Why we love it: Sophie's design has remained unchanged since 1961 and that's simply because you don't mess with a toy that’s entranced babies for generations – and soothed their sore gums (it’s won Gold in our Best Teething Toy category this year). Our tester's mum says that, even though her baby Elliott is ever so young at 3 months, he found Sophie quite easy to hold. 'Sophie's good points are her squeak,' she says, 'and the contrasting colour of her spots that makes her fascinating to look at.'
It’s time to head back to the 90s! Polly Pocket is making a big return in 2018 with the Polly Pocket World Assortment. These compact Pocket Worlds are perfect for taking the fun on the go. Each has its own theme and comes along with micro dolls, accessories, and other neat surprises. Look for Polly Pocket to make its debut in fall, retailing for $4.99 – $19.99.

Toys that begin to awaken baby’s visual, auditory, and tactile senses will stimulate the development of neural pathways in a baby’s rapidly expanding brain. Our panel of experts, which includes parents, childcare and education professionals and child psychologists have endorsed the following 19 products as some of the best toys for newborn babies. Consider adding them to your own baby registry, purchasing one for your newborn or gifting one to someone expecting or a set of new parents.
Dollhouses promote imaginative play, object recognition, problem solving and social development through role play. And we found the perfect first dollhouse for toddlers. The Fisher-Price Little People House is an interactive toy with over 50 different phrases, songs and sounds. This set comes complete with Emma, Mom, and Dad Little People figures, as well as a table and two chairs. All appliances and living room, bedroom and bathroom furniture are built into the dollhouse so parents needn’t worry about losing pieces.
Before you invest in a large drone, the Tello quadcopter is the perfect first drone. Designed to be easy to fly and withstand crashes, this affordable drone gives you hands-on experience flying a drone. It flies for about 13 minutes on a full charge. The built-in 720p camera is a cool feature that allows you to shoot decent quality video while you fly.

This is a great gift for when parents are introducing their baby to solid foods. Because regular bibs are primarily made of fabric, that means a whole lot of laundry needs done while baby’s learning to eat. Being able to just wipe these bibs clean is a tremendous time-saver, and the cupped bottom will allow food sliding down and stray crumbs to be caught.

The holiday season will be upon us soon, and it's time once again to start navigating the season’s softest, silliest and smartest of baby playthings. Whether you’re searching for the best baby Christmas gifts for your own bundle of joy or another little one that you love, make sure your list includes these adorable Christmas gift ideas for baby from Melissa and Doug, Fisher-Price, LEGO, Lamaze and more!


The Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe is an interactive learning system for toddlers. Jam-packed with 5 interactive activity pages, over 100 vocabulary words, over 20 learning activities, and over 20 songs and melodies, there’s plenty of engaging learning fun! The set includes a small stool. Expand the fun with expansion packs that expand the curriculum. The desk can even transform into a an easel and chalkboard for even more creative fun!
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.
In escape rooms, players work together to solve puzzle to escape before time runs out. Now the fun of an escape room is making its way to board games. If you like narrative-driven games, Thinkfun has some great board games that vary in difficultly. For kids, there is Stargazer’s Manor, which contains easy puzzles that kids can solve on their own. If you are looking to join in on the fun, check out Dr. Gravely’s Retreat. The game contains a series of puzzles to solve in sealed envelopes.
These magic sets have surely come a long way from the ones we had when we were little!  This one is a magic set and science kit all in one.  It comes with over 27 different tools, ingredients, and parts so your kiddos can learn to make really cool things like dancing holograms, optical illusions, disappearing coins and more! Check out all their different themes here!
Do not blame yourself if your toddler does develop a delay or disability. It doesn’t make the toddler any less intelligent nor does it mean they are destined for a life of mediocrity. However, while you shouldn’t stress out over it, neglecting or refusing to accept that your toddler does have a delay or disability could hinder them in the years to come. Just like it’s best to start the nurturing of developmental milestones early, it’s best to start the nurturing of delay and disability healing early as well.

