Another holiday season is approaching, and with it comes a slew of new products competing for the chance to be part of your annual adventure in shopping and gift giving. The following are some of the most popular and desirable of this year's offerings to help you find the perfect present for everyone on your list.
Prices and availability are subject to change.
Est. Price: $7 | Buy it from Amazon
Kanoodle is a cheap, solo game pack with hundreds of possible puzzle variations ranging from easy to difficult, accessible to everyone older than 3. Basically, it consists of several colored connected beads you can stack to construct unique designs and help children improve spatial reasoning. Plus, it'll give them something to do by themselves on the go that doesn't involve staring at a screen.
CHEFSTEPS JOULE SOUS VIDE
Est. Price: $179 | Buy it from Amazon
A sous vide circulator is the perfect gift for the home chef who wants to experiment with making gourmet roasts and other recipes without dedicating an entire day's worth of effort to each, as it can cook meats to preset internal temperatures for hours in the background in a pot of water. The Joule's small size and sleek design set it apart from other sous vides, though it requires you to use an app rather than manual controls. At $84, the Anova from Targetmay be the better option for budget-minded buyers.
GOOGLE HOME VOICE-ACTIVATED SPEAKER
Est. Price: $129 | Buy it from Nordstrom
Google's contribution to the personal-assistant market is a 5½-inch all-purpose speaker compatible with iOS and Android smartphones. Beyond the simple advent of hands-free Googling, the Home can manage shopping lists and calendars on up to six different Google accounts using voice-recognition software.
AMAZON ECHO DOT
Est. Price: $50 | Buy it from Amazon
Amazon may have more sophisticated (and more likely to sell out) electronic personal assistant models, but the Echo is more economical and unobtrusive to your overall decor, while still allowing intuitive voice command technology to accomplish everything from streaming music to adjusting a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat.
ORAL-B BLUETOOTH ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH
Est. Price: $90 | Buy it from Amazon
For the friend who loves tracking their own fitness and hygiene habits, this “SmartSeries” toothbrush is Bluetooth enabled, meaning your smartphone can provide real-time stats on your brushing habits and help you set and achieve goals, like whitening teeth before an impending work presentation. For a slightly cheaper, non-connected electric toothbrush option, consider the TAO Clean Aura ($79).
FINGERLINGS BABY UNICORN
Est. Price: $14 | Buy it from Amazon
Among this year's hottest toys are the Fingerlings, interactive baby pets perfectly sized to wrap around one's finger. The unicorn, “Gigi,” comes in several colors and reacts to being hung upside down or rocked to sleep, and there are also alternate models like a monkey and T-Rex to suit different children's preferences.
PAW PATROL SEA PATROL TRANSFORMING VEHICLE
Est. Price: $38.66 |Buy it from Amazon
Paw Patrol — the toys as well as the TV show — is all the rage within a certain age group, so check to see if your younger loved ones are on the bandwagon before browsing the extensive selection of merchandise on Amazon. This transforming boat playset is on the higher-end, while smaller single character and vehicle sets sell for as low as $13.
IMDEN MAGNETIC BLOCKS, 92-PIECE SET
Est. Price: $27 | Buy it from Amazon
Magnetic blocks are a fun way to encourage children's creativity and spatial skills, letting them and their caregivers construct miniature vehicles and buildings out of the interlocking magnetic shapes. They're easily cleaned up and portable with an included carrying case, and there are numerous expansion sets and similar toys to try if these capture your child's imagination. These blocks are compatible with similar-sized but pricier brands like Magformers.
OZOBOT BIT CODING ROBOT
Est. Price: $54 | Buy it from Amazon
Alternatively, here's a considerably more cutting-edge way to nourish a child's early STEM skills: Ozobot, the bit-coding robot. Children older than 6 can have fun while gaining valuable foundational skills, customizing their bot with character stickers and coding with a marker before taking on included activity challenges and advancing to edit programs online.
INSTANT POT 7-IN-1 PROGRAMMABLE PRESSURE COOKER
Est. Price: $77 and up | Buy it from Amazon
Like the sous vide, Instant Pot pressure cookers make great gifts for cooks seeking some extra convenience without sacrificing gourmet flavor. Coming in various sizes, they accomplish a variety of cooking tasks from steaming and making yogurt to infusing complex flavors with unprecedented speed, making them well-suited for stews and curries.
CIRCADIAN OPTICS LIGHT THERAPY LAMP
Est. Price: $50 | Buy it from Amazon
Seasonal affective disorder is no joke in areas with dreary winters, and light therapy lamps can give sufferers the simulated sunlight and vitamin D boost they need to feel better. This desktop lattice model from Circadian Optics is one of the cheaper and sleeker options available online, making it an accent piece as well as a mood booster.
WITHINGS/NOKIA HYBRID SMARTWATCH
Est. Price: $70 and up | Buy it from Amazon
The market for Wi-Fi-enabled smartwatches has more or less exploded over the past few years, but this model from Nokia's Withings brand is a clear standout as far as style is concerned. It also offers all the water-resistance and sleep- and fitness-tracking capabilities of a FitBit with an eight-month battery life.
EXPLODING KITTENS CARD GAME
Est. Price: $20 | Buy it from Amazon
Exploding Kittens is a fun and funny game for children and adults with cards humorously illustrated by celebrated webcomic site The Oatmeal, where the object is simply to avoid drawing an “exploding” card. It's exceptionally easy to understand without being monotonous, and there are a number of expansion packs and adults-only versions available to keep the fun going.
GROWN-UP COLORING BOOKS
Est. Price: Varies | Buy it on Amazon
Bolstered by new research into the mental health benefits of coloring, grown-up coloring books have been gaining in popularity the past several years, so now there are hundreds of themed variations that can help adults relieve stress and indulge their creative sides. Most options cost under $10 and can provide many hours of entertainment.
VIVERE DOUBLE HAMMOCK WITH STEEL STAND
Est. Price: $149 | Buy it from Amazon
For someone in need of extra relaxation time and maybe some new backyard furniture, here's an affordable hammock fit for two adults that comes with its own 9-foot support stand for simple assembly. Granted it may take until summer for it to get more use, but the difference in price between buying now versus then will make it well worth the wait.