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The Best Toys of 2022

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Our Best Toys of 2022 offer a variety of ways to play. Kids can stay active with the Vital Hero Digimon wearable game band. The Craft-Tastic Nature Scavenger Hunt Potions let them get creative outdoors. And the Vex Robotics Art Start mixes art with engineering. The editors of TIME for Kids share their picks for the year’s best toys.

Get Building

Kids can get mechanical with these buildable toys. The Candy Vending Machine, from Thames & Kosmos, combines tinkering with treats. How sweet is that? Kids build the machine themselves, stock it with small toys and treats, then send coins down customizable tracks to unlock the contents, all while enjoying a hands-on experience of physics, engineering, and math. (Ages 8+)

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Buy now: Candy Vending Machine

If you’re looking for something more creative, check out Hexbug’s Vex Robotics Art Start. This STEM-based drawing machine—which kids put together—allows young artists to design detailed geometric patterns. Its adjustable beams and gears let users create different designs every time. (Ages 8+)

Buy now: Vex Robotics Art Start

Kids can construct their own Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with the I Am Groot building set, by Lego Marvel. Joints and hinges allow the little tree-alien to move and pose. He can even be positioned to look like he’s dancing along to tunes from the kit’s pretend cassette tape. (Ages 10+)

Buy now: I Am Groot

Get Active

Bubble-popping goes electric with Pop It! Pro, the light-up fidget game by Buffalo Games & Puzzles. Kids pop the lighted bubbles as fast as they appear, moving through each level before time runs out. The multiplayer mode will keep your family busy for hours. (Ages 5+)

Buy now: Pop It! Pro

Get kids moving with Vital Hero, by Bandai Namco. This gamified wearable band takes them through a series of activity-based missions—including running, squats, and shadowboxing—in order to raise and train a Digimon on the device. With each successful mission, the character evolves. Kids can fight solo battles with other creatures, or transfer their character to a friend’s device and duke it out. (Ages 8+)

Buy now: Vital Hero

Get Creative

The Kinetic Sand Swirl N’ Surprise, by Spin Master, promises colorful, hands-on fun. The set comes with two pounds of red, purple, green, and yellow sand that kids add to the swirler machine, so they can make dazzling designs. Plus, there are tools for scooping, slicing, and shaping these sand-art creations. The sand is squishy, like modeling clay, for a satisfying sensory experience and easy cleanup. Eager to get the kids outdoors? (Ages 3+)

Buy now: Kinetic Sand Swirl N’ Surprise

The Craft-Tastic Nature Scavenger Hunt Potions kit, by Play Monster, encourages active exploration by asking kids to collect natural ingredients, so they can make seven “magic” potions. The kit includes a magnifying glass, tweezers, reusable bottles, and a handbook that tells kids what to look for. (Ages 4+)

Buy now: Craft-Tastic Nature Scavenger Hunt Potions

Young ones hungry to learn about different cultures will savor Eat2explore kids’ global cooking boxes. Each of the 23 kits explores a country or region’s cuisine and contains key ingredients, plus a shopping list and recipes. A country guide and foodie passport add to the experience. Continent packages are also available. (Ages 4+)

Buy now: Eat2explore

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