Our Picks for the Best Toys Kids (and Parents!) Will Love

Thanks to our partners at SCHEELS for sponsoring this article.

best toys

Whether they’ve been naughty or nice, we still love to put a smile on those little faces during the holidays! When it comes to selecting the best toys for our kids, it can be overwhelming. We want something our child will love (and play with more for than a day). As parents, we want something that isn’t obnoxious, expensive, or messy.

So, we went on a hunt to find a list of the best toys kids AND parents will love!

We stopped in to the SCHEELS Toyland section, which offers a great selection of toys for all ages. 

Here are a few of our favorite finds by age group.[/vc_column_text]

Our Favorite Toys for All Ages

Best Toys for Age 1-5

Sensory Play

Fat Brain toys enrich curiosity in young infants and toddlers. These toys are beautifully created with vibrant colors and provide tactical challenges for little ones. These are a favorite gift for young brains! These toys encourage the use of fine motor skills and teach identifying shapes and colors.

best toys

Lego Duplo

Eager to get your little one into Lego but worry the pieces are too small? Consider Duplo Lego sets! Duplo bricks are made larger, and are suitable for ages 1 or 2 and older (depending on the set). Combine your little ones’ love of Disney + Lego with this Disney Adventure Camping Building Set.

best toys

Pretend Play

We found a variety of toys for pretend play, including a great selection of Melissa & Doug sets, wooden play structures (for older toddlers) from Magnum Enterprises, and an entire wall of Schleich toy animals and figures. These are all great ideas for imaginative play.

Have a budding fisher? Grab the Melissa & Doug Lets Explore Fishing Play Set. The set has 21 pieces including two wooden fishing rods, pretend bait, hooks, a reversible play mat (summer or winter experience), an illustrated fishing guide that helps identify fish types, and a tackle box for quick and easy cleanup. This is an especially fun set for winter months as you look forward to summer fishing!


My toddler LIT UP when she saw the Barbie Doll & Horse set! Pretend play with Barbie and her horse. 

You may also want to pick up this Disney Princess set including a 6-pack of beloved animated characters from popular Disney movies. These figures are a bit smaller and may be easier for smaller hands.


Magnatiles are open-ended for playtime and easy to clean up. I’ve also found that kids of all ages happily engage in Magnatile play. As their box states, the ideal age for play is 3-99! We especially love this adorable 25-piece Forest Animal Magnatile set.

best toys

If you’re looking to engage your 3-year-old in a game night, consider Count Your Chickens. This game is designed for children 3 and older. This farm-fun game teaches cooperation as players work to count together. Most importantly for little brains, it can be played at a fast-pace to keep your little one engaged!

Best Toys for Ages 6-9


The Lego selection at SCHEELS Toyland is fantastic! Lego Classic colorful sets or Creator 3in1 sets are a great option for early but still experienced Lego builders. These sets are versatile and offer your child 3-different builds to work on.

Check out their great selection of NINJAGO sets or build your favorite Marvel character or scene. We also found this awesome 2024 Avengers Advent Calendar!

Not into Ninjas? Consider heading under the sea and building your favorite The Little Mermaid Royal Clamshell set.

Games & STEM

Check out the awesome selection of Tech Deck if your child is into fingerskate. SCHEELS carries a lot of bonus pack options to choose from!

Want to give your child something different? Gift them the world’s smallest Monopoly Board Game (bonus, you could pair it with a large version of their favorite Monopoly game!) If your kiddo isn’t quite ready for Monopoly, consider another “world’s smallest” toy from Super Impulse. 

Q Ba Maze 2.0 is a unique system of colorful cubes that interlock to form a marble maze. This game can also be unpredictable as each cube opens to two sides. Your kiddo can configure this system in any way they like!

K’Nex systems are another fantastic option for creativity. Similar to Lego in that it is a construction-based play, K’Nex offers a little more flexibility in design due to the rod and connector building systems used. K’Nex is also owned and operated out of the USA. 

best toys


Inspire your child’s imagination with a Barbie set. Choose in-store from over 20 Barbie dolls (and Ken!)

This Barbie Daisy Doll & Kayak is an adorable It Takes Two Barbie Set. Your child can imagine Barbie out for an outdoor adventure, paddling in her kayak, with her puppy along for the ride.


Best Toys for Ages 10+


Impressed with your child’s Lego-building ability and ready to help them take it to the next level? Consider any of the Star Wars, Marvel, DC sets, or this beautiful Modern Art Lego set to challenge them with the next level of Lego building.


Want a fun and trendy gift? Check out Sky Viper Drones! The Sky Viper Force Drone doesn’t require a remote. With motion sensors all over the drone, it can sense its surroundings. These have been trending all of TikTok and other social media platforms.

Games & Puzzles

We all love new games and SCHEELS has many to choose from in TOYLAND. But, there is something nostalgic about the classics like Mastermind or Catch Phrase! These are great games for the whole family to enjoy.

Tenzi is another game that has gained popularity over the years. Players roll and race to get 10 of their dice to show the same number. There are also 77 more ways to play!

Ticket to Ride is not only fun for teens, but adults! Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. This is an easy-to-play tabletop game.

When you shop at TOYLAND in SCHEELS you are met with a beautiful, easy-to-shop experience. You can also tap into the experience and knowledge of the SCHEELS staff to help guide you in selecting a great gift for your child.

Find these gifts and more in the SCHEELS Christmas Gift Guide!

Click on the image below to start shopping!

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Kallie Swenson
In 4th grade, Kallie sported two things: an awkward haircut and the title of “new kid.” Her family moved from Crookston to Moorhead, where she went on to graduate from Moorhead High. After graduating, she packed up and migrated south, to the Twin Cities area. There she lived with an amazing set of roommates… her grandparents! She still considers this one of the best decisions of her life. She attended one year at a community college before deciding she would venture back to Moorhead to earn a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Her career spanned across local organizations, including for SCHEELS and The Salvation Army. In 2016, Kallie made the huge decision to buy a house in Barnesville. She closed on her 25th birthday and moved in with her dog, Lily. In 2017, she began dating a long-time friend (not all love is love at first sight!) and got married in March of 2019. She and her husband, Jordan, enjoy traveling, the outdoors, live music, and finding treasures during garbage week. Kallie is now a proud stay-at-home mom to 2 girls. She loves writing about thrifty living, party planning, and nurturing relationships on her blog. When Kallie bought her small, 980-square foot home she never imagined so much love would grow there. Her family eventually plans to build in the country but for now, enjoy the closeness of small living.


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