The Biggest Toys That Will Keep Your Kids Entertained and Maybe Even Learning a Little Something

The definitive toy guide for 2023 is officially here!

Good Toys For Kids in 2023

It seems like everyone is coming up with the ‘must have’ toy list this year so we combed throughall the lists from retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon (are there really any others?) to find the true best-of-the-best.  The Today Show  recently named their hottest picks of the year and since we love all things ‘Hoda’ we were inspired to come up with our “Best of” list too!

Here’s a quick recap on how we decided what made our toy list this time around.  We’ve researched dozens of toys, read just as many reviews from folks who actually purchased the toys themselves, and some we even bought and/or gifted ourselves.

Hours of Research

32

Toys Considered

58

Total Recommendations

26

When it comes to the latest toy trends, it’s certainly tough to keep up so we’ve narrowed it down to some of the top trends like:

Here’s our must-have list for kids of almost any age. There aren’t 100 to choose from because who has time for that?! These really are the only ones that you must know about. More importantly, your kids will love ’em! And keep tabs on this page because we’ll be updating it all year long  as new and popular must-haves are released into the wild!

Shop our picks for the new hot toys of the year.

1.

Magic Mixies Magical Misting Cauldron

Magical Mixies Cauldron

Perfect For Ages: 5+

It was such a huge seller last year (during the holidays) that I’ve added it to the list again this year, especially because it was sold out for so many months in the past!

Not only does this whimsical magical cauldron have more than 50 sounds and reactions, but with a tap of the wand and some magic words an actual fluffy little stuffed animal will emerge in the mist. Which one you get is part of the surprise. The fun can continue for your kids and they can do their magic again and again – although only one magical creature will emerge. If only!

PROS & CONS

  • Will keep the kids busy for hours.
  • You can continue to magically make their Mixie reappear over and over again.
  • You can purchase refill kits if needed.
  • It can definitely be on the pricier side.
  • Some felt that once the “magic” was revealed, some kids became bored since the surprise was over.

EDITOR'S TIP

Be on the lookout for sites that are overcharging. You should be able to grab this toy for under $70. Anything over that price, I would be wary.
Sophia Garcia-Davis
Sr. Editor

2.

Series 2 Blume Dolls

Blume Dolls

Perfect For Ages: 4 – 9 yrs old

These are the surprise dolls that everyone was obsessed over last year and now they’re back with Series 2. They still come in super cute flower pots and when you sprinkle some actual water on the ‘top soil’ with the little watering can that comes with it, your Blume Doll will actually start to sprout (almost like it hatches!) and you’ll discover which cute doll with crazy foam hair you got! This time around their foamy hair changes color in the sunlight! Outside of them being really cute and fun, they’re so cheap too, which is a nice change of pace.

PROS & CONS

  • So affordable at just under $10.
  • Kids have fun watching them bloom and change color.
  • They’re cheap enough that you can collect them all.
  • Blume seemed to have stopped after Series 2 so future collecting is in jeopardy!

3.

"Turning Red" Many Moods of Red Panda

Turning Red Many Moods Panda

Perfect For Ages: 3+


You and your kids have probably seen Disney’s “Turning Red” hundreds of times. So why not bring the magic home with the Many Moods of Red Panda Mei! She’s totally interactive and says fun phrases from the movie like “I’m calm!” when you squeeze her paw. When you squeeze her belly she’ll even raise up her arms and growl with excitement.

PROS & CONS

  • Fun for imaginative role-playing.
  • Kids who are obsessed with the movie are just as obsessed with this toy.
  • Priced at close to almost $50, seems a bit high to me.
  • Some kids were a bit afraid and said thought the teeth hurt a little on their finger.

4.

The Plush Toy Meditation Mouse

The Meditation Mouse

Perfect For Ages: 2 – 5 yrs old

We could all use a little meditation practice in our lives, especially these days. This cuddly and soft meditation mouse from the folks at Fisher-Price have found a genius way to help our littlest ones get in on the action. “Meditation Mouse” will help your toddler chill out and relax with guided meditations that are simple enough for them to understand and follow, along with some soothing meditation music.

There are three different calming modes that include daytime sessions, night-time calming sounds, and even a bedtime wind-down exercise. And don’t worry if it gets dirty. Once you remove the electronic piece, you can toss Meditation Mouse right into the washing machine. Time to get zen!