These toys seem like they would be great for my kids to play with. I remember that I used to love playing with cardboard blocks. They were fun because I should use them to build a fort or a tower that’s any size that I want it to be. My kids have great imaginations, so this seems like a great toy for them that will let their imaginations run wild with all of the things they would build. Thanks for posting this!
Blocks aren't the only powerhouse in the playroom. Even infants can follow a ball with their eyes as it rolls across the floor. In doing so, says Maureen Maiocco, early-childhood program director at SUNY Canton, in Canton, New York, they "must follow the direction and anticipate the location of the ball as it moves toward them." This kind of visual tracking helps coordinate your baby's eye movements with his body's movements. Plus, predicting when the ball will reappear reinforces the idea that when something disappears from sight, it's not necessarily gone for good.
Launching this fall is Mecard Mega Dracha. This large-scale Mecardimal fighting dragon comes with an extra powerful game card. Roll a Deluxe Mecardimal down its back to watch it transform into its awesome dragon form. What’s cool? If you can roll your Deluxe Mecardimal far enough to reach a card, you can experience a double treat — a transforming Dracha and Deluxe Mecardimal that transforms into a powerful warrior.

Blocks aren't the only powerhouse in the playroom. Even infants can follow a ball with their eyes as it rolls across the floor. In doing so, says Maureen Maiocco, early-childhood program director at SUNY Canton, in Canton, New York, they "must follow the direction and anticipate the location of the ball as it moves toward them." This kind of visual tracking helps coordinate your baby's eye movements with his body's movements. Plus, predicting when the ball will reappear reinforces the idea that when something disappears from sight, it's not necessarily gone for good.
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.
The manufacturers of the items listed here were careful to keep baby in mind when choosing the materials for their toys. Knowing that infants would be teething and gnawing on these toys, most of them are made with nontoxic or BPA-free materials to keep your baby safe. The fabrics are all super soft so the baby will not be scratched or have problems with its tender skin. Even the toys with crinkly fabrics for the crunchy sounds are soft to the touch and ready for nibbling and teething infants.
This activity center features tracks for wooden beads, with hidden animals that will keep tots busy for hours. “One of the things I always like to look for in a toy is one that allows kids a lot of options not only in terms of things to do,” says Lytle, “but in ways to do it, because at this age you want a child to learn by figuring out the pathway to using the toy and not necessarily direct them with a specific set of rules. A toy like this has a lot of different options, so they can do things like move the beads and just explore around the whole toy. They’ll always find a new feature and something new to do.”
This is a great gift for when parents are introducing their baby to solid foods. Because regular bibs are primarily made of fabric, that means a whole lot of laundry needs done while baby’s learning to eat. Being able to just wipe these bibs clean is a tremendous time-saver, and the cupped bottom will allow food sliding down and stray crumbs to be caught.
• Stackable cups. Along with helping baby practice hand-eye coordination, these developmental toys can be used to teach baby about object permanence, the concept that items continue to exist even when you can’t see them. You can hide smaller items under the cups (just watch out for anything that might be a choking hazard) and then make a game of lifting the cups up for the reveal.
This cute, fun learning toy is good to go—literally. The handle on Alphie's head makes him the perfect pal for your kid on car trips or dinners out. The cards, which will help in sounding out letters, shape sorting, cause and effect and vocabulary, fit in Alphie's little backpack. You can tell your kid Alphie's kind of like the computer you use — only Alphie is way cooler! ($200; amazon.com)
They’re totally obsessed with PJ Masks on Disney Jr so you know they’re going to love one of the best-selling in the PJ Masks family right now!  This really fun play set comes with 1 Catboy play figure (and Cat-Car mobile), 3 levels of play, a zip line, a surprise ceiling trap, working elevators, a pop-out exit hatch, and so much more.  They’ll be ready to fight crime and look cute doing it all at the same time!
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.
If you remember the Christmas craze last year for the cute little Fingerlings Monkeys, well Wowwee upped their game and literally just released their new line of Fingerlings called “Untamed Raptors.”  These dinosaur toys are cute and ferocious all at the same time.  They’ll interact with your kid, wrap around their little finger, learn to talk and roar in dino babble and, based on how they’re taken care of will depend what kind of dino personality you get!  This is, for sure, to be one of the hot toy request for Christmas 2018.  Grab them while you can at a normal price.
Why we love it: Freddie's bright colours and different sounds and textures mean he's a bit of a baby magnet: so much to see, feel, hear and chew! Our tester's mum was really taken with the toy's quality and how much it stimulated and held her baby Andy's attention. A couple of months later, she's still impressed with it.  'It's a lovely toy,' she says, 'and it washes great – it's been washed a billion times!'
Kids LEGO and building blocks toys are always a hit no matter what the occasion, but it’s important to make sure they are age-appropriate. The Lego Duplo All-in-One-Box-of-Fun Set has colorful blocks perfectly sized for little fingers making it one of our favorite baby Christmas gifts. Babies will love playing with the included child figure and dog as they make them interact with the included wagon and house. Bonus: This set even comes with a convenient storage case! ($30; amazon.com)
Featuring a highly detailed aerodynamic body, the Batman Knight Missions Air Power Cannon Attack Batmobile is any Batman fan’s dream vehicle. What’s cool? This new Batman vehicle is fully equipped with two air-powered weapons with pump-and-launch technology. The weapons are also detachable and can be held by the action figures or positioned on various ports on the Batmobile. It also fits your 6-inch action figures to bring the action to life.
“Infants are really learning about their place in the world, so the best toys give them some sense of feedback,” said Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of “How Toddlers Thrive,” citing the classic baby rattle. “'I hit this and it moves’ is the beginning of having a sense of their place in the world.”
A big surprise is going to shake up the L.O.L. world later this fall. Trust us, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This package is the ultimate dream collection for L.O.L. Surprise! fans featuring over 60 exclusive dolls and accessories! The best part? Fans will see a mix of L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls, Pets, and even Lil Sisters. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for any L.O.L. Surprise! lover. Get it before it’s all gone … this one’s going to be HUGE!
Why experts love it: "There's more than one way to play with nesting bowls—make them fit together, stack them, knock them down, use them to pour," says Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, a developmental psychologist at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and co-author of A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool. "They can be taken apart and put back together, which builds imagination."

