Best Toys of the Year 2014

We tested new toys with kids (they're so picky!) and parents (even pickier!) to find the ones we're sure are winners. (You're welcome!) Find this year's best toys for every age, starting with baby and ending with big kids! We've got 58 winners in all, so we know you'll find ones just right for the special children on your list.

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3-in-1 Bounce, Stride & Ride Elephant

Jeffrey Westbrook

3-in-1 Bounce, Stride & Ride Elephant

Your baby will have a ball springing up and down on the seat of the Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Bounce, Stride & Ride Elephant, or toddling behind it when she's a newly upright citizen. The big ears crinkle, and the toy can play a bunch of songs and phrases to keep her attention. 9 months+, $45

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Forest Friends Shape Sorter

Jeffrey Westbrook

Forest Friends Shape Sorter

Three textured friends are fun to pop in and out of this smiling Earlyears Forest Friends Shape Sorter. One of our baby testers found them oh-so-squeezable! 9 months+, $25

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Sit & Play Activity Seat

Jeffrey Westbrook

Sit & Play Activity Seat

It's easy to inflate the colorful Mamas and Papas Sit & Play Activity seat for your little one's enjoyment, then deflate the insert so you can store it away. 6 months+, $40

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Skwish Stix

Jeffrey Westbrook

Skwish Stix

Colorful, intriguing Manhattan Toy Skwish Stix sticks to your high chair or floor-seat tray for virtually drop-proof fun. 6 months+, $24

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Twilight Buddies Fox

Jeffrey Westbrook

Twilight Buddies Fox

Twilight Buddies Fox, from CloudB, is a cuddly friend by day and projects soothing stars on the ceiling at bedtime. "It's great to use at night, and easy to take to Grandma's," says Dawn Savas, mom of Kira, 1. Birth+, $30

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Explore & More Roll Around Rattle

Jeffrey Westbrook

Explore & More Roll Around Rattle

Even little fingers can easily grasp the Explore & More Roll Around Rattle, from Skip-Hop. 3 months+, $8

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We Pick the Best Toys of 2014

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Roly Poly Hedgehog

Jeffrey Westbrook

Roly Poly Hedgehog

Nudge this Roly Poly Hedgehog, from Haba, to hear a sweet sound. 6 months+, $19

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Natural Life Baby Happy Hugs Hedgehog

Jeffrey Westbrook

Natural Life Baby Happy Hugs Hedgehog

Happy Hugs Hedgehog, from Natural Life Baby by Mary Meyer, has colorful little tags to rub and pull. Birth+, $18

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Best Toys for Babies and Toddlers

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Nutty Ball Track

Jeffrey Westbrook

Nutty Ball Track

So lovely! Roll acorns down Janod's wooden Nutty Ball Track and bells chime. 12 months+, $45

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Nursery Trampoline

Jeffrey Westbrook

Nursery Trampoline

Galt's Nursery Trampoline is a hoppin' good time. It's low to the ground, plus nice and stable; just have your toddler hold on while he hops! 12 months+, $65

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Lego Duplo's Creative Picnic

Jeffrey Westbrook

Lego Duplo's Creative Picnic

Build toy food with your toddler using Lego Duplo's Creative Picnic, then use your creations for some imagination games. 18 months+, $25

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Sesame Street Let's Imagine Elmo

Jeffrey Westbrook

Sesame Street Let's Imagine Elmo

Switch out his hat and Playskool's Sesame Street Let's Imagine Elmo starts a new game. He counts, sings, giggles, and as always, responds to hugs! 2 years+, $40

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Wooden Block Castle

Jeffrey Westbrook

Wooden Block Castle

This gorgeously decorated Wooden Block Castle is a great value from Walmart's brand called Spark. Create. Imagine. 18 months+, $13

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Best Toys That Get Kids Moving

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VTech's Smart Shots Sports Center

Jeffrey Westbrook

VTech's Smart Shots Sports Center

This counts! VTech's Smart Shots Sports Center keeps score and cheers kids on. "Anything that my son is allowed to kick a ball at wins in my house!" says Erika Janes, mom of 2-year-old Wylie. 12 months+, $40

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Tree Top Adventure Table

Jeffrey Westbrook

Tree Top Adventure Table

Manhattan Toy's splurge-worthy wooden Tree Top Adventure table has four toy-covered sides. Great for two or more kids to play together! 12 months+, $100

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Hand Sign Alphabet

Jeffrey Westbrook

Hand Sign Alphabet

Hand Sign Alphabet A-Z tiles feature letters on one side and American Sign Language pictures on the other. The wooden tiles, from Plan Toys, are made in an eco-conscious factory that strives for zero waste. 2 years+, $30

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Customizable Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Engine

Jeffrey Westbrook

Customizable Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Engine

For the first time, you can design your own Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Engine. Pick the color, name, and number, and it will be mailed to you along with a keepsake book. 2 years+, $35

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Stack & Pull Train

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Stack & Pull Train

Twenty-one wooden blocks make up this wooden Stack & Pull Train, from Manhattan Toy. 12 months+, $30