PROS & CONS

  • A great way to teach the little ones the importance and practice of mindful meditation.
  • May help to calm them down before bedtime so they actually go to sleep.
  • Easy to clean the cute little plush toy mouse.
  • Because it can connect to the app via your WiFi, some parents didn’t love that type of technology (WiFi access) around their children.

5.

Mini Brands Disney Toys

Disney Mini Brands Toys

Perfect For Ages: 3+


Kids are still collecting the tiniest of toys and Mini Brands are going strong again this year, especially with Disney’s spin on the trend. Each toy is a surprise, which is part of the fun, and you can collect little toys like Spiderman, Mickey Mouse, Star Wars, Frozen, and more. You can’t go wrong with the price either, making collecting a bunch of them more affordable than ever before

PROS & CONS

  • They’re actually pretty fun to collect, especially when you don’t know which you’re going to get – great element of anticipation and surprise. 
  • Overall, pretty well priced at just under $15.
  • Outside of Disney, Mini Brands also has collectibles for famous food brands, grocery brands, toys, and more.
  • There are more than 50 you can collect and since you don’t know what’s inside you may end up with a lot of duplicates, which can be annoying.

6.

Heroes of Goo Jit Zu “Squishy Stretchy” Figure

Heroes of Goo Jit Zu “Squishy Stretchy” Figure

Perfect For Ages: 4+


Perfect for kids who love squishy things they can stretch and basically beat up, the latest from the super popular Heroes of Goo Jit Zu is at it again with all new fun action figures. They can actually stretch to 3-times their original size. And, depending on which you choose, some are crunchy inside, some are filled with beads, and more. In their latest “Out of This World” series, there are 7 different figured you can collect – and their price is perfect too.

PROS & CONS

  • So many versions your kids can collect.
  • You can really stretch these toys out – they can totally take a beating.
  • Hair (and dust from the floor) won’t get stuck all over it.
  • Since it’s so tough to break, some kids made it their mission to try and destroy it to see what would happen – and, yes, it can actually break if you try hard enough.

7.

Doodle Jams Jelly Boards

DoodleJamz Jelly Boards

Perfect For Ages: 4+

Keeping with the calming and squishy trend, these Doodle Jelly Boards areeverything. It’s basically squishy fidget art you can use over and over again. It’s so satisfying, calming, allows your kids to use their creativity and imagination, and totally mess-free (which is an added bonus). You can either use the tool that comes with the board or simply use your finger so design anything your heart desires.

PROS & CONS

  • At just under $10, the price is amazing.
  • May help kids get calm, stay calm, and chill out.
  • Fun for kids who love being creative.
  • Many who bought this wished it was a bit bigger in size so their kids had more room to design and create.

8.

Magic Mixies Mixlings Magic Castle Playset

Magic Mixies Mixlings Magic Castle Playset

Perfect For Ages: 5+

After the huge success of the Magical Mixies Cauldron, they’re back again and this time it’s a fully magical playset. It’s interactive and filled with truly magical things to discover like a secret entrance, a bed that makes itself, allows you to ask your Mixies “yes and no” questions that they’ll be able to answer and more.

This fun playset comes with the playset itself, a Mixling figure, a crystal ball, a magic bed, a magic wand, table and stool accessories. Kids are really going to love the magic wand and discover all the things this playset will uncover.

PROS & CONS

  • An affordable playset that’s still interactive.
  • A nice addition to the Magic Mixies series of toys for the little ones.
  • If your kids have playsets like LOL (for example) they may find that this one doesn’t have enough bells and whistles.

9.

The Air Hogs Stunt Shot

Air Hogs Stunt Car

Perfect For Ages: 3+


It’s already one of the most anticipated new toy cars of the year and we can see why! This one is remote controlled, has super huge foam tires, and can ride over just about anything indoors without damaging it! You can drive it off the couch, down the stairs, off the walls and just about wherever and it’ll stay in-tact. So cool!

PROS & CONS

  • The giant foam tires means it’s not going to mark-up your floors, walls – you name it.
  • Totally rechargeable via USB
  • When fully charged you only get about 30 minutes of play, which can be frustrating.

10.

