It used to be that when parents and their children stepped foot inside of big-box toy stores such as the late Toys R Us that there were entire aisles that were organized as toys for girls, toys for boys and toys that both genders would enjoy playing with.
Typically, the girls’ aisle would be filled to the brim with things like Barbie dolls or the brightly colored Sky Dancer figurines that drove parents to distraction because they would knock over the lamps in the living room. Meanwhile, the boys’ aisle held toy cars and G.I. Joe figurines. The aisle dedicated to both genders was then often populated by items like Furbies, Power Rangers figurines, and accessories.
With the closing of big-box toy stores such as FAO Schwartz and Toys R Us, parents have turned to shopping online or at local mom and pop toy stores. Since there are more toys dedicated to both genders than there were in the past, sometimes it can be hit or miss for parents to figure out what toy their son or daughter might like to play with.
The following list has compiled 10 toys that are suitable for boys and another 10 toys that girls will enjoy playing with.
Let's start with the 10 toys that are definitely just for boys...
20 Maisto R/C Rock Crawler Radion Control Vehicle
Top 10 Select writes that for older children, a good gift idea is to buy them the Maistro Rock Crawler. This neat toy is operated by a remote control and was designed to be able to drive over a wide variety of terrain, including off-road, on grass and over rocks.
That means it won’t break as easily as another brand might.
Thanks to the Maistro’s low gears and dual motors, boys will also be able to have plenty of fun driving their remote-controlled vehicle up and over inclines that are about eight inches tall—the same height as the toy itself.
19 Ticket To Ride Board Games
Move over Monopoly and Guess Who because there’s another board game that won’t put players to sleep out of sheer boredom after they try to play a few rounds.
Top 10 Select points out that the Ticket To Ride is a good toy for boys that ages eight and up because it’s interesting enough to catch their attention due to the fact that they have to plan a strategy to visit as many cities in the U.S. while taking the longest route and it revolves around trains, which is a far easier subject for them to comprehend than Monopoly.
18 Magic Science For Wizards Only
If you’re not sure what to get your science-loving son for the holidays, Heavy highly recommends picking up the game Magic Science For Wizards only, which combines the fun of reading the Harry Potter series with zany scientific experiments.
This kit was designed to teach children the science behind many popular magic tricks. It comes with fun features such as being able to change the colors of a potion, a wizard’s hat that would make Albus Dumbledore turn green with envy and of course, a magic wand to help your little one channel their inner Harry Potter or Ron Weasley.
It used to be that bicycles, skateboards and roller blades were the popular items every young boy wanted as a gift for the holidays or when their birthdays rolled around. Sure, these items are still around but now there are also other vehicles like scooters and hoverboards in the mix too.
Heavy writes that the Morfboard is perfect for the child that loves to ride around outdoors because it can be used as either a skateboard or a scooter while still being easy to assemble. You can also order balance or bounce attachments for your child to play with too.
16 Poe Dameron Electronic Helmet
Thanks to the new Star Wars trilogy, kids today get to explore the fictional universes of George Lucas and get the chance to pretend to be a general, a heroic pilot or even a Jedi knight.
For little boys that saw the new Star Wars movies and immediately decided that their new role model was Oscar Isaac’s character Poe Dameron, Heavy writes that the replica electron X-Wing helmet is a great gift for them. Not only is it an exact twin of the movie prop, but it comes with an internal microphone that will allow them to communicate with Poe’s trusty pal BB-8 and a retractable visor.
15 Black and Decker Junior Power Tool Workshop
Top 10 Select notes that younger boys will start doing backflips from sheer excitement the minute they see that you brought home a Black and Decker junior power tool workshop for them to play with.
This workshop allows little boys to emulate the grown-ups and pretend to fix things around the house or apartment.
The set comes with about 50 realistic-looking tools that allow children to safely play pretend without fretting that they’ll try to grab the actual toolkit when no one’s looking and realistic sound effects to round out the entire package. Another good thing about this set is that it comes with all the parts your son needs to make a kid-friendly toolbox, just like the grown-ups have!
14 Air Hogs Drone Power Racers
Back in the day, boys like my cousin used to simply race one another by using whatever toy car they had in their toy chest or by using the knock-offs that would sometimes accompany their McDonald’s Happy Meal.
Heavy writes that for boys that like to playfully compete with friends, their parents should pick up the Air Hogs for them to use. This remote-controlled vehicle can be used in car form, but there’s also a way to turn it into a drone so your son can play with his friends to see which one has the faster reflexes in the air.
13 Jurassic World Pterano-Drone
What kid, either then or now, doesn’t love the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World franchise?
My neighbor’s son is in third grade and whenever I run into him when I’m out walking my dogs, he constantly talks my ears off about the different dinosaurs that appeared in the recent film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
For boys like my neighbor’s son that desperately wish that they could have their own real-life dinosaur, get ‘em the Pterano-Drone. Sure, it’s not as cool as having a real pet Pterandon, but this neat quadcopter comes with a lifelike replica of the cinematic reptile attached so that your son can pretend he has a giant flying lizard for a companion.
Plus, The Verge adds that this toy has an auto-landing feature so you won’t worry that it will break because they accidentally ran it into a tree.
12 Stomp Rocket
Can’t figure out what toy to get for your son for the holidays? Top 10 Select notes that a safe choice is always the oldie but goodie item known as the Stomp Rocket. The package comes with one pump and four rockets, so you’ll have a backup just in case one of the rockets gets lost.
It’s pretty easy to play with and since kids today can be pretty sedentary, Stomp Rockets is a good way to get your son running around outside with his friends.
These toys have been around for years; I vaguely remember one of the neighborhood boys having a kit and playing with it in the schoolyard during the summer back when I was growing up.
