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Playtime is the best time of the day, and when your child is young enough to be awe-inspired by all the fantastical toys on offer, there’s so much fun to be had. When your child is first born there’s no doubt that they’ll be gifted with more toys than they’ll ever need, but as they grow and develop, their senses will need to be stimulated. They’ll start to question everything and very quickly, toys will become more than just toys. They’ll be tools for them to learn from.

We’ve put together this handy guide on how to find the best baby and toddler toys. It’s so difficult to know where to start with finding toys suitable for your child, but with a bit of knowledge and a few handy hints and tips from our moms and dads, you’ll start to have a better idea of what’s on the market. Many toys are age-appropriate, so if you see something you like then be sure to look up all the details to ensure there are no hazards. Small parts can be catastrophic to a young child, so do your research to avoid any disasters.

But above all else (and although it may sound obvious), toys need to be fun! They’ll be used again and again by your child, so they should hold their attention and be unique enough for them to want to continue to play and develop. Sound difficult? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help, so as well as sharing some key things to think about before purchasing, we’ve got some great picks on toys babies and toddlers will love, too. By the end of this guide, we hope you’ll have enough information to make your choice and find the perfect toy for your little one.

Things to keep in mind before you start looking for a baby or toddler toy

You may not immediately realize that there are a few things to think about before choosing the right toy, but you might actually be surprised. Before you make your purchase, take these top tips into consideration first to make sure you’re buying the right toy for your child.

Watch out for small parts

Small parts are possibly every parent’s worst nightmare. It’s rare to find a boxed toy or cuddly bear without the ‘choking hazard’ warning plastered all over it. This is a precautionary measure and most toys will need to have this on as standard. Whilst you should absolutely heed this warning, do your own thorough checks too.

If you see anything as an immediate risk, for example, the plastic eyes on a bear, then take them off. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and your child won’t know the difference if they receive the modified version first.

Think about what kind of toy you’re after

This could save you loads of time, simply because there are SO many different toys to choose from. You might be looking for a good old fashioned wooden toy, water toys, or perhaps a toy the kids can play outside with. On the other hand, you might be looking for something educational or good to learn and assist with your child’s growth and development.

Drilling down exactly what you want in a toy will massively help you with your search. Whether pure fun is your aim, or you want to combine playful activity with learning, knowing what needs to be ticked off the list beforehand will enable you to look in the right places. It could save you money in the long run, too.

What’s your budget?

Be prepared – some toys can be very expensive! When you’re looking at makes and models that run on batteries, and feature all the bells and whistles, you’re going to be spending top dollar on the latest gadgets and gizmos. Alternatively, if you’re on a tight budget than a traditional wooden toy might be the way to go.

Either way, your child is going to appreciate whatever you buy them, so don’t break the bank on something that your child might quickly outgrow. Sometimes the more traditional tried-and-tested toys are best.

Consider your child’s personality

Finally, when it comes to choosing a toy for your baby or toddler, you’re going to want to find something that suits their personality. For example, not all girls like dolls and not all boys like cars. Your child might also respond really well to color and texture, or they might love sounds.

Whatever their likes and dislikes, there’ll be a toy to match, so find one they’re going to love for the most amount of time as possible. Kids grow up quickly and unfortunately, this means they quickly move on from things, too. Matching your chosen toy to their personality will help it last just a little longer.

The best toys available for babies on the market right now

First up, we’ve got four great toys suitable for babies that we think your little one is going to love. A baby’s development is going to be very different to a toddler’s, so the toys below are all designed to be age-appropriate, as well as stimulating in different ways to help them progress with their growth and encourage their senses.

V-Tech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

General specifications:

Product weight

5 pounds

Product dimensions

16.5 x 14.2 x 18.1 inches

Model no.

80-077001

Recommended age range

9 months – 3 years

Key features:

  • Features a removable play panel.
  • Comes in Frustration-Free Packaging, meaning it comes in a plain brown box.
  • The early learning center has 5 piano keys that play music and encourage creativity.
  • The wheels work on carpeted and hard floors.
  • Features 2 colorful spinning rollers, 3 shape sorters, and 3 light-up buttons that develop motor skills.
  • Made from plastic.
  • Pretend telephone handset and mechanical elements enhance role-play fun.
  • 2 AA batteries are included
  • Over 70 sing-along songs, music, sound effects, and fun phrases.
  • Designed for babies and toddlers 9 months to 3 years old

Named as an Amazon’s Choice product, the V-Tech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker is ideal for babies from the age of 9 months who are beginning to take control of their motor development. Toddlers can use it too, but we think it’s best for younger children who are just beginning to learn how to sit and stand.