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Puppy's Smart Stages Train

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Puppy's Smart Stages Train

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy's Smart Stages Train has 50-plus phrases and songs. 6 months+, $35

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Daisy Shape Sorter

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Daisy Shape Sorter

The bottom of Quercetti's Daisy Shape Sorter is a strainer. 12 months+, $37

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Wooden Pull Along Shapes Turtle

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Wooden Pull Along Shapes Turtle

This Wooden Pull Along Shapes turtle is from Walmart's line called Spark. Create. Imagine. 18 months+, $12

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Barnyard Shape Sorter

Jeffrey Westbrook

Barnyard Shape Sorter

The John Deere Barnyard Shape Sorter's door opens to spill all of the pieces out and start again. 18 months+, $16

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Best Toys That Feature Favorite Characters

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InRoad Toys PlayTape

Jeffrey Westbrook

InRoad Toys PlayTape

Such a brilliantly simple idea! Make a road or track for toy vehicles using PlayTape from InRoad Toys. We had a young tester create a highway in seconds! 3 years+, $8 to $13 per roll

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Disney's Sofia the First Talking Magical Amulet

Jeffrey Westbrook

Disney's Sofia the First Talking Magical Amulet

Disney's Sofia the First Talking Magical Amulet offers gentle lessons on friendship and manners. 3 years+, $15

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Barbie Build 'N Play Rooms

Jeffrey Westbrook

Barbie Build 'N Play Rooms

Form a dollhouse or a town from Mega Bloks' Barbie Build 'N Play Rooms. 4 years+, $10 each

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Snake Jumbo Stuffed Animal

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Snake Jumbo Stuffed Animal

A full 27 inches long: Melissa and Doug's Snake Jumbo Stuffed Animal. 3 years+, $50

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Hasbro's FurReal Friends Get Up & GoGo My Walkin' Pup Pet

Jeffrey Westbrook

Hasbro's FurReal Friends Get Up & GoGo My Walkin' Pup Pet

This sweetie obeys commands! Guide Hasbro's FurReal Friends Get Up & GoGo My Walkin' Pup Pet through the special leash. 4 years+, $60

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Best Toys That Get Kids Moving

Keep energetic kids active with toys that encourage them to be on the move.

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Radio Flyer Cyclone

Jeffrey Westbrook

Radio Flyer Cyclone

This Radio Flyer Cyclone challenges riders to use their arms to build momentum. 3 years+, $60

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Disney Junior Super Stretchy

Jeffrey Westbrook

Disney Junior Super Stretchy

Kids have to twist like a pretzel to play Disney Junior Super Stretchy, by Wonder Forge. 3 years+, $17

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Pancake Pile-Up! Relay Game

Jeffrey Westbrook

Pancake Pile-Up! Relay Game

Moving fast with a loaded spatula wins the Pancake Pile-Up! Relay Game from Educational Insights. 4 years+, $18

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Press Here: The Game

Jeffrey Westbrook

Press Here: The Game

Press Here: The Game from Chronicle Books encourages kids to work collaboratively to build colorful patterns. 3 years+, $20

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The Best Games of 2014!

Our editors choose the best games for kids of all ages for this year's best toys round-up.

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Kinetic Sand

Jeffrey Westbrook

Kinetic Sand

Sand indoors? Spin Masters nondrying Kinetic Sand is a new alternative to playing with dough. 3 years+, $15

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PS 2014 Balance Bench

Jeffrey Westbrook

PS 2014 Balance Bench

A balance beam that's sized just right! It's an exciting challenge for little feet to navigate this PS 2014 Balance Bench from IKEA. 3 years+, $50

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Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile Pet Clinic

Jeffrey Westbrook

Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile Pet Clinic

Treating stuffed animals is seriously fun with Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile pet clinic. "I like the vet toy because it has wheels and I can take it to the park to play," says Emily, 5. 3 years+, $50

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Wooden Stack & Count Parking Garage

Jeffrey Westbrook

Wooden Stack & Count Parking Garage

A colorful way to reinforce counting: Melissa and Doug's Wooden Stack & Count Parking Garage. 3 years+, $20

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Olaf Snow Cone Maker

Jeffrey Westbrook

Olaf Snow Cone Maker

Add flavoring to treats made in the Olaf Snow Cone Maker by Jakks Pacific. 4 years+, $25

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Snow Glow Elsa

Jeffrey Westbrook

Snow Glow Elsa

When you raise the arm of Jakks Pacific's Snow Glow Elsa, "Let It Go" plays. Plus, it comes with Olaf! 3 years+, $35

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Disney Frozen Cool Tunes Sing-Along Boombox

Jeffrey Westbrook

Disney Frozen Cool Tunes Sing-Along Boombox

A toy tester fave! Belt out tunes with the Disney Frozen Cool Tunes Sing-Along Boombox by KidDesigns. We had kids singing duets with this. 3 years+, $30

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Best Toys That Feature Favorite Characters

Kids love toys that feature their favorite animated characters. See the ones that sparked imagination.