11 Djubi Classic
Fatherly points out that the Djubi classic makes a great gift for boys of all ages, especially if they’re active, love spending time outside and watch every sport ever created on television.
Djubi is a cross between tennis and catch; one player has to attach the ball to the hook that’s on their racket and tosses it up in the air while the other players run around trying to catch it in their own netted racquets.
The ball is able to float in the water, which means that your son can play Djubi at the beach or in a pool with his friends.
And now for the 10 toys that are definitely just for girls...
10 Princess Castle Tent With Lights
When I was a toddler, my aunt told me that my absolute favorite pastime was to hang out in the Sesame Street playhouse that she had for me in her basement.
I used to stay there for hours on end playing with my dolls and even just reading.
According to Heavy, the Princess Castle tent gives the same cozy vibe as other playhouses, but it’s decorated to give the aura of being a location from a faraway place in a fairy tale. It’s appropriate for little girls 18 months and up to play with under the watchful eye of an adult and there’s enough room in it for your daughter to either read a book or have a tea party with her dolls.
9 Melissa and Doug Plush Unicorn
Sometimes I wonder if playing with horse toys and stuffed animals is a rite of passage all little girls go through. My most prized possession as a kid was the wooden stable with replicas of all the different horse breeds, and my little sister used to always want to play with her Barbies and their horses for hours at a time.
For little girls that like to cuddle with stuffed animals, Heavy notes that Melissa & Doug’s plush unicorn makes for a perfect gift since it’s almost lifelike with a height of 32 inches.
Underneath the plus is a sturdy wire frame, which means it can withstand hours of playtime.
8 Hatchimals Mystery
Kids have always gone gaga for toys that have an aura of mystery, especially tween girls.
I have very vivid memories of being in sixth-grade and trading Tamogatchi tips with my buddies after school. You weren’t cool unless you had one, although the fad didn’t last very long.
Heavy writes that Hatcimals Mystery has dethroned the Tamagotchis as the “it toy” that all the cool kids just have to own. An adorable stuffed animal that can learn the little girl’s name is cleverly hidden inside the egg, but the kind of animal from Cloud Cove that is lurking inside the shell remains a mystery until your child showers them with love in order to get them to hatch.
7 Plasma Car
Self-propelling toy cars have always been a part of every little girl’s playroom. It used to be that little girls in years past would happily zip around their sidewalk or inside of the house in their Little Tykes Cozy Coupe.
While the Cozy Coupes are still around, Heavy notes that girls today are also fond of a toy known as the Plasma car because it’s not as reliant on your own foot power or even batteries. Basically, it is powered by your child holding onto the steering wheel and moving back and forth; the rocking motion is what propels the car forward. It’s safe for playing both inside and out of doors too.
6 Barbie Rainbow Cove Play Set
Every girl and even some tweens love playing with their Barbie dolls. When I was little, my friends and I used to grab our Barbie dolls and re-enact our favorite R.L. Stein books because we loved a good ghost story even from a young age.
According to Heavy, the Barbie Rainbow Cove Castle play set is the perfect gift for a daughter who loves dolls. The castle playset comes with three floors and a dining room set that comes complete with cupcakes so your little girl can have a tea party will Barbie, Ken and all of their friends.
5 Nella the Princess Knight
For girls that love collecting and playing with action figures, Target writes that your daughter will do backflips from sheer excitement if you get her the Nella the Princess Knight Transforming Knight doll.
Based on the hit Nickelodeon show about a princess turned knight named Nella that rescues the people that live in her parents’ kingdom with the help of her magical unicorn BFF, this doll has a button in the back that will allow girls to change her from her usual princess attire into her knight armor. They can also press on her tiara in order to hear the theme song from the show too and sing along with their new friend.
4 Lupita Doll And Book Set
Target points out that if you want a creative way to remind your little girl to practice kindness, empathy, and compassion to others, the Lupita doll and box set makes a great gift that will help them learn to be nice towards people.
The book was written by Leslie Guzman and Karl Meves; unlike some other children’s books, it comes with two versions—one in English, the other in Spanish. Guzman posted the project on Kickstarter and revealed that she came up with the idea as a way to inspire children to practice kindness during the winter holiday season and beyond.
3 Kuroba Klash Arena
According to Heavy, the Kuroba Klash Arena is based on a game that puts a very colorful and unique spin to the old-school game “Rock, Paper, Scissors” and has become quite popular with little girls today.
Girls, nowadays, are loving the opportunity to collect all of the Kuroba warriors and come up with new and improved ways to mix and match their set.
This game is great for teaching your daughter important critical thinking skills too since they have to carefully plan their strategy if they want to be victorious and have any hope of capturing their opponent’s Kuroba.
2 Flux 5.0 Card Game
Heavy highly recommends getting the Fluxx 5.0 card game for little girls ages eight and up due to the fact that it will keep them on their toes since the rules of engagement keep changing as you play.
Not only is this a fun game that even adults can enjoy playing with their children on holidays or to bust out when your daughter has a sleepover with her pals, but the ever-changing rules of the game will also teach your child how to think quickly on her feet and figure out critical thinking strategies. These are both skills will serve her well during her school years.
1 Cubelets Six
Little girls love playing with robots just as much as their male peers.
So if you know your daughter will spend hours reading anything related to scientific topics and likes to tinker with things, Heavy recommends purchasing the Cubelets Sixs kits for her.
This kit comes with blocks that can be combined in order to create a robot. Inside each block, there is a computer that controls items such as a flashlight, a sensor, and even a battery. They also snap together easily, so there’s no need for your child to fuss around with wires or magnets as they attempt to build their robot.