The walker is big on sound, with over 70 sing-along songs, other music, and phrases that your child can copy to help with their speech development. There’s also plenty for them to touch and be amazed by, including colorful spinning rollers, light-up buttons, and three shape sorters. This encourages your child’s creativity and helps them begin to understand color and sound.

If your young child needs to stay on the ground and can only sit up for short periods, you can detach the panel for use on the floor, making it a fully versatile baby toy. When they’re more comfortable moving around, simply reattach to become part of the complete walker once more. The pretend telephone also encourages role-play, giving them confidence as they start to interact with other children as they grow.

Pros and Cons

The good bits…

The not-so-good bits…

The wheels work on carpets and slippery surfaces, like laminate.

The wheel locking function isn’t completely secure, which can be an issue if your child needs to stand still.

Batteries are already included.

It can tip over, so always supervise your baby when playing.

Aids with both sit-and-stand and speech development.

There are two settings on the wheels so they can be locked or unlocked.

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

General specifications:

Product weight

1.6 ounces

Product dimensions

5 x 4 x 3.5 inches

Model no.

200940

Recommended age range

0-2 years

Key features:

  • The soft, continuous tubes and colors instantly capture and hold baby’s attention.
  • The mesmerizing loop design and lightweight construction make it very easy for little hands to grab, hold and rattle – a perfect clutching toy to engage baby’s gross motor skills.
  • The center cube features a quiet rattle so baby can explore sound and cause and effect.
  • The soft, pliable loops are BPA-free for teething or gumming babies.
  • Winkel can also be refrigerated to provide a more soothing experience for particularly sore baby gums and teeth.
  • Multiple newborn toy award winner, including the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Award
  • Safety tested to pass strict CPSC, ASTM, EN71 and Health Canada safety standards.
  • Baby teether suitable for ages 0-24 months.

A classic baby toy and a favorite with parents all around the world, the Winkel rattle and teether may not look like much, but it features a whole host of benefits. The hoops are soft, pliable and BPA-free, so are perfectly safe for your baby to chew on while teething. They also have a soothing effect, especially as you can pop the toy in the refrigerator to help ease the pain of sore gums.

The teether is incredibly lightweight, meaning little hands will have no problem gripping onto it, and can even rattle it – the noise can be very pleasing to babies, and will help them to explore sound. What’s more, the teether is made up of loads of colors, which will hold your baby’s attention and keep them entertained for hours.

With this teether, you’ll need to make sure you only hand-wash it, as it cannot be boiled or steam cleaned.

Pros and Cons

The good bits…

The not-so-good bits…

It encourages two-handed play, as well as grip.

Can only be hand-washed.

No assembly is required – it’s ready out of the box.

Beware of mold – the hollow wire tubes can harbor it if not washed properly.

It’s BPA-free and perfectly safe for your baby to use.

Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym

General specifications:

Product weight

2.2 pounds

Product dimensions

27 x 36 x 18 inches

Model no.

FGG45

Recommended age range

0-36 months

Key features:

  • 4 ways to play as baby grows; lay & play, tummy time, sit & play and take along.
  • 4 musical settings: Long play – 15 minutes of continuous music. Piano play – press for “real” piano notes. Animal play –  short songs about animals. Early learning- songs & phrases introduce colors, shapes & numbers.
  • Large keyboard with 5 light-up keys; removable for take-along play.
  • 5 repositionable toys: self-discovery mirror, elephant teether, crinkle panda, lion rattle & monkey cymbal clackers.
  • Soft, machine-washable play mat features loops to attach toys.
  • Suitable from birth to 36 months.

This isn’t just any play mat; Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym uses Smart Stages technology, which offers 3 different levels for your baby to explore to help them develop and grow their intuition. Level 1 is all about sense. Babies can enjoy up to 20 minutes of continuous music, lights, and sounds to stimulate their ever-developing senses.

Level 2 is about discovering animals and the sounds they make. It also includes short instrumental sounds to help them understand more about the world about them. Level 3 is dedicated to exploring. Your baby will hear playful songs and phrases, which will introduce your little one to new colors, shapes, and numbers.

The mat itself is super soft and lightly padded, so whether your child is sitting up or laying down, it’ll be comfortable for them and great news for you – it’s machine washable, too!

Pros and Cons

The good bits…

The not-so-good bits…

The mat is super soft to keep your baby comfortable.

It doesn’t include batteries.

It can be popped in the washing machine.

Multiple senses are developed and encouraged.

The toy arch can be repositioned to suit your little one.

Tommee Tippee Grofriend Ollie the Owl Sleep Aid

General specifications:

Product weight

1 pounds

Product dimensions

5.9 x 7.1 x 8.7 inches

Model no.

