The Verge’s 2021 holiday gift guide for kids

R2-D2 Tamagotchi

Take a double dose of nostalgia with the RD-D2 Tamagotchi. Your very own droid counterpart to clean, play with, and love. Help R2 learn new skills and unlock mini-games to play. Sometimes the real epic saga is the friend you make along the way.
Price: $18

Amazon Echo Glow

The Echo Glow isn’t your traditional Echo device. Amazon’s kid-friendly night light doesn’t feature a mic but instead a dimmable LED that can cycle through 16 different colors with a simple tap of the lens. It can also be connected to another Echo device or integrated with Alexa routines, so your kids will always know when it’s time to brush their teeth and get ready for bed.

Price: $30

BuddyPhones Cosmos Plus

The BuddyPhones Cosmos Plus are specifically designed for kids and, as such, the lightweight Bluetooth headphones feature a range of bright colors and cute designs. They also tout effective active noise cancellation and keep little ears safe with three levels of volume limiting: 75dB, 85dB, and 94dB.
Price: $100

Nintendo Switch Lite

The Nintendo Switch Lite is perfect for mini gamers in the making. The dedicated handheld is a cheaper alternative to the Nintendo Switch and its OLED-reliant upgrade, yet it’s still compatible with nearly all the same games. Moreover, you’ll likely appreciate extended battery life, which should keep the kids entertained (and distracted) for longer while traveling this holiday season.
Price: $200

DJI Mini 2

A drone is a great gift for kids, especially for the aspiring photographer or pilot, but they also tend to be pricey. Luckily, DJI’s entry-level model is a high-quality beginner device that won’t completely break the bank. It’s easily the best drone you can get for under $500, with a great camera, terrific software, and a small build that lets you tuck it just about anywhere.

Price: $449

KiwiCo Tinker Crate

KiwiCo’s Tinker Crate helps kids explore STEAM with a hands-on science or engineering project delivered directly to your door each month. Tinker Crate is designed to help kids discover, explore, and create things in the world around them, sparking a lifelong love for all things STEAM. Designed for kids ages 9-14, each crate comes with all of the materials needed to complete a featured project, as well as a TinkerZine magazine full of additional science projects, and access to online tutorials with tips and tricks for completing the crate and exploring more.
Price: $22.95+

Wing Freedom 2 electric bike

If you’re tired of your kid bugging you for a ride, consider the Wing Freedom 2. This commuter-style bike is one of the more stylish and affordable options you can get, and it can reach speeds up to 25 miles per hour. It also features embedded front and rear lights, a built-in alarm system, and can go anywhere between 35 and 60 miles on a single charge depending on which battery you choose.
Price: $910 to $1,190


Playing board games together can be a great family bonding exercise, and Catan is a modern staple that should line every game cabinet. The popular strategy title offers just the right amount of difficulty, requiring you to build, trade, and settle the island of Catan before your opponents. There are even a host of optional expansions, if you want to ratchet up the difficulty with additional islands, barbarians, and other gameplay elements.

Price: $30

Chuck Taylor All Stars

Originally basketball shoes, Chuck Taylors have become near ubiquitous, with everyone from celebrities to politicians wearing the classic high top. The best part is that you can customize every part of them, from the canvas uppers to the iconic heel stripe, or buy them in a range of colors and simple patterns.

Price: $40

Verizon GizmoWatch 2

Kids always want what grown ups have, which is why Verizon’s kid-friendly GizmoWatch 2 makes for the perfect gift. While the waterproof smartwatch doesn’t offer a ton of content for kids, it offers a number of parental controls and a GPS tracker, allowing you to keep tabs on your child while giving them a bit more freedom. It even features a step tracker and the ability to call or text up to 10 trusted contacts, ensuring you’re never out of reach.
Price: $100

Sphero Specdrums (two-ring set)

Sphero’s Specdrums are great for cultivating your child’s musical abilities, especially on the go. With the portable, app-enabled toy, kids just need to tap a color in order to create sounds and beats, just as they would on a digital drum set or a keyboard. The silicone bands last for several hours, too, and come with a physical pad to ensure the full spectrum of the rainbow is always within reach.

