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.
This plush fish is one of our favorite toys for babies! It’s designed to intrigue your little one while helping them develop motor skills and more. The washable fabric toy is made of different fabrics and hidden features like mirrors and crinkling components to keep baby’s interest. Recommended for babies 1 month old to toddlers up to 3 years old. ($17; macys.com)
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.
“I love puppets. They’re a personification of this really cool-looking thing that seems to talk and engage with them. How fun is that?” Dr. Golinkoff says. “It’s great because it’s another persona that speaks and allows them to engage.” Here’s a set of animals and family members to elevate the bedtime story — and further develop your child’s language-acquisition skills and imagination.
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"It's a myth that babies can't play, even if they don't seem to be 'doing much' yet—they’re still taking everything in,” says Amanda Gummer, a research psychologist specializing in child development and spokesperson for the Genius of Play, a movement to raise awareness about the importance of play in kids’ lives. “Playing is a great way for parents and caregivers to build that vital bond with their baby, while sensory stimulations helps baby's brain grow.”
For more casual, in-the-moment drawing, try these twisty crayons, whose shape makes it easier for kids to grip them. “Drawing starts teaching things like symbolic activity, even with scribbles,” Dr. Golinkoff says. “You might think that what comes out is mush, but they’re starting to have intent, and they have enough control to put dashes on the paper. Imagine how cool it is to be a 2-year-old and actually put something on a piece of paper and see art emerge on the other end.”
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.
Your newborn might look super-relaxed in his swing or bouncer, but it’s important to work in opportunities for movement throughout his day. "While it's easy to assume that our squishy newborns just need a cozy spot to lounge and watch the world go by, what they really need is time and space to wiggle, stretch and strengthen their bodies in order to master those mini-milestones of early development," Coley says.
Take even a cursory glance at the regularly updated reports from the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission and you'll see toy recalls occurring at least on a monthly basis, and sometimes weekly. The CSPC notes for example a building playlet that posed a choking hazard despite being designed by a manufacturer reputed for safe toys. The agency tracked baby costumes recalled due to strangulation hazards. And they alerted consumers of a child's toy recalled due to the risk of it catching fire. All of these recalls occurred in a three month period -- as did dozens more.
Kids will be amazed at how cool science can be with this fun science kit from Scientific Explorer. Your little chemist will learn the differences between acids and bases, as s/he conducts 11 different mind-blowing science activities. With help of a parent, s/he will mix chemicals to create everything from a fizzing volcano to jiggly crystals. Are you ready to be blown away with science?
“Instruments are great because kids can do anything with them and collaborate with others,” says Dr. Golinkoff. “With maracas you can get up and walk around with them and play with mom and with friends. They’ve got to start learning how to collaborate with others, how to share, how to have impulse control — these predict a lot of what’s gonna happen as they approach school. Forming relationships is the basis of everything.”
One of the most popular teething toys in our list is the Baby Teether Toys by Ike & Leo. This set of 4 teethers and pacifiers is what you will need for your baby as he or she can still use it until he or she reaches toddlerhood. It comes with a pacifier clip so you won’t have to worry about the teething toys getting lost. All toys are made of silicone which has been rated and approved by the FDA as 100 percent food grade. It is also free of any harmful chemicals like phthalates, PVC, and BPA.
Toilet humor and gross-out fun were huge trends at this year’s Toy Fair. Eww … is the first thing kids will say when they see Spin Master’s wild, wacky, and fun Dr. Pimple Popper Pimple Pete game. It’s all about carefully extracting those pimples without activating the mega zit. If you’re not careful, you’ll activate the mega zit and lose the game. This bears a striking resemblance to Operation and will put your pimple popping skills to the test.
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.
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.
It’s all about the interactive toys this year. Introducing ‘Lil Gleemerz!’ There are currently three different ones to choose from and they have over 100 different reactions and interactions like purring, growling, farting (of course), light shows, light up tail, and so much more. Oh, and did we mention they can say funny things, their eyes glow, and you can simply press their nose to enjoy them three different ways (game mode, light party, or hangout). They’ve already been named one of the top toys of the year, so get ’em while you can! See all the different color options here!
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!
Who doesn’t love Mickey? Kids will love as Mickey performs his signature Hot Dog Dance as featured in the show. He dances, spins, and wiggles like no other mouse. Who knew Mickey had moves like that?! Kids will love dancing along with Mickey. In addition to dancing and entertaining kids, Mickey also plays Freeze Dance and What’s That Sound? game. Who’s ready for some fun with Mickey?
This is one of the newest (and best-selling) games so far in 2018. In fact, it’s one of Kickstarter’s 50 most backed projects of all time. Pretty impressive. This super fun/crazy unicorn-based game is for the older kids. They say 14+, but plenty of parents who’ve reviewed and played feel like 10-12+ was perfectly fine. Either way, the goal is to build your own unicorn army (mainly by betraying your friends). Be the first to to build the army of 7 unicorns and win this strategic card game!
