“There’s actually been some research looking at kids using blocks with parents and it turns out that building blocks are a really good way to promote early STEM and math skills,” says Lytle. “Think about the language you’re using when you’re building blocks: bigger, smaller, shorter, taller. If you have kids and parents building bridges with blocks together, you’ll start talking about concepts like stability. Even if you don’t actually use the word stability, you’re still talking about complex engineering concepts.” The pastel-hued wooden building blocks in this 14-piece set have built-in magnets, so they won’t fall down as easily as regular blocks. Plus, they’re made in Honduras, with the goal of creating living-wage jobs for Tegucigalpa residents.
Toys that toddlers can push, pull, and ride on boost balance, improve coordination, and encourage active play. Look for toys that your toddler can ride on by themselves that also have a handle for you to push when their little legs get tired. For toddlers who are still learning to walk, something they can push or ride lets them practice both skills.
Get ready for exciting adventures with the Hidden Temple with T-Rex. Use the ancient structure as a research base in search of the hidden treasure. Rub the map to reveal the hidden path – where X marks the spot. At the base, protect the team from the ferocious T-Rex or enemies with the functional laser blaster. The working temple gate keeps unwanted visitors away. The T-Rex features movable arms, legs, and jaw to bring the action to life. What’s cool? Kids can use the UV flashlight to reveal glow-in-the-dark features, such as the ruin’s crystal eyes, jungle plant, and more. There’s even a pulley to transport equipment to the top floor. The set includes the Explorers team (Nick, Emma, Will), their dog Sammy, T-Rex, and several accessories to enhance your play experience.
Babies Christmas gifts are fun to buy and even more fun to give, which is oh-so-true of the Lamaze Mortimer the Moose toy. It is equipped with various textures, colors and sounds, making it the perfect addition to their collection of sensory-centered toys. Deck the stroller with this multitasking moose or connect it to baby’s carrier or car seat and see little faces delight. Make sure Mortimer the Moose is with you on the go to help entertain and keep baby company. ($16; amazon.com)
Combine exercise, learning, and fun. The Smart Cycle Extreme is one of the hottest new video games on the market. Just plug the stationary bike into your TV and choose one of three ways to play: Driving, Learning Arcade Games, or The Big Race. Once you've maxed out the included software program (Learning Adventure Extreme), you can get moving again with six other titles including Hot Wheels, SpongeBob, and Toy Story.
Set in beautiful Britain, Forza Horizon 4 amps up the fun with dynamic seasons in a shared open-world experience. Seasons change everything and actually impact gameplay. Paths previously blocked off can be opened during different seasons. The game allows you to play with other people in the community. The visuals and gameplay couldn’t be different. It’s a completely new take on Horizon. Fans have been asking for 60 FPS mode, and the developer has delivered. The game will also be available on Xbox Game Pass.
As you keep up with tummy time, you'll see baby holding his head higher and steadier. By the end of month three, he may be able to raise his shoulders and upper chest. He'll probably roll a few times accidentally if he turns his head too far, but before long he'll doing it intentionally. (Want to get some rolling practice in? Place baby in a side-lying position.) You may also notice baby kicking a bunch while lying on his back, which helps strengthen the belly muscles needed to eventually roll over. Another fun development? Baby may start to intentionally reach for and grasp toys—but knowing how to let go of objects hasn’t set in yet. Keep in mind that babies at this stage are relying on their senses (sight, hearing, touch and smell) to navigate around the new world around them, so offer up some healthy stimulation.
Your toddler is getting good at figuring out how objects in her world work—like television remotes or light switches. She is also interested in playing with your “real” stuff, like your cell phone, because she is eager to be big and capable like you. Toys like this help children problem-solve, learn spatial relations (how things fit together), and develop fine motor skills (use of the small muscles in the hands and fingers).
Last year, I shared several of our favorite toys for babies along with toys for boys ages 5-7. Since Little Sister (21 months) is now officially considered a toddler. I thought I would share some of our favorite toys for toddlers! Many of these we currently have, a few we will be purchasing this year, and some we have enjoyed at other locations such as friends’ houses or church!
Inspired by Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War hitting theaters on April 27th, the Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown, a 3-level New York City building, is a real blast to assemble. Fans will love creating their own thrilling battle scenes based on the movie with this 1,004-piece set. The coolest part? Without revealing any spoilers, the set features a ton of Easter eggs, surprises, and even allows for customization. The set comes packed with a great assortment of minifigures from members of Black Order Cull Obsidian, Ebony Maw, and Dr. Strange to Iron Man and Iron Spider-Man.
STEM is huge right now. Botley is a colorful coding robot that is designed for teaching the youngest coders, as young as 5, how to program. There is no screen or app required. It comes with a variety of pieces. Kids will have to “code” Botley to navigate through a variety of obstacle courses. It teaches basic programming skills, such as loops and simple directional commands.