666519910126

Recommended age range

1 – 10 months

Key features:

  • Plays 4 comforting baby sleep sounds: Heartbeat, Rainfall, White Noise and Brahms Lullaby.
  • Baby sleep music plays for 20 minutes, and the soft glowing tummy creates a lovely environment for baby.
  • CrySensor technology automatically reactivates when baby stirs, soothing your little one back to sleep.
  • Secure velcro fastening – easily attaches to a crib, stroller or car seat.
  • Requires 4 AA batteries (not included).
  • For children from 1 month up to 10 months.

If your baby is feeling restless or struggling to get to sleep, this owl cuddly toy might be the answer to soothe them back to the land of nod. Not only is it super soft and huggable, providing comfort to a newborn, but it has a warm glowing tummy to help them feel a little more relaxed.

There are four sounds to choose from: Heartbeat, Rainfall, White Noise, and Brahms Lullaby. White Noise, in particular, is designed to mimic the sounds of being in the womb, so provides that level of familiarity your baby might need while they adjust to the world around them.

It has a built-in Crysensor too, so if your baby stirs then the gentle song will be played once more, helping your baby drift off. For tired parents, this nightlight and comforter is a lifesaver.

Pros and Cons

The good bits…

The not-so-good bits…

The clever Crysensor technology ensures music is played when your baby needs it.

It’s super soft and gentle.

There are 4 songs to choose from.

It features a built-in nightlight for comfort.

Check here more baby toys available out there:

The best toys available for toddlers on the market right now

As your baby moves on to the toddler stage, they’re going to need the extra stimulation that baby toys can’t provide. Plus, as they’re bigger they’ll be able to have a little more fun with toys aimed at more developed minds. We’ve got a few top picks that we think are worth a closer look, that is not only bundles of fun but are functional, too.

Toomies Cannon Ball Pic & Pop

General specifications:

Product weight

13.4 ounces

Product dimensions

10 x 6 x 16.5 inches

Model no.

E71161

Recommended age range

18 months – 3 years

Key features:

  • Keeps the toddler on the move and keeps them active.
  • Super fun and easy to use: squeeze the button on the handlebars to pop the balls out.
  • Easy to load up: scoop the balls off the floor as you drive over them.
  • Comes with 5 colorful balls.
  • Suitable for ages 18 months and above.

What child wouldn’t love this?! While only small, the Toomies Cannon Ball Pic & Pop is perfect for encouraging your child to be active and remain on the move, as well as helping them with their walking, which toddlers will still be learning as their bodies grow and get taller.

It’s really easy to use too, so your toddler could be left to get the hang of it for themselves to help with their problem-solving skills. With a simple click of the button, colorful balls will be launched from the chute. The aim of the game is to chase them and scoop them back up by running over the balls with the cannon. No batteries are needed – you just unpack and play!

This versatile toy can be used both indoors and out, and one of the best things is that your toddler will learn about cause and effect while they play. See – fun and functional!

Pros and Cons

The good bits…

The not-so-good bits…

No batteries are required.

The height can’t be adjusted.

It’s so easy to use and figure out.

Some parents think it could be too small.

The toy teaches cause and effect skills.

Keeps your child active.

LeapBuilders Phonics House

General specifications:

Product weight

3.95 pounds

Product dimensions

16.5 x 12.2 x 4.5 inches

Model no.

80-604960

Recommended age range

18 months – 5 years

Key features:

  • Easy to use: slide the 20 Smart blocks into the Smart Star unit to hear 40 different sounds and phrases that introduce letters.
  • 60+ piece set has everything to build a cute house including windows, doors, flower blocks, characters and more.
  • Includes: 20 double-sided learning blocks, 32 standard building blocks, 1 interactive Smart Star unit, 2 characters, 2 windows (4 Pieces), 1 door (2 Pieces).
  • Press the buttons on the sides of the Smart Star unit to hear requests to find specific blocks or hear three songs and three melodies.
  • Explore numbers and quantity by pressing the number buttons above the Smart Star unit.
  • Works with other LeapBuilders playsets (sold separately).
  • Requires 2 AAA batteries (batteries included for demo purposes only, new batteries recommended for regular use).
  • Suitable for ages 18 months to 5 years.

LeapBuilders Phonics House is designed to help unleash your toddler’s creativity through easy-to-use building blocks. All they have to do is insert the learning blocks into the Smart Star unit to hear songs and learn about household objects, animals, colors and shapes. The aim is to build a house, with windows, doors, flower blocks and unique characters to live in it. As they play, they could give their characters a name and make up a story about their life in their new home.

