We’re in the thick of shopping time, Smarties, and thanks to some advice from the amazing staff at Toy Mania at Cotswold, we’ve giving you a HUGE head start on your list with our 2021 Holiday Toy Guide. Not only do the professionals at Toy Mania know the hottest trends in toys, they’ve also stocked up big for the holidays, preparing in advance for the supply chain problems that were coming. You can avoid the stress of relying on delivery dates by shopping right here in Charlotte at Cotswold Shopping Center. Not to mention, we love supporting local, family-owned businesses like Toy Mania!
1. Magic Shaker from Tolo Toys. 6 months and up. Price: $14.99.
This baby rattle has it all – great handles for grabbing and gnawing, durability and baby eye candy! They will be mesmerized watching rose pink shaker pieces turn to sky blue as they move down the hour-glass shape. It’s a classic toy with a modern twist.
2. Kidoozie’s My First Activity Desk. 12 months and up. Price: $29.99.
As a mom, I always loved toy panels with lots of options for little hands to push, twist, pull and crank. This one from Kidoozie gets bonus points for being so mobile – it has removable legs so it can stand on a table top, crib or floor or be packed for the car or stroller. Wherever it goes, the child gets a variety of entertainment from one source!
3. Zippee activity toy from Mobi. 18 months and up. Price: $24.99.
This brightly colored, easy-to-clean, super grabby silicone activity toy was designed by a mom who worked at home during the pandemic by letting her baby play with her shoelaces. Genius! Each cord pulls back and forth through the center piece, giving the child different shapes and textures to hold – and listen to – for total sensory fun.
4. MindWare’s Babu Rollers. 18 months and up. Price: $25.99.
These go one better than traditional stacking blocks. They’re stacking blocks on top of little cars. Children can mix and match these colorful wooden shapes on top of bases – to change a car to a camper to a pickup – all while flexing their creativity and working on their fine, ahem, motor skills!
5. Yookidoo Jet Duck. Ages 2-6. Price: $29.99.
I can already imagine my boys fighting over who gets to play with this toy in the tub! It’s like Mr. Potato Head for the bath, and it’s battery-operated so the duck can swim in the water! These little Jet Ducks come designed as a mermaid, a firefighter or a pirate, and are sure to be a hit in your tub!
6. Fat Brain Toy Co.’s Dimpl Pops Deluxe. Ages 2 and up. Price: $24.99.
You know how addictive popping toys are? This is like a popper tablet! And the poppers are even bigger (a.k.a. more enticing) and come in four different shapes and sizes. The plastic frame makes it the perfect size for taking along in the car or on a walk (or to church, which I have been known to do!!) Fabulous sensory toy.
7. Magna-tiles Builder Set. Ages 3 and up. Price: $49.99.
Chances are you already know how awesome magna-tiles are for little fingers which love to build. Now comes this awesome twist: it’s a builder set with its own crane which has a magnetized “hook” kiddos can use to build their own magna-tiles creations. Each set comes with two cranes, which is great for sibling harmony!
8. Monster Jam Monster Dirt Arena Set. Ages 3 and up. $41.99.
If you are down with kinetic sand (we all know it can get messy, if left unattended!) this is a sure-fire winner, giving your little diggers the chance to create their own monster truck arena with a set that includes two pounds of kinetic sand.
9. Tonies starter set. Ages 3 and up. $119.99.
One of the hottest toy trends in 2021 which comes to the U.S. from Europe is a music player kids can operate themselves. Each tonie starter set comes with a soft-edged but durable toniebox, a select compilation of traditional children’s songs, and a charging station. From now until the end of the year, Toy Mania is offering a set that includes a free headset and one Tonie character as well.
10. Bosch Mini Toy Tools. Ages 3 and up. $34.99.
As a mom of three boys, I can say there’s no such thing as too many tool sets. What makes this mini set from the makers of Bosch power tools so cool is that the jumbo-sized tools are easy to grip, the screwdriver is battery-operated, and the set comes in a case that is easy for little hands to pack up and carry while limiting the mess for Mom and Dad!
The 2021 Smarty Holiday Toy Gift Guide is sponsored by our favorite local toy store, Toy Mania in Cotswold. Find everything on your child’s wish list without having to worry about supply chain issues and delivery dates! And guess what? They will wrap every gift BEAUTIFULLY and oh-so-expertly – so you don’t have to pull an all-nighter on Christmas Eve!
Cotswold Village Shops
242 S. Sharon Amity Road
Hours: Monday -Saturday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.