He may be cute but beware when Jack-Jack attacks! This poseable baby doll lights up to signify the character’s polymorph abilities. This interactive doll laughs, giggles, babbles, cries, shouts, and makes electric sparking sounds when you press its tummy. Kids can explore his different abilities ranging from laser eyes to electric sparks and more. The doll also comes with a cute raccoon figure so kids can recreate their favorite scenes from the movie. But the coolest part? Play with him long enough and his face really turns to a fiery red. Better not mess with Jack-Jack when he’s in that state.
Freddie the Firefly has a lot to offer baby. He includes a rattling ball, clacker, mirror, and a plastic ladybug for teething. Multiple fabrics were used in the creation of this toy to increase touch awareness. Baby can learn colors, sounds, shapes while playing with Freddie and his many accessories. This toy will certainly keep your baby happy and entertained for hours whether on the go or staying at home for the day.
Inspired by the hit TV show PJ Masks, Cat Boy, Owlette, and Gecko fans will love this super-sized toy with three different character-themed levels. The Control Center allows kids to choose a mission, activate their favorite heroes' sayings and play the theme song. Other features include a zipline, elevator, figurines and vehicles. Needless to say, this toddler toy has been topping Christmas wishlists for a few years now. For ages 3 and up; some assembly required. ($68; amazon.com)
Experience endless creative fun and possibilites with Sphero Bolt. It’s a next-generation app-enabled robotic ball. Featuring advanced sensors, an LED matrix, and infrared communication, kids can create and customize games, discover a range of activities, or simply drive and play. The best part? Kids will have so much fun they’ll forget their learning.
Babies and toddlers can have their very own tablet with My First Learning Tablet. Through 25 pretend apps and activities and over 20 songs and melodies, this toy introduces little kids to numbers, shapes, colors, and more. It features a touch-sensitive light-up screen and kids can even swipe on-screen. Touch an activity icon to choose an activity to play or hear phrases, music, and sound effects, depending on the mode. There are 3 modes of play: Explore, Learn and Music. The 5 dock icons introduce kids to more phrases and sounds about greetings, time concepts, pretend play, and music. This is a cute toy that helps little ones feel big with a tablet all their own. They’ll love swiping on the screen and tapping the icons just like Mom and Dad. The lights and fun sounds make the learning play fun and engaging.
“A cape is a blank slate,” says Dr. Cornett, “a kid can use it to be royalty or a superhero or just as a blanket.” Again, you want to stay away from existent superhero logos to allow the maximum freedom for your kid. We dig this Lynda Sutton DIY Drawing Superhero Cape, which comes with a matching mask and, most importantly, can be washed after a hard day of superheroing.
Teething is a phase that all babies go through and it’s not always a happy one. While welcoming new teeth is something to be happy about, for a baby, it’s something that can be painful and uncomfortable. Teething toys are so important in combating the discomfort that comes with new teeth and the Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle is perfect for doing just that. It doubles as a sensory toy to give your baby a feel for new things and encourage them to explore their new toy while giving them a safe way to deal with incoming teeth.
Experience the most incredible recreation of the most famous starship in the galaxy with the LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon 75192. This 7,500-piece set from the Ultimate Collector Series is packed with amazing details to satisfy the most die-hard Star Wars fans. It’s designed for experienced builders and comes complete with an extensive user’s guide. Crew members include Han Solo, TFA Han Solo, Rey, Finn, BB-8, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C-3PO, 2 Porgs, and Mynock. Prepare to defeat the First Order. The perfect gift for any Star Wars lover.
Featuring a Barbie chef doll, kitchen counter, appliances, cooking and dining utensils, and 5 dough colors for creating food, the Barbie Ultimate Kitchen is the feature set to look out for when it arrives this fall. This kitchen features a cutting board, stovetop, pot, pie baking sheet, and oven. What will you cook up in the Ultimate Kitchen? You can make veggies, sandwiches, fries, and even dessert. There are molds and several cool interactive features like a light-up stove, buttons, and sounds.
This teether may seem like any other by the look, but the hidden selling point is that it vibrates. If bit on in just the right spot, the entire star vibrates and the effect will both tickle baby and, if pushed long enough, numb her gums to the pain of incoming teeth. If she bites down and holds it, she can even twirl the little spinner on the handle for more pain distraction. And that handle provides a convenient way to latch and secure the teether to a seat, stroller, or activity center.
The milestones of the fine motor skills include being able to perform small movements using the muscles of the fingers and hands. During this phase, the toddler should achieve milestones in picking up and grasping, using simple tools such as a spoon, put together blocks and coordination of the hands and eyes. By age three, they should have developed milestones in learning how to open doors, operate moving parts on a toy and perform basic drawing skills with a pencil or crayon.
