2021 Best Toys for the Holidays

Wink's Top Picks by Age!

When children play, they’re doing more than having fun – they’re learning and growing! But what toys are best for the littlest learners? How can I support what my kindergartner has been learning at school? What are the best games, puzzles, or arts & crafts for a family night?


2021 Staff Picks for the Top Holiday Toys by Age!


As your local Bloomington-Normal educational toy store, we at Gingerbread House Toys carry what family and friends are looking for to encourage the kids in your life to keep going so they keep growing! You can shop online, or stop by the store and our energetic staff can help you find the perfect one! We even do complimentary gift wrapping!


As you go through the list below, set up a free wish list or toy registry so you can easily keep track of what you want to get and share with family and friends!


Top Toys for Ages 0-5


  1. Dimple Stack for $19.99: The perfect size for little hands, in bright colors and different textures inside each stackable piece for them to explore.
  2. Tumbleroos for $24.99: A set of 3 wobbly toys to nest and tumble. Your little learner can nest the smallest tumbler inside the other two, with unique and subtle textures to explore. Encourages fine motor skills, spatial reasoning and tactile exploration. Let go and watch them tumble apart and wobble, one at a time!
  3. NogginStik Rattles for $24.99: This developmental rattle is easy to hold, has a soft soothing sound plus three light-up colors that encourage visual tracking and attention. A colorful representation of a baby's whole new world! Includes 3 1.5V batteries.
  4. Hape Musical Whale Fountain for $44.99: When it's bath time (or POOL TIME!) for your little fishie, here's music, motion, color, and fun. Watch the spouting whales dance to 5 tunes, or play them like a piano. Suction cup attachment makes it easy to stick to or remove from the tub. Requires 4 AA batteries, not included.
  5. Sweet Cocoon Stacking Stones for $29.99: Building, stacking and finding just the right balance with these beautiful wooden stones from French toy maker, Janod! It's fun to play with and sometimes even challenging. The set contains 20 pieces of wooden "stones".  Each stone is different in color or shape and has smooth corners.
  6. Tonie’s Starter Box Set for $99.99: Meet the Tonies! It's storybook meets audiobook in this incredible kid-friendly audio system, where whimsical characters (Tonies) bring pre-loaded stories and songs to life! So simple, even the smallest kids can operate it. Just place a magnetic Tonie on top of the Toniebox, and it automatically begins to play. And don't worry, once the story or songs have finished, the Tonie box will automatically turn itself off. This set includes a Playtime Puppy Tonie which features some of the most popular children's songs for playtime including Wheels on the Bus, If You're Happy and You Know It, Baby Shark and more!
  7. Hape DJ Mix & Spin Studio for $44.99: Who's ready to spin some music? Your DJ's got instruments, sound effects, background tunes, sliders to adjust tempo, and a scratch pad to get this party going! Sounds like big fun. Requires 3 AA batteries, included.
  8. Story Time Chess for $49.99: Combine a unique chess board with custom pieces, silly stories, hilarious characters, and vibrant illustrations to teach newcomers and youngsters this fascinating game. No experience with the game of chess? No problem! Even kids as little as 3 can learn the rules of the game with this clever set. Chess has been linked to stronger critical thinking skills, better executive function, higher test scores and ability to plan ahead - trust us, there is NO downside!
  9. Disney Princess See the Story for $19.99: Look into the magical wishing well! You’ll see enchanting objects and memorable characters from your favorite Disney Princess stories. Race to find two pictures from the same story! Toss your token into the well and point out two pictures from the same Disney Princess story. If you’re right, collect one of the coins for your Disney Princess board! Be the first to collect 4 coins in a row to win!
  10. Wink Plush Toy for $25 (he’s the perfect stocking stuffer and all proceeds are donated to the Child Protection Network!)


