Every family that has kids should experience the magic and wonder of Elf on the Shelf. This is a Christmas tradition shared by millions of families. You’ll learn in the story that the boy or girl scout monitors children during the Christmas holidays and reports back to Santa. That explains how he knows whether children have been naughty or nice. Parents and older siblings will have fun moving the figure around for the little one. Make this joyous and fun tradition a part of your family.
Go BIG with your creations with the Crayola Widescreen Light Designer. This new set offers more surface area for your designs than the original. It comes with 6 gel-effects markers, which are proprietary to Crayola. They glow when you draw on the surface. It uses white LEDs and features 3 modes: on, flashing mode, and a fade-in/fade-out mode. It really brings your images to life. A wet erase cloth is included for erasing. The back panel is removable for tracing your favorite pictures. What’s cool? It even promotes social play where you can draw on one side, and your friend can draw on the other. Kids can also display their artwork with the built-in stand.

Another example of what Dr. Cornett calls “real life” toys, this food encourages kids to go shopping and to cook. We’re big fans of the Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set which, unlike many of the other options, is not just french fries (high in sodium and easily lost) and cheeseburgers. In addition, it can do double duty as a color sorting tool.
Playhouses are the perfect catalysts for pretend play, whether your toddler is playing alone or with friends. They can resemble imaginative structures, like a Victorian home, a castle, or a teepee, and some feature fold-and-collapse designs for easy storage. Keep in mind where you will set up the playhouse so you can choose one that fits best in your space.
The Safari Learning Station is designed to grow with your child. Young kids can sit, play and learn first words, numbers, shapes, colors, animals, Spanish, music and more. When your child grows the arch can be raised so kids can crawl under or stand and play with the animals. There’s also fun drop-through ball play with the monkey’s tail and a light-up piano to keep kids engaged.
Teething is arguably the most unpredictable process in a baby’s development. Some babies are born with one or two teeth, others don’t have teeth even by the first year. There’s also no way to predict how long it will take your baby to have a full set of teeth from the time the first ones come in. That means your baby can go through many different stages of teething over a long period of time. Hence, versatility–specifically, adaptability–was one of our primary criteria when we looked at baby teethers and teething toys.

Overcooked 2 ups the ante with new recipes, chefs, kitchens, and levels. The game will now feature an online multiplayer mode. In addition to the original cast, there will be a handful of new characters to choose from. Cook everything from pasta and sushi to cake, pancakes, and more. A new fun twist is that you can throw raw ingredients while plates can’t be throw, adding new strategy to the game as you quickly scramble to ready orders. Even the order in which you complete orders matters for scoring combos. The game supports 1 to 4 players. Grab a couple friends and get ready for some insane cooking fun!
So you want to be a raptor trainer? It’s not going to be easy but if you have the patience and discipline to learn, it’s a whole lot of fun! Say hello to Mattel’s newest robot – Alpha Training Blue. It’s a fully interactive veloceraptor that you can control and train just like Chris Pratt’s character in the film. This is one advanced toy. In fact, it’s the most complex toy Mattel has ever created. Seven motors provide fluid, realistic animation to the neck and head while also allowing you to walk it around. It’s very responsive to controls and features the same rapor sounds from the movie. Blue loves being petted and she has touch sensors under her jaw and on the top of her nose to bring her to life. Hands-down, it’s the coolest robot toy this year. It’s so fun to play with something so detailed and fluid.

Inspire your child’s imagination with the Playmobil Advent Calendar Royal Ice Skating Trip. It features 24 surprises to unbox each day leading to Christmas. Kids will discover holiday-themed characters, cute animals, and accessories to bring their imaginations to life. They’ll love playing out their skating adventures on the Frozen lake. Want more? There’s even a beautiful bracelet that can be actually worn.

