Top Toys for Babies and Toddlers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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