Melissa & Doug Best Holiday Toys & Gifts for Kids by Interest

Toy Guides

Best Holiday Toys & Gifts For Kids By Interest

October 15, 2023

Is the child in your life obsessed with a particular toy, topic, or play pattern? If you’re a parent or caregiver looking for the perfect holiday gift for kids with all sorts of interests, Melissa & Doug has got you covered! 

From cooking and crafts to dinosaurs and PAW Patrol™ and everything in between, Melissa & Doug has curated a complete holiday gift list based on common childhood interests. Plus, you can find even more gift options in our complete 2023 Holiday Gift Guide! 

For Kids Who Love Animals

Melissa & Doug Best Holiday Gifts for Kids by Interest blog post

If you have an animal lover at home, give them everything they need to examine and treat pretend pets with this Veterinary Toy Play Set! This pretend play set includes everything little vets 3 and up need to make house calls, including a reusable examination checklist and handy tote bag. 

Check out these animal-themed gifts:  

Wooden Fold-and-Go Barn Toy, 3+

Farm Cube Puzzle, 3+

Giraffe Giant Stuffed Animal, 3+

National Parks Alphabet & Animals Cube Puzzle – 24 Wooden Block Pieces, 2+


For Kids Who Love to Cook

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Mama mia, it's pizza time! Create fresh-baked pizza, made to order, with the unique 34-piece Top & Bake Pizza Counter - Wooden Play Food Set! Start with felt sauce and cheese on the wooden crust, choose from wooden toppings (pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, and peppers), then "bake" in the pizza oven built in to the storage and serving counter. Pieces stick together with self-stick tabs and can be sliced with the rolling wooden cutter. The set comes with a grated cheese shaker, a wooden paddle, pizza box, a reusable menu for placing orders, a guide to help with pizza prep, and play money to pay for your order!

More gift ideas for little cooks:

Chef’s Kitchen - Cloud, 3+

Stainless Steel Pots & Pans Play Set, 3+

Fill & Fold Taco & Tortilla Set, 3+

Slice & Stack Sandwich Counter, 3+

For Kids Who Love Dinosaurs 

Melissa & Doug Best Holiday Gifts for Kids by Interest blog post

Imagine a landscape full of dinosaurs! Children love using the 8 detailed dino stamps and a two-color inkpad in our Wooden Stamp Set - Dinosaurs! It's fun creating countless scenes, and coloring in the pictures with the 5 colored pencils! This well-crafted set is conveniently contained in a sturdy wooden box for organizing and storage. It's a tremendous value that children will use over and over again! Washable, non-toxic kid-friendly ink.

Explore even more dino-mite gift ideas below: 

Water Wow - Dinosaurs 3+

ColorBlast Dinosaurs 3+

Dinosaur Floor Puzzle 3+

Dinosaur Chunky Puzzle 2+

Puffy Sticker Play Set - Dinosaur, 4+

Dinosaur Wooden Stamp Set, 4+ 

Habitats Reusable Sticker Pad, 3+

Gentle Jumbo Dinosaur, 2+

Land of Dinosaurs Floor Puzzle, 3+


For Kids Who Love Crafts

Melissa & Doug Best Holiday Gifts for Kids by Interest blog post

Can’t get enough of crafting in your house? Inspire endless creativity with our Deluxe Double-Sided Tabletop Easel, featuring a magnetic dry-erase board on one side, and a chalkboard on the other. The included paper-roll holder with a paper guide and tear-bar accommodates 12-inch paper rolls and adds even more ways to create masterpieces! The deluxe set comes with a dry-erase marker and felt eraser, five colored chalk sticks, a 50-foot-long paper roll, 36 letter and number magnets, and an art supply tray. The sturdy wooden easel folds flat for handy storage.

Keep the creativity flowing with these fun gift ideas below: 

Created by Me Flower Fleece Quilt, 6+

Design-Your-Own Bracelets,  4+ 

Created by Me! Jewelry Box Wooden Craft Kit, 4+

Created by Me! Bead Bouquet Wooden Bead Kit4+


For Kids Who Love the Ocean

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Get playtime and developmental skills rolling with Rollables, adorably round characters that are firm enough to roll but soft enough to squeeze! Inspire imaginative oceanside adventures through kinetic play with the Rollables Wooden Ocean Slide, a sturdy wooden ramp tower featuring three Rollables: the friendly crab, silly shark, and awesome octopus with chime. Compatible with other Rollables play sets. Drop Rollables into the removable funnel, and watch them tumble down the wavy slide and out the whale's mouth. Turn the sea star and press the whale's flipper to stop and start the action. A built-in bead maze adds to the excitement and tactile experience for kids. The Rollables Ocean Slide is an engaging way to introduce infants and toddlers 12 months and older to cause and effect while encouraging development of important sensory, fine motor, and problem-solving skills. 

Dive deeper into ocean life with these swell gifts below: 

Giant Sea Turtle Stuffed Animal, 3+

FlipFish Baby Toy, 1+ months

Water Wow- Under the Sea, 3+ 

Underwater Floor Puzzle, 3+


For Kids Who Love Outer Space

Melissa & Doug Best Holiday Toys & Gifts For Kids By Interest blog post

If your child is an aspiring astronaut, this giant 2’ x 3’ Solar System Floor Puzzle brings outer space to their play space. After completing the puzzle, kids can explore the colorful solar system and learn the names of each of the planets.