Top Toys for Ages 6-10


  1. On a Scale of One to T-Rex for $19.99: On a Scale of One to T-Rex is a family-friendly party game for people who are bad at charades. Players must perform ridiculous actions like "Be a T-Rex" or "Scratch an Itch You Can't Reach" on a scale of 1 to 10. The twist is that the quality of your action doesn't matter. You earn points by guessing and matching the INTENSITY each player is performing their action.
  2. Incredible Inflatable Aero Dancer for $19.99: Bring physics to life with this waving, wacky tube-dancer! Assemble the tube and fan, learning about airflow, air pressure, gears, and circuits in the process. And then? Watch the tube bust a move! The 8-page manual gives step-by-step instructions, along with scientific explanations and even ideas for further fun: launch balls or make them float in air; or even play a game of air basketball! Requires 1 9V battery, not included.
  3. Springbots 3 in 1 Power Machine for $29.99: How cool is it that the mainspring stores energy, then converts it to motion? Discover the physics of potential and kinetic energy and the inner workings of gears and springs as you assemble the different mechanical devices. No batteries or electricity required, these models are self-powered and super cool. Follow the detailed instructions and you'll wind up winding up a robot, racecar, and timer.
  4. Confetti Tumbler Design Kit for $15.99: Create your own original drink tumbler with the Confetti Tumbler Design kit. We have included 3 deferent design panels for you to color using the permanent markers. When finished you simply insert a panel into the double walled cup and add the multi-colored confetti mix. The finished result is a dazzling cup that is all your own. This is a great gift for the crafter in your life…it’s not only a personalized craft but also a very useful portable tumbler with a metallic twist off lid. Too cute for words!
  5. Throw Throw Burrito Dodgeball Card Game for $29.99: Throw Throw Burrito is unlike any card game you've played before. It is the world's first dodgeball card game! Try to collect matching sets of cards faster than your opponents while simultaneously ducking, dodging and throwing squishy airborne burritos. The cards you collect earn points, but getting hit by flying burritos loses them.
  6. Tile Lock Scrabble for $19.99: It’s the classic Scrabble you know and love, but with an innovative gameboard that keeps all of the tiles in place so they don’t slide around, even if you bump the table!
  7. Gel Blaster Surge for $59.99: The Gel Blaster SURGE, electronic gel ball blaster, brings battle back to the backyard. With just enough sting to make it exciting, the SURGE provides hours of active and adrenaline pumping fun. Minimal Mess. Minimal Clean Up. Maximum Fun. Watch our video to learn more!
  8. Massive Erupting Volcano for $29.99: Don’t worry parents, it’s not the eruption that’s massive, it’s the size of the volcano! It won’t be a big mess, but it will be a monumental moment for your little scientist! Everything you need is inside, and you can watch our Play Today episode to learn more!
  9. Mini Lite Brite for $12.99: A brilliant idea and a classic toy that never goes out of style! They packed all the illuminating fun of this classic into a handheld board. Kids can follow 4 templates or peg their own designs. Includes 70 colorful pegs and 4 design templates. Requires 3 AAA batteries, included.
  10. Sing Pro Microphone - Tie Dye Karaoke for $49.99: Pair it with your Bluetooth device and start singing! Try the echo effect or 5 voice-changing modes, as the LED lights dance. This microphone features an earphone jack, volume control, SD card slot and the ability to skip/back tracks. Instant party!
  11. Wink Plush Toy for $25 (he’s the perfect stocking stuffer and all proceeds are donated to the Child Protection Network!)


Top Toys for Ages 11 and Up!



  1. Mind the Gap Trivia Game for $29.99: A trivia game for the generations. Make your way around the board learning from each other about what it means to be Gen Z, Gen X, a Millennial and a Boomer.

  2. DIY Dream Canopy Design Set for $29.99: BOOSTS CREATIVE SKILLS - Our Dream Space Design Set will allow your child to have fun while learning something new. With this DIY project, they can design and assemble a new corner of their room complete with a DIY Mobile and Garlands. A must-have for any DIY lover or crafter, our Dream Space set fosters creativity and allows your child to personalize their space, and experience the joy of seeing their finished art project hung inside their bedroom. Also, a perfect activity for sleepover parties!
  3. Forensic Science Lab for $34.99: The evidence is clear for turning "Whodunnit?" into "Gotcha!" Match DNA, dust for prints, test fiber samples, and make plaster casts to match shoe imprints. This kit includes a full-color instruction and educational booklet, with real techniques to solve impossible forensic cases!
  4. Climate Change Experiments & Lab for $34.99: This kit includes a full-color instruction and educational booklet, laboratory tools and high-quality ingredients. Some household items are also required, such as an old towel, bowl, pencil, water and access to a refrigerator. Children will create their own world to conduct scientific experiments. Grow crops, irrigate a desert, create rainfall, save glaciers and more! They will love to show off their small world creation.
  5. Soapstone Carving Kit (Bear) for $29.99: Fun for the whole family—choose from a selection of soapstone carving kits and release your creativity. Designed for hands-on learning with easy-to-follow instructions, everything you’ll need is included, from file to finishing wax. Don’t wait to get started on carving your very own impressive animal stone sculpture. For ages 8+
  6. UGears Combine Motion Machine for $39.99: A first-class example of the wonder of motion mechanics. This model is set in motion by its rubber-band motor. Roll it backwards to power the motor up, release the handbrake, and watch it head for the fields with its spinning wheels and rotating cutter board just like a real harvester. UGears Combine harvester model has 154 parts and its estimated time of assembly is 2-3 hours. It is made from high-quality plywood boards, using precision-cut parts.
  7. Exploding Kittens Card Game for $19.99: A card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats (and constant laughs and the best card game artwork you’ve ever seen).
  8. Mozabrick Mosaic Wall Art for $79.99: Got a favorite photo? This unique set allows you to recreate it, into cool mosaic wall art, using 5800 brick pieces in 5 monochrome colors. Includes 4 base plates, 9 base plate connections, mounting tool, and double-sided wall tape. Upload your pic to their website, download easy instructions sent to your email, and start placing the monochromatic bricks into the coolest wall art ever. Your end result is a 20x20" masterpiece!
  9. Super Nee Doh for $12.99: It’s the groovy glob that brings fidget toys to a whole new size and level. Super squishy, it relieves stress, but it also fun to toss around with the family. Use it to create your own game! Whoever catches the ball has to share something that think is super neat-o.
  10. Wink Plush Toy for $25 (He’s the perfect stocking stuffer for the entire family no matter your age! And all proceeds are donated to the Child Protection Network!)


Play More! Grow More!