Saturday Morning Notebook’s Hot Toy List for 2018

posted in: Home, The Kids 0

It's always so hard to know what to get your kids for Christmas. What's Santa going to bring this year? Who knows! Kids will change their mind everyday, every hour, every minute leading up to the big day. I wanted to put together this list to include some popular items as well as some fail safe ideas. I hope this helps!

1.) DIY Slime Kit

My family loves slime! We have several videos on making slime, and I think we are close to being subject matter experts. One thing that we know, not all slime kits are equal. There's nothing more frustrating than a slime kit that fails, creating a liquidity mess. For us, some of the best slime is homemade. So that got me thinking about making a list of ingredients someone could use to create their own kit. By using ingredients that you have at the house, you can make several different slimes.  To be clear, this is not a kit that I'm selling online, it's just a point of reference. This page lists all the slimes you can make, as well as with a simple shopping list for those slimes. Now, I am selling a tote that you can put all your slime ingredients into, so it looks like a complete present (rather than just putting a gallon of white glue in front of them and saying here have fun.) Most links are for Amazon, but I would price shop at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, etc. Hope this helps! ;-).

2.) DIY Science Kit

A Science kit is another great diy gift. Science kits we've bought in the past were kind of boring (like cleaning a penny with a packet of hot sauce.) Kids like to see things happen, they like to see things grow and explode, they like to have some kind of show. Most of the time I’m flipping through a 70 page instruction packet for anything remotely cool. The other issue I have with the kits is that you get maybe a third of what you need to actually perform the experiment. So if I buy a $30 kit and then I have to go out and buy $60 worth of supplies for the experiments, it’s really a $90 kit. I wanted to get a list of experiments that are a lot more exciting for a kid to watch. At my link below, I created a list of cool experiments and a shopping list to get all the needed ingredients. I do realize that it will be a little bit more hands-on for the parent because we’re using chemicals, but I think it’s better than the kits. Another reason why I like this idea is it looks more official. I mean every time I get those plastic colored beakers or test tubes it just looks like a toy, but this looks way more impressive. Oh, and look at that, another tote to hold everything in, isn’t that clever…

3.) DIY Bath Bomb Kit

Bath bombs are so easy to make! You only need a few ingredients to make your very own bath bombs. Again, I’m not selling a kit (another tote! Crazy, right?) just listing the ingredients you would need to make your own at home.

4.) L.O.L. Underwraps


L.O.L. dolls are one of the biggest hits for our kids, a borderline obsession. It may be an L.O.L. Christmas this year. It's one of the most popular toys out there, and they have a number of different options. My kids like the Underwraps the most. What is it? You're unwrapping a capsule, and using codes to unlock different compartments. The doll is dressed like an Egyptian mummy. The whole time you'll be using a special magnifying glass to read clues.

5.) L.O.L. Biggie Pets


More L.O.L.! The Biggie Pets has 15 surprises inside. The reason my middle child loved this one, the cool glasses! If you get this gift, you can use the glasses for all the other L.O.L. codes instead of the little magnifying glass. Plus the container turns into a back pack. You'll get a pet (and two small ones) and get to dig through a little sand.

6.) L.O.L. Pearl Surprise


The next L.O.L. is the Pearl Surprise. Inside is a limited edition doll, Lil Sister and 6 pearl surprise balls. It also has a  clam-shell shaped stand that your child can watch fizz.

7.) L.O.L. Bigger Surprise


The L.O.L. Bigger Surprise is a huge case of over 60 L.O.L. surprises. It contains a limited edition surprise doll, a pet and lil sister.

8.) Shopkins Mini Packs - Season 10 Mega Pack


Another fail-safe classic for us would be Shopkins. My kids got into this early on, as it was our first experience with blind bag toys. I remember standing in front of Toys R Us in the freezing cold weather, early in the morning for the latest season, as an angry mob formed behind me. Shopkins are little figurines that resemble food, household items or anything really, and can be used to create scenes or stored as a collectible.

9.) Treasure X


Treasure X packs are a popular item around our house for the kids. The thought of chiseling out a figure from a block of solidified sand, it’s a hit. You’ll be able to put together your figure (after freeing it) and there's even a treasure box that fizzes. They can be messy, but if you get a plastic tray to contain the debris, it’s not bad. Plus this one has guaranteed gold!