The Labo Robot Kit allows kids to get creative and make their very own Toy-Con robot suit. What’s cool? After building it, you can wear it and play as the robot in the game. You can demolish anything in your path and tackle various challenges to gain new abilities. Creators can explore new ways to play with their robot and even create their own projects.

Choo! Choo! Gear up for fun adventures with Mickey in Go! Go! Smart Wheels Mickey Choo-Choo. Pass over 5 Smart Point locations on the track to activate over 40 fun phrases, songs, and sounds. Press Mickey to hear fun phrases. Kids will love revealing the fun peek-a-boo scene. The coolest part? Kids can combine this set with other Go! Go! Smart Wheels sets to expand the fun.
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.
We predict a slew of Mickey-inspired dance parties with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hot Diggity Dance & Play Mickey. This plush Disney doll is dressed in a funky light-up T-shirt and impresses people of all ages wtith his dynamic dance moves! Whether he's bopping along to the hot dog song or playing freeze dance, Dancing Mickey is a rockin' delight. ($40; amazon.com)
These multi-textured balls are designed to acclimate your baby to different textures and stimulate her sensory skills. They’re made of a BPA material so you needn’t worry when they pop them in their mouths, and they’re large enough you won’t need to worry about chocking hazards, either. The different sizes, shapes, and textures also promote baby’s tactile development.
Big changes start to happen in baby's second month of life—especially when it comes to arm and hand movements. “Babies have a reflex that encourages them to look at their own outstretched hand as they wave and jerk it around like a tiny orchestra conductor," Coley says. As you continue practicing tummy time, baby will begin to hold his head up for very brief periods of bobbing and turning.

