Industrial Deals Beauty Best Books of the Year So Far STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Wickedly Prime Handmade Wedding Rustic Decor Book House Cleaning gotpremiere gotpremiere gotpremiere  Introducing Echo Show All-New Fire HD 8, starting at $79.99 Kindle Oasis Nintendo Switch Water Sports STEMClubToys17_gno

Infant/Toddler Toys - Picks & Pans

One Sock On
The list author says: "We've had experience with these toys and furniture pieces for three years. Here are what works for us and what hasn't."
Lamaze Octotunes Musical Toy
Lamaze Octotunes Musical Toy
"Engaging for the youngest babies just learning to sit up (they're on eye level), and the musical horns smell like vanilla when you squeeze them. Optimize the toy by stationing it close to the diaper pail."
Fisher-Price Crawl-Along Drum Roll
Fisher-Price Crawl-Along Drum Roll
"A new entry to baby toys, and a winner! Set it up as bongo drums or get the kid crawling by snapping it into a rolling canister shape. When rolling, it plays music at a simple touch, giving the baby incentive to keep after it. Unlike its LeapFrog predecessor, this toy lets the kids tap lightly to generate music and lights on top."
Fisher Price - Laugh & Learn Learning Table
Fisher Price - Laugh & Learn Learning Table
"FP got it right with this toy!  Legs off for sitting infant play, and add them later.  Fine motor coordination development with pushing, sliding, spinning, etc.  Appealing music (each button has 3 little ditties apiece on music & ABCs settings) means that the adults close by aren't driven crazy by annoying voices or too much repetition (unlike the LeapFrog table)."
Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube
Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube
"We were surprised at how much we like this toy. Various instruments can play a song together or separately; instruments play parts, not just the general melody, so kids can hear how the flute contributes differently than the piano."
Tiny Love Gymini Monkey Island Activity Gym
Tiny Love Gymini Monkey Island Activity Gym
"We have an older version of this great toy. You just need the one with a mat and a few dangling toys. Great fun and development for baby, useful into their sitting-up days. Use the mat for baby's playtime after s/he outgrows the bar height. Very portable to anywhere your car takes you."
Hasbro Playskool Let's Play Together Peek 'N Play Discovery Dome
Hasbro Playskool Let's Play Together Peek 'N Play Discovery Dome
"Although this appears to be a discontinued item, I love this toy and recommend something like it for rainy day, indoor fun. This tent has a little door with a doorbell, hanging toys, and a peek-a-boo flap for baby. My older child likes sitting in it for quiet time with books--it's a great hideaway cave for a little one!"
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack
"Another classic toy that the babies love!"
Melissa & Doug Wooden Bear Family Dress-Up Puzzle
Melissa & Doug Wooden Bear Family Dress-Up Puzzle
"Great puzzle for the money.  Each bear has five expressions, so you can explore emotion for different occasions/reasons. I just wish everything was a little bit bigger--kids have a hard time jamming all the pieces back in the box themselves."
Melissa & Doug Woodland Princess Jigsaw Puzzle 24pc
Melissa & Doug Woodland Princess Jigsaw Puzzle 24pc
"Melissa and Doug do a great job creating toys like this one to introduce whole-picture puzzles. Characters/elements are split among a few pieces so children can put together, say, a raccoon using its tail, paws, and nose as markers."
Playskool Mr. Potato Head
Playskool Mr. Potato Head
"Ah, the classic.  Get the Mrs. Potato Head booster pieces and spend a little ($15 for both) for a lot of fun."
Melissa & Doug Deluxe 10-Piece Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks
Melissa & Doug Deluxe 10-Piece Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks
"A fun and relatively safe set of stacking blocks for kids to enjoy assembling and knocking over. They're made of cardboard, so don't give these to kids who still put stuff in their mouths. Fun for up to age 3."
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Jumbo Cardboard Blocks (40 pc)
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Jumbo Cardboard Blocks (40 pc)
"Very sturdy and a ton of fun for little stackers! Includes 8 large red bricks, a dozen medium blue bricks, and the rest are smaller yellow bricks (4 yellows = 2 blue or 1 red brick). Elaborate folding directions mean that kids (at least 25 lbs.) can stand on these and they don't get smashed."
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper
"You don't need a branded vacuum for kids--one of these will keep them busy following you around the house while you clean. We like the primary color version best--the "girl" pink popper is just shades of pink and purple, which isn't helpful for teaching colors."
K's Kids Pull Back Autos (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
K's Kids Pull Back Autos (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
"I got these used, but in great shape.  They're very lightweight, which means they're super-speedy when you pull them back and let them go!  The fabric car is Velcroed onto the plastic wheel assembly, which is convenient for washing when they get a little dingy."
My Very First Mother Goose
My Very First Mother Goose
"Wonderful book full of the classic rhymes, cleverly illustrated by Rosemary Wells. Divided into four sections that provide a bunch of fun poems in each, as well as good stopping points if you don't have 30 minutes to read it all."
