Top Toys for Babies and Toddlers

Don't hit the stores until you've checked out some of our favorite toys for little kids.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Wise Ole Polka-Dots

    Besides being crafty-cool with contrast stitching and dotty accent fabric, each Wise Ole is handmade (if anyone assumes it was DIYed by you, mama, we know nothing), so every owl is one-of-a-kind. Indie Fixx Shop, $35.

    Photo courtesy of Indie Fixx

  • Edible Cookie Play Dough

    Just when your kid has finally curbed his urge to eat Play-Doh, now he can dig right in! This prepackaged cookie dough lets your kid nibble while he rolls, squishes, and molds -- and then pop the cookies into the oven. 1-800-Bakery, 3 years+, $33.

    Photo courtesy of

  • Art Time Easel

    On days when the muse isn't striking, this easel is super-easy to disassemble and stash flat in a closet -- no tools required.

    Bonus: It's made of eco-friendly, nontoxic wood. Ecotots, 2 years+, $180.

    Photo courtesy of

  • I Am the Boss

    You don't need to go to Chuck E. Cheese to play in a ball pit anymore. Your kid can crawl right in -- or zip it up and it's an oversized stuffed animal. K's Kids, 6 months+, $87.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

  • Put 'N Giggle Octopus

    Baby learns to pop the balls in the hole, and the octopus moves and giggles as a reward. Shelcore, 12 months+, $20.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

  • Little Superstar Sing-Along Stage

    Nobody puts baby in the corner! Your kid's the star with a microphone rattle, instruments, a row of adoring faces, and look-at-me mirror. Fisher-Price, 6 months+, $45.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

  • Learn & Groove: Animal Sounds Guitar

    Reminiscent of the old See 'n Say, this toy has a cool new look. But like the old-school version, it makes all the animal sounds. LeapFrog, 12 to 36 months, $22.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

  • Top Pick: Tidoo Doll

    Kids can feed, clothe, and bathe this waterproof baby as if she were real -- a definite bonus at bathtime. Corolle, 18 months+, $33.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

  • My Sticker Art

    Stickers make it easy for toddlers to create art. Kids feel extra proud of their creations because they can frame them when they're finished. Alex, 2 years+, $11.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    Kitty Keyboard

    For your Idol-in-training: Kids love to play the songs, push buttons to hear different instruments, and sing with the microphone. Parents, 2 years+, $30.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    Par 3 Mini Golf Course

    Kids can play golf just like Mom and Dad. They'll learn the basics -- and have fun while they're doing it. Step2, 2 years+, $45.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    Lift-Off Rocket

    A fun playset that lets kids use their imaginations to pretend they're blasting off on an adventure. The chunky characters are easy to grip. International Playthings, 18 months+, $40.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    Learning Shoes on Little Feet

    Kids under 2 are too young to tie their shoes, but they'll like opening and closing the Velcro straps and the snap pockets. K's Kids, 2 years+, $27.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    Doorway Playhouse

    So clever: It has a doorbell, a mailbox, and a little doggy door. Attach it to the door of your kids' room, and they can pretend they live in their own house. Step2, 18 months+, $60.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    Top Pick: Candy Land Castle Game

    Kids learn their colors and shapes while playing this sweet matching game. Hasbro, 3 years+, $20.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    Rose Petal Cottage

    Kids will invite their pals to hang out in their life-size "clubhouse." You'll love it because it closes up to save room. Playskool, 3 years+, $90.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    Dora the Explorer Rainbow Rock Adventures

    If your kid is a Dora junkie she'll love setting up her tree house with interlinking blocks. Mega Bloks, 3 years+, $15.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    Automoblox Mini 3-Pack

    These cars may be small, but they're tons of fun to mix and match in different ways. Automoblox, 3 years+, $28.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    Smart Cycle

    What's cool about this TV toy is that it combines educational video games with physical activity -- no sitting in front of the boob tube with this one. Fisher-Price, 3 to 6 years, $90.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    Play-Doh Super Craft Caddy

    The #1 complaint about Play-Doh: it gets everywhere. Problem solved with this tool caddy, which comes with a play mat. When playtime's over, scoop up this mat to throw scraps in the trash. Playskool, 3 years+, $20.

    Photo by Bryan McCay

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    DC Super Friends: My First Batmobile

    Batman's huge this year. This version of his iconic ride features cool sounds, flashing lights and -- cool! -- a net catcher. Mattel, 3 years+, $25.

    Text by the editors of Parents magazine and, photo by Bryan McCay. Originally published in the November 2007 issue of Parents magazine.

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