What do you get when art collides with family game night? You get Scultapalooza, a game where players have to sculpt what’s on their card before time runs out. You scult your creations out of play foam that never dries out. The catch? You may be required to sculpt with your eyes closed or tag team with another member. Players must correctly guess what their team sculpted before time runs out to score a point. The first team to score 20 points wins.
Kids will get revved up when they open up this sweet toddler gift. The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn 3-in-1 Smart Car teaches your increasingly mobile child how to confidently develop from walking and bouncing to riding and "driving," plus many more motor skills. The interactive dashboard entertains as your mini roadster listens to fun sounds and songs about the alphabet, opposites, counting, and beyond. ($40; walmart.com)
A: There is so much controversy around the use of plastic these days. In recent years, we’ve seen how its chemical make-up has had some undesirable effects on our health, not to mention our planet. We highly recommend using silicone-based toys as they are FDA-approved, better for the environment and may be safer and less harsh for your baby’s delicate, growing body.
A: Both solid and gel-filled toys provide their own lists of benefits, so choosing between the two is easier than you think. Consider your baby’s developmental level. To determine which is best for your little one, consider at which stage of teething they are currently experiencing. For example, your baby, aged 3 months, may experience increased tenderness as their teeth are brand new and still breaking through the gum’s surface. A solid teething toy may apply too much pressure to your baby’s delicate gums. Additionally, consider how experienced your baby is with chewing or gumming as new objects in the mouth can be a little off-putting or frightening, a softer or gel-filled toy will be less abrasive. If your baby is a little older and has already been exposed to some solids, then a firmer toy is likely to be more effective.
A great choice for baby’s first rattle as it is the softest around. The feet are made of a crinkly material which crunches when chewed on or squeezed. Perfect for the first sensory toy providing sound and touch opportunities as baby grows. The vibrant colors and jingling bells will keep baby spellbound for a good while. The unique ring shape makes this toy easy for baby to hold making it a first toy for developing those motor skills.
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)

The Number Lovin’ Oven by LeapFrog has a whole lot of fun and learning baked in. Over thirty different songs and phrases and sixteen different ingredients let kids explore numbers, temperature, time, and basic math through interactive play. Designed for kids as young as two, the Number Lovin’ Oven includes an easy-to-follow recipe card for things like fried eggs, pizza, and cupcakes. Little chefs can slice the loaf of bread or pizza for sharing, hear the skillet sizzle when it’s placed on top of the oven or bake up a batch of cupcakes. Perfect for kids to use with friends and develop social interaction through shared play, the interactive oven includes: pretend play slice-and-share pizza and bread, two cupcakes, a fried egg, spatula, two plates, a skillet, and a baking tray. All 16 pieces fit neatly inside the oven for easy storage or on-the-go fun.
This spring be on the lookout for an exciting and innovative next big battle-action card game involving transforming figures a la Transformers. With Mecardimals, there’s no need for a physical transformation and it combines vehicles, action figures, and cards. Simply launch your Mecardimal vehicle over the cards and watch them magically transform right before your very eyes.

It wouldn’t be a holiday without mass hysteria over the latest announcement from the Hatchimals folks.  Hot off the press (and already one of the most anticipated toys of the season) meet ‘HatchiBabies.’  That’s right.  They’re babies!  And this time you won’t know if you’re hatching a baby boy or a baby girl. It’s like a true gender reveal so get those cameras rolling! They also have a secret compartment (and companions) as an added bonus inside that famous speckled egg for extra fun this year.  They’re up for pre-order right now so you might as well get it while you can!  Learn more here.
Take your Treasure X experience to a whole new level with Treasure X Legends of Treasure Set. What makes this different from the standard sets is that real gold-dipped treasure is actually included. The others give you an opprtunity to find gold-dipped treasure, but you are not always guaranteed to find it. This pack features 3 legendary gold hunters with nine to collect in the series.
Love Batman? You can never go wrong with Batman action figures. Dive into missions with these detailed 6-inch Knight Missions Batman action figures. The figures are well-scultped with authentic details and feature 14 points of articulation for bringing the action to life. Choose from Batman, Robin, and more. The 6-inch figures nicely fit in the new Batmobile. Let the epic storytelling begin!
This is a great combination toy pack for babies just sitting up. The puzzle box of shapes introduces baby to colors and teaches problem solving from a very early age. And the stacked rings will help baby work on motor skills by putting the rings back on the stand. Both of these toys are trusted standbys for parents, and getting them both at once is just convenient.
Retro gaming is all the rage nowadays. Sony announced it will launch a mini PlayStation Classic in time for the holidays. It will come loaded with 20 PlayStation hits , including Final Fantasy VII, Tekken 3, and Ridge Racer Type 4 to name a few. All games will be preloaded and the system comes bundled with two wired controllers. Relive the glory days of gaming or experience it for the very first time.
All the kids will be screaming for ice cream this holiday thanks to this sweet play cart. Toddlers can use the magic scooper to create tasty sundaes, all the while learning the names of colors, flavors and toppings, and how to count to 10. The cart even has wheels, so kids can take their burgeoning ice cream business on the go (and work their gross motor skills as they push). Hooray for educational Christmas toys!
Calling all animal lovers and future veterinarians! Here's one of the best toys for toddlers who are attached at the furry hip to their dog or cat. This Examine & Treat Pet Vet Play Set from Melissa & Doug consists of two plush animals, plus a 24-piece pretend vet set including stethoscope, thermometer, syringe, cast, bandages and more in a handy tote. Toy experts recommend it for helping children develop empathy. ($30; amazon.com)
One of our favorite toddler toys for several years, Anamalz are handmade, wooden figures reminiscent of your childhood with a fun, modern twist — the perfect classic-cute combo. Toddlers’ imaginations will go wild as they play with the poseable farm, jungle and prehistoric animals. It even comes with a cloth mat to set the stage for a creative landscape. ($19; amazon.com)
Education is another important milestone for this phase. During this phase, toddlers should start learning basic counting, sorting and categorizing. This is also when they achieve the milestone of being able to not only recognizing colors and shapes but how to use them for various purposes. Educational milestones include not only traditional schooling but what is learned at home as well. Toddlers should achieve milestones such as cleaning up behind themselves and helping around the home. Since this is the age most toddlers start preschool, it’s imperative that at-home milestones have been achieved so they can properly flourish in the preschool environment.
This book will engage your baby by the different 3D pictures and sew-ons with which he can play. A lot of people will refer to this cloth book as a “Quiet Book,” and while it doesn’t have the music and lights that some other books have, it will make some noises (like crinkling), so beware. It’s fine for a church cry room, but you wouldn’t want to sit front row at a funeral with it.

