24 Top Toys Under $25 from Amazon, Walmart and Target This Holiday Season

A little girl smiles as she looks at a lite-bright toy.
Nova Matthews, 5, looks at a Lite-Brite oval HD learning toy. It has eight HD templates, 650 colored pegs and five different light modes. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder
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Pleasing the little ones in your life around the holiday season can be quite a challenge.

Their wish lists seem to go on and on, but with inflation concerns this year, you don’t have an unlimited amount of money to spend on gifts. You also don’t want their presents to be major duds.

We’ve got a way for you to get the best toys of 2022 that won’t disappoint — without dipping into next month’s rent money. Every year, toy experts at Walmart, Amazon and Target publish lists of the hottest gifts of the holiday season.

We’ve scanned through those mega retailers’ lists for this year to highlight all the top toys of 2022 you can buy for under $25. Bonus points if you catch them on sale and save even more money.

Note: Prices listed were sourced online in November and may fluctuate throughout the season.

24 of This Year’s Best Toys Under $25

Keep your holiday shopping stress low (and your bank account balance a little higher) by choosing gifts off this list. We’ve focused on award-winning toys with solid parent reviews and grouped them by kids’ ages to be sure what you put under the tree won’t end up in the back of the closet by New Year’s.

Best Toys under $25 for Babies and Toddlers (0-2 years)

A toddler in a blue swimsuit plays with a blue and yellow toy submarine in a blue kiddie pool.
The BPA-free submarine from Green Toys is a great gift for babies and toddlers. It’s even dishwasher safe. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

1. Green Toys Submarine

Bath toys come and go but this BPA-free submarine from Green Toys, made from recycled materials, is a keeper. Perfectly appropriate for babies and toddlers to gnaw on, preschoolers will still be using this sturdy sub and its spinning propeller years later to act out nautical adventures. The Green Toys submarine is also dishwasher safe so it can go for a dip to deep clean whenever it starts looking past its prime.

Find it at Amazon for $14.99.

2. Baby Einstein Hape Magic Touch Piano

Got a budding musician on your hands? Get this award-winning toy piano that tops the best toy lists for a song. One of the best values out of all the Walmart toys offered this season, this piano features a sturdy wooden design and includes “sheet” music for six songs. Two modes of play allow babies and toddlers to explore familiar songs or create their own. And perhaps most important to parents, adjustable volume control provides a little peace of mind.

Find it at Walmart for $24.65.

3. Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

While this sensory toy might seem prickly, Learning Resources has created an educational companion so cute and engaging that your toddler won’t be able to put it down. Recommended for 18 months and up, this hedgehog has colorful quills that encourage the development of fine motor skills. The top also comes off Spiky the Hedgehog so the quills can be tucked away without getting lost.

Find it at Target for $13.49.

4. Bright Starts Rollin’ Rainstick Rattle

Appropriate for even the littlest hands, the Bright Starts rattle is one that grows with your baby. With tons of finger holds, this oversized rattle is easy for infants to pick up and the soothing sound of rain makes it a crowd-pleaser for parents. Once babies and toddlers learn to sit, they will discover new ways to play by rolling this on the ground or tossing this indestructible rattle and watching the colorful beads inside trickle from side to side.

Find it at Walmart for $9.96.

5. Silicone Stacking Rainbow

A new spin on an old classic, this rainbow stacker from Bessentials is a popular Montessori toy. Made from food-grade BPA-free silicone, this top toy of 2022 is appropriate for ages 6 months and up. The stacker also comes in a trendy boho rainbow color pattern and can be used to create a myriad of fun shapes and patterns.

Find it at Amazon for $22.99.

6. My Pal Scout Smarty Paws Customizable Puppy

LeapFrog has perfected the art of putting educational toys into appealing packages. This year’s top toy for babies and toddlers is a seemingly simple stuffed animal loaded with smart functionality. Touch-sensitive front paws can be programmed with 15 different activities, including favorite colors, first words, and more. The puppy’s ears play more than 40 songs and there’s a softly glowing collar for nighttime mode.

