The holidays are almost upon us, with one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday, sending shoppers into a frenzy this week. As with last year, we’re checking out the markets and seeing what’s anticipated to be the top gifts on your grandkids’ Christmas lists. Are you ready to be super-Grandparents this year?

Animal Lovers

Some sort of animal toy is almost always going to be a top seller for kids’ gifts around the holidays. Whether the child is an animal lover or has a single favorite creature, stuffed animals or animal toys are usually a safe bet. That’s why for the last two years, one of the big sellers was a Hatchimal toy. That trend is expecting to continue this year, with Hatchimals launching the Hatchibabies series of toys. A Jurassic World toy, for the future paleontologists out there, may also be very popular this year. What kid doesn’t love dinosaurs?

Whether the child is an animal lover or has a single favorite creature, stuffed animals or animal toys are usually a safe bet.

Three other animal toys are anticipated to capture the imaginations of kids around the country. One of these are the Pomsies, wearable pets that react to touch and the environment. Pomsies can tell you if they’re tired, cold, or hungry and can interact with the child. Mattel, not to be outdone, released the Lil’ Gleemerz, which are interactive, colorful toys, while Little Live Pets released Wrapples. One of the more interesting toys this year are the Scruff-A-Luvs, which have already been called the hottest holiday toy of 2018. Out of the box, they appear to be a matted mess, but once you wash, dry, and groom the little critters, they become an entirely new pet. In a way, they’re very similar to the unboxing trend for kids’ toys.

Games

Games, like the video games we suggested last year, or more traditional games, are always a popular option for gifts around the holidays. One of the most talked about board games this year comes from Hasbro. Made for kids 4 and up, Don’t Step In It! takes potty humor to the next level. For a less poo-themed game, check out Chow Crown.

The popular, kid-friendly Pokémon series released one of their most interactive games yet.

In terms of video games that are kid-friendly, the popular Pokémon series released one of their most interactive games yet. The twin games of Let’s Go, Pikachu/Let’s Go, Eevee were released on November 16 for the Nintendo Switch. You can also go the extra step and get a PokeBall Plus, which is like an extra controller with added features. If your little one is a Pokémon Go player, there’s bonus integration between the two games.

STEM and Educational Toys

For a long time, toy manufacturers struggled to create toys that find the right balance of teaching a lesson and being fun for kids. In recent years, there’s been a real push to improve this, especially in the STEM fields, also known as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. As the STEM fields grow in importance, finding a fun way for your grandkids to learn these skills becomes equally essential.

In recent years, there’s been a real push to improve the quality of educational toys, especially in the STEM fields.

The holidays provide the perfect opportunity to find STEM toys, and there’s a lot out there! Everything from building your own video games and learning coding to chemistry. Beyond STEM, learning toys have continued to get better as well, like the Osmo Genius Kit and pretty much anything from LeapFrog or Vtech. For more examples of great educational toys, the Spruce listed out their picks for the 10 best ones this year.

Something Personal

As we mentioned last year, the best gift is often one that comes from a personal connection. That’s why the common phrase is “It’s the thought that counts.” Use your knowledge of your grandchild to find something they’d love. If one of the examples fit the bill, that’s fantastic. If not, asking their parents can be a smart way to gather insight. Ultimately, a gift from the heart will usually mean the most to a loved one.

Further Reading

Medicareful Living — 2017’s Top Gifts for Your Grandkids