It comes with over 60 pieces, which is more than enough to hold their attention and let their imagination run wild. One of the great things about this set is that is can be used with any other in the LeapBuilders range, so if they already have a collection then they could mix and match the pieces to create something totally unique.

The blocks have especially been designed for little hands to grip, and there are 40 different sounds and phrases they play out through the Smart Star unit that will encourage their sound senses to develop. It really is the do-it-all toy that toddlers will love.

Pros and Cons

The good bits…

The not-so-good bits…

Can be used with other LeapBuilders playsets.

Batteries are only included for demo purposes.

The blocks are easy to grip.

Toddlers will need no instruction as it’s so easy to use.

There are educational extras that all help with your child’s learning.

VTech Chase Me Casey

General specifications:

Product weight

3.9 pounds

Product dimensions

5.3 x 11.8 x 13 inches

Model no.

80-505900

Recommended age range

9 months – 3 years

Key features:

  • This adorable little monkey skates, spins in circles, wiggles his arms and wobbles his head as he dances.
  • The playful monkey’s moves encourage your baby to dance and crawl after him as he rolls across the floor.
  • Two play modes: catch me and dancing.
  • Sensors in the monkey’s feet detect when your little one is near, triggering playful sounds and silly and encouraging phrases.
  • Five colorful shape buttons on the monkey’s shirt introduce letters, numbers, body parts, music and more.
  • Twistable cap moves front to back and helps to promote fine motor skills.
  • Light-up heart on the monkey’s shirt flashes with all voice, sound and musical responses.
  • Requires 4 AA batteries. Batteries included are for demo purposes only.

This adorable monkey toy has two play modes: catch me and dancing. Your toddler can practice walking by chasing Casey through the house – just try to catch him! If they’re at the crawling stage, they can chase the monkey on the floor instead. Or they can dance with Casey, which encourages your little one to learn through imitation.

The clever thing about this toy is that there are built-in sensors on the monkey’s feet. They can tell when your toddler is nearby, and will start moving when your child is ready to play again. The sensors also prevent the toy from bumping into obstacles and helps it to change direction for a more fun game.

Language is encouraged too, through the buttons on Casey’s shirt which introduces letters, body parts, numbers and music. Your toddler can click whatever button they like to hear the noises sound out.

Pros and Cons

The good bits…

The not-so-good bits…

The sensors in the toy’s feet can tell when your toddler is nearby.

Batteries are only included for demo purposes.

The monkey character is really popular with children.

He moves well on all surfaces.

Little Tikes Wonder Lab

General specifications:

Product weight

2.01 pounds

Product dimensions

16 x 28 x 33.5 inches

Model no.

645754

Recommended age range

24 months – 5 years

Key features:

  • Ultimate interactive STEM Jr. Wonder lab designed for preschoolers.
  • Features science, technology, engineering and math learning.
  • 20 fun, hands-on STEM experiments included (using common household ingredients), that provide endless hours of discovery.
  • 40+ playful sounds and phrases bring the lab to life as little scientists experiment.
  • 20 lab accessories included: 8 unique maze pieces, 3 maze balls, 3 test tubes, 3 stirring spoons, Stirring stick, eyedropper and lab goggles.
  • Removable lab tray for easy clean-up.

This amazing mini lab features 20 hands-on experiments for your toddlers to try out at home. All are aimed at bringing science, technology, engineering and math to life through fun games that are challenging yet simple enough for your toddler to figure out. This includes Circuit Centre, which challenges your child to to discover would happen if they complete a circuit. There’s also Wizard’s Brew, which shows your children how to carry out experiments using household ingredients like bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.

To bring the Wonder Lab to life, there are 40+ sounds and phrases on offer, which adds another educational layer to the entire set up. The lab is quite bulky so you’ll need to find a place for it in your home, and the experiments can get a little messy if not supervised, but in all honesty – what child wouldn’t love getting to be a mini scientist in their own home?

Pros and Cons

The good bits…

The not-so-good bits…

The lab is designed to be completely educational.

You have to make sure the leg that contains power is fully snapped into place or the lights and sounds won’t work.

It’s a great toy for allowing you to bond with your child.

The science experiments can get a bit messy.

Sound development is encouraged.

The lab tray is removable and easy to clean.

See more toy options for toddlers here:

The Bottom Line

So that brings us to the end of our guide, and by this point, we hope that you’re armed with plenty of information on what toys are available for both babies and toddlers, and which ones might be perfect for you and your children. There are so many toys available on the market, but our top picks feature what we think are some of the best out there right now.

We really hope this article helped you make a decision and we would love to know if we have helped you. Please get in touch with any feedback or further questions you may have. If you liked this article, why not discover how to find the best baby monitor, or discover our best sit and stand strollers.