Here are wooden pegs and rings to mix and match in every variation. “I think this kind of stuff is fun. Children love stacking things because they want to make things bigger, as big as themselves,” she says. “Whenever kids find something they can do and it’s a little bit of a struggle, but not a huge struggle, that’s the key. It’s just a little bit hard to put those pegs in the holes. That builds some fine motor coordination.”
Besides, parents also give their children toys and products earlier than the recommendation states. Even if the baby doesn’t get the toy’s purpose yet, he/she can already have super fun and start learn with it. Of course under the supervision of parents! 🙂 Besides, age recommendations are only approximate, because each baby develops at different pace and different things are attractive at each developmental stage.
How cool is this new game!  Connect 4 Shots is similar to the one that we all grew up with, but with a twist! This time you have to bounce the balls into the right slots to try and get four of the same color in a row (or diagonal) to win! This is one that you’ll not only want to play with your kids, but will probably end up taking over and playing with your own friends.  And, well, drinks may be involved.
Toy shopping can be similar. The makers of baby products can slap an "educational" or "developmental" label on their toys without oversight and certainly without any research or evidence to support their claims. And you may be surprised to find that many of the most popular toys on the market aren't the most beneficial for development. Luckily, most baby toys aren't harmful, per se, but there are certainly some that are more developmentally helpful for our kiddos than others.
This includes a sturdy wood block puzzle, but if we had to pin down a theme for this set it would definitely be “banging.” Between the xylophone and the pound-a-ball, the child has plenty of appropriate ways to fine-tune that “bam-bam” skill. The xylophone is always a great toy for a kid because of this, and the pound-a-ball actually allows the child to see the physical change to the toy by dropping the ball into the pit below.
VTech is a leader in kids electronic learning toys. The KidiBeats Drum Set promotes interactive learning that keeps little hands and minds busy. With three drum pads and a cymbal, the KidiBeats Drum Set lets toddlers rock ‘n’ roll to their own beat or to nine different melodies. The set has four different modes that teach letters, counting skills, phonics and memorization with follow-along tunes. Little rockers can feel like real drummers in free play mode as they bang out new rhythms with the included drum sticks to four different musical genres: jazz, rock, dance and pop. The drum and cymbal pads light up in follow along mode to help kids keep the beat. In free play mode, they light up every time the pads are hit. Number jams, Alphabeats, follow me, and free style will keep kids learning and jamming for hours. And when parents need a break there’s a quiet-play feature and an auto-shutoff to preserve battery life.

Finding the best baby toys for children under one can be a bit of a challenge. Newborns need simple bright toys that stimulate the mind, while six month olds may want something a little more interactive. Once they are close to one, they are moving whether that is crawling or walking so you'll want a toy that either keeps them contained or helps them master their new skills.


Introduce your baby to the wonders of nature early with this three-piece wooden puzzle. The toy will also introduce your child to shapes (triangle, circle and rectangle), and matching pictures underneath will help your baby recognize where each piece should go. The plywood pieces are made with a non-toxic, water-based finish, according to P'kolino. (Recommended ages: 6+ months)
Let’s Dance Elmo loves nothing more than to get your child movin’ and groovin’ to different songs. There’s three different remixes. Press the rainbow to learn about colors and Elmo’s heart lights up different colors to reinforce learning. The paw print teaches kids about different animals. So, for instance, he’ll say ‘Let’s hop like a kangaroo’ to get kids moving around. Since the headset doubles as a handle, kids can take their buddy with them.
Rock-A-Too, the Show Bird, is a vibrant animatronic parrot. Rock-a-Too sings and dances and repeats phrases just like a real parrot. Kids will also be entertained by his many jokes and imitations. 50 sounds and motions bring Rock-a-too to life, and he moves his head, body, mouth, and wings. Like other FurReal pets, Rock-a-Too responds to sound, light, and touch with different reactions to delight children. He has a fun personality that will likely appeal to kids.
Gear up for high-flying adventures with Blue’s Helicopter Pursuit. Launching this April, this 397-piece set builds Blue’s helicopter, vehicle, and base station and comes with 3 minifigures and one raptor to bring your adventures to life. The blades actually can be spun and the detailing on the Helicopter is very nice. The new raptor design has been improved over the original raptor design. Who’s ready for a pursuit?