Find it at Walmart for $19.97.

Best Toys Under $25 for Preschoolers (3-5 years)

7. Squishmallows Mystery Box

If you haven’t heard of Squishmallows, you were probably under a rock when the top toys of 2021 were announced. This year, Amazon is bringing Squishmallows back with a fantastic deal on a three-pack of assorted mini-mallows. Although it’s the luck of the draw which of these adorable plushies your preschooler will end up with, sometimes the mystery is half the fun.

Find it at Amazon for $22.99.

multi colored blocks from Melissa and Doug are built into a castle.
These Melissa & Doug multi-colored wooden blocks are the perfect gift for preschoolers. They are durable, which means you can pass them down to future children. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

8. Melissa & Doug Multi-Colored Wooden Blocks

If you want one of the best toys that will stand up to the test of time, wooden block sets can’t be beaten. These colorful, durable 75 wooden blocks from the award-winning Melissa & Doug line are the perfect building toys for preschoolers who are just starting to set ’em up and knock ’em down. While other trendy toys come and go, this block set is one parents will pass on to future generations.

Find it at Walmart for $15.89.

9. Kinetic Sand Swirl N’ Surprise

Fluff it. Flow it. Carve it. Shape it. Slice it. This playset of two pounds of squeezable, soft sand provides molds and the tools to help your preschool artist shape their own creations. This oddly satisfying sensory set is like a colorful day at the beach, minus the mess. And the best part is unlike sandcastles, the creations kiddos make with kinetic sand hold their shape.

Find it at Target for $19.99.

10. Barbie Cutie Reveal Polar Plush

Got someone on your list that has everything Barbie? They won’t have this. One of this year’s best toys sees Barbie turning down the temperature in a polar bear costume, complete with 10 different surprises. Made specifically for kids who love the unboxing process popularized by YouTube, this gift slowly reveals Barbie’s accessories from a shimmery fur skirt to a polar bear headband.

Find it at Amazon for $20.99.

11. Hot Wheels 20-Car Collector Gift Pack

Hot Wheels have been a hot toy since they rolled onto the scene in 1968. This year you can find 20-pack bundles for a bargain at most major retailers. Since every pack is a little different, they’re a great way to start a collection for a preschooler. And for a kid who already has a collection, a pack of 20 ensures there will be something new to get them all revved up on Christmas.

Find it at Walmart for $20.99.

12. Elf Pets A St. Bernard Tradition

For a more traditional toy, opt for this popular Elf on the Shelf stuffed dog accompanied by a storybook. For families who participate in the Elf on the Shelf tradition, this set encourages acts of kindness during the holidays and every day. Other animals included in the Elf Pets line feature a reindeer and an arctic fox designed to embody the spirit of Christmas.

Find it at Amazon for $24.95.

Best Toys Under $25 for Elementary-Aged Kids (6-8 years)

13. Magic Mixies Mixlings Sparkle Magic Mega-Pack

Magic Mixies, a 2022 award winner, is another trendy toy this year that may be in short supply. Instead of shelling out big bucks on Black Friday to find them, try this mini-set of mixlings and their cauldron. The magical powers of each mixling are revealed in different ways, which makes for an exciting mystery for collectors.

Find it at Target for $15.99.

14. LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals

Every year LEGO releases half a dozen new Harry Potter sets during the summer. The most affordable and highly rated LEGO set features Harry Potter & Luna Minifigures and several thestrals pulling a carriage. This particular scene is from Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix and is recommended for ages 7 and up.

Find it at Amazon for $19.99.

15. Pop It! Pro Game

Buffalo Games’ contribution to the top toys of 2022 is a cross between those fidget toys all the kids are using and an old-school Simon game. This compact gift also makes for a perfect stocking stuffer and has three modes of play and 20 levels. With both multiplayer and solo modes, Pop it! Pro is a fast-paced, fun challenge for little gamers.

Find it at Walmart for $17.99.