Even at the most infantile age, babies need to hear sounds and music to use and strengthen their hearing skills. The toys listed here that do make sounds or music, do so in a very gentle way that will not frighten or alarm the baby. They are introductory noises and music that soothes the baby into sleep or nap time easily. Not all toys must make sounds, but those that do must encourage the baby to listen and be something that it enjoys hearing. All of these toys do that very nicely.
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?
This adorable pay mat and ball pit is unbelievably packed with activities for your little one to enjoy for hours. Used as a play mat for play or sleeping, the hanging toys can be used separately or linked together. This will develop baby’s motor and cognitive skills. Then as a ball pit with the mesh siding up, baby can play with the plastic balls and put them through the side holes or the turtles head. A true activity set with so much to do! The arch can be removed as baby grows older and just wants to play with the ball pit.
Inspired by the Disney Junior TV show, Fancy Nancy Ultimate Dress Up Trunk delivers the Fancy Nancy fans know and love. This 13-piece complete dress-up set is perfect for fans of the show. It has everything from dresses to tiaras to accessories and more. They will love recreating their favorite moments from the show or coming up with their own original ideas.
Ever dreamt of playing Rocket League in real life? Now you can. Featuring an immaculately detailed Rocket League Arena, this Hot Wheels set allows players to wrestle with each other to knock the soccer ball through their opponent’s goal. The set features app-controlled vehicles and comes with a car charging station. Each car lasts about 15 minutes on a charge. What’s amazing? Mattel has somehow managed to capture the wacky, addictive fun of the video game.
The Baby Einstein Discover & Play Piano: This soft piano responds easily to baby’s touch. It has three modes: Instrument, Numbers, and Animals. In Numbers Mode, baby can hear numbers in English, Spanish, and French. There are over 20 classical melodies and fun sounds, and a bright, light-up display. There is a built-in volume control too, so you can listen to baby play and still maintain your sanity.
This 150-piece set offers young builders ages 4 and older an easy build. For younger kids this is most likely going to be the big hit for many fans, as it is an incredibly detailed Juniors set based on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom for larger than life fun. Who said only big kids can have all the fun? Kids will enjoy bringing their imaginations and stories to life with this amazing new set slated for release this April. Recreating the T-Rex breakout scene will be really exciting for fans. The set includes nice set pieces based on the Jurassic World universe, a large raptor, vehicle, 3 minifigures, baby dino, and more accessories.
Water play adds another splash of science. As John Cerio, PhD, a professor of school psychology at Alfred University, in Alfred, New York, points out, kids are capable of learning a difficult concept on a very basic level. If you pour water from one container into a different-shaped container, you still have the same amount of water. Without hands-on play, most kids would tell you that the taller container must hold more.
It’s best not to underestimate your baby’s strength, even at just a few months old. Early teethers may have fragile gums, but they can still gnaw through weak, poorly made toys. We want to assure you that we’ve chosen teethers with proven durability, thanks to innovative construction methods and durable materials. Solid constructions can come from numerous processes, such as individual knotting for beads, one-piece construction for loops and beads, or the usage of premium-grade silicone.
Toddlers are naturally curious, which is why it's smart to get them educational toys that challenge their minds and encourage them to use their imaginations. These developmental toys for toddler boys are designed to stimulate their intellect and challenge them to develop new skills. This is a crucial stage for kids, so it's important to pick out toys that provide meaningful results rather than simply distracting them with trendy characters, flashing lights or loud noises. When you look at the product details for any of the toys for toddlers in this collection, you'll see helpful information about how these games, puzzles, books and more can provide a unique learning experience for your child.
Some research suggests simply some TLC as a form of relief to trade off extensive use of teethers. Simply holding your child, speaking to them, rocking them when fussy, or the gentle pressure of your finger in their mouth and on their gums can be more than enough in conjunction with the teething toys. By far it will make this first transition much simpler and smoother.
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)
One of the simplest and most reliable steps a parent (or other caregiver) can take in evaluating a potential toy's safety is to look for the ASTM seal of approval. The American Society for Testing and Materials is in fact an international organization that evaluates products based on rigorous safety standards; their approval of a product says much about its quality and reliability.
It’s hard to imagine anything better than a cold winter’s night snuggled up with a sweet babe in a soft baby blanket. This adorable Sock Monkey Blanket ranks at the top of our list of baby Christmas gift ideas because it’s sure to have baby settling into your arms for a long winter’s nap in no time. As a gift giver, you can also feel good about the fact that this super-soft blanket is made of 75 percent recycled cotton, which means you’re also helping to save the planet. We call that a win-win! ($44; uncommongoods.com)