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DigiBirds

Jeffrey Westbrook

DigiBirds

DigiBirds, by Spin Master, respond to your whistle and harmonize together. Sit them down, or wear them each on a ring! 5 years+, $30 for three

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Zoomer Dino

Jeffrey Westbrook

Zoomer Dino

Zoomer Dino, also by Spin Master, is cute but naughty, bumping things and burping. However, get him fast, last year's Zoomer dog sold out! 5 years+, $100

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Mattel's Bounce-Off Game

Jeffrey Westbrook

Mattel's Bounce-Off Game

In Bounce-Off, by Mattel, players race to copy a pattern. 7 years+, $18

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Sew Cool Sewing Machine

Jeffrey Westbrook

Sew Cool Sewing Machine

Sew Cool, by Spin Master, helps kids turn out simple crafts with a safe sewing machine (they can't touch the needle!). Extra activity packs are sold separately. 6 years+, $35

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Play-Doh DohVinci Style & Store Vanity Complete Design Kit

Jeffrey Westbrook

Play-Doh DohVinci Style & Store Vanity Complete Design Kit

Dough that acts like paint! This Pliable dough is nice and forgiving, making Hasbro's Play-Doh DohVinci Style & Store Vanity Complete Design Kit fairly frustration-free. 6 years+, $20

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VTech's Kidizoom Smartwatch

Jeffrey Westbrook

VTech's Kidizoom Smartwatch

Kidizoom Smartwatch from VTech teaches time and is also a digital camera! 4 years+, $60

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Design Masters Super Charged Sketchbook

Jeffrey Westbrook

Design Masters Super Charged Sketchbook

Kids can customize cool cars using Design Masters Super Charged Sketchbook, by Wooky Entertainment. 7 years+, $10

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Max Tow Truck

Jeffrey Westbrook

Max Tow Truck

Max Tow Truck, by Jakks Pacific, can push or pull up to 200 pounds, and it says phrases as it goes. One tester sat in a ride-on toy behind this and it towed him. Fun! 6 years+, $60

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Lego Friends Jungle Bridge Rescue Set

Jeffrey Westbrook

Lego Friends Jungle Bridge Rescue Set

Makes for wild story lines! Lego Friends Jungle Bridge Rescue set comes with people, animals, and vehicles. "My friend and I built the helicopter with the people inside. It was cool," says Madelyn, 7. 7 years+, $30

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Deluxe Roominate Kit

Jeffrey Westbrook

Deluxe Roominate Kit

Kids put circuits to work when they use the Deluxe Roominate kit. It comes with all you need to make a simple room, but encourages kids to scour the house for pieces they can repurpose so they can build even more. 6 years+, $50

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The Human Body Science Kit

Jeffrey Westbrook

The Human Body Science Kit

Experiments get personal with The Human Body Science Kit from Thames and Kosmos, which helps kids examine their fingerprint, teaches them to build and use a stethoscope, and more. 5 years+, $40

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GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine

Jeffrey Westbrook

GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine

This is how animation works! Kids watch a story jump to life with GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine. 6 years+, $30

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Lego Fusion Town Master

Jeffrey Westbrook

Lego Fusion Town Master

Snap a pic of your kid's Lego Fusion Town Master creation using your tablet or smartphone, and it zaps into the game app, where it's added to your child's virtual town. The app encourages kids to keep building! 7 years+, $35

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Crayola's My Virtual Fashion Show

Jeffrey Westbrook

Crayola's My Virtual Fashion Show

Kids use Crayola's My Virtual Fashion Show to first draw a design, and then snap its picture with an iPhone to see it come to life on a virtual model walking the runway. 6 years+, $40

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Deluxe Hair Chalk Salon

Jeffrey Westbrook

Deluxe Hair Chalk Salon

Wash-out glitter hair highlights? Irresistible with the Deluxe Hair Chalk Salon from Alex Toys. "I added streaks to my hair and to my little sisters' hair," says 9-year-old Lucy. 8 years+, $25

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Mini Pom-Pom Pets Kit

Jeffrey Westbrook

Mini Pom-Pom Pets Kit

Kids can create Mini Pom-Pom Pets from this Klutz kit. 8 years+, $20

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Lego's Lord Business' Evil Lair

Jeffrey Westbrook

Lego's Lord Business' Evil Lair

The Lego Movie inspired this elaborate Lord Business' Evil Lair. 8 years+, $70

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Hot Wheels Street Hawk

Jeffrey Westbrook

Hot Wheels Street Hawk

The remote-control Hot Wheels Street Hawk both rolls and flies. 8 years+, $60

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Hasbro's My Monopoly Board

Jeffrey Westbrook

Hasbro's My Monopoly Board

Your photos, downloaded and printed, are used to populate Hasbro's My Monopoly board. 8 years+, $20

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WowWee's MiP Robot

Jeffrey Westbrook

WowWee's MiP Robot

WowWee's MiP carries things on his tray and can be directed via app or by hand. "I love MiP. I can tell what he wants by his sounds!" says 9-year-old Joe. 8 years+, $100

Originally published in Parents magazine in November 2014.