16. Craft-Tastic Make a Fox Friend Craft Kit

For those just learning to sew, Craft-Tastic kits provide a fun way to learn. This craft kit is an especially cute one that comes complete with supplies to make six other clever outfits to fit the fox, who also carries an impossibly adorable mini-fox on its back. Precut holes and step-by-step instructions make this craft easy to assemble without parental help and no additional tools are required.

Find it at Amazon for $19.99.

Two children play with a Lite-Bright with an elephant in the middle of it.
Nova Matthews, 5, and Landon Matthews, 7, play with a Lite-Brite oval HD learning toy. A Lite-Brite will keep your kids busy and entertained for quite some time. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

17. Lite-Brite Oval HD Learning Toy

Lite-Brite is back from the ’80s and better than ever in this modernized, HD oval version. With eight HD templates, 650 colored pegs and five different light modes, the possibilities are endless. Lite-Brite does require three AA batteries (which are not included) but at this bargain basement price, adding a package of batteries won’t break the bank.

Find it at Target for $19.99.

18. Pixobitz Studio with 500 Water Fuse Beads

If you remember endlessly ironing those fuse beads, you’ll be enthralled with this trendy toy’s fresh take. Instead of heat, these bead creations fuse when sprayed with water and come with cute stickers to customize each creature. This kit also has accessories like keychains so your little artists can take their creations on the go, attaching them to backpacks, lunch boxes and much more.

Find it at Target for $20.99.

Best Toys Under $25 for Tweens (9-12 years)

19. LEGO Speed Champions 007 Aston Martin DB5

If you know a tween who has a need for speed, this recently released LEGO Aston Martin might be just the thing. A collectible model for play or display, the sleek model of the 1964 British sports car also comes with a James Bond Minifigure holding a wrench and a set of spare license plates in case the most famous spy in the world needs to hide in plain sight.

Find it at Amazon for $19.97.

20. Connect 4 Spin Game

Literally a spin on an old classic, this Connect 4 Game is a strategy of weights and balances that’s fun for the whole family. Not only do you need four in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally while preventing your partner from doing the same, but this version has a weighted disc that transforms the game in an instant. It’s a new challenge for those who have always dominated this two-player classic during family game night.

Find at Walmart for $19.82.

A boy smiles as he holds the Funko Pop! Deluxe Star Wars: Duel of the Fates toy.
This Funko Pop! Deluxe Star Wars: Duel of the Fates makes a great collectable toy. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

21. Funko Pop! Deluxe Star Wars: Duel of the Fates

Funko Pop! are popular with tweens and adults alike as collectibles. Amazon has an exclusive this year for Star Wars Funko Pop! Figures from the Duel of the Fates, including Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn. Snag these coveted exclusives early at some significant savings before they sell out.

Find it at Amazon for $24.64.

22. Squishmallows Rainbow Tie-Dye Platypus

The little ones shouldn’t get to have all the fun. Grab this 14-inch Squishmallow for a tween who still appreciates soft stuffies and an animal with a quirky backstory. This particular Squishmallow is named Brindell and she makes her own hummus because of course she does. Tie-dye is also still trendy this year so you’ll be sure to score extra points on that front.

Find at Amazon for $24.99.

23. Hand-to-Hand Wombat Game

The makers of Exploding Kittens are back this year with another blockbuster board game, this time involving teams racing to build towers with their eyes closed or repair towers before they topple. Tweens will appreciate the quirky troublemaker aspect of this game where they win by being sneaky and sabotaging others. It’s classified as a party game and accommodates three to six players.

Find at Target for $24.99.

24. National Geographic Break-Open Geodes Science Kit

If you’re looking for a STEM toy for a budding scientist, this geodes kit is one of our top toy picks and will be a smash hit with tweens. The kit comes complete with safety glasses, a display stand, and a hands-on learning guide. Just a word of warning that parental supervision (and a safe location) is suggested before breaking out this crystal experiment.

Find at Amazon for $19.99.

Kaz Weida is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.