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.
Ever wish you could ride a Jurassic World raptor? Featuring a cool Velociraptor Blue design inspired by the movie, kids ages 3-7 can race and roar into action with this exciting Power Wheels Jurassic World Dino Racer. Supporting riders up to 65 pounds, it is designed for both on road or off-road terrain so you can recreate the action from the film. It features cool movie-accurate details and sculpting, including sharp-looking teeth. It cruises at thrilling speeds up to 6 miles per hour and includes a 12-volt battery and charger.
But, did you know that the most important role milk teeth have to play in your baby’s development is that they serve in the development of his or her speech as well as help improve his or her smile? We, as adults, are often so conscious about the appearance of our teeth. Among children, this can have a significant impact as well. Moreover, their nutrition may be affected if they don’t have their milk teeth as they will have problems chewing and grinding some of their food.
The LEGO Technic Racing Yacht is an impressive 2-in-1 set that many fans have been looking forward to for a while. It features a bright color scheme and looks very interesting indeed. It has a rather interesting pivoting action steering wheel. What’s cool? You can even steer the steering wheel and it all feel very smooth. The two winches actually are functional. Overall, the lines, colors, and mechanisms all look and feel great. There’s a great amount of detail, given that the set only uses 330 pieces in the build.
This classic board book — it was published in 1982 — has lift-the-flap options on every page, but it shows easy-to-digest animal images that kids can recognize. “One of the things we know about 1-year-olds is that they really thrive on interacting with adults, so books that encourage that interaction and allow parents to give in to that moment beyond just reading the page are the best,” says Lytle. “Books that involve sounds the parent can make and children can imitate, or a book that has windows you can open and talk about or anything else to that effect are best.”
The Ultimate Battle ship is a fun and exciting set to build and features openings in both the front and rear. It is really nicely designed and perfect for inspiring kids’ imaginations. Kids will love recreating their favorite scenes from Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. It’s also an excellent set to display for your friends and it comes with several cool minifigures, including Thanos, Iron Man, Star-Lord, and Gamora. A total of three minifigures along with weapons, the Infinity Gauntlet, and ten Power Burst elements are included.
This portable toy fun house is full of little puzzles for baby to figure out – so many that it will grow with him well into Pre-K age. The blocks and animals fitting into the proper cut out is the first step for baby, and pulling them back out through the plastic hole will be a fun level of exploration for him as well. The keyboard will keep him engaged with the toy by familiarizing him with music and an instrument. As he ages, there are also math problem blocks located on one side to help with his addition.

Get ready for some serious laughs! The Pie Face Cannon game ups the ante on this wild and wacky game. Two players compete against each other. One player has the cannon full of whipped cream while the other has a pair of buttons. This is war! The catch? Now kids can block the pie attack. When you press the buttons at the right time, it will activate a large red hand in front of your face. It’s a fun twist on the popular game that people will love sharing on social.


You know how I love the idea of this kind of gift. Instead of getting a gift for your newborn who is happy to stare at jingling keys, why not get them something that will save kids in other countries? Some people may not like the “no gift to open” factor on this one, but some may love the gesture this brings. (For more gifts along this line, check out my Baby Gifts That Give Back post.)
The other toy, Baby’s First Blocks, is all about sorting, matching and stacking. The top of the box has holes cut in various shapes (square, circle, star, etc.) and there are blocks that match each shape. Kids have to try to find a match to fit them in. Once they’re all in, they can dump them out and start over again. Both toys are great for learning new skills and developing hand-eye coordination, plus they’re just fun.
Proceed with caution. Most products that make these claims have not been proven to increase children’s intelligence. In fact, safe household items (plastic bowls for filling and dumping, pillows for climbing and piling up to make a cave, old clothing for dress-up) are often the best learning tools. Remember, the more your child has to use her mind and body to problem solve and develop her own ideas, the more she learns.
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.
Get ready for fierce at your fingertips with UNTAMED T-Rex Iron Jaw. They’re the distant cousins of the Fingerlings. They’re interactive and respond to sound, motion, and touch like the original Fingerlings. Over 40 sounds help bring them to life. They also roar, chomp their jaws, and let out a little gas. Kids will love recreating their own exciting prehistoric adventures. Collect all your favorites.
Who wouldn’t want to train to be a superhero? In this preschool game, players take turns flipping over 3 cards. It’s a game that encourages physical activity in a fun way. All of the cards have different superhero actions printed on them. Kids have to pick one of the actions to perform, but watch out for the Green Goblin. The best part? The game comes with props to bring all of your favorite Marvel superheroes to life. Kids will use Spider Man’s web, Captain America’s Shield, Thor’s hammer, and more.

