Best Toys of the Year 2014

Mip Robot
Jeffrey Westbrook
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.
Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Get a behind-the-scenes look at a big day of testing for our best toys of 2014. Our little critics played with everything from robots to hair chalk to see which new products are the most fun and exciting this year.

There are so many options for baby and toddler toys out there. We'll show you our top choices so you can be confident that your little one will be entertained.

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Nutty Ball Track

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Looking for something to help your child burn off some energy? Our kid testers show you how much fun they had playing with their favorite toys that kept them moving.

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Stack & Pull Train

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Puppy's Smart Stages Train

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Wooden Pull Along Shapes Turtle

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

We brought the toughest little critics to our testing room so they could tell us their favorite toys that feature characters. Learn what they picked as the best of the best and why.

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Snake Jumbo Stuffed Animal

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Looking for something to help your child burn off some energy? Our kid testers show you how much fun they had playing with their favorite toys that kept them moving.

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Radio Flyer Cyclone

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Our kid testers played with all kinds of toys to help us find our top picks of 2014. Watch as they interact with some of the coolest playthings on the market.

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Olaf Snow Cone Maker

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

We brought the toughest little critics to our testing room so they could tell us their favorite toys that feature characters. Learn what they picked as the best of the best and why.

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Mattel's Bounce-Off Game

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

VTech's Kidizoom Smartwatch

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Design Masters Super Charged Sketchbook

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Mini Pom-Pom Pets Kit

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Lego's Lord Business' Evil Lair

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Hot Wheels Street Hawk

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
Jeffrey Westbrook

Hasbro's My Monopoly Board

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

Jeffrey Westbrook
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.

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