Spark your kids’ imagination with gifts for pretend play. This 2016 holiday gift guide for Christmas and Hanukkah will share the hottest imaginative toys for children from ages 1 up to 12.
See last year’s Pretend Play Gift Guide here.
Pretend Play Gifts for Kids 2016
Little People Surprise and Sounds Home ages 1+
Little ones will love pretend playing with this fun home that makes sounds, songs, and phrases. Little People always has high-quality, fun toys, this one is no exception.
Green Toys Build a Bouquet ages 3+
Get creative with flowers! Stack the vibrant lilies, petunias, and daisies in the assorted stems to reveal colorful bouquet creations. Not only is this fun for pretend play, it’s great for fine motor skills and made from recycled materials.
Green Toys Fire Station Playset ages 2 – 6
Kids will love this imaginative play set including a fire station, fire engine, firefighter cat characters, rotating water cannon, command center, stackable bunk beds, and two cats. I really like that these are open-ended AND made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC.
Green Toys Farm Playset ages 2 – 6
This playset will spark a lot of pretend play and includes a barn, pick-up truck, farmer cow characters, sheep, pigs, fences, and a hog shed for endless imaginative play. All pieces fit inside the barn, so clean-up and storage is a breeze, and the built-in handle makes it easy to take all the fun on-the-go. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Dishwasher safe. Kid-approved!
Janod Doctor’s Suitcase ages 3 – 8
Pretend play doctor with 9 wooden accessories (syringe, otoscope, thermometer, etc), a pad, and a travel bag. Great for sick stuffed animals or dolls.
Green Toys Rescue Boat with Helicopter ages 3+
Kids love playing pretend with this bathtub ready full-size helicopter and rescue boat toy plus two characters, Captain Duck and Pilot Bear. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC.
My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage Playset ages 4+
This is a blast to set up, watch grow, and play with. Kids get to grow organic seeds, care for the resulting garden, and play with adorable fairies, woodland friends and accessories in their own indoor fairy garden.
Magnetic Mix or Match Vehicles ages 3+
Snap the magnetic pieces together to make 1 boat, 1 car, 1 plane ,and 1 train – or some other cool vehicle.
Sherpa Bear: Bears For Humanity Animal Pals ages 1+
Bears for Humanity™ employs at-risk women from welfare-work programs and their “BUY One, give ONE” program provides a bear to a child in need for every bear purchased. Choose from a shark, dog, giraffe, dinosaur, monkey, penguin, elephant, lion, cat, eagle, patriotic eagle, panda, turtle and tiger! Organic materials. Makes a great gift for any time of year.
Tobbly Wobbly ages 3+
This silly toy is a wobbly egg-shaped creature that you can decorate with suction cup pieces and reusable stickers.
FurReal Friends My Blazin’ Dragon ages 4+
How cute is this little dragon? Fill his tank with water and he breathes flame-colored mist and will burp. He has 50+ sound & motion combinations when petted. This is a popular gift choice for 2016.
Jinja’s House ages 3+
This is an adorable mini Sago playset that folds up making it easy to take on the go. Includes Jinja the Cat and Rosei the Hamster.
MyFamilyBuilders™ Toy Set ages 1+
Kids love these magnetic character blocks! Put these gorgeous and diverse handcrafted magnetic wooden blocks of heads, bodies, and legs. Made from non-toxic, eco-friendly hardwoods. Highly recommended.
Melissa & Doug Hand Puppets ages 2+
Put on a fairy tale puppet show with these soft stuffed-plush head puppets. All puppets are washable.
MiO Playing Eating Sleeping Working + 2 People ages 3+
Pretend play and build with this 41 piece wooden building set and 2 cute MiO beanbag characters.
eeBoo It’s Showtime ages 3+
Pretend play movie theater with these fun props: tickets, popcorn boxes, microphone, posters, and more!
Bruder MAN Fire Engine ages 3+
This gets rave reviews. Kids like the stabilizing legs, a crane to move heavy loads that is telescopic and height-adjustable crane with a locking mechanism for the hook, and a light and sound module on the cab produces a realistic siren sound.
Build and Imagine: Malia’s House Magnetic Dollhouse ages 5 – 7
This is the coolest, open-ended dollhouse! Kids can build it in any way they want using the 16 dual sided magnetic building panels and 43 magnetic accessories. The house comes with two dolls that you can dress up in different outfits!
My Mini MixiQs Apartment Playset ages 4 – 10
If your kids are like mine, they LOVE little toys — and this one is a HIT with my daughter! The playset folds out to be rooms and folds up in to a cube. The figures clothes and hair can be mixed and matched, too. Also available: Park Playset and Camping Playset.
LEGO Juniors Batman and Superman ages 4 – 8
Build and pretend play with this cool DC superhero LEGO set for the younger builders.
Shopkins Happy Places Welcome Pack Dreamy Bear ages 3+
The Welcome Pack toy set comes with a Jessicake Shoppie doll, 1 large Petkin, 2 medium Petkins, 6 Small Petkins and 2 mini Petkins. This is a popular choice for many kids.
Pokémon Clip-n-Carry Poke Belt ages 4+
Be a Trainer with the Clip ‘n’ Carry Poké Ball Belt! The set includes one adjustable belt with a Poké Ball design, one Poké Ball, one never released before Net Ball and one 2” Pikachu figure. The belt holds up to six Poké Balls at once.
Playmobil Fire Station with Alarm ages 5+
Respond to fire emergencies with the Fire Station with Alarm. Once the station’s functioning alarm sounds, firefighters can slide down the pole to arrive at the scene of the blaze faster. The hose tower fits up to four fire hoses to ensure that the fire dissipates quickly. Once the emergency is over, open the station’s garage doors, park your firefighting vehicle, and head inside to find a bunk and rest until a new emergency call is received.
Space Rocket with Launch Site ages 5+
Do your kids like Playmobil? One of my kids is obsessed. So I’m pretty sure if you’re a fan and you like this space rocket and launch site including two figures, rocket, launch structure, satellite, repair robot, mechanical tools, computer, and tons of other accessories.
Moana & Pua: Funko POP! ages 3+
Each figure is about 3″ to 5″ tall. These characters are from the 2016 Disney animated movie, Moana. My 11-year old loves collecting Funko Pops, these are a big hit around here.
Barbie Game Developer ages 5+
Barbie Hello Dreamhouse
This is a suped-up Dreamhouse with wi-fi-enabled speech recognition to respond to more than 100 commands. My kids think this would be the coolest gift for Christmas.
Gift Ems ages 4+
Gift Ems boxes are little gift boxes with tiny dolls inside. Each box unfolds to show a scene from the doll’s country. Super cute!
Malina Doll ages 7+
Just one of several Afro-Caribbean inspired 11.5″ dolls made by Malaville. Love!
Mermaid Tail Blanket ages 8+
This is on my kids’ wish list! Pretend you’re a cozy mermaid with this warm crocheted mermaid blanket. Comes in many colors.
Best Chapter Books, 2016
Arts and Crafts Gifts 2016
Pretend Play Gifts and Toys for Kids 2016
Download my "Can't Put 'Em Down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!