While it’s not totally a toy, we had to share this one with you because of how obsessed the kids are with it!  The new Echo Dot for Kids is, well, designed and created just for the kiddos.  They can play games with Alexa, ask her to read them a bedtime story, play their favorite music, and so much more.  Plus, because it’s for kids they won’t (and can’t) run into any of those awkward situations they could run into with the regular Echo.  This one comes in blue, red, and green! More colors here.

Lego is known for its colorful brick construction sets, but even little kids can get in on the fun with the company's Duplo line of products. If you're keen to stoke your tot's interest in science, then the Lego Duplo My First Rocket set may be the perfect gift. Kids can build and create a colorful rocket and planet with Lego Duplo's chunky bricks that are specialy designed for little hands. The fun set encourages kids to use their imagination, but children will also learn counting skills with numbered bricks and corresponding pieces showing one moon, two planets and three stars. (Recommended ages: 1.5 to 5 years)


Welcome to the magical kingdom of Cinderella’s Dream Castle. It utilizes the new 2018 Build and Swap modular building system. The castle itself is a sight to behold and something you can be proud to display. It features nice colors and a lot of small details that make it shine. There’s a lot of room to pose your figures and kids will have fun acting out various fun scenarios. What’s cool? With the modular design you can mix and match pieces from this set with other sets to expand the fun and even experiment with different designs. The set includes 2 minifigures, a horse, and carriage.
Inspire a world of creativity and imagination with the Crayola Fabulous Art Kit from Crayola. The Fabulous Art Kit contains 24 Crayons, 12 Colored Chalks, 12 Short Colored Pencils, 16 Glitter Crayons, 6 Paint Pot Strip Special FX, 10 Coloring Pages, 8 Fine Line Markers, 1 School Glue, 1 Paint Brush, 1 Color Your Own Sticker Sheet, 1 Desktop Caddy, and 1 Reusable Storage Tub. It has everything for your various art projects and makes a great gift idea for artists.
Things to create with—large and small crayons and markers, large and small paintbrushes and fingerpaint, large and small paper for drawing and painting, colored construction paper, preschooler-sized scissors, chalkboard and large and small chalk, modeling clay and playdough, modeling tools, paste, paper and cloth  scraps for collage, and instruments—rhythm instruments and keyboards, xylophones, maracas, and tambourines
Overcooked 2 ups the ante with new recipes, chefs, kitchens, and levels. The game will now feature an online multiplayer mode. In addition to the original cast, there will be a handful of new characters to choose from. Cook everything from pasta and sushi to cake, pancakes, and more. A new fun twist is that you can throw raw ingredients while plates can’t be throw, adding new strategy to the game as you quickly scramble to ready orders. Even the order in which you complete orders matters for scoring combos. The game supports 1 to 4 players. Grab a couple friends and get ready for some insane cooking fun!

It may be a few years before you invest in one of those big kids Powerwheels and ride-ons, but cars and things that go can still be fun Christmas gifts for babies. With the B. Toys Wheeee-ls! Soft Cars Playset automobiles you just have to pull them back and watch the self-propelling cars go! The four soft cars — which include a taxi that squeaks, a race car that rattles, a truck that chimes and a car that rings — come in a 100 percent recyclable box garage. ($16; target.com)


