With Thanksgiving officially behind us, the season of holiday shopping is now in full swing. On MSNBC, our Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht showed off a few of her favorite toys that also happen to make great gifts for kids.

SpaghettiHeadzSpaghetti Headz (Morphmallow LLC)

  • Spaghetti Headz is a brand new hair twist for girls.
  • Made of polymer clay, this eco-friendly swirl of fun is a funky new hair styling fashion accessory for girls of all ages.
  • Available in a variety of collectible, themed charm packages, there is something for everyone. From birthdays, to holidays, to kittens and “OMG”s, the collections will have girls clamoring for more.
  • More than just a fashion accessory, it also encourages creative play where girls can spend quality time creatively styling each other’s hair or they can even turn the Spaghetti Headz into bracelets.
  • It’s simple to use and works with all hair types – just twists around hair and for girls with short hair, the twists can easily be cut to size.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $13.99 per pack (3 twists included in each pack)

Disney Frozen snow_glow_elsa_dollDisney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa (Jakks Pacific)

  • The beautiful, interactive Snow Glow Elsa doll sings 32 seconds of the real hit song “Let it Go” by Idina Menzel.
  • She sings in a total of 25 languages from around the world!  In the U.S version, she sings in English and Spanish.
  • Elsa also says 15 sounds and phrases from favorite movie moments.
  • Touch her necklace to watch a magical light show on her dress and raise her left arm to hear her sing “Let it Go.”
  • Elsa comes with an adorable Olaf figure and she features patented Royal Reflection™ Eyes, a whole new look for Jakks’ Toddler dolls
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $34.99

Playmates.MegaMutantLeo12-Inch Mega Mutant Leonardo (Playmates Toys)

  • Designed for preschoolers, this 12-inch Leo figure features brighter colors, softer expressions, and rounded edges.
  • Kids can practice ninja training with Leonardo as they control his ninja moves, chops, and kicks.
  • The figure features over 100 phrases and karate sound effects.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $39.99

VTechKidizoomSmartWatchPinkKidizoom Smartwatch (Vtech)

  • The innovative, multi-function VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch is packed with robust features such as a camera, video recorder, fun photo effects, and built-in games, in a wearable, kid-friendly, take-anywhere gadget.
  • It features a large, easy-to-use color touch screen, as well as more than 50 digital and analog clock displays, making it perfect for kids learning to tell time.
  • Other features include a rechargeable battery, an alarm clock, a timer, a stopwatch, a voice recorder, and parental game controls, and it’s available in four vibrant colors.
  • Parents can access the Learning Lodge app store to download even more games and watch displays.
  • Ages 4+
  • MSRP: $59.99

ThinkWay_BeeDoMinionDespicable Me Bee-Do Fireman Minion (Thinkway Toys)

  • Press the Fireman Minion’s tummy to hear his original voice, sound effects, and “Bee-Do” siren with flashing head gear.
  • Squeeze his left hand for normal chat mode with echo sound effects.
  • Soft and huggable!
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP: $49.99

LegoJuniorsPrincessPlayCastleJuniors Princess Play Castle (LEGO)

  • The Princess Play Castle is a magical world of imagination and fun.
  • Groom the beautiful cat at the grooming station and walk across the drawbridge to the fairytale castle with lots of pink bricks.
  • There’s even a slide for the princess to play on.
  • This iconic set comes in a pretty pink storage box, so it makes an ideal gift set.
  • Use the supplied building instructions to rebuild the set into a play garden with a slide and seesaw or the princess’ royal bedchamber.
  • Includes a princess minifigure and her cat.
  • 150 Piece Count
  • Ages: 4-7
  • MSRP: $14.99

LegoJuniorsFireEmergencyJuniors Fire Emergency (LEGO)

  • Sound the alarm! A trash can is on fire and it’s time to call in the brave firefighters!
  • Slide down the fire station chute, jump in the fire truck and get that fire under control!
  • This fun, fire-themed set is perfect for first-time LEGO brick builders and features a big fire station with an office and a bed for a firefighter to take a nap on, an Easy to Build fire truck with fire hose, and lots of colorful bricks.
  • The LEGO Juniors Fire Emergency set also includes inspiring building instructions that will motivate your child to build and create endless play possibilities.
  • Includes 2 firefighter nminifigures.
  • 123 Piece Count
  • Ages: 4-7
  • MSRP: $19.99

Skylanders Trap TeamSkylanders Trap Team (Activision)

  • Portal masters can seek out, defeat, and capture the most wanted villains in all of Skylands.
  • For the first time kids can pull the villains out of the games and capture them in Traps.
  • Then, send the villains back into the game to fight for good!
  • Skylanders Trap Team is forward compatible with more than 175 unique toys from all previous games that kids can enjoy in the real-world and in the virtual game world.
  • Ages: 6+
  • MSRP: $74.99

Hexbug.ScarabHEXBUG VEX Robotics Scarab (Hexbug)

  • Kids can design and build their own jumbo-sized robot as they learn about motors, sensors, gears, and how they all function.
  • Robots snap together using intuitive tool-less components.
  • Fosters creative STEM learning through hands-on play.
  • Learn about the robot’s brain, the centralized computer that powers the robot, and how the creature is brought to life.
  • Other models include: VEX Robotics Strandbeast, Ant, and Spider.
  • Ages: 8+
  • MSRP: $69.99

skyvipercameradroneSky Viper Camera Drone (Skyrocket Toys)

  • The Sky Viper Drone is a hi-tech, hobby grade, four-blade R/C copter that measures 16 inches diagonally from blade-to-blade.
  • Kids can take birds-eye photos and videos at 100 feet in the air.
  • Features advanced stabilization, new tricks and stunts, tighter controls and a built-in camera that records for up to 30 minutes and 30 frames per second with 180 degree adjustable viewing
  • Equipped with a lightweight yet sturdy carbon fiber frame, computer-controlled 6-axis gyro and accelerometer stabilization, one-touch stunt capabilities, a 2.4 GHz remote with the rechargeable lithium polymer battery
  • Ages: 12+
  • MSRP: $79.99

About the author

Deanna Atkins

Deanna Atkins

Deanna Atkins is the editorial assistant at Adventure Publishing Group. She helps the editorial team on leading trade magazines The Toy Book and The Licensing Book, and contributes online at toybook.com, licensingbook.com, and thebigtoybook.com. When she’s not trying to keep up with Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht, she can be found reviewing kids’ CDs, DVDs, and books while daydreaming about the upcoming How to Train Your Dragon sequel and reading the dictionary. Follow her on Twitter @Deeeannuh and keep up with her bi-weekly, sometimes funny commentaries on toybook.com.