Best Baby and Toddler Toys 2018
Tiny ones “cooed with delight” when placed under the bright bugs hanging from the Lamaze 4-in-1 Play Gym. Parents liked that it transforms into a tented playspace for when the babes are tots. Birth+, $70.
Cause and (Cool) Effect
Kid O’s Hudson Glow Rattle lights up when your baby waves it, a fun discovery that delighted our tiny testers. Parents liked that it’s “so easy to spot” in a diaper bag—just follow the glow! 6 months+, $25.
Baby Einstein’s Magic Touch Drums combine tactile technology with a winning wooden-toy look. Pleasant sounds and volume control (too rare in kids’ instruments) sealed the deal for parents. 6 months+, $20.
Toddler. Magnet. The crowd around the Baby Einstein Curiosity Table Activity Station never stopped; it merely rotated! One parent mused, “You can just turn it around if your kid gets bored.” 12 months+, $70.
Got a tiny Disneyphile? Disney Baby Go Grippers Vehicles have soft parts for grabbing (not to mention chewing) and wheels that send them rolling. 12 months+, $10 for a set of two, $25 for a set of six.
Apparently, kids “want to take Let’s Dance Elmo everywhere,” “won’t let him go,” and “don’t understand why Elmo can’t sleep in the crib.” So there’s that. 18 months to 4 years, $40.
Radio Flyer’s Busy Buggy has buttons and knobs galore, but it was the “seat that opens for hiding things” that fascinated toddlers most. Advice: If your TV remote goes missing, check here first. 1 to 3 years, $35.
Yookidoo’s Jet Duck Create a Pirate thrilled our tot tester, who took it home to try out in the bath, where it belongs. Her dad confirmed: “It’s a perfect mix between Mr. Potato Head and a squirt toy!” 2 to 6 years, $28.
Even little fingers can prompt Learning Friends 100 Words Book, by LeapFrog, to sound out the names of objects in English or Spanish. It “makes learning enjoyable” and is “perfecto” as a car toy. 18 months+, $18.
Liki Trike, by Doona, got the attention of every tot. Use the handle to push it, or transform it easily into a trike. One mom concluded: “We have to get this!” 10 months to 3 years, $159 to $259; see shopdoona.com for availability; out end of 2018/early 2019.
Tots will duck into a “fort” of any sort, but this Tractor Tent comes with a particularly appealing feature—a steering wheel—so kids can dream they’re going places. 18 months+, $90.