Start your engines for intense action, thrills, and excitement. This awesome Track Builder Stunt Box features more than 35 pieces that allow for endless creativity in building. Your creations are only limited by your imagination. After tinkering and experimenting with different designs, kids will have a blast racing their Hot Wheels on their own tracks.
Fortnite has become the biggest phenomenon in gaming. Show your fandom by picking up your favorite Fornite character as a POP figure. Due to the immense popularity of the game, Fortnite POPs are expected to be the most popular gaming POPs this year. Choose from the Black Knight to Omega to Merry Marauder and more! It’s the perfect gift for Fornite fans who can’t get enough of the game.
This has all the hallmarks of a great education and socialization toy, along with its practicality!  The key ring not only keeps all of the teethers in one place and graspable, the fact that they are aligned on a ring aids in developing functions in counting, causal relationship, and the subtle manipulation of objects through the selection of one teething key over another.  In addition, the varying colors of the keys provide visual stimulation, adding to the soothing quality of relief from sore gums. 

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.
If you want a baby rattle that can double as a soft cuddly stuffed toy, then you should get the Winky Lamb Baby Rattle for your newborn baby. The white lamb is made of high quality blend of polyester and other fabric materials to give it a more comfortable feel. The toy’s body also contains rattle beads for additional sensory stimulation. It is also machine-washable.
Realistically, babies are happy playing with household items like wooden spoons and plastic food containers, so you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed to break the bank on toys. The best toys for babies have colorful contrast for developing eyes and and engaging textures for little hands. And because babies do tend to explore the world by placing new items in their mouths, all toys should be safe to chew on. We suggest registering for at least a few fun and bright toys that will come in handy to distract a fussy baby or make tummy time more enjoyable. Whether you are looking for simple hand held toys for play time or soothing amusement for bedtime, we have a variety of great picks for you to choose from.
Toy shopping can be similar. The makers of baby products can slap an "educational" or "developmental" label on their toys without oversight and certainly without any research or evidence to support their claims. And you may be surprised to find that many of the most popular toys on the market aren't the most beneficial for development. Luckily, most baby toys aren't harmful, per se, but there are certainly some that are more developmentally helpful for our kiddos than others.
There’s a reason this book is so popular. It’s a great “wind down for sleep” book, and its variation from color to black and white pages reminds us that when babies are very small their eyesight can only pick up a few colors. The black and white pages may stand out better for babies, and reading the book in a low, almost-whisper will have baby thinking about bedtime enough that you might just read her right into a gentle sleep.

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
What's better than a virtual world designed for kids to grow intellectually? This tablet will adapt to your kid's learning level by adjusting the skill level for the different games and activities offered in the form of apps! New challenges will appear as your little brainiac hits mental milestones. Plus, we love the shatterproof screen for slippery fingers and tantrum throwers.
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.

Want a fun new way to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? The upcoming Labo Vehicle Kit will allow kids to build their own Toy-Con Car steering wheel and control their kart of choice in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The included pedal can be used for drifting and revving up your engine at the beginning of races to get a boost start. Honking the horn will allow players to throw an item. If that wasn’t enough fun, you can also build a Toy-Con submarine and plane.

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?


Snap Circuits Bric: Structures is a culmination of what kids have been asking for for a long time. It takes ordinary bricks and you can mount your Snap Circuits onto them. The Bric-2-Snap adapters enable you to connect your Snap Circuits to the bricks so you can light up any structure you build. You can make your structure light up with a circuit or you can build something that moves like a racecar with ordinary bricks and a Snap Circuits photo transistor and watch it go by adding a light source. The set comes with 140 regular building bricks, 20 Snap Circuit pieces, and 75 Bric to Snap adapters.
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.
The New Nintendo 2DS XL now features a clamshell design and screen similar to the one featured on the New Nintendo 3DS XL. The cool thing is the 2DS XL will support all Nintendo 3DS family games, albeit without the 3D effect. Fans can play all their favorite Nintendo games on the go and get great performance and portability. The 2DS XL will also feature a new C-stick for enhanced controls. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for portable gamers. A new Pikachu edition is available for Pokemon fans.

We love the empowering and compassionate message where Barbie is helping people!  This ‘Care Clinic’ on wheels is also a hospital playset that comes with over 20 medically themed pieces. Our favorite?  The X-Ray machine that also turns into an eye chart with one simple pull of the lever!  Oh, the lights on the ambulance and siren work too! Barbie is truly saving the day!


