Are you stuck in a gift-giving rut? Don’t reach for that gift card just yet. Jazz up your gift-giving prowess with some of the hottest toy trends for 2019. We’ve rounded up the best birthday gifts to give this year, all of which are guaranteed to make you the most popular parent on the party circuit. Scroll down to see them all.

Pretend Play

photo: Budsies

Budsies Custom Stuffed Animal

Let imaginations soar beyond belief with this amazing stuffie made from your child's own artwork! Designed to look just like your own artwork or photo, they are all hand-sewn and hypoallergenic. 

Ages: 3 and up. 

Order at budsies.com

photo: Delta Children

TeePee Play Tent

No place to play outside? Host a campout in your living room. These awesome teepees give little campers plenty of room to pack up their gear and some snacks for an indoor adventure. Available in six different designs for both boys and girls, you can find a style to suit every personality. We love that these teepees are made with canvas so they don't get as hot as traditional play tents and they come with a convenient carrying case to pack it up easily after play.

Ages: 3 and up.

Available on Amazon, $79.99. 

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photo: Amazon

The Door Fort

If your imaginative tots love to build forts, but you're short on space or energy, check out The Door Fort, which turns any doorway in your home into a playspace. The play tent comes in a few themes, including a castle and firehouse.

Ages 3 and up.

Available on Amazon, $49.99.

Play Date In a Box

Need something fun to do when friends come over? Give the gift of a Playdate In A Box. These kits, which come in five different themes including Pirates, Rock Star and Super Powers, include costumes accessories and supplies for an imaginative playdate for two.

Ages 3 and up.

Available at Play Date In A Box, $29.95 and up.

Jurassic World Dinosaur Action Figures

Dino fans can pretend they've traveled back to the Jurassic Age with these incredibly detailed new Jurassic World Dinosaur Action Figures from Mattel.

Ages 4 and up.

Available on Amazon, $12 and up.

STEAM Toys and Kits

Herbie by AeroGarden

Got a budding botanist in your midst? Let them grow! This delightful garden kit from AeroGarden is their first designed specifically for kids (6 and up) and takes them on an indoor gardening adventure in 12 weeks: from seed to pizza party! Herbie comes with a 32-page activity book that explains the magic of hydroponic gardening and includes 18 different fun and educational activities. The kit contains everything you need to get started: there's no soil involved so it's low mess and the LED lights are safe for children. Kids can even grow in their room!

Ages: 6 and up 

Get it at aerogarden.com, $39.96

photo: Sphero

Specdrums

Simply by tapping the Specdrums rings on colors, music-loving kids can turn into mix master DJs. Using the Specdrums Mix app, the ring can be tapped on anything colorful, from clothes to kitchen utensils, or simply the Specdrums pad, to create sounds and beats that can be mixed into a song. STEAM lovers will not only develop tech skills, they will also learn about music fundamentals.

Ages: 7 and up.

Available at Sphero and Apple stores, starting at $64.99.

photo: Educational Insights

Artie 3000 Coding Robot

Meet Artie 3000, the robot you can code to create art! Its interface works with any mobile device or computer using its built-in WIFI server (no WIFI connection needed). Younger kids can learn with simple, pre-loaded designs, and kids as old as their teens can try their hand at more complex artistic creations using code. Boost those left-brain skills with concepts like geometry, math and coding and feed the right-brain with design and artistic expression. Win-win. 

Ages: 7-12 

Buy him now at educationalinsights.com, $69.99

Gears! Flightgears

Get those creative gears turning with actual gears. Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! FlightGears is a 44 piece set of gears that young engineers can tinker with to build different vehicles.

Ages 4 and up.

Available on Amazon, $14.99. 

photo: Amazon

Design & Drill SparkleBot

Foster a love of STEM and robots from an early age with the Educational Insights Design & Drill SparkleBot. Using plastic bolts and a kid-safe screwdriver, kids as young as three can customize their own mini bot.

Ages 3 and up.

Available on Amazon, $12.99.

Cool Maker KumiKreator

Design friendship bracelets in a flash with Spin Master's Cool Maker KumiKreator that comes with 88 premium spools and the ability to create 8 to 12 strand bracelets.

Available on Amazon, $24.97.

Games

photo: Amazon

Villainous

Winner of the 2019 Game of the Year the Disney Villainous Game by Wonder Forge lets you play the role of your favorite Disney villain as you try to get to your objective before your evil counterparts in this fun, family board game.

Ages 10 and up.

Available on Amazon, $29.99.

Uno Flip

The traditional UNO game the whole family loves gets flipped around, literally. UNO Flip is the latest version that turns the game upside down when players hit on a flip card that causes the entire deck to be turned around revealing different numbers and colors on the other side.

Ages 7 and up.

Available at Target, $5.99.

Building Sets

All Things LEGO

11. LEGO has a lot of exciting sets including an augmented reality line coming later in 2019, but while you wait you can take the magic of The LEGO Movie 2 off the big screen and into your play room with several kits inspired by the sequel.

Ages 10 and up.

Available at LEGO, $29.99 and up.

photo: Amazon

Rubrik's Briks

Rubrik's Briks add a new dimension of building to traditional plastic bricks with pieces that interlock on all sides. The brick sets allow kids to construct 3D buildings, animals and vehicles.

Ages 4 and up.

Available at Rubick's Briks, $6.99 and up.

Plus Plus Big Picture Puzzles

The clever folks behind the Plus Plus construction kits have a new way to build and play with the Plus Plus Big Picture Puzzles. The kits come with 60 pieces and seven different puzzle mats, and kids can also use the same pieces for creative building.

Ages 3 to 7.

Available on Amazon, $24.99.

