“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.

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.

First impressions for Mia’s Camper Van set are that it is really colorful and pretty sizable. The stickers give it some nice extra detailing. The set also includes a raft seating two mini dolls. There’s even a sleeper section with two beds for your mini dolls after a long day of adventuring. There’s plenty of detailing inside with a stove, sink, fridge, and more. It’s definitely a nice place to be and there’s plenty of play space for imaginative story-telling.


One of the author and illustrator Eric Carle's favorite characters, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, takes on the role of a lifetime: The World of Eric Carle Very Hungry Caterpillar Wood Pull Toy. Babies and toddlers will love wandering around their room or playroom with one of their favorite children’s books characters following close behind. Baby girl and baby boy Christmas gifts, such as this classic wood pull toy, are enjoyed now, handed down later and treasured for years to come. ($16; amazon.com)
There’s no other way to say it… kids will have a ball with this toy. Much more than just a traditional ball, this is one rolling, electronic source of fun and learning. The battery-powered ball (three AA batteries are included) wobbles, wiggles and rolls itself about after receiving a slight push, which encourages kids to get moving and crawl or toddle after it.
The SNES Classic was long rumored after the discontinuation of the NES Classic Edition. It’s official the SNES Classic Edition will feature 21 built-in games including the previously unreleased Star Fox 2. The console will feature two SNES controllers. The stellar lineup includes favorites like Super Mario World, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Super Punch-Out!!, F-Zero, Donkey Kong Country, Star Fox, Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Mario Kart, Contra III and more! Now this is classic gaming heaven!
Hatchimals CollEGGtibles are one of the hottest toys this year. Now kids can bring the fun of CollEGGtibles to their favorite holiday season with Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Advent Calendar. This Advent Calendar features 24 surprises to hatch and over 50 surprises to discover. Each day leading up to Christmas, pop open a door to reveal paper craft decorations, small presents, stickers and accessories for your Hatchimals. What’s cool? Kids can build their own little winter wonderland scene with this set and play out endless creative adventures in Hatchtopia.
"When your toddler cooks dinner for his furry friend or gives him a bath, he is practicing adult roles in a way that helps him make sense of the world," says Amy Flynn, director of the Bank Street Family Center, in New York City. Preschoolers get even more dramatic by giving their dolls and stuffed animals human qualities as they act out conflicts and frustrations. You may walk in on your 3-year-old as she's angrily telling her stuffed animal, "You're going in to time-out!" (You won't be the only mom who feels slightly horrified, wondering if that's how you sound to your child!) Next, you may see reenactments of events, but with an outcome that suits your child better -- for example, letting all her dolls have cookies before dinner.

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!
At a loss for what to buy or overwhelmed with too many choices? Consider buying a subscription to a toy rental service, like Sparkbox Toys that will deliver educational toys to your home, based on your child's age level and interests. Love the toy, pay a portion of the retail price and keep it. Or return all the toys in the box with pre-paid postage and receive a new box of toys the following month.
When playing with stacking cups with your baby, you'll use positional words like on, in, under and on top. You can talk about big and small, colors, how many cups you have, and more.  A caregiver could certainly interact with baby while using the drum but there isn't so much to talk about.  And if you assume that the alphabet is a language-promoting sound - keep in mind that the toys won't ask baby questions, make observations of what baby is doing or respond if baby happens to imitate a letter sound. Battery operated toys may speak words or letters but they lack the valuable language-enriching "circles of communication" that interactions with caregivers offer
“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.”
Dr. Golinkoff likes this cleaning set because it not only promotes being active, it also encourages them to be helpful. “Kids always want to be like big people. So if they see you using something, they’re going to want to do it, too,” she says. And if they can play with another kid, even better: “[This and the other toys below] require children to be active and can spur the development of the imagination as well as increase social interaction when used with another child.”
Building blocks are popular toddler toys that provide an early lesson in the laws of physics. Your kids can learn about gravity, cause and effect, and the importance of a stable foundation without even realizing it. Blocks are a smart buy for young ones since kids typically maintain interest even as they get older. Start with a set of wooden blocks or big plastic ones that interlock. Both are a good size for toddlers who are still mastering fine motor skills.
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.”
When it comes to holiday gifts for the toddler crowd, Christmas toys that feature Elmo are sure-fire winners. Kids can recreate their favorite Sesame Street faces out of (organic) dough! Use the tools (made of 100 percent recycled plastic) to stamp out the shapes, then accessorize with the pop-out features and have fun with the double-sided activity card.
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Mattel’s new partnership with Crayola brings the inspiring creativity of Crayola to the wonderful world of Barbie. Now Barbie fans can design their very own fashionable skirts for Barbie with this design studio. Everything from washable Crayola Gel markers to washi tape and stickers are included for your fashion designer. A Barbie doll, skirts, hangers, pom poms, and more are also included in the set. Fans can look forward to this exciting set launching this spring.
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!
There more than likely isn’t a more adorable teether than Sophie the Giraffe. Composed of natural rubber and colored with natural dyes, this giraffe is perfectly safe to go into your child’s mouth. She is designed with two teething rings, each with a different texture. The ring near Sophie's head is designed with raised bumps, while the ring near her feet is designed with ridges. This teether arrives in an adorable gift box which makes it the perfect baby shower gift.
Recreate the Gyrosphere experience with this Jurassic World Gyrosphere RC from Mattel. Inside you can fit your 3.75-inch Jurassic World figures. It comes with a non-articulated Owen figure. It features a power switch to toggle it on or off, and it automatically powers down if it’s inactive. There are two buttons on the controller. The bottom one controls the motion, while the top one is for direction. You can imagine what this does to cats.
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.
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.
It’s time to break out those musical toys and instruments! With nine instruments including a busy-bee maraca, caterpillar tambourine and jingle bells, the B. Toys Parum Pum Pum drum will turn your bundle of joy into a onesie-wearing itty-bitty band. Watch as baby enjoys music while fine-tuning their social and large motor skills. Parents love that the drum doubles as a storage bin! Warm up those voices, adults, because with this baby Christmas gift, you’ll be doing a raucous rendition of “Jingle Bells” in no time! ($22; target.com)
This wonderful play mat lights up and play music, plus the hanging toys make noises also when touched. With over 10 toys and activities to keep baby busy, this toy is really hard to beat, especially because it has three different play modes. As baby grows, the positions of play change and so the Newborn-to-Toddler Play Gym allows these changes within the same toy. Fantastic as a sensory-development toy because of the different textures and shapes that baby can handle.
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)
SpinMaster has created the most realistic doll ever with Luvabella. She loves being tickled – tickle her feet or tummy. She’s a really happy baby and loves playing games like Peek-a-boo. She is extremely life-like with blinking eyes and an animated mouth, head, and arms. Her life-like expressions make her come to life. What makes her so special is that she features hundreds of responses. You can even hear her little heartbeat if you put your head to her chest. The cool part? The more you play with her, the more she learns. Bring home this loveable bundle of joy!
Bright Starts Hide 'n Spin Monkey: This fun game is for the most curious-minded babies. A playful monkey is home to a number of brightly colored balls that baby or mom can pick up, drop in, and watch spin round and round. By pressing the bright lights on the monkey’s belly, baby will hear the names of colors, and activate silly monkey sounds, melodies, and lights. It’s great for sitting or standing play, and is one of Bright Starts' bestsellers.