A toddler will start to achieve milestones in the realm of creativity as well. They’ll start to understand simple fantasy stories and how to develop and use their own creativity for pretend play. During this period, since the imagination becomes very active, it is crucial that the toddler learns how to separate fantasy from reality and an issue with nightmares might develop as well. In response, if your toddler achieves the milestone of simple problem solving and learning what is and isn’t correct, the issue shouldn’t expand into something more.
Want your kids to learn coding in a fun, magical way? The Harry Potter Coding Kit from Kano lets kids build a wand, learn to code, and make magic! There are over 70 creative challenges for kids to engage with. Make feathers fly, goblets multiply, fire flow, pumpkins grow, and more. What’s cool? Wave your coding wand to see the magical effects on-screen. Play on tablets and computers. Who’s ready for fun?
What happens when you combine slime with Poop and fun surprises? You get Poopsie Slime Surprise. Created by the same company as LOL surprise, Poopsie Slime Surprise is the hottest new collectible. Unwrap it like a toilet roll to unravel 10 magical surprises inside. Inside there is slime powder, a mystery scent, and utensils that lets kids mix up slime . . . we meant unicorn poop. There’s also a poop keychain collectible that can be used to store the slime. Who knew poop could be so exciting?
This is our first criteria for anything that goes in a baby’s mouth. Having said that, “contaminant-free” can mean different things, depending on standards and regulations from various consumer safety agencies within, and outside of the United States. We’ve tried to be as helpful as possible by stating each product’s non-contaminants policy, but we did make sure to select baby products that are BPA-free. Most of our picks are also free of contaminants like phthalates, PVC, lead, and latex. Some even go so far as to avoid petroleum, which is admirable. However, being completely free of any and all toxins is virtually impossible.
Wooden puzzles are a wonderful toy for toddlers and helps them to develop important cognitive skills such as matching and spatial awareness. The specific type of puzzle will be dependent on the age and ability of your child. The puzzle above is appropriate for a 2-year old while beginning jigsaw puzzles would be more appropriate for a 3-year old.
The Bumpy Ball is so cute and colorful, plus it is a great teaching tool for baby to learn how to use those tiny fingers. It has multi-textured fabric and plastic nubs that are easy for baby to hold, grasp, and even throw when a bit older. A wonderful teething toy on the fabric nubs and a rattling joy in the plastic nubs to entertain baby with the plastic beads inside. Baby’s senses will be alive with visual and audio effects that the Bumpy Ball provides.
Are you ready for a Nerf battle. With 6 slam fire darts, the Nerf Strongarm is ready for battle. Designed like a revolver, it features a rotating barrel that pops out with the press of a button when you want to load up the darts. There are two ways to fire. You can prime each dart and then fire or hold down the trigger for some slam fire action. It’s super accurate within 40 feet and great for target practice. The best part? It’s super inexpensive and requires no batteries.
Preschoolers and kindergartners have longer attention spans than toddlers. Typically they talk a lot and ask a lot of questions. They like to experiment with things and with their still-emerging physical skills. They like to play with friends—and don’t like to lose! They can take turns—and sharing one toy by two or more children is often possible for older preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Nyko has a cool Labo-inspired PixelQuest Arcade Kit coming this fall. It builds a cardboard mini arcade cabinet using your Switch. You can play supported games like Mario Kart 8, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, Metal Slug 3, and more. The pixel art looks fantastic. What’s cool? There’s a joystick and two buttons to create a six button layout.
Love discovering hidden treasures? Then you’ll love Treasure X available in a single or double-pack. It allows kids to dig and fizz their way to their hidden treasure. There are over 24 action figures to collect and discover. What’s cool? You could even possibly find real gold-dipped treasure. Will you find the golden-dipped treasure on your adventure?
This colorful looped grab toy is the perfect size for little hands and has a gentle texture for young ones to gnaw on. It can even be refrigerated to a cool temperature to soothe sensitive teething gums. Although it’s simple, many parents find their babies mesmerized by the rattle and colors. It’s also lightweight enough to play with from an early age.
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.
Babies between the ages of 6 to 12 months are beginning to explore and interact with people and their surroundings, like crawling and walking across the living room. New teeth pop up through their gums, so finding durable and safe toys for them to mouth, bite and chew are important. Parents also get a little window into their thoughts, watching their baby touch and activate buttons, or place blocks into a container, or begin to turn the pages of a cardboard book.
A soft, cuddly giraffe that glows and play soft music just cannot be beat for an infant to cling to for bedtime and naptime. Soon baby will learn that when he or she squeezes the toy, it will then reward it with music and a soft glow. This will develop its cognitive and motor skills to recreate the effect when it wants. When squeezed, the music plays for up to 15 minutes at a time, giving baby plenty of time to fall off to sleep before it stops playing.