10.) Hatchimals CollEGGtibles 12-pack


Hatchimals are fun for all ages, though might be harder for kids 4 and under. You hold the egg and squeeze tight. Once the heart changes color you can open the hatchimal and see who's inside. It's nice with the egg carton because it gives you something to store them in.

11.) Disney Doorables


Disney Doorables are something new my kids have just started to collect. We love them because you can collect figures from your favorite Disney movies. We absolutely love (ok, I love) Beauty and the Beast, so to get Collectibles from that movie, it's pretty cool.

12.) Disney Doorables - Frozen Playset


You can also get one of the playsets from your favorite move (like the Frozen Playset) Give your child your phone or a camera and have them recreate scenes from the movie. You can even have a screening party that shows the different artistic take on those recreations with siblings or friends.

13.) Num Noms Cereal


Num Noms is another very popular brand over the years. This cereal, not to eat, includes a bowl that you fill with water and watch the bubbles. You'll have 12 new figurines afterwards.

14.) My Mini MixieQ's


My Mini MixieQ's are interesting, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. By this I mean you opening several figures and switching different outfits. It's nice because a box of Mini Mixie Q's isn't overly expensive.

15.) AMScope M150C-E-A Microscope


The AmScope microscope is a perfect starter for your child. I had a microscope (well, my brother did) growing up and it was so much fun, I loved it. I like this microscope because of the camera, which will work with your computer. During a recent vacation, my kids were so amazed by something similar, it was mesmerizing to see it on the computer.

16.) Celestron 21038 Travel Scope


The Celestron telescope is a great starter to astronomy. Just the ability to check out the moon in the back yard, or the stars while on vacation, it can be very inspiring for young minds.

17.) Estes Tandem-X Flying Model Rocket Launch Set


Flying model rockets is something that I loved as a kid. It was something that my Dad took us out to do a lot, even after one of my rockets broke, twisted in mid air and then darted toward a middle school baseball game (make sure you launch well away from people.) I still like doing it today with my kids. There's something about hear the engine ignite and watching the rocket blast into the clear blue sky. My kids love chasing the rockets down and catch them as they parachute to the ground (ha, they're exercising and they don't even know it!) This is a perfect option to get started as it has all the required equipment.

18.) Estes Big Daddy Flying Model Rocket Kit


For those of us that already have a kit, this is a great option. The Big Daddy is a larger rocket that is one of the more impressive options. If you're really serious about rockets, you can visit This site sells rockets for those looking to get certified.

19.) Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector


The Bounty Hunter TK4  Tracker IV metal detector will inspire your kid to go explore nature. This is a great intro option that they can use for years. On your next beach vacation you can bring it with you to find treasure (real or parent-planted.)

20.) Google Home Mini

The google mini is so entertaining for the kids. Whether it’s playing games, or doing trivia, it’s entertaining.

21.) Melissa and Doug Jumbo Extra-Thick Cardboard Building Blocks


Building blocks! This is something we got 10 years and 3 kids ago, and guess what, everyone still plays with? Building blocks! I still get, “build a tower taller than you Daddy.”

22.) Hot Wheels Color Shifters Sharkport Showdown Trackset


My son loves color changing cars! He'll stand in the kitchen, on step stool, for what seems like hours, dunking the cars. Back and forth between cold and hot... for hours. I would definitely recommend this model as it has a lot of different moving parts and it comes with a couple cars already.

23.) Hot Wheels Corkscrew Crash Track Set


Cars crashing, do I need to explain anything else? The fun is to try and launch your car into the looping center track without crashing into any of the other cars.

24.) EasyGoProducts Indoor Teepee Set


The EasyGoProducts Indoor Teepee Set is a fun getaway for your kids. When I was young, I would build forts all the time. Now my kids love building forts, so a tent they can put up anywhere in the house was a big hit with them.

25.) Baby Alive Sweet Spoonfuls


Baby Alive dolls have been one of the best toys my daughter ever got. It's something she plays with all the time, all... the... time. Your child can feed the Sweet Spoonfuls Doll, give it a drink, and change its diapers. It can be messy, but kids love messes! The only down side for this options is that it's a little bit more costly, because you have to keep buying the food packages and diapers.


