Illustration: María Jesús Contreras
This year, Amazon is ramping up the deals with a second two-day sale event ahead of Black Friday — the unofficial start to holiday shopping season. Amazon Prime Early Access Sale on Tuesday, October 11, and Wednesday, Oct 12, will offer a wide range of deals on home decor and tech as well as other products for babies and children. We’re thinking of it as a sort of holiday shopping amuse bouche, where you can get a taste of some excellent deals, whether you’re stocking up on necessities or buying gifts ahead of time. As with Prime Day 1.0, there’s a huge amount to sift through and not all of the deals are worth your time, so we’ve gone ahead and picked the best stuff to help you get in and get out.
Here we’re focusing on the best toy discounts, including Strategist favorites like a foldable wooden dollhouse from Melissa & Doug, a cherry red PlasmaCar, a Beyblade battle stadium, and a National Geographic mega-slime science kit. And we’re giving priority to the best deals from expert-recommended products we’ve written about before, as well as new toys from Strategist-approved kid brands like Lego, Crayola, LOL Surprise, Rainbow High, Hasbro, and Crazy Forts. If you’re looking for toys for kids of a certain age we’ve split the list up into four categories: babies and toddlers, 4- and 5-year-olds, 6- and 7-year-olds, and 8-year-olds and up.
Read on to see all the deals we found so far and keep checking back as we’ll be updating this article with more and more great toy deal as they surface.
Toddlers love anything that resembles adult behavior. The Melissa & Doug shopping cart looks sturdy and real. They will be entertained for long periods of the day and improve their gross motor skills and balance.
CoComelon is a YouTube TV show for preschoolers that has views in the billions and lots of spinoff toys you can buy. The JJ doll, featured in our story on holiday toys to buy before their stock runs out, was very popular last year. If you didn’t snag one then, here’s your chance to lock it in now.
PlasmaCars make great outdoor toys. They are fun and get kids moving, without the need for batteries or pedals. “We have carried this toy for years, and they always sell,”Holly Magelof is the author of Dolphin Bookshop, who recommended the PlasmaCar in our Toy Matrix gift guide for 3-year-olds. They’re not the cheapest toy however, which is why you might want to snap one up while they’re on sale.
Melissa & Doug toys have a reputation for being time-stripping and quality construction. The foldable wooden dollhouse from Melissa & Doug is no exception. It includes 11 pieces of wood furniture and two dolls. The handle makes it easy to carry.
Children can develop valuable social emotional skills, such as problem solving and turning taking. They also learn to cope with losing. This classic was recommended by grandparents to be used as a gift for grandkids while babysitting.
Crazy Forts! This toy helps children burn off some of their endless energy. This set includes 69 pieces as well as instructions for building various structures.
This Beyblade Battle Set is featured in our 2021 Guide of the Hottest Holiday Toys. Beyblades are basically a set of spinning tops that kids launch at each other using a zip-cord launcher. The goal of the battle is to see who survives. The challenge and unpredictable nature of the game is enhanced by the set’s central spinning disc.
Settlers in Catan is intended for older kids and adults, with a suggested age range of 10 and up. It may be worth a try for some 8-year-olds and 9-year olds. One parent and Amazon reviewer writes that it’s a big hit for family game nights: “Endless hours of fun for us and the kids. The game involves strategy, making trade deals, and there are several ways to win. Each of my kids has their own strategy, and it’s fun to see them learning about honesty and shrewd bargaining.”
Slime makes a great gift, especially for children who love to fidget. This kit includes four types slime, including a DIY glowing in the dark slime lab, as well as four types putty.
The StrategistIt is intended to provide the best, most expert recommendations for what you should purchase in the vast ecommerce landscape. Our latest discoveries include the top Acne treatments, rolling luggage, Side sleeper pillows, Natural remedies for anxiety, Towels to use in the bath. We update links as often as possible, but please remember that deals can expire. Prices are also subject to change.