Welcome holiday shoppers to today’s (hopefully) helpful blog on toys that make excellent stocking stuffers! The only requirement I’ve given myself for this article is that most of the items on the list have to actually fit inside a typical Christmas stocking. At least a couple of the items might be slightly too big for that, but they’re also just way too cool to leave off the list. If you’re shopping for kids this year, or even just kids at heart, read on for a fun list that’s sure to please most recipients!
First up today—and completely new to me this holiday season, is the Sphero RVR All-Terrain Programmable Robot. This rover-style robot is designed to allow kids ages 8 and up to play and learn at the very same time. Fully programmable and ready to roll right out of the box, RVR teaches kids STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) principles such as computer coding in a way that’s so fun and engaging they simply won’t want to stop playing. Customizable and complete with sensors to enhance the fun and educational experience, this is one small toy that’s big on learning and fun! It’s even compatible with Arduino and Raspberry Pi hardware for an added layer of control and programmability.
Another Sphero product—and one I have personal experience with, is the Sphero Mini Robotic Ball. I reviewed this ping pong ball sized robot a few years ago and was both highly impressed and extremely amused by its many fun features. It’s actually been around for about 3 years now and is still as fun and educational as ever. Inside this app-controlled ball is a tiny gyroscope, an accelerometer, and LED lights that are capable of glowing in millions of different colours. You can drive it around in any direction via the app, use it as a controller for a number of video games that are built into the app, and even control it through facial expressions via the Face Drive feature, to name but a few of its key capabilities. Best of all, it makes an excellent stocking stuffer!
Another fun item that also happens to be much smaller than you might think (at least if you’re going by its photo) is the LiteHawk Mini CRUSHER RC Monster Truck. Even though this Radio Controlled vehicle measures in mere centimetres (8.2 x 6 x 11) and weighs less than your average bag of chips (just 68 grams), it packs a powerful punch in terms of speed and strength. In fact, it can travel at a top speed of 20 km/h for up to 12 action-packed minutes on each full charge of its lithium powered battery.
It also has a tough, polycarbonate shell and soft foam tires that protect it against incidents and accidents and increase its active life, while a 2.4GHz digital transmitter provides a fully proportional steering and control system that’s operated by a soft, foam steering wheel. It can even be personalized as it comes with a custom decal sheet. Ideal for users ages 8 and up, this tiny terror is sure to keep kids (and likely even adults) entertained and exhilarated for a very long time to come!
Also small and perfect for stuffing into a stocking is the classic & original Rubik’s Cube 3 x 3. I think that most of us have probably experienced the challenging fun of the Rubik’s Cube at some point in our lives, but if not, this hand-manipulated puzzle tests users’ ability to return each of its 6 sides to a different solid colour. It’s great fun to try, but few have mastered its secrets. There’s actually a fairly straightforward algorithm that makes this cube puzzle perfectly solvable—and quite educational, though mastery over the cube continues to elude all but the most clever among us. Even so, it’s certainly fun to try!
While not exactly a toy, one of the coolest new things over the last couple of years is Kids’ Wearable Tech, which is basically things like Fitbits, Garmins, and smart watches that are designed especially for kids. One such example is the Fitbit Ace 2 Kids Activity Tracker, which makes a great stocking stuffer for kids. Just like an adult’s fitness tracker, the Fitbit Ace 2 has features like activity tracking (counting their steps, minutes being active, etc.) and sleep tracking. It also has an easy-to-ready display, is safe for swimming, and connects to the Fitbit App so that parents can track whether or not their child is getting enough exercise. The app even has fun ways to motivate kids to be more active. These include special badges they can earn as well as ways to challenge friends to activity competitions.
Finally, for kids that will be receiving the extremely popular LEGO Super Mario: Adventures with Mario Starter Course as one of their bigger gifts this Christmas (or perhaps they already even have it?), a number of smaller expansion packs are also available.
For instance, the LEGO Super Mario: Whomp’s Lava Trouble Expansion Set is just one of the many LEGO Super Mario expansion kits that’s just the perfect size for stocking stuffing! With just 133 pieces to assemble, this set is fun, quick, and easy to put together. It also enhances the fun of the larger Super Mario Starter Course by building upon the same theme with different features and characters (i.e., this set includes a fierce Whomp guard).
Of course, without the main set to enhance, this kit will provide somewhat limited fun. If you’d like to learn about the main LEGO Super Mario Starter Course, I did briefly discuss it in an earlier toy blog. That one, entitled Examining the top toys to give as gifts this year, can be read by following the link. The LEGO kit in question is discussed roughly half way down the page. Check it out!
And there you have it. As you can see, sometimes it’s the smallest toys that provide the biggest fun! You can learn about even more cool toys—stocking stuffers and otherwise, at Best Buy Canada’s Toys, Drones, & Education page today. And, have a very, very, happy, happy Holiday Season!