These other gift ideas are absolutely out of this world: 

Outer Space Glow in the Dark Floor Puzzle - 48 pieces, 3+

Water Wow Bundle: Dinosaur, Adventure, and Space, 3+ 

Sticker Collection Book: Dinosaurs, Vehicles, Space, and More, 3+ 

Jumbo 50-Page Kids' Coloring Pad - Space, Sharks, Sports, and More, 3+


For Kids Who Love Makeup & Beauty

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What’s better than make-believe makeovers? A special place to make them happen! This Beauty Salon Play Set gives kids three and up everything they need to get the full salon experience for themselves, friends, stuffed animals, and dolls!

Complete the experience with these makeover upgrades: 

Barber Shop Play Set, 3+

Love Your Look Makeup Kit Play Set, 3+

Love Your Look Nail Care Play Set, 3+ 

Jewelry and Nails Glitter Stickers Pad, 4+

Water Wow! Makeup & Manicures, 3+


For Kids Who Love PAW Patrol™

Melissa & Doug Best Holiday Gifts for Kids by Interest blog post

Rev up playtime and have hours of imaginative adventures in the driver’s seat of our PAW Patrol™ Rescue Mission Wooden Dashboard! Slide one of the three double-sided mission cards into the windshield of the wooden dashboard and set the dial to show who needs help. Press buttons to choose the pups for the mission and hear multiple phrases for each, then press the paw print "mission start" button to hear Ryder give mission instructions based on the pups chosen for the job - there are hundreds of possible combinations, and kids can choose to hear him in English, French, or Spanish! Turn the removable key to hear the engine rev and shift the gear to "D" to start the scrolling GPS - turn the steering wheel to keep the vehicle on the GPS track! Other features of the interactive dashboard include a horn that beeps, a siren button, blinkers that click, and a microphone for voice recording and playback!

Add on these extra gifts for more PAW Patrol™ adventures: 

PAW Patrol Wooden PAW Patroller Activity Center, 3+

PAW Patrol Rescue Mission Wooden Dashboard3+

PAW PatrolMatch & Build Mission Cruiser3+

PAW PatrolPup Pack Backpack Role Play Set3+

PAW Patrol Jumbo Cardboard Blocks, 3+

PAW Patrol™ Puffy Sticker Book, 4+

PAW Patrol™ Magnetic Pretend Play, 3+ 

PAW Patrol™ Poke-a-Dot Alphabet Adventure, 1+


For Kids Who Love To Play House

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Little kids love imitating adults—and it’s a critical pretend play activity for both boys and girls. This Kids Dust! Mop! Sweep! Cleaning Set has all the housekeeping tools kids 3 and up need to keep it clean!

Keep the pretend play going with these fun picks below: 

Scoop & Serve Ice Cream Counter, 3+

Super Smile Dentist Set, 3+

Fill and Roll Grocery Basket Play Set, 3+  

Shopping Cart Toy, 3+ 

Mine-to-Love Baby Doll, 18+ months 


For Kids Who Love To Play Rescue

Melissa & Doug Best Holiday Toys and Gifts for Kids by Interest Fire Chief Role Play Costume Set

If your little one loves to rush to the rescue, give them everything they need to look the part with this official Fire Chief Role Play Costume. This gift for kids 3 and up includes everything they need in an emergency: a bright red, machine-washable jacket trimmed with reflective material, a fire chief helmet, a "fire extinguisher," a bullhorn with sound effects, a shiny badge, and a name tag to personalize.

Did someone call 9-fun-fun? We’ve got even more rescue gift ideas below: 

Emergency Vehicle Carrier, 3+

Classic Wooden Fire Truck Play Set, 3+

Police Officer Role Play Costume Set, 3+

Keys & Cars Rescue Garage, 3+

Giant Fire Truck Floor Puzzle - 24 pieces, 3+

Fire Truck Play Tent, 3+


For Kids Who Love To Play School

Melissa & Doug Best Holiday Gifts for Kids by Interest blog post 

Help spark creative expression in your budding artist with the generously sized Deluxe Magnetic Standing Art Easel, featuring both a magnetic chalkboard and a dry-erase board. The removable plastic trays mean that kids have loads of easy-reach art supplies (not included) at their fingertips. Plus 39 letter and number magnets that are great for extended play! Please note: this easel can hold either an 18" wide or 12" wide paper roll (not included).

A real pretend teacher needs these essential school supplies: 

School Time Classroom Play Set, 4+ 

Deluxe Wooden Stamp Set, 4+

Drawing Paper Pad, 3+ 

GO Tots Schoolyard Tumble, 1+

GO Tots Roll & Ride Bus, 1+

Wooden Classic School Bus, 3+

Blue's Clues & You! Wooden Pull-Back School Bus, 3+

The Wheels on the Bus Sound Puzzle, 2+


Looking for more of the best Christmas and holiday gift and toy ideas for kids of all ages? Check out these blog posts:

10 Best Toys for Babies and 1-Year-Olds

10 Best Toys for 2-Year-Olds

10 Best Toys for 3-Year-Olds

10 Best Toys for 4-Year-Olds

5 Holiday Gifts that Wow

Best Throwback Toys & Gifts

Best Stocking Stuffers