Start your engines, collect your coins, and prepare for fun! The game board looks like Monopoly but is inspired by worlds straight out of the Mario Kart videogames. Each character has its own strategic abilities. Just like in the game, you can lay a banana to stop rivals in their tracks. Everytime you pass go, you’ll have an opportunity to race in the Grand Prix. The game includes a game board, 4 character kart tokens, 32 cards, banana tokens, 90 coins and 2 dice. The game is designed for 2-4 players. It’s the perfect gift for any Nintendo or Mario Kart fan!
Tegu Magnetic Blocks – Tegu blocks are one of a kind. They are magnetic blocks, which make building more fun! They feel amazing and kids of all ages will love playing with these. They are a bit pricey, but they are unique and will last a long time! Also, make sure to watch for them to go on sale. I got ours a week ago when they were 40% off. I love that when you buy their blocks, they plant 2 trees in Honduras!
The Nintendo Switch is the ultimate hybrid console in the world of gaming that totally lives up to the hype! It truly is a beautiful piece of hardware. Play all your favorite Nintendo games at home or on the go. There’s amazing content for every gamer and for all ages and its library continues to expand. Plus, eventually you’ll be able to play classics! The Switch literally switches up conventions and lets you play anywhere. The Switch is in extremely high demand with stores unable to keep shelves stocked since launch day. With Nintendo ramping up production for the holidays, this should make it a tad easier to get your hands on what is expected to be the hottest gift this holiday season. Consider yourself lucky if you can score one!
These app-enabled droids are perfect for the Star Wars enthusiast. Welcome to the Dark Side with BB-9E App-Enabled Droid from Sphero! The droids look spectacular with incredible detailing to make them look life-like. He’s probably not as friendly as BB-8, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have fun playing with it and taking it on your own adventures. Download the app to bring BB-9E to life. Use it to control him, draw paths to follow, and even interact with a cool augmented reality function that allows you to view different ships from the perspective of BB-9E. You can even watch the Star Wars films with BB-9E.
A floor mirror is a perfect tool to help babies become aware of not only themselves but of a human face in general. Mirrors are a great way to let them explore the world around them and see their own features which will help them grow cognitively. This mirror features several fun things to appease their senses, such as textured leaves and various cute insects that will encourage their sense of touch.

Dollhouses promote imaginative play, object recognition, problem solving and social development through role play. And we found the perfect first dollhouse for toddlers. The Fisher-Price Little People House is an interactive toy with over 50 different phrases, songs and sounds. This set comes complete with Emma, Mom, and Dad Little People figures, as well as a table and two chairs. All appliances and living room, bedroom and bathroom furniture are built into the dollhouse so parents needn’t worry about losing pieces.
Barbie Made To Move dolls are the ultimate posable Barbie dolls. They are designed to move and pose just like in the real world. The range of motion is really impressive compared to past dolls. That means Barbie can do just about anything from riding a pony to doing yoga and more. The possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination. So what are you waiting for … let’s get movin’!
Baby can mouth the cups, bang the cups on the floor or table, bang two cups together, put them on her head, cover her eyes with cups to play peek-a-boo, nest them together, stack them, roll them, pretend to drink from them, hide toys under them, put toys in them, shout into them and more. With the drum, baby bangs the drum and it says a letter. Baby bangs with two hands and it says a letter. Baby pushes his face into the top of the drum in an attempt to bite it - it says a letter. Baby bangs hard - it says a letter. Baby bangs soft - it says a letter. Baby bangs it with a toy hammer - it says a letter. I think you get the point that this toy isn't very responsive to baby's discovery and exploration. Baby can't put anything in it or under it, stack it on top of anything else, roll it, or take it apart. This toy is made for one thing only - banging - and it is effectively a giant button. 