LEGO Boost is a top contender for Toy of the Year honors thanks to its brilliant innovation and design. Build five different models from a robot to a working guitar and a cat. Lego Boost allows kids to bring their Legos to life with simple programming – adding personality, sound, and even motion. The set includes over 840 pieces. And the best part is you can combine with your own pieces to create your own designs.


If your child is itching to pick up a new instrument, but you're not sure if you have the time or cash to shell out for lessons, bring home this quality keyboard. It functions just like a regular piano keyboard, but it also features the ability to teach your child new music by connecting to an app. The keys will light up and show your kid how to play songs. It's entertaining and will leave your kid with music skill to last a lifetime.  If the skill really takes off, bring home this 88-key piano keyboard that teaches music in the same way.
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.
By the time your child is 3, she'll enter the next phase of block play: "stack and row." Now she can stack the blocks vertically or lay them down and configure them horizontally. She's not building with a specific purpose yet, but she is beginning to try her hand at patterns. The first patterns are usually identical blocks placed on the floor one after another until she adds a twist, such as putting a square after a rectangle, and another square after the next rectangle, and so on. "Math is the study of patterns," says MacDonald, "and encouraging block-patterning lays the foundation for math skills." Here's where fractions come into play. When she puts down two blocks side by side, she can see that, together, they form the same size and shape as one larger block.
The design makes it very attractive to the child because it is in the shape of objects that he or she already associates with things that bring pleasure or relief--baby bottles and fruits!  This naturalistic effect cements positive correlation and a causal relationship with the product.  It is made with 100 percent medical-grade silicone and comes in varying textures, so the child can find just the right pressure for relief. 

Every Barbie world needs a medic. Featuring a working siren, the Barbie Care Clinic Vehicle races to the rescue in emergency situations. What’s cool? Not only is it an ambulance, but also it transforms to reveal a care clinic! Check in patients at the check-in stand and have them wait for their appointment in the waiting room with a fish tank. Interacting with the fish tank reveals a gift shop for get-well gifts, such as a teddy or heart balloon. The exam room is perfect for medical emergencies or check-ups. Here you can even reveal two x-rays. Accessories include a medical bag, stethoscope, arm cast, leg cast, blood pressure machine, and more to enhance your play experience.
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.”
We always love a ‘toy’ where the kids can actually learn.  Go figure!?  This is one of the latest must-haves of the season and will come with 5 award winning games that allow your kids to transform their iPad into a hands-on learning tool.  It helps with things like math, spelling, and more!  It’s perfect for children between the ages of 5 and 12, but the only thing we don’t love about it is that it’s only compatible with the iPad.  So if you have another brand’s tablet, it’ll be a no-go.

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.

Most kids really love to travel with their parents. It’s not only a great experience, but it can be also very educational for them. Therefor if you are looking for a gift for your babies or your grandchildren you can organize or buy a trip! Put under the Christmas tree some plane tickets or train tickets – for kids it will be even more fun than traveling by car!
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