Gear Diary’s 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let’s Have Some Fun Together!

This year, we’ve gathered up a collection of gifts that offers everything from games to play to things to make, personal care products, and books to read. It’s good to slow things down a bit and unplug every now and then; these items will offer the young and young at heart some fun ways to do just that! Welcome to our 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide!

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

Raccoon Tycoon Game

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

Raccoon Tycoon is a $23.99 strategy board game that’s engaging enough that the whole family will have fun playing it together. In it, two to five players figure out how to become the top tycoon in Astoria while purchasing Railroad cards, Town cards, and Building tiles.

What might get missed in all of the game-night fun is that Raccoon Tycoon is teaching players key skills, including strategic thinking, planning, money management, buying, and selling. Featuring dreamlike watercolor paintings by the artist Annie Stegg on 40 cards, 27 tiles, and the gameboard, Racoon Tycoon is quick and easy to learn for players aged 8 and up.

CMY Cubes

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

CMY Cubes launched in September 2020, and to those who come across them, they can seem like magical objects. Each of the faces on the translucent 3D geometric shapes is coated in electromagnetically subtractive materials, which at first, appear as cyan, magenta, or yellow. But when turned, the shapes appear to create an ever-changing spectrum of color; twisting and turning the geometric shapes creates new combinations, resulting in the appearance of new colors.

With pure white light, the CMY cube can create dozens of unique colors as light passes through the shape’s face, as the remaining light is either elected or absorbed. It’s crazy how such a simple object can spark so much wonder, but sometimes the lowest-tech items are perfect for igniting the imagination.

CMY cubes come in multiple sizes and shapes, and there are also bundles with different shapes available. Shown above is the $99.95 CMY Cubes Collector’s Pack, which includes a CMY Cube, an AETHER (Octahedron), a MUNDUS (Dodecahedron), and a CMY Cube stand. Priced from $19.95 to $119.95 with the current sale, CMY Cubes make a perfect low-tech gift that everyone can enjoy.

3C4G Products

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

3C4G stands for Three Cheers for Girls, but anyone who likes glitter, pastel colors, butterflies, and an escape from the mundane will enjoy the brand’s room decor, stationery, cosmetics, and travel accessories.

Kids can pamper themselves with the $10.99 glitter nail polish set or create new worlds with the all-in-one sketching set, which includes a pen for doodling, colored pencils for sketching, and stackable heart-shaped crayons. You can give someone a comfortable place to draw, color, or write in their journal with a colorful and fun 3C4G lap desk  (prices range from $14.99 to $26.99).

Sweetology Gingerbread House

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

You can make this year’s gingerbread house decorating even more convenient with a Sweetology Gingerbread House Kit. Starting at $29.99, these ready-to-decorate gingerbread houses show up right at your door with all of the trimmings, ready for creating at-home holiday memories that will last for years. Making a gingerbread house is a great way to engage kids in a mini-construction project that they can decorate and even snack on.

Looking for something a bit more Hanukkah themed? Sweetology has you covered. They also sell extra half-pounds of candy to make your gingerbread homes even more extravagant.


Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

Candygrams is a thoughtfully designed and responsibly manufactured tile game that cuts no corners. The playing pieces feel substantial rather than like plastic chicklets, and there aren’t any numbers on these letter tiles because the letters aren’t assigned a value.

Meant for two to four players ages 7 and up, playing the $24.99 Candygrams game is as simple as rolling the dice, matching colors, and making words. Players start with 25 tiles, and the goal is to build their own crossword puzzle as they add one word with each roll of the dice, with their new word matching the color of the dice roll.

Candygram players still have to employ skill and strategy to win, but it’s more about making words and getting rid of your tiles versus racking up points. You don’t have to be the best wordsmith or the fastest player to win, and the result is a game that everyone can enjoy playing together.

Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

If your teen loves being outside and checking out nature in all forms, they’ll get many years of use from the $95 Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars. Nocs makes waterproof, sturdy, rubberized binoculars that are easy to use and that make nature up close and personal!

The Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars are amazing for a few reasons. One, they’re extremely lightweight at only 11.8 ounces, so you can wear these around your neck all day comfortably. Second, the eye cups are comfortable both with and without glasses on. It’s simple to adjust them, and the views are simply stunning. Best of all, Noc stands behind their binoculars with a “no matter what” lifetime warranty!

