Santa’s “Ho-ho-ho!” may replaced by “Go-go-go!” this year, as the jolly guy and other toy experts recommend parents start holiday shopping asap.
“Everyone is ready for the holidays but this year; Santa’s sled may be stuck in port,” says Laurie Schacht, of Westbury, the Chief Toy Officer of The Toy Insider, a consumer guide for parents. “There are so many supply chain issues that will affect whether or not kids’ favorite toys are well stocked this holiday season. If you know what your child wants, now is the time to shop for hot holiday toys.”
In addition, Hannukah is early this year, beginning the weekend of Thanksgiving in late November.
Here are some fun toy suggestions:
Kids who love bumper car rides can have their own at-home version with Bumper Cars from Flybar. The indoor car lets kids zip around the house using joysticks to steer and reach a maximum speed of 1 mile per hour. Comes fully assembled in red, blue, pink or purple. For 18 months and older and up to 66 pounds; $99.99
Koosh Sharp Shot
Koosh Sharp Shot from PlayMonster lets kids use the familiar squishy Koosh balls in competition. For ages 6 and older; $29.99 at playmonster.com.
Candy Claw Machine
The Candy Claw Machine from Thames & Kosmos lets kids build a machine with cranks, gears and belts that pick up, move and drop the included 10 lollipops. For ages 6 and older; $39.95.
Tic-tac-toe-style games get a new twist with Corner Crush from Big G Creative, in which players drop tokens into a rotating tower and play around the corners to score four in a row. For ages 7 and older; $19.99.
With Magic Mixies from Moose Toys, kids concoct the special potion in a sparkly cauldron, use their magic wand and create a magical mist and creature. For ages 5 and older; $69.99.
For some families, the annual Hess vehicle is a traditional holiday gift. The 2021 Hess Cargo Plane and Jet has button and motion-activated flying sounds, folding jet wings and more; $39.99.
Math Wizard and the Fantastic Food Truck
Teach kids geometry through cooking. Players are chefs who customize dishes for unique customers with a variety of requests. For ages 6 and older by Osmo; $59.99.
The Pelican from Little Tikes sounds like the popular workout bike for adults - and it offers stationary cycling or spin class style play, with access to built-in adventure videos and videos on YouTube. For ages 3 to 7, with adjustable seating and handlebars; $157.99.
The Big Dig from Reeves International lets kids pretend they are on a construction site. It has digging and dumping action and can be used in snow or sand. Can be disassembled to pack up and take to the park or beach. For ages 3 and older, with weight limit of 110 pounds; $49.99.
The National Geographic Explorer Series Pottery Wheel from Blue Marble is designed for beginners who want to shape sculptures such as bowls or vases from clay. Comes with two pounds of air-dry clay and tools and paint. For ages 8 and older; $69.99.
Among Us Toys
Among Us plush toys from Yume let kids collect 16-inch replicas of the characters from the popular online game. For ages 3 and older; $16.99 each.
This year, Squishmallows from Jazwares celebrated selling its 100 millionth toy since it launched in 2017. The newest collectibles are the Food Squad series that features appetizers, cheeseburgers and desserts, including Carmelita the s'more and Bernardo the Burrito. Available in sizes from 3.5 inches to 24 inches. For all ages; $2.99 to $59.99.
Pop fidgets have been trending with kids for months, and it seems like they can never have too many. Top Trenz is out with new ones with holiday themes, including a dreidel and a grinch. For ages 8 and older; $12.
Herd Mentality from Big Potato starts with a random question such as "Name a fruit that's hard to juggle." Players secretly write an answer and those who match earn a cow token; the odd answer out gets the pink cow. Be the first to collect eight cow tokens while avoiding the pink cow to win. For four or more players ages 10 and older; $20.
My Squishy Little Dumplings
Interactive characters by WowWee fit in the palm of your hand. Squeeze their cheeks to pop out their personalities, shake them, toss them, use their accessories and listen to their sounds. For ages 5 and older; $14.99 each.
Cocomelon JJ Doll
Dress up the Cocomelon Interactive JJ Doll from Jazwares and feed him peas while he sings and giggles. Features songs from the animated YouTube show such as "Yes, Yes, Vegetables." For ages 3 and older; $29.99.
'Jurassic World' Figures
Dinosaur fans may collect the more than 30 "Jurassic World" CAPTIVZ Clash Edition dinosaur figures from ToyMonster, which hatch out of Captivz Slime Eggs. Un-wrap, crack and ooze the way through slime to reveal the species. For ages 3 and older; $4.99.
Pokémon Trainer Box
Each 25th anniversary Pokémon TCG Celebrations Collection Elite Trainer Box includes booster packs, anniversary-themed card sleeves, a players guide and rulebook and more. For ages 6 and older; $49.99.
LOL OMG House of Surprises
An urban-style mini-mansion dollhouse with four floors and 10 rooms, a working elevator, a pool that can be filled with water and a fire pit with interactive lights. It's inspired by the OMG fashion dolls and LOL Surprise! dolls. Dolls sold separately. For ages 4 and older; $229.