 

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Spin Master Cool Maker Stitch n’ Style Fashion Studio

$50

For crafty kids who aren’t yet ready to use a traditional sewing machine, this simple, battery-powered stitcher can tackle real sewing projects without any of the tangles. Pre-threaded and intuitive—it knows when the fabric ends!—the micro studio has six cut-and-stitch patterns that range from a simple sunglasses case to a more involved clutch. Budding artisans can also create their own designs once they’ve mastered the basics. 

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Hasbro Nerf Elite 2.0 Stockpile Pack

$40

This one goes out to the kids (and adults!) who can’t get enough of a foam dart. Get ready to pump up the Nerf-fuelled, three-blasters-in-one fun with this coveted battle-lover pack. The set comes with a small, medium and large blaster, plus extra darts to crank battles up a notch. Ready, aim, fire! Or if you’re a parent, duck!

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Klutz Bath Bomb Scented Bakery

$30

A follow-up to the best-selling Make Your Own Bath Bombs Kit, this round of DIY is delectably more sweet, with pastel colours and moulds shaped like doughnuts, milkshakes and macarons. Run a bath to enjoy the fizz, pop and scent of frosted sugar berry. Yum! 

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Studiostone Creative Soapstone Jewelry Pendant Kits

$29

Soapstone carvings can be traced back thousands of years. Their soap-like texture, hence the name, makes them an ideal canvas for forming works of art, like a heart, sea star or leaf pendant (each kit is sold separately). Open the eco-friendly box and sand, buff and polish your stone, then loop it onto a waxed string. This natural beauty is ready to wear.

Tried & Tested:  “This was fun for both kids and adults!” Jaclyn, 9

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Lego Harry Potter The Shrieking Shack & Whomping Willow

$120

Tree branches that bend, spin and grab, plus a haunting hovel, make up this enchanting 777-piece set. Based on two memorable scenes from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, it’ll inspire you to join Sirius Black, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Professor Lupin and Peter Pettigrew as they explore the rickety old Shrieking Shack. Just watch out for the full moon’s glow—it has the power to transform friends into foes. Ah-woooooooooo! 

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Hasbro Monopoly Secret Vault

$45

The board looks the same, but there’s a crucial difference in this latest iteration of the 1930s winner-takes-all experience: In the middle is a locked vault filled with wealth and keys to unlock property. As players make their way around the board, they can take turns trying to crack the randomly set lock code. Whoever guesses correctly gets the riches inside.

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