Thrifty Mommas Tips 2018 Gift Guide – Favourite Holiday Toys

Holiday toys are just fun for everyone. There’s nothing like unwrapping a toy Christmas Morning and playing all day. Remember that magical feeling from WAY back when. I sure do. It’s the never ending quest to capture a little of that feeling and pass it on that keeps me motivated this time of year.

With Christmas right around the corner, you’re probably either fully into Christmas shopping or, if you’re like me, well maybe you have a bit more to do. In either case, you probably are still hunting down ideas. That’s why I’ve put together my annual GIFT GUIDE for some toys that will help you round out your shopping list. They all make great gifts and they’re perfect for both boys and girls. In fact many here are gifts to your entire family.


Holiday Toys for All

The thing I love about all of these toys is that they get back to good old-fashioned fun. Even the newer toys on this list still adhere to the old-school concept of play using toys as a conduit for the imagination, and creativity. I think we need more of that in the world. So let’s get to it.

Games are one of the best ways to build skills for life with kids and frankly a good board game or family game is fun for all. So here are a few games I am giving this season.


Mattel Games

We all know Mattel. From board games to action figures, they’ve been bringing us great kids’ items for as long as I can remember. There’s no exception here with these gifts.


Why I Like It..

This classic card game of matching colors and numbers never gets old. This is one of my daughter’s favourites actually. She has multiple variations of UNO and SKIPBO and she has played them hundreds of times. For a very long time, when my youngest daughter was small she needed a lot of help transitioning into the school day and week. So, her support teacher would often ease her into the day with a game of SKIPBO or UNO. BRILLIANT. Plus to this day she LOVES these games. To me these games are gold.



Why I Like it

Gather the entire family together for a marble-filled strategy game. Pull sticks out of the tube, but don’t let the marbles fall! SHHHH. I am giving this one to my youngest because I know she will LOVE IT! Hoping she doesn’t sneak a peak at this post. This game is entertaining and suspenseful too..not unlike Jenga which we also love.

Gas Out

What on Earth?

Kids and 10 to 12-year-olds at heart will love this game. Draw a card and press Guster the Gas Cloud that many times. Be the last player to keep Guster from farting during your turn to win. This game would be perfect for my two nephews. One is ten and the other is five and their FART joke game is strong.

It’s obvious why I like Gas Out. These silly flatulence games are on trend this season.

Squawk Chicken Game

Poke the chicken until she lays an egg. Funny little game that is a little bit noisy but a whole lot of fun.

Why Do I Like it?

This chicken game is unlike any of the other games we have here so that makes it a keeper.

MGA Entertainment

MGA Entertainment brings us fun family games with a different twist. From Gross monsters like Crate Creatures to Social Star, a social media board game, MGA Entertainment brings family fun into the modern era.

Crate Creatures

Free the Crate Creatures from their box and make a new, gross best friend. Kids can pull their tongues for fun monster sounds and gross noises. They can ever record and yak back phrases. Super cute idea. I think my niece will love this. She is 7.

Why do I like this one?

Crate Creatures are quirky, and unique so if you are giving them to a child this year you can be pretty sure that nobody else has already thought of it. No double gifting or returns here.

Air Chargers

A new twist on the old stunt track, Air Chargers takes track racing to a new level. Sporty cars and a variety of track sets can be combined to create courses as simple or as complex as a child’s imagination. WHAT THE WHAT? Of course everyone’s nephew should get this. It’s a no brainer. Every young boy I know would be all over this. Also frankly I get to play with this when I visit my nephews so HURRAY! YES please.

Again why do I like it?

Just because honestly it’s great value and sheer fun for any child who LOVES cars or trucks. No batteries required. Need I say more. Get Air Chargers now and it will still arrive in time for Christmas.

Ready 2 Robot

Build, swap and battle. There are thousands of ways to combine these robots and play.

Why do I like Ready 2 Robot?

I know my nephew will love these. They are collectible plus there’s a slime element that makes them the right amount of cool and gross combined. Order this Ready 2 Robot Ultimate Set with slime squad. DONE. Perfect gift under $100. Again no batteries so it’s a winner!

Social Star

Make social media fun with Social Star. In this game, players must get “likes” in order to gain fame. Who will become the ultimate social star? Great gift for a tween.



If you’re a returning reader, it should be no surprise that HEXBUG makes my list of holiday toys. I’m a big fan of these because they promote learning in a fun exciting way. HEXBUG offers a variety of toys from Robotic Soccer to Battling Boxing Robots, Ring Racer, and more. All of these promote STEM with a play style that requires thought and STEM strategies yet still remain tons of fun.

This year HEXBUG Battle Bots Arena Pro is my pick for the best new Hexbug toy to give. Why? HEXBUG makes top notch fun toys that entertain for hours on end.


Every single year for the last 7 or 8 years I have gifted HEXBUG toys to someone on my list. Some years Santa delivered Hexbug toys and other years I bought them for Christmas and birthdays. These are crazy good quality and fun, plus they rely on robotics and science and learning. This year as always the kids chose names from the Angel Tree and used their money to buy gifts for someone in need. They chose some classic Fisher Price baby toys because they wanted to give to babies. My husband and I both chose tween boy names from the tree and we gave HEXBUG toys.

Kid’s Activity and Trivia Books

My teens will be getting fiction books under the tree and perhaps some DK Canada books as well. But the National Geographic Kids Weird But True lineup is made for my one nephew. He is ten and obsessed with trivia. True story. I visited last month and he told me all sorts of trivia (especially if it was gross trivia) We all learn something new when I give these books.


And Lonely Planet has a lineup of brilliant activity books for travel and for road trips. So obviously these go with me on our trips still and some go straight to my brother’s children. They love these gifts and often travel too.

Holiday Toys to Excite Any Child

These holiday toys are all wonderful picks for girls or boys. From HEXBUG toys that promote STEM to classics like UNO, you’ll find something for every child on your holiday list here. Some of these make a great gift for the tree and some, like UNO would be perfect for a stocking. So if you’re still doing your Christmas shopping (and most of us probably are) make sure to add some of these to your list.

This year I have all your friends and family covered too. Because Christmas is more than toys.

The 2018 Guide Also Includes Coffee Lovers, BBQ Gifts, Tweens and Teens. So Get Shopping!

Don’t miss The Coffee Lover’s Ultimate Gift Guide this year too.

This 103 BEST BBQ GIFTS for Grill Masters guide has everything you could possibly need or want for Dad, or Mom or anyone who LOVES to Barbecue.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Guide is just fun.

GIFTS FOR TWEENS are super hot this year. People seem to be enjoying this post and pinning it a lot this week.

and of course Unicorn Gifts for all ages.


My gift guide is sponsored and I received product in exchange for consideration here. My opinion is all my own. Post may also contain affiliate links as a service to readers. I receive a small commission from qualifying purchases made. 

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.