Gift giving is a skill, and a difficult one at that. Of course parents know their own kids inside and out, but sometimes it can be puzzling to pick out a toy for someone else’s family, whether it be for the children of friends or coworkers, or relatives you only see once a year.

Here’s what to look for when you don’t know what to buy, so that you can still give that grand slam gift, even when you have no clue what you’re doing. The never-ending dilemma of what gifts to give is now solved.

BB Junior My First RC (Maisto)

Toddlers like anything on wheels, and they’ll be seriously impressed with these tot-friendly remote control cars, available in both Ferrari and Jeep designs. A handheld steering wheel serves as the remote, with easy-to-use forward and backward buttons, a realistic horn button, and a motion sensor to control left and right. The cars are small and compact, have working headlights and taillights, and friendly little eyeballs on the front windshields. It’s the perfect R/C toy for first timers. Follow that car!


Calico Critters Luxury Townhome Gift Set (Epoch Everlasting Play)

Play sets are great for keeping kids occupied for hours, and they have tons of play value that’ll make them last long after the holidays are over. This deluxe Calico Critters set can be built into a spacious five-room townhouse complete with balconies, furniture, and working lights that turn on and off. The best part is the adorable furry critters that live in the house – the set comes with two charming bunnies in dresses that kids can play with, and there are tons of others to collect, like rabbit grandparents, panda bear twins, and a fluffy hamster family. I’m patiently awaiting my invitation to the housewarming party!


Balloon Bot Battle (KD Group)

Games are always a winning bet for siblings or big families. Kids can put their sibling rivalries to the test by putting up their dukes and going head-to-head in a balloon bot challenge. Players can dress their balloons with the included battle helmets and punching arms, and then move the levers back and forth to punch their opponent’s balloon. Whoever pops the other balloon first is the winner! Kids can even fill the balloons with water to up the ante. May the best balloon bot win!


ORBMolecules (ORB)

Do you wanna build a snowman? Or a snowflake, or a mermaid kitty, or anything really? These new ORB sets are a riff on this year’s squishy and slimy trends, with thousands of teeny ORBMolecules in various sizes and colors that can be bonded together like atoms to mold into creatures and objects. The molecules only stick to themselves so they won’t make a mess, they hold their shape, and they never dry out, so kids can create with them over and over again. They’re great for all ages too – even older kids love smushy, squishy, slimy toys. I know I do!


Chocolate Egg Surprise Maker (Jakks Pacific)

Who wouldn’t want to make their own chocolate?! This chocolate egg maker combines DIY fun with dessert so kids can make their own chocolate eggs from scratch. Kids can start by melting the chocolate packets, then dispense the chocolate into the egg molds, chill until the eggs harden, and finish by dressing the eggs with jewel toned foils. They can even put their own surprises in the center of the eggs. Time for a sugar rush!