This classic wooden toy that you've grown to love has a new twist. Black and white contrasting colors will fascinate baby, as will tactical elements designed to help improve motor skills. The Black & White Skwish is made from replenishable rubberwood with a water-based, nontoxic finish, so it's eco-friendly and completely safe for your little one. Plus, it's a handy option for on-the-go!
Age: 0 and upPrice: $16.00
Tummy time is more fun than ever with this mesmerizing, ultrasoft baby toy! The Roly-Poly bolster toy from Whoozit has tons of varying textures and colors to stimulate the senses. It features crinkle paper, a rattle, teething rings, a shiny mirror, an easy-to-carry handle, a picture holder, and colorful ribbons.
Age: 3 months and upPrice: $35.00
Help your baby develop his fine motor skills with the new Bop & Roll from Alex Jr., an award-winning line of engaging developmental toys. Baby can grab the wooden mallet, bop the ball and watch it go round and round. He'll love making three vibrantly colored balls travel down four levels of twirly fun. This is a classic, imaginative toy that is sure to become one of baby's favorites
Age: 10 months and upPrice: $38.95
Is your toddler fascinated by your iPhone? If so, he'll love this interactive, lovable 21st century teddy bear. The magic starts when you place your iPhone or iPod touch in the HappiTaps plush and huggable cover and download the FREE HappiTaps iPhone app. Then Beary Happi, a mix of phone, teddy bear, and interactive fun is brought to life! Children will love nurturing, feeding, and helping him go to sleep, as well as listening to him chat, share fun facts, play peekaboo, tell jokes and stories, and sing songs. The app features more than 150 different expressions to keep kids engaged, and because the toy's life force is an app, new features will be added periodically to create fun learning experiences.
Age: 12 months and upPrice: $19.99
The perfect accent to any nursery, this whimsical rocker from Charm Toys is just plain fun! It takes the traditional rocker a step further by playing 4 adorable children's songs: the colors song, the numbers song, the ABC song, and a happy tune. Your little one can sit comfortably on its ultraplush fabric and rock on.
Age: 12 months and upPrice: $120.00
Available at children's stores, major retail stores, and sears.com.
This exciting water play table transports kids to an imaginary island for refreshing fun in the sun. A pump and geyser, spin around water wheel carousel, slide, and diving board for play characters provide toddlers an interactive setting for cool summer excitement that several children can enjoy simultaneously. The Tropical Island Resort comes with a 14-piece accessory set.
Age: 18 months and upPrice: $79.99
Games aren't just for big kids anymore! ThinkFun introduces its first game designed especially for toddlers. A soft, squishy cube is rolled until one color faces up and a matching color card (48 total) is chosen. There are six categories (emotions, body parts, animal sounds, counting, colors, and actions) with eight cards, and each one asks the tot to perform a simple activity ("Moo like a cow"; "Find something red"). Although no points are tallied, this game offers endless ways to boost development as little ones are encouraged to identify objects, imitate sounds, and more. Best of all, there is a storage pocket for the cards.
Age: 18 months and upPrice: $19.99
When it's too hot or hectic to bake, little hands can make and decorate an endless amount of desserts with this 55-piece DUPLO set from Lego. In addition to the usual square and rectangular bricks, pieces also include muffin and cupcake tops and holders, meringues, flowers, candles, and a tray. Tots can mix and match colors and layers, develop gross and fine motor skills, and build for hours -- all without making a mess in the kitchen!
Age: 2 and upPrice: $24.00
Available at major retailers and at duplo.lego.com
Bring on the flower power! Green Toys brings you this adorable new stacking toy made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled plastic. It has 44 brightly colored interchangeable pieces, including 24 flower pieces, 16 stem and leaf pieces, and 4 bases, so budding preschoolers can stack and build vibrant petunias, daisies, lilies or their own varietal all year long.
Age: 2 and upPrice: $27.99
Available at Pottery Barn Kids, Whole Foods, Kidville, and greentoys.com
Telling time is easy with the Tickety-Tock Clock from the Manhattan Toy Company. This crafty clock features adjustable hands that tick and click as they move. It also includes a chalkboard, fold out easel stand, and an easy-to-grab handle. Kids will love practice their time-telling skills with this adorable teaching toy -- perfect for a little one's bedside.