There’s more to Nocs than just a chance to appreciate the scenery. If you buy through REI, they’re offering a special $150 bundle that includes a woven tapestry strap designed by Amelia Winger-Bearskin, an artist and member of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma.

Evowera Planck Mini Smart Manual Kid’s Toothbrush

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

Getting kids to brush their teeth and building good brushing habits can be tough, but the $29.19 evowera’s planck mini kids manual smart toothbrush is here to help. Embedded in the handle of the planck mini is a TFT-LCD full-color screen that can show brushing reports, uncleaned zones, and other information like the date or weather. Meant for kids aged 3 and up, the planck mini is about making brushing fun and rewarding.

If mom and dad want to get involved in encouraging their kid’s proper brushing, the evowera NSO app enables parents to send their kids kudos to the toothbrush, track brushing report data, and customize the look of the handle. After successful teeth cleaning sessions, kids will see their earned bonus sticker right on the handle’s screen, letting them know that they’ve done a great job.

Kobotix Real Racer

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

The $150 Kobotix Real Racer takes RC cars to a brand-new and very exciting level. When playing with it, the lucky recipient won’t just see the car driving around, they’ll have the opportunity to watch the drive from the car’s perspective, thanks to a roof-mounted camera and companion app.

They can play spy with their Real Racer a few ways, either by just utilizing the app (and even taking photos and videos!) or by popping their phone into the included VR headset, which lets them watch their drive as immersively as if they had been shrunk down into the driver’s seat.
Think it’s cool to navigate an RC car through a LEGO maze that ends in a spectacular crash? It’s even cooler when it feels like you’re there!
The entire kit is super easy to set up and use, and if real cars had controllers as easy to drive as this kit, driving would be a lot more fun! The Kobotix Real Racer provides hours of entertainment for everyone!

Make It Real 5-in-1 Activity Tower

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

The $39.99 Make It Real 5-in-1 Activity Tower offers five fun jewelry activities in one full storage solution. The activity tower rotates for easy access to all of its compartments; there are five removable storage trays and a bracelet holder that can display the latest creations when they’re not being worn.

Each storage tray houses one of the activities named Heishi Craze, Just Bead It, It’s Elastic!, Friends Forever or Link Em’ Up. There are 1600 small pieces in this kit that are a choking hazard for younger children, so it’s rated 6+.

TBH Kids Holiday Gift Set

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

The seven-piece TBH Kids Holiday Gift Set is a great way to get your tween’s hygiene routine on track so they can look good, feel good, and smell good from head to toe!

Included in the $44.95 gift set is everything tweens need to stay on top of their hygiene game, including a 12-ounce TBH Kids Shampoo ($9.95), a 12-ounce TBH Kids Conditioner ($9.95), a 12-ounce TBH Kids Body Wash ($9.95), a 6-ounce TBH Kids Gentle Face Cleanser, ($8.95), a pack of 30 TBH Kids Gentle Face Wipes ($7.95), an 8-ounce TBH Kids Body Lotion, ($8.95), and a 2.4-ounce stick of TBH Kids Deodorant. ($8.95), for a $64.65 value!

TBH makes personal care items that are free of BPAs, parabens, sulfates, dairy, nuts, gluten, and harsh chemicals. Each TBH product uses natural ingredients, which they list, along with tips on how to use each product to get the best results. The tween years can be an awkward time as kids hit puberty and begin dealing with issues like acne, inexplicably greasy hair, and new body odors. You can empower the tween in your life with safe personal care products that will help them feel more confident!

Worlds Smallest Games

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

Kids (and a lot of adults) love miniaturized items, but a lot of times, they aren’t exactly functional. That’s not the case with World’s Smallest Games.

Each is a fully-playable miniaturized game that they already know and love, including classics like Chutes & Ladders ($7.99), Clue ($8.99), Battleship ($9.98), and even Magic the Gathering ($9.99). There’s even a miniaturized Jenga ($8.90), which they recommend you play with a toothpick or a straightened paperclip. I’m pretty sure that’s even harder to play than the tiny version of Operation ($11.99)!

All of these games are small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, which is crazy because these dollhouse-sized games play just like the original, full-sized versions! Bear in mind that because they have small parts that can be a choking hazard, most of these games are for children 6 and up.

Oversight Game

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

Oversight ($28.95) is an award-winning STEM game where two to four players compete to be the first with four tokens in a row. Players can place a token on the board or shift an entire row or column of squares by one space.

The rules are simple, but the game becomes more complex as players learn from their mistakes, pay close attention to the color distractions, and begin to predict their opponent’s moves. Oversight is meant for players ages 7 and up.

