TIME for Kids editors rounded up some of our favorite toys of 2022, offering a variety of ways to play. Read about our picks for the year’s best toys.
Get moving with Vital Hero, by Bandai Namco. This gamified wearable band takes you through a series of missions—involving running, squats, and shadowboxing—in order to raise and train a Digimon on the device. With each successful mission, the character evolves. You can fight solo battles with other creatures. Or transfer your character to a friend’s device and duke it out.
Bubble-popping goes electric with Pop It! Pro. It’s a light-up fidget game by Buffalo Games & Puzzles. Pop the lighted bubbles as fast as they appear. Then play through each level before time runs out. The multiplayer mode will keep your family busy for hours.
The Candy Vending Machine, from Thames & Kosmos, combines tinkering with treats. You can build the machine yourself, stock it with goodies, then send coins down customizable tracks to unlock the contents. It’s a fun, hands-on experience of physics, engineering, and math.
For something more creative, check out Hexbug’s Vex Robotics Art Start. This STEM-based drawing machine allows young artists to design detailed geometric patterns. Put it together with friends. Its adjustable beams and gears let you create different designs every time.
The Kinetic Sand Swirl N’ Surprise, by Spin Master, promises colorful fun. The set comes with two pounds of red, purple, green, and yellow sand that you add to the swirler machine. There are tools for scooping, slicing, and shaping your sand-art creations. The sand is squishy, like modeling clay. It feels good when you play with it! And cleanup is easy.
Eager to get outdoors? The Craft-Tastic Nature Scavenger Hunt Potions kit, by PlayMonster, will have you collecting natural ingredients to make seven “magic” potions. The kit includes a magnifying glass, tweezers, and reusable bottles. There’s also a handbook on what to look for.
If you’re hungry to learn about different cultures, you’ll savor Eat2Explore kids’ global cooking boxes. Each kit explores a country’s or region’s cuisine and contains key ingredients, plus a shopping list and recipes. A country guide and foodie passport add to the experience.