Age: 3 and upPrice: $30.00
In a world full of fashion and beauty dolls, one mom founded Dream Big Toy Company to create a line of girl power dolls that "celebrate girls in sports" and inspires "self-esteem and overall healthy life skills." There are 13 dolls (two new for 2012), each representing a different sports-related activity (soccer, swimming, dancing). Each one comes with its own accessories and embroidered "secret tummy message" to motivate girls to dream big, and some have companion books ("Read and Play" sets). New for this year are Roxy the Cheerleader Girl and Steph the Volleyball Girl-- a perfect friend to watch the volleyball games with during this year's Summer Olympics!
Age: 3 and upPrice: $19.99
New dolls available at major retail stores in May. New Read and Play set available in August.
Meet Span the Spinosaurus, Attila the Ankylosaurus, and Brok the Brachiosaurus, part of a new line of seven VTech Electronics toys that allow dinosaurs to be transformed into heavy-duty vehicles. An LCD screen allows kids to customize dinosaur eyes and vehicle drivers, and realistic sound effects increase the 2-in-1 action fun. In dinosaur mode, kids can hear up to 30 fun facts about the prehistoric creatures; in vehicle mode, kids can hear up to 30 phrases. Kids can develop thinking and motor skills by switching the toys (in a few simple steps) back-and-forth. The line is designed so that various accessories can fit and be attached to different cars and dinos.
Age: 3 to 8Price: $15.99 to $49.99
Available at major retail stores, amazon.com, and vtechkids.com in fall 2012.
Chalktrail transforms your child's bike or scooter into an entirely new tool of creative expression. It offers a healthy way for kids to create large colorful patterns designs and weaves that until now were impossible to create with sidewalk chalk. Better yet, it's easy on, easy off -- no tools or parents required! Chalktrail works with scooters, all bike sizes, and training wheels. It uses nontoxic, washable chalk, so it's healthy, creative fun for the entire family.
Age: Preschool and upPrice: $24.99 (bike); $14.99 (scooter); $7.99 (replacement packs)
Available from Schylling at chalktrail.com.
Described by Mattel as "toy meets tablet," Apptivity uses patent-pending "Active Touch" technology to encourage dynamic, interactive, hands-on play between a physical toy and an iPad app. By purchasing one of four Hot Wheels cars and downloading a free app, kids can place the car on the screen and guide it along a race track to play various games. The toys are designed not to scratch the iPad, and Mattel will also be releasing a kid-friendly iPad case (a follow-up to last year's iPhone case). Apptivity versions of Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Barbie, and more are in development.
Age: 4 and upPrice: $19.99 (for the toy; app is free)
Available at major retail stores and online retailers in May.
Want to raise a bilingual child? Melissa & Doug will help your kid get a head start with these simple and colorful wooden puzzles. As your child masters the ABCs and 123s in English, teach her how to pronounce 27 letters (including the ?) and 20 numbers in Spanish. As each letter and number is removed and placed back in its slot, a clear voice (battery operated) offers a pronunciation. The voice on the alphabet version even offers a word that begins with each letter and sound.
Age: 5 and upPrice: $19.99
Available at major retail stores and at MelissaAndDoug.com in mid-March.
Fijits, the four sweet and squishy interactive Mattel toys from 2011, now have adorable, matching companions. Yippits are four "dynamic dancing pets" designed to interact with Fijits by barking, growling, dancing, singing, responding to claps, and performing tricks. Newbies (pictured here) are smaller, egg-shaped companions that can dance and sing different parts of the same duets together. There are eight cute Newbies, some with special holiday-specific colors and songs.
Age: 6 and upPrice: $37.99
Available at major retail stores in June.
Age: 6 and upPrice: $17.99
Available now at major retail stores and from online retailers.
Bandai has transformed the beloved '80s video game into a sleek and stand-alone joy stick controller. This connect-and-play video game simply requires you to plug a wire stored inside the Pac-Man console to your television (no software is needed). The familiar dotted labyrinth will automatically appear on the screen. Play all 12 games (with 256 levels) and your kids will learn the benefits of coordination and strategy.
Age: 8 and upPrice: $24.99
Available at major retail stores in July.
Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.