Miraculous Ladybug Yo-Yo

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

If your little ones are watching Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir on Netflix or Disney +, it’s likely that you have a Ladybug fan in your house. Your little “Ladybug” will be able to capture evil “akumas” and turn them into butterflies all day long with their own Miraculous Ladybug Yo-Yo.

For just $8.99, kids can pretend to be their favorite character and learn eye-hand coordination!

Brittanica Kid’s Encyclopedia

Kids are curious beings and the $30 Brittanica Kid’s Encyclopedia: What We Know and What We Don’t from What On Earth Books can teach 8 to 12-year-olds about the world that we live in while igniting their quest for knowledge and getting them to read.

What We Know & What We Don’t! is an all-new and exhaustive 424-page collection of knowledge; rather than the traditional A-Z that older encyclopedias employed, this book uses a narrative arc to tell the story of the world from the beginning of time to the present day, and even into the future! It is divided into eight chapters: Universe, Earth, Matter, Life, Humans, Ancient & Medieval Times, Modern Times, and Today & Tomorrow.

This All-New Kids’ Encyclopedia is loaded with facts, lists, known unknowns, and engaging illustrations and photographs that everyone will enjoy.

Connetix Tiles

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

Recommended for children ages 3 and up, the Connetix gives kids a taste for STEAM learning through magnetic tile play, where kids can explore shapes and colors in both 2D and 3D. Connetix is an open-ended toy, which not only helps to develop kids’ imagination and creativity, but it can also grow with the child as they learn and develop, and their creations become more evolved.

Connetix tiles utilize strong magnets, so when kids create even the most elaborate designs, they won’t have to worry about everything falling apart. The tiles are made with non-toxic ABS plastic that is BPA, lead, and Phthalate free; they are also sealed and riveted for extra safety. You can start with the 24-piece Rainbow Mini Pack ($35), go a bit bigger with the 92-piece Ball Run Pack ($109) shown above, or jump right in with the 212-piece MegaPack ($240).

Smart Ass

While playing the outrageous and fast-paced Smart Ass game ($15.49), you’ll quickly figure out who knows the answers to Who, What, and Where Am I trivia questions, as players two to six players aged 12 and up are encouraged to blurt out the answers to questions, even when it’s not their turn.

Each question has eight clues – the first player to yell out the correct answer wins the round and takes a step closer to reaching the donkey’s butt in the center of the board the game, where they are declared the winner “ultimate smart ass” — at least until the next time you play!

World’s Smallest Classic Mini Collectible Toys

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

Inside each of the World’s Smallest Classic Mini Collectible Toys ($8.63) are miniatures of iconic toys like assorted styles of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro Figures, a Lava Lamp, a Kerplunk game, assorted styles of Hot Wheels, Care Bears, Games, and more.

You kids won’t know what they’re getting until they open the box, but that’s part of the fun with these mystery boxes!

Bedtime Defenderz

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

The $24.99 Bedtime Defenderz were made with kids 3 to 7 in mind; they are on a mission to protect kids from the “bad guys” when it’s time for lights out. There are five different Bedtime Defenderz 10″ plush toys, and each is ready for bedtime hugs from kids who need a little help chasing away nighttime “monsters.”

Each Bedtime Defenderz character includes a bedtime story comic book, a power band slap bracelet, and a glow-in-the-dark belt buckle. Parents can shine a light on the Defender’s belt buckle for 5 seconds, then turn the lights off, and the belt buckle will glow for up to 15 minutes.

Want to learn more about the Bedtime Defenderz? You can meet them here. When it’s time for lights out, nightmares had better watch out!

Fairy Tales Hair Care

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

Let your kids take part in taking care of their own hair with Fairy Tales Hair Care Products! Fairy Tales products are affordable, salon-quality products that are made with natural, good-for-you ingredients and no harsh chemicals. Parents can check out the ingredients of every product, and there are even tips on how to best use each product right on the site.

If your child has curly hair, they’ll love the $26.95 Curly-Q Shampoo and Conditioner Trio, which includes an 8-ounce Curly-Q Kids Shampoo ($9.95), an 8-ounce Curly-Q Kids Conditioner ($9.95), and an 8-ounce Curly-Q Kids Styling Spray Gel ($8.95); ingredients include quinoa and murumuru butter to leave kids hair soft and shiny.

