March 1, 2024

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Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner

Air Hogs Flippin’ Frenzy

On Sale

Air Hogs Flippin’ Frenzy

Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner

Air Hogs Flippin’ Frenzy

Now 58% Off

Credit: Spin Master

The clever secret to this R/C is its big, soft wheels: They’re mighty enough to roll over uneven terrain inside or outside, but they’re squishy enough not to damage floors, furniture or walls. Kids can also pick their style, since one size features a red muscle car, and the other side features a blue sports vehicle. In Good Housekeeping tests, parents enjoyed playing with this as much as the kids did. Ages 4+

Best STEM Toy for 4-Year-Old Boys

GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope

Best Seller

GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope

Best STEM Toy for 4-Year-Old Boys

GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope

Now 38% Off

Credit: Educational Insights

Kids who are curious about science, nature and the world around can learn real facts about plants and animals with this talking microscope. It comes with more than 60 images on its slide, which easily store inside the microscope. There are also different modes of play, including Fact Mode for learning and Quiz Mode to see if they’ve absorbed the knowledge. If they’re really into STEM, you can also get them the new GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope. Ages 4+

RELATED: The Best Educational Toys, According to Experts, Parents and Real Kids

For Marvel Fans

LEGO Team Spidey at Green Goblin’s Lighthouse Kit

Team Spidey at Green Goblin's Lighthouse Kit

For Marvel Fans

LEGO Team Spidey at Green Goblin’s Lighthouse Kit

Credit: LEGO

It’s your friendly, neighborhood LEGO set, and all the Spidey fans will flip for it! At 149 pieces, it’s just the right amount of challenge for 4-year-olds. When they’re done, they’ll have made an island lighthouse full of the Green Goblin’s traps — watch out for the cave jail! — for Miles Morales, Ghost Spider, Sandman and Green Goblin to use for adventures. Ages 4+

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Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Rocket

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Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Rocket

Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Rocket

Now 36% Off

Credit: Educational Insights

Great for Pretend Play

Melissa & Doug Pizza Play Food Set

On Sale

Pizza Play Food Set

Great for Pretend Play

Melissa & Doug Pizza Play Food Set

Now 21% Off

Credit: Melissa & Doug

What’ll it be: pepperoni or mushrooms? He’ll get to engage his imagination serving up different pies with this set, which comes with a pizza that can be “sliced” and 36 toppings that can attach with velcro. If he’s really into it, you can get the deluxe set, the Top & Bake Wooden Pizza Counter Play Set ($52), which also comes with a pizza oven and other accessories. Ages 3+

Doubles as decor

T-Rex 3-D Puzzle

T-Rex 3-D Puzzle

Doubles as decor

T-Rex 3-D Puzzle

Credit: Studio Roof

After your 4-year-old puts this 3-D puzzle together, it can sit on a shelf as a piece of room décor. It’s made from recycled cardboard and printed with vegetable inks. Ages 3+

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Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner

Switcheroo Coding Crew

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Switcheroo Coding Crew

Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner

Switcheroo Coding Crew

Now 51% Off

Credit: Learning Resources

This combination of coding and rescue vehicles was a certifiable hit with Good Housekeeping Institute kid testers., who found it explained coding in manageable bites without needing any computer science knowledge. Kids draw a challenge card, snap on one of the vehicle shells (police car, fire truck or construction vehicle) and program the cars to go in and save the day. They can even figure out “secret” codes, like how to make lights or sounds. Ages 4+

Cute Plush

Toothpick Ripple Teddy Bear

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Toothpick Ripple Teddy Bear

Cute Plush

Toothpick Ripple Teddy Bear

Now 11% Off

Credit: GUND

With his long, skinny shape, not only is this bear cute, it’s the perfect size to carry around in one arm. The bear’s fur has a pleasing, rippled texture to it, and its 15″ body means its limbs are satisfyingly floppy. You can get it in four colors. Ages 1+

Great for Hot Wheels Fans

Hot Wheels Ultimate Octo Car Wash

Amazon’s Choice

Ultimate Octo Car Wash

Great for Hot Wheels Fans

Hot Wheels Ultimate Octo Car Wash

Now 15% Off

It’s all the fun of going to the car wash in a four-foot-long Hot Wheels play set that’s ready to spark imaginative play. The coolest feature is that running the vehicles through the water changes the color of Color Reveal cars. Kids can move the robotic cleaning arms, but there’s also a ramp, a loop and a spiral to make it a little more exciting. Ages 4+

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Good Housekeeping Kids’ Book Award Winner

Knight Owl

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Knight Owl

Good Housekeeping Kids’ Book Award Winner

Knight Owl

Now 17% Off

Credit: Christy Ottaviano Books

A little owl tries its wing at being a brave knight — and is put to the test when he comes face-to-face with a dragon. But he finds out he has more in common with his foe than he thought. “My 4-year-old learned that knights and heroes come in all shapes and sizes,” says one Good Housekeeping Institute parent tester. Ages 2 – 5

