I’ve always been one of those people who starts their holiday shopping early, and not just because I love to shop (although I do!). I start shopping several months early because I like to know that I can grab all of the hot toys on my list while there are still plenty in stock. As many parents can attest, it’s no fun running from store to store trying to get that hard-to-find toy on your child’s wish list. If you’re looking to start your holiday shopping or just looking for a gift for an upcoming birthday, here are 11 great gifts for kids that you just may want to grab before the holidays sneak up on you.

1. Ultra Stomp Rocket

Watching rockets soar into the air is something that nearly every kid enjoys, but most of the rockets on the market require fuel, ignitors, switches and all sorts of components far too dangerous for children to work on their own. However, the only type of power that the Ultra Stomp Rocket requires is foot power! This rocket comes with a tube which is inserted into a launch pad, and rockets are placed on the other end of the tube. When the kids jump on the pad, the compressed air flows through the tube, shooting the rockets as high as 200 feet! The Stomp Rocket, which was recently the winner of the iParenting Media Award, consistently receives great reviews from users and is geared towards kids 8 and up. The company also offers a Stomp Rocket Junior, which is made for younger children (aged 3+) and comes equipped with foam rockets that go as high as 100 feet. Ultra Stomp Rocket is priced at $19 and can be purchased at FatBrainToys, Amazon, and other retailers.

2. My Little Pony Decorate Your Own Pony

Many toys from the 80s have made a comeback recently, and My Little Pony is definitely on the top of that list. If the child you’re shopping for already has Rainbow Dash, Derpy, Fluttershy, and all of the members of the pony gang, why not let her create her own pony? The My Little Pony Decorate Your Own Pony is the same standard size as other My Little Pony figures but is completely white so it can be decorated any way your child sees fit. Kids can use markers, paint, glue, glitter, stickers, or anything else they want to decorate their pony. In fact, even the box is solid white and ready to be decked out! The My Little Pony Decorate Your Own Pony is priced at $4.99 and is available at HasbroToyShop.

3. Marble Fun Run

Marbles can be fun, but this cool marble run takes them to another level! With the Marble Fun Run, kids can build numerous runs and send their marbles twisting and turning through such features as a vortex chamber, a windmill and a clacker chamber. This 80-piece set includes spiral tracks, base pieces, and bridges for kids to put together in any way that they like. This toy, which is recommended for ages 4–8, is also a great tool for introducing kids to the world of physics as they watch how the marbles make their way through the maze. The Marble Fun Run is available on Amazon with a current price of $22.21.

4. Uncle Milton Marvel Science Iron Man Arc Reactor Lab

I love toys that make learning fun, so the marriage of Marvel and science seems like a natural fit. This kit from Uncle Milton contains everything your child will need to build and solve their own Iron Man Arc Reactor. Once the Arc Reactor is built, the power chips can be switched out and moved around to create varying light and sound effects. The Reactor can also be placed on "light" mode and displayed. The Iron Man Arc Reactor Lab comes with 12 parts, four power chips, a stand and an educational poster about Iron Man and real-world science. Other sets in the Marvel Science collection include the Thor Lightening Energy Hammer Science Kit and the Spiderman Web Creator Lab. The Iron Man Arc Reactor Lab is priced at $19.99 and is available at Toys”R”Us.

5. Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow

With movies such as The Hunger Games and The Avengers taking the top slots at the box office over the past few years, it’s only natural that archery has become a huge trend. If you’ve been toying with the idea of getting your child an archery set but are a little worried that she might end up shooting an arrow through the neighbor’s window, this is the perfect solution. The Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow delivers real bow action but with foam darts instead of sharp arrows. The set, priced at $19.99, includes five collectible darts that can be fired as far as 75 feet. The Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow is available at Amazon, Toys”R”Us, and other major retailers and is recommended for ages 8 and up.

6. Fashion Headbands

If you’re shopping for a budding fashionista, Fashion Headbands is the ultimate creative fashion kit. The Fashion Headbands kit includes a variety of items so kids can get really inventive, including satin headbands, rhinestones, flowers, feathers, a butterfly, yards of ribbon, and more. What’s great about this set is that they can show off their creations when they’re done, and since the set comes with 10 headbands, they can even create gifts for their friends! This kit, which is recommended for ages 5–9, is currently priced at $17.29 on Amazon.

7. Snap Circuits Jr.

Another great gift that is both fun and educational is Snap Circuits, which is consistently rated as one of the best learning toys out there. This building kit, which has won several awards including a Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products Award, comes with over 30 color-coded pieces that kids can use to build such items as a dual-speed fan, a musical doorbell, a laser light, and many other items. The pieces, which include switches, musical circuits and alarms, easily snap together so there is no need for any type of welding or soldering. If you have a budding engineer on your hands, this is a great gift to introduce him into the world of electricity and circuitry. Snap Circuits Jr. is currently priced at $20.18 on Amazon and is recommended for children ages 8 and up.

8. Rainbow Loom

You may have noticed kids wearing rubber band bracelets in all sorts of crazy designs recently. Those bracelets, made with the Rainbow Loom, are the latest craze to hit the kids’ fashion scene! The Rainbow Loom Starter Kit Package, which is priced at $14.99 at ToyWiz, includes the rainbow loom, mini rainbow loom, hook, a bag of c-clips, instruction manual, and over 600 rubber bands, which will make up to 24 rubber band bracelets. Rainbow Loom Products are recommended for ages 8 to adult, and adult supervision is recommended for younger children.

9. LEGO Wolverine Chopper Showdown

LEGO sets are always a classic and well-received gift for kids—and adults! The LEGO Wolverine Chopper Showdown is part of the LEGO Marvel Superheroes collection and is currently the only set to feature any of the X-Men characters. This set comes with three mini figures: Wolverine, Magneto and Deadpool, as well as Deadpool’s helicopter and Wolverine’s Chopper. When fully assembled, the helicopter actually shoots missiles. Many reviewers have commented on the amazing details of this set, which include Wolverine’s hair and removable claws, as well as Magneto’s helmet. The LEGO Wolverine Chopper Showdown is priced at $19.99 and is available at Toys”R”Us, Target, Amazon, and other retailers.

10. Robo Fish

Most parents dread their kids reaching that age when they start begging for pets. Instead of giving in and getting your child that hermit crab or guinea pig that you know you will inevitably end up taking care of, consider Robo Fish! These fish may be small but they are packed with the latest technology which allows them to recreate the natural movements of fish and sharks. This tech toy comes equipped with batteries, and they’re ready to go straight from the box. Simply unwrap the Robo Fish, put it into the water, and watch it go! There are four clown fish and four sharks to choose from, and all are priced between $8.99 and $11.99. Fortunately, when Robo Fish goes belly-up there won’t be any crying or fish-flushing—simply replace the two X2 batteries with the bonus batteries that come with each fish. To see Robo Fish in action, check out the video on the Robo Fish website.

11. Bop It Tetris

If you grew up playing Tetris on an Atari 2600, then this toy, which aims to bring Tetris to today’s generation, may just bring back a few memories. Of course, it’s probably not exactly as you remember it! This handheld device challenges you to complete Tetris-style puzzles in which you have to slide, slam or spin the shapes into place. Users can play Marathon mode when playing alone or Pass It mode when playing with others. My favorite part of Bop It Tetris? The famous, retro Tetris theme song that plays while you attempt to beat each level! Bop It Tetris is priced at $24.99 and is available at Toys”R”Us, Target, Amazon, and other retailers.

11 Cool Kids' Toys Under $25