That’s right folks, Hatchimals is back!  And this time they’re a total mystery.  Hatchimals Mystery were just released and are already climbing the toy charts.  Here’s the best part; you have no clue which Hatchimal you’re going to get until it hatches.  It’s a total mystery!  What we do know, for sure, is that these new guys are super fluffy (fluffier than the older ones) and they’ll actually be able to learn and speak your name!  Plus, there are 4 different ones you could hatch…like Bunwee, Pandor, Hedgyhen, and Elefly.  Collect all 4!  Learn more here.


While it may seem like choosing toys for toddlers should be easy, as you walk into a toy store today, the only thing that’s easy is feeling overwhelmed. There is a huge array of toys that have been developed for the toddler market. How do you choose which are right for your child? How can you tell which are high quality and which will last? Which will engage your child’s interest for more than a few days or weeks? Below are some ideas for choosing toys that will grow with your child, challenge her, and nurture her overall development (her thinking, physical, language and social-emotional skills).


Preschoolers and toddlers will love My 1st Wagon from Radio Flyer. While it’s not designed for sitting on, it’s designed to be safe for kids with no sharp edges and is perfect for transporting toys and more. You can even use it as a gift basket wagon for kids. What’s cool? The handle and steering actually are functional so you can take it on fun adventures to the park, around the house, or in the backyard.

The Number Lovin’ Oven by LeapFrog has a whole lot of fun and learning baked in. Over thirty different songs and phrases and sixteen different ingredients let kids explore numbers, temperature, time, and basic math through interactive play. Designed for kids as young as two, the Number Lovin’ Oven includes an easy-to-follow recipe card for things like fried eggs, pizza, and cupcakes. Little chefs can slice the loaf of bread or pizza for sharing, hear the skillet sizzle when it’s placed on top of the oven or bake up a batch of cupcakes. Perfect for kids to use with friends and develop social interaction through shared play, the interactive oven includes: pretend play slice-and-share pizza and bread, two cupcakes, a fried egg, spatula, two plates, a skillet, and a baking tray. All 16 pieces fit neatly inside the oven for easy storage or on-the-go fun.
We recently spoke to Dr. Nick Cornett, a play therapist in northwest Arkansas — the play therapy center of the United States — to get his take on what toys he’d recommend for toddlers. According to Cornett, “the more open-ended the toy, the better.”  It’s just like how an interviewer avoids yes / no questions; they circumscribe dialogue. Cornett divides toys up by “real life” toys, “active or constructive” toys, and “creative expression” toys. Each genre offers the kid a chance to truly express himself, and therefore a therapist to observe. Here, per Cornett, are some parameters of — and our choices for — seven great toys for toddlers. 
No two toddlers are the same; all toddlers developed at different speeds in different ways. Just because your neighbor’s toddler entered toddler phase two when they were a year-old doesn’t mean your toddler is behind the times. However, there are times when a toddler can take too long to develop and it can cause concern for possible developmental issues developing.
At the end of the day, however, social interaction between children and parents is really the most important thing to remember. “Even if you’re laying the foundation for later cognitive development, all learning happens in relationships,” she says. “Spend as much time as you can with your child to make that time as uninterrupted and undistracted as possible.” To help you parse what that means (and to make sure you’re first in line as the friend-aunt of choice), we’ve asked the parenting team over at PopSugar Moms to pick out the grooviest age-appropriate toys on the market, with Lytle explaining what makes them the best gift for a 1-year-old specifically. We’ve also made a few additional selections based on what Lytle had to say. We’ve also got gift guides for kids of all ages, including 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 7-year-olds, 8-year-olds, and 9-year-olds.
This is a great gift idea for a toddler that will serve a long time. It has two parts: the walker and removable interactive panel. The latter is for early learning, it has two colorful spinning rollers, five piano keys which play music, three shape sorters and three buttons that light-up. All of these features are awesome for developing motor skills and discover new things like animals, colors, shapes and numbers.
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