Other hair kits to consider include the $31.95 Sun & Swim Trio, which removes chlorine and sea salt from hair with natural fruit extracts and adds extra protection with an after-sun spray, or the Rosemary Repel Trio, which uses a proprietary blend of organic rosemary, citronella, tea tree, geranium, and peppermint oils to help prevent lice.

Fairy Tales hair care products are non-GMO, and they are free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates; they are also soy, dairy, gluten, and nut free, and they are not tested on animals.

Queen of In Between

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

A charming story about how kids change their parents’ lives in a good way, the Queen of In Between is about Taylor Olivia’s favorite place — smack dab in the middle of her parents — and how she always manages to be there wherever they go and whatever they’re doing; Taylor Olivia is the Queen of In Between.

The Queen of In Between is a story that new parents, who find their alone time now has a third wheel, will relate to. But it’s also a story about how kids change their parents’ lives for the better; it’s about embracing those moments when your kids are young, carefree, and full of wonder.

The Queen of In Between is free to borrow with Kindle Unlimited, or you can buy it in paperback for $9.99.

World’s Smallest Micro Toy Box

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

You can explore the greatest toys of all time in miniaturized form with the $8.89 World’s Smallest Micro Toy Box. Each surprise box includes five mini toys ranging in size form 0.75 to 1.25″, a sticker, and a checklist. The toys include miniaturized goodies like My Little Pony, Magic 8 Ball, Hot Wheels, Gi Joe, and more!

Ultra Power Power Battle Game

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

No board, chargers, or batteries are needed to play; the $17.99 Ultra Power Battle Game provides fast-paced play in a game designed for two or more players ages 5 and up that can be played indoors or outside. Billed as the ultimate battle-flipping game, the set comes with two battle bands and twelve mystery tokens; expansion token packs are available as a separate purchase.

Players use their Ultra Power Tokens to battle each other over multiple rounds; if kids can get their opponent’s power dial to zero, they win the battle; the player who ends up with the most ultra power tokens wins the game! The highest point power token wins the round, and there is plenty of flipping fun!

Chef Series Learning Tower

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

The $269.99 Chef Series Learning Tower is much more than just a step stool; it is a safe way for even the smallest family members to stand at counter height so they can be part of what’s going on in the kitchen. The tower is made of premium ash wood with two steps and a large opening so that getting in and out of it is easy and fun.

Designed for children ages 2 through 6, the Chef Series Learning Tower’s platform height can be adjusted to four levels without tools, and it will sit flush against counters for safe access. There’s even a plexiglass panel for kids to write recipes or draw on, and the eight included activity cards have recipes and fun ideas for playtime and learning.

Baby Mood Pro

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!

Babies are too young to care about receiving a lot of gifts, so why not do something nice for mom and dad instead? The $299.99 Baby Mood Pro is an all-in-one baby monitor, sleep trainer, and mood light soother that has been designed to help little ones sleep better, put them in a happier mood, and let parents keep an eye on them from anywhere.

The touch control mood light globe offers eight colors in eight brightness levels, and the built-in speaker can play lullabies or the audio of your choice to comfort babies when they wake up. With the sleep training support of the ChillaxCare app, parents can establish healthy sleep routines with color and sound to teach children when it’s time to wake up or go to sleep.

The separate 4.3″ monitor allows parents to see their child at all times, and there are even features like diaper and feeding tracking, two-way talk, zoom, pan/scan control, and so much more!


If you’re looking for more ideas, be sure to also check out our 2022 Holiday Gift Guide!

Gear Diary's 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let's Have Some Fun Together!


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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

6 Comments on "Gear Diary’s 2022 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Let’s Have Some Fun Together!"

  1. I’d give Connetix Tiles to my youngest niece, who is around the right age to start building things with these.

  2. Raccoon Tycoon looks like something we’d enjoy playing on family game night.

  3. The Chef Series Learning Tower might also be good for my youngest niece. My older brother told me that she’s good at figuring out different ways to use things, such as a step stool.

  4. Gina Ferrell | December 2, 2022 at 2:09 am |

    The World’s Smallest Classic Mini Collectible Toys is something my daughter would love. She loves collecting these type of toys.

  5. cactuspete23 | December 2, 2022 at 6:47 pm |

    LOL. Makes me want to be a kid again. So many cool toys and gifts for the younger folks!

  6. Linda Pettit | December 2, 2022 at 6:55 pm |

    My nephews would love the Ultra Power Battle Game!

Comments are closed.