RELATED: The Good Housekeeping Kids’ Book Awards

For ‘PAW Patrol’ Superfans

Rubble & Crew Action Figures

Rubble & Crew Action Figures

For ‘PAW Patrol’ Superfans

Rubble & Crew Action Figures

Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner

Express Your Feelings Sensory Bottles

Express Your Feelings Sensory Bottles

Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner

Express Your Feelings Sensory Bottles

Credit: hand2mind

For a toy that works on social-emotional skills — something lots of kids can use help with these days — these bottles have all the fun of a fidget toy with an emotional boost. Each bottle has a different feeling and color, and the fluid goes through them in a corresponding way, and they can be used to start conversations about feelings. Ages 3+

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Fun Family Game

Rattlesnake Jake

On Sale

Rattlesnake Jake

Fun Family Game

Rattlesnake Jake

Credit: Goliath

This is a game of nerves: Rattlesnake Jake comes curled around a pile of gold pieces, and players have to steal them from him. But watch out, because his rattle gets more intense and then he strikes! Snatching the gold before the bite helps kids work on their fine-motor coordination, and Good Housekeeping testers who tried this game said it was always a “wow” moment when the snake struck. Ages 4+

For Eco-Conscious Families

Playmobil Wiltopia Animal Rescue Quad

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Wiltopia Animal Rescue Quad

For Eco-Conscious Families

Playmobil Wiltopia Animal Rescue Quad

Now 20% Off

Credit: Playmobil

This set is part of Playmobil’s Wiltopia line, which comes with themes of environmental stewardship and protecting animals. In this one, two animal rescuers can save an injured jaguar, treat it with pretend First Aid supplies, then load it onto the quad — which actually has a pull-back motor. It also comes with a tree set that can either be knocked down or upright, giving kids more avenues for imaginative play. Ages 4+

Amazon’s Choice

Lincoln Logs

Now 16% Off

Credit: Lincoln Logs

Both kids and parents will love this Lincoln Logs building set, since parents might remember playing with this building set in their own childhoods. The set includes 111 pieces made of real maple wood that can be used to build structures like a cabin or two small houses with a bonfire. There are three different guides in the manual, but kids might have even more creative fun by building their own ideas. Ages 3+

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Best Active Toy

2-in-1 Kids Kick Scooter

2-in-1 Kids Kick Scooter

Best Active Toy

2-in-1 Kids Kick Scooter

Credit: LaScoota

Good Housekeeping experts were impressed at the long life of this scooter, which can start out as a ride-on for younger ones (or younger siblings) and then adjust in height until the kids are about 12 years old. But kids focused in on something else: The light-up wheels! It also comes in a bevy of colors. Ages 3+

RELATED: The Best Scooters for Kids

Fun Surprise Toy

Jurassic Park Captivz Surprise Egg

Jurassic Park Captivz Surprise Egg

Fun Surprise Toy

Jurassic Park Captivz Surprise Egg

Credit: Captivz

There’s so much packed into one little egg! It comes with three a buildable dinosaur, “prehistoric” sand, “amber” gel, and lab slime, plus stickers and a card for collectors. When testing a different toy in the Captivz line, Good Housekeeping Institute testers loved the sensation of digging through the slime. Ages 3+

Nostalgic Fave

Hasbro Create Your Potato Head Family

Amazon’s Choice

Create Your Potato Head Family

Nostalgic Fave

Hasbro Create Your Potato Head Family

Credit: Hasbro

One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes — fun! With this set, kids will have fun mixing up the faces, pieces and accessories for a whole Potato Head family. The set comes with two adult-sized bodies, one kid-sized body and more than 40 pieces to swap in and out. Ages 2+

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Gross But Cool Toy

Hexbug Real Bugs Nanos

Real Bugs Nanos

Gross But Cool Toy

Hexbug Real Bugs Nanos

Credit: HEXBUG

You’ll be amazed — or maybe icked out? — by how realistically these bugs scurry around. The bugs are remarkably lifelike, and they even maneuver around objects. Five bugs are available in the pack, including a cicada, a cockroach, a Japanese beetle, a water scorpion and an assassin bug. Ages 3+

Unique Gift for 4-Year-Old Boys

Alphabet Affirmation Flash Cards

On Sale

Alphabet Affirmation Flash Cards

Unique Gift for 4-Year-Old Boys

Alphabet Affirmation Flash Cards

Now 20% Off

Kids can practice their alphabet and get a mood boost at the same time. Each flash card has an affirming phrase on it, like, “A is for amazing. I am amazing.” Ages 4+

Headshot of Marisa LaScala

Senior Parenting & Relationships Editor

Marisa (she/her) has covered all things parenting, from the postpartum period through the empty nest, for Good Housekeeping since 2018; she previously wrote about parents and families at Parents and Working Mother. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, where she can be found dominating the audio round at her local bar trivia night or tweeting about movies.

Headshot of Rachel Rothman

Chief Technologist & Executive Technical Director

Rachel Rothman (she/her) is the chief technologist and executive technical director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she oversees testing methodology, implementation and reporting for all GH Labs. She also manages GH’s growing research division and the analysis of applicants for the GH Seal and all other testing emblems. During her 15 years at Good Housekeeping, Rachel has had the opportunity to evaluate thousands of products, including toys and cars for GH’s annual awards programs and countless innovative breakthroughs in consumer tech and home improvement. 

 

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