Hatchimals Pixies Crystal Flyers

Hatchimals Pixie Flyer

Perfect For Ages: 6+


From the folks who created your favorite Hatchimals, these pretty crystal flyers will actually fly all around your home and even land back on your hand when you put it out. She’ll even figure out how high or low to go based on how you move your hand around. She comes in pink or purple and even sparkles when they fly!

PROS & CONS

  • It’s fun watching her fly and land on your hand.
  • She can recharge via USB
  • Some of the younger kids had a tougher time getting her to land on them.
  • Be sure she doesn’t fly into the fireplace because it can be soul-crushing.

11.

Squishmallows Garden Gnome

Squishy Gnome

Perfect For Ages: 12-months+


One of the coziest, comfiest, and cutest stuffed toys is the Squishmallows Garden Gnome. His name is Rayford, he’s 16-inches tall, and while he’s perfect to help your kids get to sleep plenty of adults love him too. Out of all the Squishmallows, he’s currently the most popular seller. Get ready to cuddle up all night long.

PROS & CONS

  • Great for kids of all ages, really.  Even teens are getting in on the cuddling.
  • A bunch of cute options to choose from.
  • A one-trick pony.

12.

New Speak & Spell

New Speak N Spell

Perfect For Ages: 7+

So many of us grew up with Speak & Spell and now it’s back and modernized, yet still has that same retro look and feel. A popular learning toy from the 80’s, Speak & Spell will help your kids learn how to spell some common misspelled words (we need that around here!) and have fun all at the same time

PROS & CONS

  • Great way to learn and have fun all at the same time.
  • It still has that retro-feeling to it that’ll at least bring you back to the good old days.
  • If your kids aren’t into learning, they may not consider this a toy – and more of a punishment.

EDITOR'S TIP

I had the original Speak-and-Spell and loved it like it really was a toy. Little did I know I was actually learning. A good way to get your kids to use it is to decrease their "phone" screen-time and give them this instead. They'll still feel like they're on a device.
Sophia Garcia-Davis
Sr. Editor

13.

Monster Jam “Megalodon” All Terrain Monster Truck

Monster Jam Megalodon Monster Truck

Perfect For Ages: 4 – 14 yrs old


So many kids love their Monster Trucks and this year it’s all about the all-terrain Megalodon Storm Monster Truck. It’s water-resistant so you can drive it right on water and right onto land without any trouble at all. It’s actually pretty powerful and can make it over mud, rocks, snow, and grass – just to name a few. Parents are going to love that it’s USB rechargeable so you won’t be shopping for batteries every week!

PROS & CONS

  • Water won’t damage it do your kids can drive it right through even the muddiest of puddles.
  • Definitely a tough toy truck that can take a beating.
  • USB charging is where it’s at!
  • Expensive for sure.
  • Some younger kids had a harder time using the USB correctly.

14.

The Fire HD 10 Tablet for Kids

The Fire HD 10 Tablet for Kids

Perfect For Ages: 6 – 12 yrs old

We don’t love adding a tablet on a toy list, but let’s face it, most kids are using their tablets as toys so they can play games, build cool things and so much more. This new one is a total must-have. First, it has a total kid-proof case, comes with 1-year of Free Time Unlimited which gives them access to over 20,000 apps, games, books, videos, and more. All kid-safe!

PROS & CONS

  • While it’s not technically a toy, most kids have a blast playing their favorite games on it.
  • Great 2-year guarantee, so if it breaks you can easily get it totally replaced.
  • The price!  It’s one of the most expensive toys on our list.
  • If you don’t want your kids on a device, stay away from this.  It’ll keep them busy for hours.

POPULAR TOYS CURRENTLY ON SALE

Due to a variety of reasons like shortages, inflation – you name it – so many toys can be really expensive.  So, I researched some of the most popular toy brands and hand-selected some of their best sellers that are currently on sale.  I hope this helps you save a bit, especially if you’re gifting more than one kid!

THE COOLEST LOL SURPRISE TOYS

Year after year, they’ve been obsessed with all things LOL and this year is no different.  Since LOL is being released all the time, I’ll update this section, but in the meantime these are three hottest LOL picks of the season.


THE BEST OF BLUEY

Your kids have watched endless episodes of the cute Bluey, his family, and his friends.  If you’re looking for something Bluey they’ll love, take a look at these three.