Provided by Infantino
Grow With Me Activity Gym & Ball Pit
Get more bang for your buck with Infantino's Grow With Me Activity Gym & Ball Pit. The activity gym features three grow-with-me play positions for your curious little one. Once your baby outgrows the activity mat, pop up the gym's mesh sides to contain her play space. When she's ready for more fun, turn the gym into a ball pit by adding the 40 colorful balls provided. The gym also comes with four sensory-stimulating plush toys.
Ages: 0+ Price: $59.99 Available: June/July2013
Provided by Lego
Toddler Starter Building Set
Lego DUPLO is now creating more building block sets specifically for 18-month-olds, like this beginner set of 37 pieces. These larger and chunkier blocks are ideal for introducing tots to building and constructing, and they're perfect for refining gross motor skills while being compatible with other DUPLO sets. The blocks also have simpler, rounder shapes, fewer details and accessories, and more vibrant colors; the box lid even doubles as a building plate.
Age: 18 months and up Price: $19.99 Available: Now (major retail stores)
Provided by ThinkFun
Last year, ThinkFun introduced Roll & Play, its first game for toddlers to help them identify emotions, body parts, colors, and more. This year, the company has created a follow-up hide-and-seek game to teach positional (or prepositional) concepts. The game comes with a plush sun ("Sunshine") and 18 double-sided cards that can be stored in a pocket on the toy. To play, parents choose a card that depicts hiding places in six categories (behind, in front, next to, on top, under, in). Then, according to the positional direction on the card, parents "hide" Sunshine either "next to a chair" or "behind a box." Kids learn how to follow directions as they "seek" Sunshine; the game also helps them increase vocabulary and language skills.
Age: 18 months and up Price: $19.99 (Thinkfun.com/hellosunshine)
Seeking the Best Toys of 2013
Provided by Plan Toys
Frog Life Puzzle
We love Plan Toys because they use eco-friendly rubber wood to make all of their products. This puzzle teaches children a frog's life cycle, plus hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Ages: 2 and up Price: $20.00 Available: April 2013
Provided by Smart Toys and Games
Three wooden blocks (in red, yellow, and blue) and a cute, long-eared wooden bunny help tots learn important concepts such as pattern recognition and spatial reasoning while improving hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. This simple game from Smart Toys and Games also encourages little ones to stack and arrange the blocks and bunny together correctly so they match different images on 60 challenge cards. Tots will love putting things in the right order.
Age: 2 and up Price: $24.99 Available: Now (SmartToysAndGames.com)
Provided by Melissa & Doug
Turn & Tell Clock
Teach your child how to tell time using the several visualization cues on Melissa & Doug's Turn & Tell Clock. Color coordination helps match the minute hand to the minutes on the clock face, and the hour hand to the hours. Time cards are included to help your child match the time on the card with the clock hands, and the clock face is segmented into quarters to help kids visualize "quarter past" and "half past." When he's finished setting the time, your child can slide open the "digital clock" window to check the answer.
Ages: 3 and up Price: $14.99 Available: June 2013
Provided by EduShape
Think Mr. Potato Head, only cuter and cuddlier. This soft doll from EduShape, touted as a child's "facial avatar," comes with a set of removable felt features (which can be stored in its front pocket) and a set of 9 cards (some illustrate different feelings while others are blank for kids to draw on). Children learn how to identify and express emotions while enhancing their hand-eye coordination along with logic and reasoning.
Age: 3 and up Price: $39.99 Available: August 2013
Provided by Hasbro
Play-Doh is getting an update: Hasbro has created Play-Doh Plus, a softer, fluffier, and less rubbery compound. Play-Doh Plus will come in an eight-color variety pack and will be included in a new line of Sweet Shoppe playsets that allow kids to make realistic-looking desserts. The classic Play-Doh compound will also be available in individually wrapped 1-oz. Color Sticks packs that provide easy, on-the-go entertainment. Just remove the plastic and immediately have Play-Doh at your disposal.
Age: 3 and up Price: $4.99 (Play-Doh Plus variety pack); $0.99 to $9.99 (Play-Doh Color Sticks assortment packs) Available: Spring 2013 (HasbroToyShop.com)
Provided by Manhattan Toys
These new cars from Manhattan Toys offer innovation without batteries! Your kid can turn an ordinary streetcar into a mega monster truck with Motorworks' interchangeable car parts. You can also buy extra accessories and play sets when a car needs a little more body work.
Ages: 3 and up Price: $14.99 - $19.99 for vehicle sets; accessories start at $4.99 Available: Now (DrivenByFun.com)
Provided by Hexbug
Known for its line of micro robotic bugs, Hexbug has expanded into the underwater arena by creating palm-size robotic fish in five colors. The battery-operated aquabots have a sensor that allows them to move and swim only in water. Drop a few into a tank (or bathtub!) and your kids will be entertained for hours on end. Plus, parents never have to worry again about feeding or flushing beloved fish -- or finding identical replacements!
Age: 3 and up Price: $9.99 each; $14.99 with the water tank Available: Fall 2013
Provided by Fisher-Price
Imaginext Apptivity Fortress
Charging into the world of augmented reality, this Fisher-Price playset combines tablet app and human interaction to take video gaming one step further. Parents purchase the fortress (which includes a knight and cannon figurines) and download the free app on an iPad (the only compatible tablet). The iPad is inserted into a protective fortress screen and play changes depending on whether the iPad is in a vertical or horizontal position or on where the knight and cannon are placed. Three extra figurines can be purchased to unlock more activities.
Age: 3 to 7 years Price: $49.99 for the fortress; $9.99 each for additional figurines Available: Fall 2013
Provided by Mattel
Barbie Digital Makeover Mirror
Turn your iPad into a digital makeover mirror when you slide it into Mattel's Barbie vanity frame. Girls can apply virtual makeup to their live image on the iPad screen and then make scrapbook pages out of their new looks. The coolest part? Facial recognition technology keeps the digital makeup in place as the girl moves around in the mirror.
Ages: 6 and up Price: $69.99 Available: August 2013
Provided by Crayola
Encourage kids to be color mixologists by creating and customizing their own markers. The Crayola kit, which resembles a chemist's workstation, comes with small ink bottles and beakers, marker parts, tweezers, and a color mixing chart. Kids can follow the chart to create exact colors or they can invent their own color combinations. Ink drops are mixed in a beaker and a core is dipped in to soak up the ink and then assembled in a clear barrel to be used immediately.
Age: 8 and up Price: $24.99 Available: July 2013
Provided by Educational Insights
Nancy B's Science Club Science Sets
These sets from Educational Insights are mini stand-alone science labs developed by former science teacher Nancy Balter. Each set (Aquascope, Microscope, Moonscope, and Crime Solver Scope) encourages young girls to develop budding science skills associated with marine biology, research biology, astronomy, and forensics. Smartly avoiding pink, the sets are purple and green, and come with their own set of specific tools and activity journals for recording observations. For nature observers, a binocular and wildlife journal set is available.
Age: 8 and up Price: $15.99-49.99 Available: February/March 2013
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