Bowls of leftover Halloween candy tempt us at home and at work, and that can only mean one thing: The holidays are unofficially here, and it's time to start thinking gifts. Thankfully, that much-anticipated treasure trove, Amazon's 2019 Holiday Shopping Guide, just landed. You'll find prezzies to win you brownie points with everyone on your list, including the toughest of giftees — the kids in your life.
Back in September, we got a sneak peek at what this season's hottest toys would be with the online retail giant's Top 100 Toys. Now — drumroll, please — the whole list is unveiled. It highlights just a few more options than you likely need: 1,700 new and exclusive toys and games, making the 2019 Amazon Holiday Toy List the retailer's biggest curation ever. But don't be intimidated by the vast bounty. You can shop the list by age: Birth-24 months; 2-4 years; 4-5 years; 6-8 years; 8-11 years; and 12 and up, and then break it out by type of toy and price.
We've already dived in. Here are 20 of our very favorites (which we suggest grabbing now, as we're betting that by December, they'll be sold out). And don't miss our other favorites in Electronics, Home, and Fashion, plus Mariah Carey's Must-Haves List.
Oh, and consider signing on to AmazonSmile. Those amazing gifts you buy can benefit your choice of charity, at no cost to you. 'Tis the season of giving, after all.
Birth to 24 months
Babies are about the busiest humans, exploring their new world and learning, to their glee, all the things they can do. Toys that boost all that burgeoning development top the list. Older toddlers start to fawn over animals, the more snuggly and colorful the better.
Learning Resources Spike the Hedgehog ($13.49, originally $14.99; amazon.com)
The vivid quills on this quirky fellow are sized and shaped to be perfect for toddler hands to grasp. The games he plays help build color recognition, counting and sorting skills.
Fisher-Price Linkimals Smooth Moves Sloth ($22.88, originally $29.99; amazon.com)
This dancing dude will have your tot moving and grooving (aka brushing up gross motor skills) as he claps and bobs to music. Also, your little one can activate a variety of musical learning games by pressing buttons on the Linkimal's feet.
Gund Cotton Candy Llamacorn ($16.99, originally $20; amazon.com)
This magical hybrid of a llama and a unicorn sports different textures: curly-soft fur, a smoothy, twisty horn, and a fluffy tail. We think she's the supreme cuddle buddy for a toddler.
2 to 4 years
This category is big on pretend play toys, and for good reason. Preschoolers love to use their blossoming imaginations during playtime.
Melissa & Doug Christmas Cookie Set ($16.99, originally $19.99; amazon.com)
This brand is a perennial favorite for quality wood pretend play toys. This season's newest entry will have them slicing and baking right alongside you.
Animoodles Odin Dragon ($17.49; amazon.com)
A clever critter that will keep preschoolers giggling, Odin falls apart at the seams — for real. Kids can use those big imaginations to take apart and reassemble his magnetic parts any way they like. Ten other animals make up the collection, all of which can be swapped in and out to create funny new creatures.
Hape Workbench ($82.89, originally $119.99; amazon.com)
Mini master builders can hammer, drill and saw the day away. The vice turns just like a real one, and the work surface is height-adjustable to grow with your kid.
4 to 5 years
This is the age of extreme fandom. Older preschoolers and kindergartners fall hard for their favorite movie and series characters. And this year, those are Baby Shark, Woody and the gang of "Toy Story 4," and the Mighty Pups of "Paw Patrol."
Baby Alive Pinkfong Baby Shark ($24.99; amazon.com)
This sweet doll is actually a water toy, ready to share tub time with your child. Her Baby Shark outfit is removable, so she can wear other Baby Alive duds too.
Disney Pixar Slinky Dog ($18.39, orginally $23.50; amazon.com)
This plushy dachshund straight off the big screen is soft enough to cuddle. Expect him to be your "Toy Story" fan's constant companion.
Paw Patrol Marshall Deluxe Vehicle ($14.99; amazon.com)
Young heroes-in-training can race to the next rescue with this firetruck that's just like the one in the series. Translucent accents light up as authentic firetruck sounds add to the excitement.
6 to 8 years
By the time kids reach first grade, their understanding of how things happen in the world — cause and effect — has grown exponentially. The most popular toys for this age bracket reflect that giddy sense of discovery.
Educational Insights Artie 3000 ($62.99, originally $69.99; amazon.com)
Artie is a perfect introduction to coding. Kids come up with the code, using Blockly, Python and more, and Artie does the drawing.
Hot Wheels Track Builder ($39.10, originally $48.88; amazon.com)
Racing fans will get a thrill out of constructing their own tracks for their cars to do new stunts. And this track can merge with others in the collection for even more customized action.
Klutz Make Your Own Soap ($17.49, originally $21.99; amazon.com)
They'll soon to be rushing to wash their hands. This set teaches kids the why and how of how soap cleans, and then they can see the science in action firsthand (literally).
8 to 11 years
The big trend in this category is toys with the element of surprise. Tweens are drawn in by mystery, not knowing what, exactly, they'll unbox, hatch, or magically reveal.
L.O.L. Surprise! House, ($154.99; amazon.com)
This modern take on a doll house hides 85 surprises for your child to discover. It's made of wood, the perfect hangout for her L.O.L. or other small dolls.
Thames & Kosmos Magic Hat, ($29.69; amazon.com)
Magic is, well, magic to a kid. This set is a great starter collection of tricks for a kid this age. She may surprise herself with what she's able to conjure up!
Dreamworks Hatching Dragon, ($48.88, originally $59.99; amazon.com)
As this baby reptile slowly breaks out of its shell, your child will discover its unique personality. The more care and attention the dragon gets, the more dramatically it will grow and engage with its new "mom" or "dad."
Poopsie Rainbow Surprise Dolls, ($49.99, originally $54.99; amazon.com)
Snag this fun doll for the fashionista on your list. The doll's wardrobe components are customizable, but you don't know which outfits you get until you open the box. It features 20 different surprise elements.
12 years and up
STEAM toys loom large here. The best "toys" for older tweens and teens are actually kits that let them design, create and make things happen.
Lego Ideas Ship in a Bottle ($55.99, originally $69.99; amazon.com)
This cool kit is proof you never really grow out of Lego. Kids who are already pros at building with the iconic bricks can test their skills at a new, creative level.
Art 101 142-Piece Wood Art Set ($23.90, originally $29.99; amazon.com)
Here's a can't-fail present for any teen who is a creative type. This classic art set comes in a sturdy wood case with a drawer, so it will last through high school. The versatile components include paint, pastels, pencils and more.
National Geographic Rock Tumbler ($59.99, originally $69.99; amazon.com)
How does an ugly rock turn into a beautiful gemstone? Curious teens find out with this simple but fascinating device. It comes with jewelry-making supplies, so the finished product can be shown off.
Ravensburger GraviTrax ($59.95; amazon.com)
It's like a marble run on steroids! This top STEM toy will have teens designing and building tracks that work with gravity and kinetics to maximize a ball's motion.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed prices at the time of publication.