Most times when you’re buying a gift for baby, you’re actually buying a gift for the new mom and dad that will be pleased and baby will like (or at least benefit from). And that makes gift giving a bit more tricky. Even if you don’t get something from our list, though, do the parent a favor and adhere to the recommended age of any toy you get, especially if that parent is you. Storing a gift for years is no fun.
We all have had the experience of buying a toy that our child plays with for two days and never touches again. You can guard against that by looking for toys that can be fun at different developmental stages. For example, small plastic animals are fun for a young toddler who may make a shoebox house for them, while an older toddler can use them to act out a story she makes up.
Toddlers are constantly learning and growing, which is why educational toys are so popular for this age group. Learning toys are the perfect way for parents to keep their little ones entertained while teaching them new skills like walking, counting, and writing. It’s definitely a win-win when playtime is educational, and that’s why learning toys for toddlers are a great gift.

With its blue very huggable body, the Octoplush is something that your newborn baby will surely love. The plush octopus is made of high quality satin patches that have been colorfully stitched on the octopus’ velour legs. The Octoplush plays soft children’s melodies in English, French, or Spanish. And while the manufacturer recommends the toy to children at least 3 months old, this can be used for younger babies as well.
A floor mirror is a perfect tool to help babies become aware of not only themselves but of a human face in general. Mirrors are a great way to let them explore the world around them and see their own features which will help them grow cognitively. This mirror features several fun things to appease their senses, such as textured leaves and various cute insects that will encourage their sense of touch.
Celebrating 50 years of Hot Wheels fun, Mattel will launch The Hot Wheels Original Sweet 16 – based on the original 16 toy cars in the line. While the Hot Wheels line has sold more than 6 billion toy cars and garnered the title of #1 Selling Toy in the World, each car still costs $1. Still an unbeatable value! Build your Hot Wheels collection with this awesome 50-pack set.
Seriously how cute is Ricky the trick loving pup!?  He’s new from FurReal and totally interactive.  In fact, not only does he respond with over 100 sounds and motions, but he actually performs the cutest little tricks ever like flipping his bone, ‘shaking paws’ with you, barking a catchy little tune, and so much more!  Did we mention he’s affectionate too?  The kiddos can help ‘train’ him and reward him with treats.  When they do that, Ricky the pup will eat them and, well, when they pet his back he’ll poop them out.  This one comes with 18 dog treats, a treat pouch, and a fun little bone toy too!  We love him!
Got a little one who loves helping you cook? This set makes one of the best Christmas gifts for budding chefs. Their imaginations will thrive as they bake, decorate, count and sort these cookies in preparation for the block's next fun tea party. All cookies fit into a handy, dandy tube, so you can throw them in your purse for an easy on-the-go toy. ($10; macys.com)
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.
When baby has dead, scaly, or dry skin, it can really irritate him without him really knowing how to express it. This soft loofah-like brush will help exfoliate all that new skin peeling and help fight the dry skin of winter. But our favorite use for this brush is definitely the help it can give to getting rid of cradle cap – which can otherwise last for months!
Oh boy!  Just what they need…another way to escape!  This drivable Dream Camper can fit two kids, hits a max speed of 5 mph (on both hard surfaces and grass!), has Barbie providing GPS directions, 3 pre-recorded songs, and has a play kitchen in the back of the camper that unfolds to a pretend grill and campfire for the ultimate getaway experience. For real, this one is super cute and they’ll have a blast!
Is your child asking for a pet? Little Wrapples are wearable plush figures that kids wear around thier wrists like a slap bracelet. With light up eyes, it makes over 40 different sounds including purring, giggling, and singing. Not only can they talk to you, they can talk to other Wrapples if your friend has one. Turn them upside down and they go to sleep. They come in 4 different varieties.
Perfect for the aspiring chef, this Play-Doh Kitchen Creations set allows toddlers and young kids to knead, chop, and shape their way to the perfect meal. (Note: These foods are just pretend; they’re not supposed to be eaten.) The best part about this Play-Doh set is when your chef is done making their creations, there are no dirty dishes for you to clean up. ($25; toysrus.com)
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