Best Baby and Toddler Toys of 2020
Kids are born ready to play. From dolls they can nurture to ride-ons they can use to scoot around, these toys fire up your little one’s imagination and keep them happily occupied.
Best Toys of 2020: Toddler Toys
Madame Alexander Sweet Smiles
Available in multiple skin tones, Madame Alexander Sweet Smiles doll “is without exaggerated features,” observes a grateful dad. Her eyes close when you lay her down, but your child decides if she’s hungry or needs a hug.
To buy! Madame Alexander Sweet Smiles Doll, $34.95; amazon.com
VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Ultimate Corkscrew Tower
Racing thrills for the playroom set: “I’m ready to hit the track!” the plastic car chirps, prompting kids to send it zooming more than 3 feet down the VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Ultimate Corkscrew Tower.
Ages 1 to 5
To buy! VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Ultimate Corkscrew Tower, $43.88; amazon.com
Fisher-Price Little People 1-2-3 Babies Playdate
Tots tuck the babies into this nursery or let them take turns on the rocking horse with the talking, light-up Fisher-Price Little People 1-2-3 Babies Playdate, which conveniently folds up when play is done.
Ages 18 months to 5 years
To buy! Fisher-Price Little People 1-2-3 Babies Playdate, $33.98; amazon.com
Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Activity Toy LLama
The Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Activity Toy LLama is the newest in the brand’s line of first playthings. “It travels everywhere with us,” reports one mom of a 4-month-old, so yes, it has the potential to be that toy. Features a rattle and a removable teether.
To buy! Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Activity Toy LLama, $20; amazon.com
LeapFrog Yum-2-3 Toaster
“My kids use this LeapFrog Yum-2-3 Toaster to pretend-make sandwiches, then run around trying to ‘feed’ each other!” says one mom. It has nine pieces plus buttons to press to learn opposites, numbers, colors, and more.
Ages 1 to 3
To buy! LeapFrog Yum-2-3 Toaster, $26.04; amazon.com
Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Grow-the-Fun Garden to Kitchen
With a sink, a stove, and a fridge on the back and this garden in front, plus some 30 play pieces (avocado toast!), Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Grow-the-Fun Garden to Kitchen is packed with activities. Buttons turn on lights, sounds, and songs.
Ages 18 months to 3 years
To buy! Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Grow-the-Fun Garden to Kitchen, $79.99; amazon.com
GUND Bedtime Elmo With Light-Up Flashlight
Fluffy GUND Bedtime Elmo With Light-Up Flashlight helps soothe nighttime fears with a small light that toddlers can click on and off. But “even the flashlight and Elmo’s eyeballs are fabric,” explains one mom, so it’s still great to snuggle.
Ages 1 to 4
To buy! GUND Bedtime Elmo With Light-Up Flashlight, $34.95; amazon.com
WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Dancing DJ
Just roll with the earworm hit beloved by tots: The WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Dancing DJ plays seven songs and detects motion for Freeze Dance. A plus: “My 2-year-old is able to navigate the games himself,” one parent tells us.
To buy!WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Dancing DJ, $33.88; amazon.com
Step2 Ball Buddies Adventure Center
Take a cue from nursery schools and invest in a Step2 Ball Buddies Adventure Center, which works indoors or out. Kids push the train around, put balls through the hoops, and spin the paddle to make a current. The height is toddler-perfect.
Ages 18 months+
To buy! Step2 Ball Buddies Adventure Center, $104.99; amazon.com
Lamaze 3-in-1 Airtivity Center
This works with air-hockey technology: Shapes suspended on gently rising air swirl around the Lamaze 3-in-1 Airtivity Center. Remove the legs for floor-level play. “Even the music is great!” says a parent, a bonus for any toy.
Ages 6 months to 3 years
To buy! Lamaze 3-in-1 Airtivity Center, $69.99; amazon.com
Mobo Wobo 2-in-1 Rocking Kids’ Balance Bike
Mobo Wobo 2-in-1 Rocking Kids’ Balance Bike is a great first bike (no pedals!) that easily snaps on and off a rocker base. “Our 1-year-old uses it in her room one hour and at the park the next,” explains a tester parent, who adds that it gets daily workouts.
Ages 1 to 3
To buy! Mobo Wobo 2-in-1 Rocking Kids’ Balance Bike, $99.99; amazon.com
VTech Count and Win Sports Center
“Dad uses the VTech Count & Win Sports Center for nightly games with the kids to get out their pre-bedtime energy,” a tester mom tells us. It counts baskets and goals as you go and has more than 65 songs and phrases.
Ages 1 to 3
To buy! VTech Count & Win Sports Center, $46.99; amazon.com
Kid Trax Silly Skaters Unicorn Inflatable Ride-On Toy
This is wild: You pump up the Kid Trax Silly Skaters Unicorn Inflatable Ride-On Toy in seconds using the included air pump. “The wheels light up like old-time skates,” says a mom. Toddlers can bounce up and down as well as zip around.
Ages 1 to 3
To buy! Kid Trax Silly Skaters Unicorn Inflatable Ride-On Toy, $34.99; amazon.com