Price: $55

Kindle Paperwhite Kids

The latest Kindle Paperwhite is here. The Kids edition is the same as the base model — complete with USB-C support and a 6.8-inch display — but comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus, a service that provides access to thousands of kid-friendly books and other content. The Kids edition is also bundled with a two-year guarantee, so you needn’t worry should your child drop it while tearing through the living room.
Price: $120

Loog Mini Electric

Kids have a knack for thrashing expensive gear, which is why Loog’s attractive line of miniature guitars is a godsend for myriad reasons. The company’s three-string electric guitar is about the size of a standard ukulele and features an integrated amp and speaker, along with flashcards and an accompanying app so your kid can rip through T-Swift’s catalog in no time.
Price: $159

SpyraTwo water gun

Make no mistake, the SpyraTwo is not the tubular water cannon you grew up with. And while it may not be the season for water guns, kids rarely need an excuse to drench their friends. Spyra’s premium gun makes it a bit easier for them to do so, allowing them to shoot more than 2,000 water “blasts” on a single charge from up to 46 feet away.
Price: $174

Apple Watch SE

If the newfangled Apple Watch Series 7 is out of your price range, last year’s Apple Watch SE might fit the bill. While it doesn’t feature an always-on display or blood oxygen monitoring, it does boast quick performance, reliable battery life, and the best smartwatch software around for far less than Apple’s latest wearable.
Price: $230+

Tattly temporary tattoos

Tattly tattoos are cool enough to make even grown-ups green with envy. Designed by a team of talented artists, these temp tattoos are available as singles or in packs of eight. All the designs are kid-friendly and range from traditional to contemporary. Whether you want to try out a design yourself, or just give your kid some edge, this nontoxic ink is so cool they’ll wish it was permanent.
Price: $5 to $15

Me: A Compendium: A Fill-in Journal for Kids

Me: A Compendium: A Fill-in Journal for Kids is exactly that: it’s an illustrated journal that asks kids a series of entertaining prompts designed to exercise their imagination. These range from what they’d bring to space and what their band name would be, to how they feel about lizards. It’s a fun, interactive diary that’ll serve as a great memory for them to look back on (read: cringe upon) many years down the road.
Price: $13 to $15

Crazy Forts kit

Sometimes the most basic gifts are some of the best. Take this fort-building package from Crazy Forts, for instance. It consists of nothing more than a few geometric balls and a bundle of plastic sticks, yet, when pieced together, it allows kids to construct rocket ships, castles, igloos, and host of other structures. Pair the 69-piece set with a few blankets and a little imagination, and you’re good to go.

Price: $43

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids

The Fire HD 8 Kids tablet is just like the standard model but comes with a protective bumper, a two-year warranty, and parental controls that allow you to limit the kind of content your kids can consume. Like the Kindle Paperwhite Kids, the last-gen e-reader comes with a yearlong subscription to Amazon Kids Plus as well, giving your child access to a wealth of age-appropriate content.
Price: $140

Lite-Brite Ultimate Classic

The Lite-Brite is a dazzling toy that encourages kids to embrace their creativity. Children can create mesmerizing artwork on a screen with bulbs that literally light it up. The set comes with color glow pegs and six templates with various designs kids can use.
Price: $13

Oculus Quest 2

For a long time, the Oculus Quest 2 was the closest many of us got to going outside. While we’re spending a little more time outdoors now, this standalone headset is still one of the best ways to experience VR. The Oculus Quest 2 doesn’t require external sensors or even a standalone console like other headsets — everything is self-contained — making it feel like a truly futuristic device.
Price: $299

Micro Mini Deluxe scooter

Sure, the Micro Mini Deluxe isn’t the kind of ride your kid will be doing bri flips on, but it’s a great little scooter that toddlers will love. The platform is wide enough that kids should have little trouble working on their balance and coordination, while perks like the scooter’s adjustable handlebar and sturdy build components will help ensure it’s a toy that will grow with them.

Price: $90


A learning toy with dimension, Magna-Tiles are a great way to introduce concepts like geometry and spatial skills. These vibrant tiles come in a variety of shapes and snap together with strong (but not too strong) magnets. They’re remarkably durable, too, and can easily withstand being stepped on or dumped on the floor.
Price: $50

Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Ultimate Learning Bot

Whether they’re babies or preschoolers, your little ones will likely enjoy piecing together Fisher-Price’s 4-in-1 Learning Robot. Each of its components acts as a different toy, helping your child learn to crawl, count, and participate in a range of activities. There are also more hands-on activities for babies, like spinning wheels and clicking arms, which provide a more tactile experience.