When babies are older and can crawl after the ball, they are working on spatial awareness -- How far away is that ball? Where is my body in relation to it? As toddlers become preschoolers, spatial awareness leads to logical thinking. Now that they're getting the hang of throwing and catching, they have to start figuring out how hard to throw and in which direction. In other words, they have to estimate the parameters in which they can throw and catch.
Milestones in sensory skills will develop in toddler phase one. These toddlers will want to touch, see, hear and feel virtually everything in their environment. Milestones include learning to perceive and identify different colors, shapes, textures and noises. They’ll start learning how to respond to their parent’s voices and understand when their name is being called.
Oball Rattle: A classic baby toy gets a little rework with the Oball Rattle. This smooth, flexible rattle lets baby shake, rattle, and roll. With 28 finger holes, it’s easy for baby to grasp and shake. There are four built-in rattles with bright and colorful beads within, so your baby can make fun sounds as they shake it. This rattle was featured in Care.com’s “29 Best Toys for Babies Under 1.”
Ever wish you could ride a Jurassic World raptor? Featuring a cool Velociraptor Blue design inspired by the movie, kids ages 3-7 can race and roar into action with this exciting Power Wheels Jurassic World Dino Racer. Supporting riders up to 65 pounds, it is designed for both on road or off-road terrain so you can recreate the action from the film. It features cool movie-accurate details and sculpting, including sharp-looking teeth. It cruises at thrilling speeds up to 6 miles per hour and includes a 12-volt battery and charger.
For all the future ornithologists out there, may we present the Rock-A-Too Show Bird. Much like a real feathered friend, this animatronic avian wonder boasts over 50 sound-and-motion combos, plus he sings, dances, does impressions and tells bird brained jokes. As toddler toys go, this one is sure to soar to the top of the "must play" list! ($80; target.com)
2018 is another epic year in gaming filled with hordes of games worth playing. From Super Smash Bros. and Pokemon to all the latest sports games from Madden 19 and FIFA 19 to NBA 2K19 and so much more, there are so many great games to choose from. Plus, the NES Classic Edition makes its triumphant return. Pinch me, I must be in gaming heaven. The most difficult part? Choosing which awesome games to play and making time to play them all. There’s enough gaming greatness here to keep you gaming on in 2018 and beyond!
Toy vehicles provide kids with a mobile aspect of play that’s fascinating. Toddlers are drawn to anything with wheels or that moves on its own. There are plenty of vehicle options, from trucks that help with digging to cars that transport dolls, so you’re sure to find one that your tot will love. Just avoid cars that have small or loose parts that could be a choking hazard.

The perfect doll for kids aged 3 years old and up, this baby doll speaks to her mini mommy or daddy in either Spanish or English. Baby Alive's realistic, adorable phrases include childhood classics like "Time to go potty!" and "Yay, I did it!" Not only that, she'll "pee" when given a baby bottle and can even sing a song. Eww or aww, your child will adore her. ($39; amazon.com)
If you prefer multiple teething surfaces for your baby, then you need The First Years’ Star Teething Blanket. The five points on the teething blanket is made of different, yet equally safe and effective, teething surfaces. There’s soft terry cloth and even a crinkly satin. The soft and chewy textures provide babies with a variety of experiences. Additionally, a squeaker is built-in into one of the star’s points. Each point comes in a different color and comes with a teething blanket loop for easier transport.
Between 4 and 7 months, baby is working on sitting independently. If she's still sitting with support, you can encourage her to strengthen her trunk muscles (abs and spine) by putting toys in front of her and encouraging her to reach for them. Once baby can sit without needing to put her hands in front of her (called "tripoding"), she'll be free to use those hands to play with toys and, hopefully, entertain herself for short periods of time (but remember, never leave baby unattended).
Launching this December, gear up for epic superhero adventures with the Spider-Man Mech vs. Venom Mech set from LEGO. Step into Spider-Man’s mech suit and get ready for an epic showdown. The build quality is excellent and they feature nice attention to detail that fans will truly appreciate. Fans will not only love building this awesome 600+ piece set, but also they will love playing out the battle between Spider-Man and Venom in their mech suits. Who will win the showdown?
The drive in those cars is activated by pushing them backwards and then releasing them, then the cars roll apretty long distance forward (without batteries!). Thanks to this toy children can learn to distinguish vehicles, learn their names and functions. It’s promotes their cognitive development and curiosity. Kid scan also learn colors and shapes of vehicles. It enhance baby’s learning interest.
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