Every parent hopes their children will grow up to be successful and have the skills to thrive. Every parent also hopes to make their kids jump-up-and-down-screaming happy with their holiday presents. Can one gift serve both purposes? Is it possible to find educational toys that will both teach your kids something and light up their faces with joy?
Amazon's new list of the 100 most crave-worthy toys of the holiday season suggests the answer is yes. The site recently came out with its predictions for which toys will be most sought after (hat tip to Business Insider) including a huge sub-list of educational toys.
From amazing robotics kits to serious upgrades on the chemistry and erector sets of your youth, the list makes clear that educational toys have come a long, long way. These call-up-your-best-friend-to-brag toys are no longer doomed to collect dust at the bottom of the pile after the holidays. Here are a few of the best.
littleBits Electronic Music Inventor Kit. $99.99. The perfect pick for your budding DJ, this one lets your kid build musical instruments from various electronic components... and then rock out. (Might want to buy yourself a set of earplugs to go with it.)
UBTECH JIMU Robot Mythical Series: UnicornBot Kit. $199.99 Want to demonstrate that the extremely girly -- purple unicorns! -- can go hand-in-hand with science, tech, and building? Well then, this is the toy for you. Ages 8 and up.
Discover with Dr. Cool Lunar Telescope for Kids. $39.99 No, this isn't the most out-of-the box idea, but sometimes classics are classics for a reason. Comes with a piece of a real asteroid as well as glow-in-the-dark stickers to put on their bedroom ceiling.
Magical Microbes DoughLab STEM Kit: Bake Learn. $18.28. Do your kids like sweet treats? Of course they do. Then leverage that love of baked goodies to teach them something about both cooking and biology.
National Geographic Mega Fossil Mine. $29.99. Got a dinosaur lover in the house? Try this. It includes a chisel, brush and magnifying glass so your kid can play paleontologist and excavate real fossils.
Mason Jar Science: 40 Slimy, Squishy, Super-Cool Experiments. $10.50 This book explains how to make slime in a jar out of things you already have at home. It's super gross (and may ruin your furniture), so you know they'll love it.
Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit. $99.99 OK, I admit that robotics + wizarding sounds like a bit of an odd combination at first, but what young Harry Potter fanatic wouldn't leap at the chance to build their very own magic wand that responds to your movements?
littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit. $58.41. More of a Star Wars family? Then this one is a no brainer. In fact, I'm pretty sure my 40-year-old husband would like it too, so it may be suitable for the young-at-heart too.
Kids First Science Laboratory Kit. $31.22 Get 'em started young with this basic science kit suitable for ages three and up. It includes 24 tools and 10 suggested activities that will soon have your preschooler ogling garden critters through a magnifying glass and conducting messy experiments in your kitchen.
Nintendo Labo - Variety Kit. $66.69. Build on your kids' love of video games with this kit that let them build a car, bike, piano and other creations, which they can then control via a Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con controllers.
Got other ideas for educational toys kids genuinely love? Leave a shout out in the comments and I'll add them to the list.