Who knew it could be so hard to chow down? Chow Crown from Hasbro Games is a new game that puts a twist on viral food eating challenges. You start by loading the six hanging forks with various food items, like candy and such, and place the crown on your head. Your challenge is to eat as many snacks before the music stops to keep the crown. It’s simple and wacky fun! Who will be the Chow Crown Champ?
The New Nintendo 3DS XL plays all 3DS games. It delivers better performance, 3D face tracking, and a new C-stick. It also features amiibo compatibility and NFC support. Play all of your favorite Nintendo games on the go from Mario to Pokémon to Super Smash Brothers and Zelda. The system offers an e-shop for playing classic games. Best of all, it offers a unique 3D experience to experience a new dimension in gaming. The 3DS is the leading portable console with no real competition in sight. Get the best portable gaming experience this holiday.
Although this basketball set may look challenging for a 2-year-old, Dr. Golinkoff says that children this age can learn pretty fast once you show them how it’s done. It’s also a time when they’re improving their motor skills. “They’re also learning patience,” she says, “which is a type of self-regulation, how to wait. They are increasing their executive functionability, which is the fancy name for being able to control their inhibitions.”
Luckily, we have evolved more as a society and tend to avoid giving our children toxins as we did in the past! As with many things that have come to light, we can now see teething as an integral learning phase for both parents and children. Not only do teething toys help to alleviate gum pain, but the pressure also aids in strengthening the incoming teeth….this is one of the reasons that it is so vital to finding a teething toy which can also reach the back molars as well as the front teeth coming in!
A: In an unexpected light, these toys can help babies and toddlers gain a basic understanding of the concept of cause and effect. They experience pain and discomfort and are given a solution to solve their problem. This creates a pathway in their brain to reinforce their understanding of finding a solution. These toys help children learn very early on about problem-solving.
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?
There is something about rattles that fascinates little children. With the My First Bead Buddy Giraffe for Baby, babies can now create all the sounds they can muster with colorful beads creating the rattle in the circular ring of the giraffe’s body. The neck is adorned with colorful wavy rings and with colorful plush head and feet, this can be a great toy for infant development.
One fundamental truth of babies is that they love to grow up. And in hand with that, they love to act just like mommy and daddy. The buttons and music with this toy remote will have baby thinking he’s just like daddy by pointing and clicking. And, while you love having baby around you, having him turn the TV channel while you’re watching a big game is not ideal. This is a great toy to use for the old switcheroo.
This weird-looking Swiss-designed Bilibo is for every preposition: sitting in, climbing over, filling up with stuff — whatever comes to the imagination. “This is cool. It can be a hat or a chair, that’s fun,” says Dr. Golinkoff. “I go by certain principles, and my first principle is that the toy shouldn’t control too much of what the child is going to do. Ask: Is this 90 percent child and 10 percent toy, or 90 percent toy and 10 percent child? If there’s only one thing to do with it, then the toy is controlling everything. This one’s more open-ended, so he gets to make his own world.”
Capitalizing on the rescue pets phenomenon sweeping social media, Moose Toys introduces Scruff-A-Luvs. When you unbox this little creature, he looks so helpless and starts out all scruffed up in a ball. Add a little water and brush him out to take him from scruffy to fluffy. The cool part? You won’t know what pet you have until you rescue him. You could have a bunny, dog, or cat. Who will you rescue?
Now kids can learn to code screen-free with the Ozobit Coding Robot. To begin, you can start coding with markers and stickers. This little guy is full of creativity. Don’t let his little size fool you! For more advanced coding, you’ll want to use either a tablet or computer. Kids will love tinkering with the code and seeing what results their code generates. It’s a fantastic STEM kit that makes learning coding fun.
With over 80 Hatchimals CollEGGtibles to collect in Season 4, this one dozen pack is a great way to quickly build your collection. This set contains two exclusives not found elsewhere. What’s cool about Season 4 is they shine bright when you shine a light source on them. Collect ’em, trade ’em, and share ’em with your friends. So much hatchin’ fun!
At 12 months, children are learning about patterns in the world, which also extends to routines. Predictable routines, like ones at nighttime, for example, “both help them feel very safe and secure, but also help them learn about the world and learn what to expect next,” says Lytle. This feeling of security also applies to loveys, because at this age, children are capable of forming some type of relationship with nonhumans, even characters on a favorite show. A familiar doll or toy can add an element of predictability in a situation that may be foreign. “Objects and dolls can’t respond to the child, but it is something that makes them feel secure,” she adds. Even if they don’t know what is going on around them, they will feel safe knowing that they have their favorite toy in their arms. Try this fox Sshlumpie, which is not only a cuddly companion for a 1-year-old but also a great lovey that can be taken on the go — and to sleep.