26.) Baby Alive Super Snacks Snackin' Lily


We also love the Snackin' Lily (or Luke, or etc.) This Baby Alive option allows you to make food, using play-doh and a mold, which you can then feed to the baby with a special spoon. This baby isn't as messy or costly because you don't have to buy the diaper and food refills. Also, since the play-doh is removed from a compartment in the baby's back, it's less likely to get jammed.

27.) American Girl - Luciana

American Girl Doll is a popular choice every year as far as dolls go. Luciana, the girl of the year for 2018, is an aspiring astronaut with dreams of landing on Mars. This would be perfect for those fascinated by space.

28.) Star Wars Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie Interactive Plush Toy


Co-Pilot Chewie is a great gift for your Star Wars fan! He's an interactive plush doll that talks in Wookie and has a number of facial expressions.

29.) Animal Kingdom Remote Control Centipede


Animal Planet's Remote Control Centipede is one of the coolest and creepiest toys that my son has ever opened. I really got a kick out of how it moves on the ground.

30.) DoDoeleph Syma X5UW FPV RC Wifi Drone


The X5UW Drone is a great option for kids. They're already trained for this. Launch the drone and then let your child control the flight from the iPhone. It's exactly like all the games they play now, but here they'll get to explore for real.



31.) Potensic A20 RC Nano Quadcopter


If your child wants a drone, but you think it will get beat up, try the Potensic A20. It's a small drone with a small price tag, and it is more durable than most because the contained props.


32.) Champ RTF by Hobbyzone Plane


The Champ RTF plane is highly recommended by many hobby shops as one of the best to learn on.


33.) KingPow 2WD Remote Control Car


If you're looking for a remote control car, I would definitely go with the KingPow 2WD. It is a total beast. It is built for offroading, due to the huge tires and suspension, but can also reach speeds of 15 miles per hour on a smooth surface.  I also love that the battery charges under an hour, and provides a 15 minute session. Kids are not patient...

34.) Airhogs Supernova - Hand-controlled Flying Orb


The Supernova is something that can capture your child’s attention. When my kids were young, we had a fairy that would fly based on holding your hand under it. This is the same concept. Flying fun!

35.) Art 101 142-Piece Wood Art Set


If you have a future artist in the house, or if your child enjoys creating messy color bombs, an art kit is a great option.

36.) Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 - Ice Blue Instant Camera


The camera instantly prints the picture, just like the Polaroid cameras growing up. It's a stylish camera option for the future photographer.

37.) Pom pom Maker - by Komiwoo


There's a lot of crafts out there which are a little too complicated for younger kids. This pom pom maker is one of those kits that really knocks it out of the park, as far as ease of use and the applications. You make pom poms, a pom pom mobile so you can hang it above your head or a pom pom rug. You can make accessories for your hair, a pom pom keychain or pom poms for all the dolls. There's a lot you can accomplish with this pom pom maker, and it is SO easy to use! And for $10, it's a steal!

38.) Everlast 40 Pound Punching Bag


My middle child is wild. She's got a lot of energy and this gift was a way to focus that energy. A 40 pound punching bag is a great size for a child. I like the fact that it's leather, as canvas bags really tear up your gloves. We have ours hung from an I beam in our basement, but you can easily purchase a stand. It can be used for different sports, like kickboxing, boxing or karate. I love the idea, but the only drawback it that when she punches me now, it's a lot harder and she's got some impressive combos.

39.) Punching Bag Gloves



For gloves for the punching bag, you want them to be light enough for the kids, 4 to 6 oz. I like these as they help protect my daughter's wrists.

40.) Chicago Kids Adjustable Quad Roller Skates


Roller skates is a classic! This set is a great option for beginners.

41.) Pacer Mach-5 Black Pink Speed Skates


I think roller skates are so much fun for the whole family. For me, this set is so cool!

42.) Confidence Junior Golf Club Set


If you've read any of my travel posts, you know that I love to golf, and that I stink at it. This set will help your kid break into the sport so they're not as horrible as me when they grow up.