Collectibles

Fingerlings Narwhals

The latest addition to the Fingerling family is the absolute cutest. These Fingerlings Narwhals will melt young hearts with their new features unlike any of their predecessors, including a flapping tail and special mood horn that will light up different colors in reaction to interaction.

Ages 5 and up.

Available at Walmart, $14.99. 

Smash Crashers

If smashing toy trucks is up your little one's alley, then they'll love Smash Crashers. Crash the truck and reveal a hidden collectible inside. There are 12 trucks total each with three hidden surprises inside.

Ages 5 and up.

Available at Amazon, $20.00 for a 3-pack. 

Pikmi Pops DoughMis

The latest collectible from Pikmi Pops features a scrumptious, colorful line of donuts known as the Pikmi Pops DoughMis. Each scented plush toy comes with a carrying case that can be clipped on to a backpack, as well as little surprises like rings, stickers, notebooks and more.

Ages 5 and up.

Available on Amazon, $10.99.

Tech Toys

JBL JR POP Speaker

Now you don't have to give up your own Bluetooth speaker when your tween wants to jam out to Taylor Swift. The new JBL JR POP speaker offers the same sound quality of JBL that you trust in a body that comes in a rainbow of candy colors and that is both durable and IPX7 waterproof-rated so you don't have to worry.

Ages 5 and up.

Available at JBL, $29.95.

Sky Viper Dash Nano Drone

Drones are a coveted toy, but they can be harder to play with than kids expect. The Sky Viper Dash Nano Drone is the perfect starter set that so small and compact you can even fly it indoors.

Ages 12 and up.

Available on Amazon, $19.99.

JIMu Robot Mythical Series: UnicornBot Kit

The JIMU Robot Mythical Series: UnicornBot Kit is guaranteed to get kids excited about coding and robotics. You can program UnicornBot's movements and actions using an app which also provides augmented reality functions for creative play.

Ages 8 and up.

Available at Amazon, $119.

Favorite Characters

photo: JustPlay

Vampirina Stow N' Go Slumber Party

Take that ghoulish pajama party on the go with the Vampirina Stow N' Go Slumber Party perfect for road trips or to take on a playdate.

Ages 3 and up.

Available at Khol's, $24.99.

Fortnite Battle Royale Collection

Bring that Fornite obsession off the screen for a while (if you can tear them away) with the Fortnite Battle Royale Collection Figures.

Available on Amazon, $9.99 and up.

PAW Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck

The PAW Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck by Spin Master & Nickelodeon comes with a two-foot extendable ladder, plenty of lights and sounds and an adorable mini fire cart for hours of play.

Ages 3 and up.

Available at Target, $59.99.

Subscription Boxes

photo: ShopDisney

Disney Princess Enchanted Collection

Make your little princess's dreams come true with the Disney Princess Enchanted Collection subscription box. Each magical box features a different princess and includes an authentic Disney Store costume, a Read-Along Storybook and CD, princess stickers, surprises and other activities. You can order one box at a time or set up bi-monthly delivery for six months to a year.

Ages 3 and up.

Available at ShopDisney, $49.99 and up.

photo: iStock

Because of Them We Can Box

Why spend just one month learning about Black History when this inspiring subscription box keeps the fun going all year long? The Because of Them We Can Box comes packed with toys, clothes and educational activities that celebrate a past or present Black leader or hero. You can order one box at a time or set up monthly delivery for up to a year.

Ages 5 and up.

Available at Because of Them We Can, $39.99 and up.

Little Global Citizens

The Little Global Citizens subscription box takes kids on a new adventure around the world each month. The boxes contain books, activities, crafts and toys all themed around the specific culture of a different country. The boxes arrive bi-monthly and you can subscribe for a single delivery, three months or six.

Ages 3 and up.

Available at Little Global Citizens, $32.95 and up.

Gifts That Give Back

Cuddle + Kind Doll

With every one of Cuddle + Kind's adorable hand-knit dolls purchased, 10 meals are donated to hungry children in need. Cuddle + Kind partners with World Food Program USA and Children’s Hunger Fund, and to date have given away over 5 million meals.

Ages newborn and up.

Available at Cuddle + Kind, $50 and up.

Planets Sidewalk Chalk Set

Step up your sidewalk chalk game with this incredible set of out-of-this-world chalk that also helps the world. Twee Mason’s Planets Sidewalk Chalk Set features the nine planets made out of chalk complete with multiple colorful layers representing each planet's out crust down to the core. Not only is the chalk beautiful, but it gives back with $2 from each set donated to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to support Autism research.

Ages 3 and up.

Available at Twee Made, $39.

One World Play Project Soccer Ball

Hit the field for a game while giving other kids a chance to play too. For every One World Play Project Soccer Ball that's purchased for young kickers, play equipment is provided to communities in need. Oh, and did we mention it's unpoppable?

Ages 3 and up.

Available on Amazon, $48.

Money

The Fiver Party

Skip the gifts and just for cash. The “fiver party” is a simple solution for both attendees and hosts when it comes to the big birthday gift dilemma. Instead of gifts, guests are simply asked to bring five dollars for the birthday kid. With a dozen or more kids in attendance, those “fivers” will quickly add up to a decent sum which can be used towards one big gift.

All ages.

Goalsetter

Goalsetter allows family and friends to contribute to kids’ goals, such as saving for college, a brand new bicycle, or an experience of some sort. Kid 13 and under can create a free FDIC-insured savings account used to set earning goals in three different categories, including saving for the future, like college tuition, giving back to charitable causes of their choice or spending on meaningful gifts like expensive gear or experiences. Friends and family can purchase a digital GoalCard in any amount.

All Ages.

Create an account or purchase GoalCards at Goalsetter.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: iStock 

All images courtesy retailers unless otherwise noted. 

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