Encourage dramatic role play and imagination in kids with recommended toys like these new gift choices for the 2018 holidays. When children pretend play, they’re developing important social and emotional skills. Don’t you love that?
Other Gift Guides:
2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Pretend Play
Radio Flyer Busy Buggy
Ages 1+ $24.97
Walk, ride, and play with this interactive ride-on toy that develops imaginative play and develops both fine motor and gross motor skills! With 17 interactive features like moving gears, clicking spare wheel, and sliding beads.
Brio Railroad Starter Kit
Ages 1+ $42.99
We highly recommend the Brio wooden train sets — and this is a great way to get started with this kind of pretend play! My kids would put these together, take them apart, and play for hours with their Brio trains. I love that they’re making sets like this for the youngest children now, too.
Ages 6+ $69.99
Want to be a rock star? If your child loves music and is considering starting to learn drums, this is a great introductory drum kit. (And, parents, don’t worry — headphones are included meaning it’s not going to be noisy for you.)
Baby Alive Potty
Ages 2+ $36.97
Unlike the Baby Alive that I had as a child, this one pees after you give her a bottle! And she speaks in English or Spanish. I highly recommend a doll that goes to the potty for kids to learn (and get excited) about potty training.
Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Scoop Set
Ages 3+ $34.99
You’ll spend hours of imaginative play with this beautiful wooden 28-piece wooden ice cream play set that includes scoops, toppings, cones, and $1 bills.
Ages 4 – 10 $36.99
This aquatic playset comes with three figures, three seals, colorful fish and sea creatures, bucket with fish, coral, recycling bins, feeding time clock, and other accessories. If you have a child who loves pretend play, I highly recommend these sturdy, inspiring sets.
Disney Animators’ Collection Playset
Ages 3+ $38.99
Time to play! These figurines including Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, and more will spark many stories and creative adventures. (Playsets like this one for Belle are also a fun, portable option.)
LEGO Friends Heartlake City Resort
Ages 7 – 12 $99.95
This beachside hotel, with a roof terrace, water park, slides, monorail, water scooter and windsurf playset includes 1017 pieces and 4 LEGO Friends mini-dolls: Stephanie, Andrea, Olivia, and Mason plus a dolphin figure! Build a moving monorail to explore the resort, slides, a water park, and tons of fun accessories.
LEGO Creator Skate House
Ages 8+ $31.99
Build a cool skate house with skateboard, scooter, skate ramp, monkey bars and climbing wall. Rebuilds into a Games Arcade with game room machines or a toy Skate Park.
American Girl Luciana
Ages 8+ $115
I love that these dolls come with books! Luciana, the 2018 doll, is an aspiring astronaut. Read her story and then make up your own stories.
Star Wars Bladebuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber
Ages 5+ $34.89
Customize your own lightsaber and fight the Dark Force!
LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall
Ages 9 – 14 $99.99
Ok, I admit it. I WANT this, too! But probably not as much as your Harry Potter kids do? (Debatable.) Use the 878 pieces to build Hogwarts Great Hall complete with house banners, movable spiral staircase, potions room, treasure room, and magic items. It features 10 figures, too: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, Susan Bones, Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, Albus Dumbledore and Nearly Headless Nick and Professor Quirrell.
LEGO Millenium Falcon
Ages 9 – 14 $169.95
Star Wars fans know and love Han Solo’s infamous plane. Now you can build this new version with 1414 pieces and the figures of Han Solo, Chewbacca, Qi’ra, Lando Calrissian, and Quay Tolsite plus a Kessel droid and DD-BD droid.
LEGO Ninjago Ninjago City
$299.95 Ages 12+
I’m debating on buying this for my daughter– it’s on her wish-list but wow is it expensive! But, it comes with a lot and would take her days to build. It includes 16 minifigures, 3 levels, and 70,000+ pieces!