43.) Franklin Sports Disc Golf Target Set


Disc golf is gaining in popularity. There’s actually a course a couple miles from my house. With this kit, you’ll get a target and all you need to start practicing.

44.) Spikeball Game Set


Spike ball is a game that I was introduced to during a beach vacation. I was absolutely destroyed, but it was so much fun! It involves a lot of physicality, thought and at times a gentle touch. I’m practicing now for the next vacation!

45.) Kan Jam Game Set


Kan Jam is a new way to enjoy frisbee. You get 2 targets and frisbees.

46.) ArmoGear Laser Tag


The set includes 4 blasters and 4 harnesses. Whether you're chasing each other around the house or the backyard, this game will get your kids running and burning energy!

47.) Boom Boom Balloon


This is a great game! It's one of the most entertaining games out there, in my opinion. You blow up a balloon inside the stand and then you take turns ratcheting up different spikes. The person who pops the balloon is out. It's just amazing to watch how the balloon can really flex inside the little cage.

48.) Don't Step In It!


The concept is simple, try not to step in poo. I absolutely love how they give you play-doh, two different shades of brown, and molds to form into a perfect pile of poo. The way you play is lay out the provided mat, line it with piles of play-doh poo and have a blindfolded player walk through the course. I love watching the reaction of the kids when they hit a pile, it's the best, way better than real life.

49.) Meland Marble Run Toy 122 Piece


Marble run is a fun and creative toy. You can put together all the pre-planned courses, or you can create your own. I’m so addicted to this.

50.) Bugs In the Kitchen - Hex Bugs


Hex bugs are just cool. Creepy…. But cool. This board game makes you think a couple moves ahead of your opponent. The fun is watching the hex bug scurry around the board!

51.) Monopoly


This is an absolute classic. My kids are really getting into the game. Sure it takes time, so we take a picture of the board, and count out the money to make sure we can always go back and finish later. You can also get the new cheaters addition (inspired by my brother...)

52.) Scattergories


Another classic game for the family. Roll the dice to get the letter, and then try to come up with words in each of the categories before the timer runs out.



53.) Chess - Happy Potter


My kids beg me to bring out the chess board a lot. My youngest loves the horsey the most. The fun of this is watching how they think out the next move. This Harry Potter edition will be a huge hit for fans.



54.) World Puzzle - 500 Pieces


A great way to learn where places are, a puzzle! Your child will quickly learn, “oh yeah, Ohio is next to Indiana” and “Oh, that’s where Italy is.” 500 is a good amount for kids 8 and up, as it’s more of a challenge.



55.) Minecraft Computer Game (PC - MAC)

Minecraft allows you to create, build, expand and generally use your imagination. You can build imaginary cities or recreate real life locations while dodging the spiders and zombies.



56.) Zoo Tycoon Computer Game (PC and XBOX)

Zoo Tycoon is a game I loved growing up which allows you to create and build a zoo! You get to monitor the guest’s experience and add more animals as you go.



57.) Rollercoaster Tycoon World Computer Game (Windows based)

RollerCoaster Tycoon World lets you to create and build an amusement park! Use your imagination and design new roller coasters for the customers and watch as your park grows and expands.



58.) Rollercoaster Tycoon Joyride Computer Game (Playstation 4 and Playstation VR)

RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride is essentially the same as the classic, but in this version, you’re in the park designing. You’ll even be able to ride the roller coasters you design.



59.) Voice Originals When In Rome - Alexa Game

Voice originals is like a board game and game show put together, hosted by Alexa of course. It is a trivia games that takes you around the world, teaching you as you go. You’ll need Alexa to play.



60.) Rock and Roll It SpecDrum


Learn how to play the drums on this portable drum set. A great way to have your kids learn the basics before investing in a real set.


61.) Akai KS780-BT Bluetooth CD and G Karaoke System


This karaoke machine will provide tons of fun for families. Invite friends over and have sing-offs!

62.) Squier Limited Edition Bullet Telecaster Electric Guitar

The Telecaster is a perfect intro into guitar. Since the frame of a full size electric is smaller than acoustic, you can start here. Another option would be to get a 3/4 acoustic.





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