These magnetic shapes stick to each other, allowing your child to build their very own creations. The magnetic tiles can be built in 3-D shapes or on any magnetic surface. Your son or daughter will have so much fun that they won’t even realize they’re learning, as this set helps them build fine motor skills, critical thinking skills, and sharpens their math skills. ($29; jet.com)
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.
For gross motor skills milestones, the toddler should achieve ability in walking, climbing and stomping around. By age two, they should be able to walk at ease, perform basic running and catch, throw, and kick objects such as balls. Another milestone of this skill for toddlers is the ability to sit upright in the very early stages of this phase as well. Lastly, walking up steps should happen without assistance and toddlers should be able to bend, squat without falling over.
This has all the hallmarks of a great education and socialization toy, along with its practicality!  The key ring not only keeps all of the teethers in one place and graspable, the fact that they are aligned on a ring aids in developing functions in counting, causal relationship, and the subtle manipulation of objects through the selection of one teething key over another.  In addition, the varying colors of the keys provide visual stimulation, adding to the soothing quality of relief from sore gums.
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.
Your preschooler is likely to take ball play deep into scientific exploration. When he sends a ball rolling down a slide, for example, he realizes that different-size balls roll down slides at different speeds. Emily Vosper, director of the Children's Center at SUNY Ulster County Community College, in Stone Ridge, New York, describes the process as "higher-level thinking arising from basic tools." Also known as physics for 4-year-olds.
Microsoft’s Xbox Project Scorpio is the world’s most powerful gaming console ever. It’s the hotly anticipated successor to the Xbox One. It features 6 teraflops of graphical processing power, true high-fidelity 4K gaming, and best of all, it’s fully compatible with Xbox One games and accessories. Microsoft’s next console also marks the beginning of a generationless era of gaming. Play all your favorite Xbox games optimized for 4K HDTVs. Experience silky smooth frame rates and awesome online multiplayer experiences. Are you ready to experience the best in gaming with Project Scorpio? Coming Holiday 2017. Reserve yours today!
Meet Boxer, a new interactive artificially intelligent robot companion from Spin Master. Boxer is full of personality and his moods change over time. You can stick your hand in front of him or use his ball and he will chase it around. He can play soccer or even a slingshot game. He even comes with an interactive ball, 10 game feature cards, and a remote control.

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.
Exersaucers and jumpers encourage babies to take weight through their feet in a standing position while they play. For babies that are the recommended age range, who can not climb out, they give baby a contained place to play. However, developmentally, parents should be mindful of the time babies spend in exersaucers and always balance their playtime with floor time so baby can learn other developmental skills, too.

Exciting toddlers about the notion of brushing their teeth can be quite challenging. As they are still adjusting to the idea of a foreign object in their mouths; this can cause new or uncomfortable sensations that may, for example, activate their gag reflex. The banana-shaped teething toy provides a dual purpose in helping your baby get through these critical and uncomfortable milestones. It serves as a toothbrush meant to help your little one develop good habits for a healthy mouth while simultaneously providing your baby with a soft massaging effect to soothe sore gums and help teeth to break through. The gentle silicone bristles are made of 100% food grade materials that have been FDA approved and is also free of BPA, Latex, and other harsh substances.
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).
While eight weeks may be a little early for babies to squeeze the feet and begin a game or song on their own, they will enjoy the musical song as their auditory senses develop. And a game of peek-a-boo may bring a smile to their face. Parents like this toy since it’s less intimidating than some other peek-a-boo toys. Many people report that this toy was an instant hit with babies and older children alike — meaning that baby won’t soon outgrow the GUND Animated Flappy Elephant.
At first look, you may see this toy and think what we did: “This is the most expensive dog chewy I’ve ever seen.” But one tantrum in the car solved by handing this squeaky toy off to baby, and you’ll be converted, too. It’s made of food-safe silicone and paint which will ease the worries you have about your child essentially eating it. The squeak is virtually impossible to remove so it presents no choking hazard, and the squeak itself thrills baby.
Baby clothes are a gift that, when practical and adorable, are always a parent pleaser. The babyGEAR Santa Fleece Footie outfit is one of those Christmas gifts for newborns and even older infants that will bring on the oohs and ahhs. Baby can comfortably sport their holiday wear so much so that you can almost guarantee yourself a “sleeping Santa” picture under the Christmas tree. Just make sure you remember to put on the matching cap! ($12; buybuybaby.com)
×