Maisy's Amazing Big Book of Words
Maisy's Amazing Big Book of Words
"Terrific book for developing vocabulary!  The simple illustrations also give hope to us artistically-challenged folk that we too can draw things that kids will recognize."
Blue Moo: 17 Jukebox Hits From Way Back Never
Blue Moo: 17 Jukebox Hits From Way Back Never
"Definitely get this awesome album!  The lyrics are so clever, there's a "parade" a couple of times, and the illustrated book will keep kids laughing about the "one shoe blues" and other kid worries.  Sandra Boynton is a genius."
Whaddaya Think of That
Whaddaya Think of That
"Laurie's best all-around album.  "We Are the Dinosaurs" gets kids marching, and the album includes a medley of kid faves including "The ABC Song."  Her "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz" album is good too, but this is definitely one worth buying."
Horton Hatches the Egg
Horton Hatches the Egg
"We just started reading this one--a wonderful book that's great for kids beginning to enjoy longer stories.  Some Seuss (The Lorax, for instance) are too involved or long for younger readers, but the Horton stories are the perfect length."
The Farmer Says
The Farmer Says
"Updated version of the classic toy. It's quite good--the guessing game is good for toddlers and there are a LOT of animals thanks to a semi-circle that flips atop the toy to double the number of animals included."
Fisher-Price Little People Animal Sounds Farm
Fisher-Price Little People Animal Sounds Farm
"Cute update on the classic toy. We use a few of the "Little People" toys, and the figures are interchangeable, so it's fun to have the pig and sheep go for a ride in the plane..."
Parents Look At Me Camera (colors may vary)
Parents Look At Me Camera (colors may vary)
"This was a cute little toy for our toddler when the new baby came--when everyone was taking pics of the bambino, our kid could too! Has shutter noises, catch phrases, and even a button that plays music a la a modeling photo shoot. Lots of simple fun."
Fisher-Price Infant-To-Toddler Rocker, Blue/Green (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Fisher-Price Infant-To-Toddler Rocker, Blue/Green (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
"Great piece to have--bouncy seats give out at 15-18 lbs., but lots of sitting babies need to be confined/kept amused while kept still. This is a great toy and goes to 40 lbs., meaning that it's useable until you have preschoolers in the house."
Easy Store Table
Easy Store Table
"More of a tool than a toy...With picnic tables, there aren't chairs to knock over or a table to topple. This one seats 6 toddlers easily, which is great when you have friends over for a party or playdate."
Step2  Arctic Splash Water Table
Step2 Arctic Splash Water Table
"A water table is great for hot summer days (and can be a sand table for spring/fall), but I'd recommend the WaterWheel table instead.  The included arctic animals don't fit down the mountain slide, so it ends up being unused. I found a waterwheel separately, so that's what we'll use this summer. Otherwise, just add your own cups, shovels, and bathing suits for lots of splashing fun!"
Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set
Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set
"We like this for indoor fun, but two complaints:  The rim snaps off WAY too easily, so older kids (3 & up) are a little afraid that it'll fall apart when they use it; and the column telescopes too easily, which can surprise the parent moving it somewhere else.  Otherwise, it'll probably fit our average-size kid well until at least age 4."
Infantino Musical Toy, Singing Monkey
Infantino Musical Toy, Singing Monkey
"No, no, no, no, no.  No volume control, no likable songs, no speed control (the songs are WAAAY too fast), no variety (just five songs), and no way you should buy this thing. The first in a line of toys that were gifts to the kids that misfired."
LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet Set - Styles May Vary
LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet Set - Styles May Vary
"Blech. We're generally not thrilled with LeapFrog toys, this one included (it was a gift). Recorded voices are poor in quality and letter pronunciation and the ABC song is sung much too fast. Invest in some standard colored letter magnets for your fridge and tell your kid how each one sounds as you make dinner."
1-2-3 Treehouse - V.Smile SmartVille Imaginative Play
1-2-3 Treehouse - V.Smile SmartVille Imaginative Play
"Not a purchase you want to make (again, a gift we got). Repetitive and annoyingly-voiced songs and rhymes make you want to turn this thing off from the start. Pressing the television causes the toy to ask, "What's on the TV?" Excellent idea--get the kids thinking about TV rather than playing."
LeapFrog Learn & Groove Alphabet Drum
LeapFrog Learn & Groove Alphabet Drum
"LeapFrog needs to reengineer this one. Kids have to hit the top HARD to generate the light-up alphabet letters. In drum mode, the background music makes it hard to hear the drumming noises that the kid is playing. And in Spanish, a few letters of the alphabet are missing. Invest in the Fisher Price Crawl-Along Drum instead."
Kidoozie Cool Tools Activity Set
Kidoozie Cool Tools Activity Set
"This hunk of junk has gears that turn with difficulty, a drill that makes noise but the bit doesn't turn, and some cheapy "bolts" and "nails" that may play music or pop up & down. The sliding latch on the carrying case also too hard to move for little hands. We're giving this away unused, and I even feel a little bad about inflicting this toy on the next guy."