Price: $40 to $50

Lego Star Wars: The Mandalorian Razor Crest

At this point, it seems Lego issues Star Wars playsets for every generation of kids. The Razor Crest is one of the latest, modeled after the Mandalorian’s iconic ship. The 1,023-piece construction set comes with four mini figures — including the Mandalorian and the Child — as well as weapons, so they can play out scenes from the Disney Plus show as they eagerly await the third season.
Price: $130

Black Diamond Wiz Headlamp

Stop having your kid carry around a flashlight with their hands and strap one to their head instead. This simple LED headlamp can be attached to a head, an arm, or wherever necessary. Regardless of placement, however, the Black Diamond Wiz is a great, kid-friendly solution for illumination when a conventional flashlight simply won’t do.
Price: $20 to $30

Pottery Barn Mackenzie Backpack

Like a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper in 2021, Pottery Barn’s colorful rainbow backpacks are sure to stand out in the crowd. They’re not just glittery; they’re also made with a water-resistant material and lined with plenty of pockets for stashing lunch bags, water bottles, and cables. You can even personalize each pack with your child’s name, adding a dash of uniqueness.

Price: $55 to $65

UE Wonderboom 2

Nobody should be without a solid Bluetooth speaker, and the UE Wonderboom 2 is an excellent option. This waterproof, orb-shaped speaker is remarkably loud, can last up to 13 hours on a single charge, and can pair with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously.
Price: $91 to $100

National Geographic Rock and Fossils Kit

Don’t ask us why rocks are fun… they just are. National Geographic’s Rocks and Fossils Kit contains an assortment of more than 200 geodes, fossils, minerals, and gemstones, as well as a magnifying glass and an identification sheet for classifying every rose quartz and prehistoric tooth housed in the well-manicured fossil bed.
Price: $25 to $40

Nite Ize Flashflight

The end of daylight saving time means shorter days and, for some, less time to practice Ultimate Frisbee in the park. If you want to toss a disc after the Sun goes down, however, Nite Ize offers an array of durable, brilliant LED discs that are just as visible at night as they are during the day. Plus, they make great dog toys.
Price: $19 to $22


With Planet, you can cultivate your child’s interest in the environment while they’re young. Over the course of 12 rounds, the family-friendly strategy game challenges players to build 3D planets, each with its own distinct ecosystem. The beauty of the game is in how simple it is to learn and how quick it is to play. That, and the cute wildlife cards.

Price: $40

Do A Dot Art! Markers

Art supplies are a simple solution if you want to encourage your kids to embrace their inner creativity. These washable, paint-like markers from Do A Dot Art! are a great option, namely because they work well on a variety of mediums and are less messy than traditional art supplies. And while they’re aimed at kids of all ages, they’re also designed to be small enough for little hands to grab.

Price: $17

Activ Life LED bike lights

Activ Life’s multicolored LED lights aren’t just fun decorative items your kids can strap on their bikes — they will also keep your children visible and safe when they’re riding outside. The AAA-powered bike lights are waterproof, too, and feature an optional strobing effect that will help your kids stand out even more.
Price: $25 to $29

Squad Hero Rechargeable Laser Tag Set

For many a kid, laser tag is a tried and true birthday tradition. It can get expensive, though, which makes Squad Hero’s rechargeable set all the more attractive. The vibrant bundle includes four guns, four LCD-equipped vests, and a charging station that allows you to juice everything at once, meaning you can skip the Costco run for AAs and jump right into the firefight.
Price: $220 to $250

Wekapo Inflatable Lounger

Wekapo’s Inflatable Lounger isn’t just a Coachella staple. The sofa-like piece of furniture weighs a mere 2.5 pounds and packs down to the size of a small backpack, yet, when inflated, provides eight feet of lounge space. It doesn’t require a pump, either, and comes in an array of colorful prints that should appease any kid who is looking to kick back.
Price: $38 to $40

Source: The Verge

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