I have often thought that when reincarnated, I would like to return as a manufacturer or retails of items for the Under 5’s. Usually easy to design and make, the “Awwww” or “Sweet” on seeing the item is usually followed by “KACHINNG!!!”.
Having said that though, the item must be both attractive to the baby or toddler (and mother) and safe. Paints and materials must be non toxic, there must be no small removable parts that are easy to swallow, and no sharp corners or edges.
For toys, the toy itself must be attractive to the baby or toddler, even though they will spend more time playing with the box. For adults it should be educational in that it enhances visual and auditory development and motor skills. Further for some adults, ethical considerations come into play, for example no guns or shooting type toys.
The current range is heavily dependent on current fashions derived from TV. Although a number of old favourites will also be around.
We looked at a few toys in 2015, and here is a list of what we consider the top ten.
Table of Contents
- 1 Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether, Brown/White
- 2 VTech – Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
- 3 Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
- 4 Lamaze Cloth Book, Peek-A-Boo Forest
- 5 Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag, 80-Piece (Pink)
- 6 Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Crawl Around Car
- 7 VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels – Train Station Playset
- 8 VTech Spin and Learn Color Flashlight
- 9 Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse, Blue
- 10 VTech – Rhyme and Discover Book
- 11 Baby Toys and Educational Toys Buying Guide
Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether, Brown/White
A cute giraffe made of soft natural rubber, Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether has featured in many a family for many years. It is coated with food grade paint, has no removable parts and has a squeak. It is entirely safe to give to a baby or small toddler.
It is suitable for the teething baby to chew on, and for the older toddler to irritate adults with its continuous squeaking.
Mummies have chosen Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether for many years and will undoubtedly continue to do so for many years to come.
VTech – Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
A fun and educational toy that bridges the transition between baby and new to walking toddler. It has five piano keys for different notes, three multicolored rollers that can be hit to make spin and a selection of shape sorters.
In addition, there is a toy telephone, and some farm buildings. Hopefully sufficient to keep the little one interested for some time.
The unit comes fitted with wheels and a handle to push it around, so the new to walking toddler can practice walking as they push it from room to room.
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
A musical toy in the guise of a radio, the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes plays seven well known nursery rhymes and other tunes familiar to babies. A volume control, operated by twisting a caterpillar will enthral even the tiniest. Tinies develop musical appreciation, and it assists auditory development. Its portable so they can have it wherever they want.
Lamaze Cloth Book, Peek-A-Boo Forest
A perfect accompaniment to going to sleep time, the Lamaze Cloth Book is an excellent introduction to animals and to books. The book format is to have an animal on each page, sometimes hidden behind a peek a boo flap. The book is brightly colored and chew resistant. Older children will enjoy learning the names of each animal.
Page through this book at bedtime to help the little one fall to sleep.
Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag, 80-Piece (Pink)
Building blocks have been a staple item in the playroom for many, many years. Making structures and generally playing with multi coloured bricks help a child develop appreciation of form and shape and the simple mechanical skills of placing one brick on top of another. Every small boy loves building forts and castles out of building blocks.
The Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag provides blocks in bright primary colors that interlock with one another. Additional bags add even more brocks.
Hours of endless fun for your budding engineer.
Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Crawl Around Car
The stationary Laugh and Learn Crawl Around Car is a sweet little car that babies and toddlers can sit in the driving seat. Included in the car itself are button operated functions like seventy-five sing along nursery rhymes, static and flashing lights, hooters, buzzers and other noises. Visual cues help with letters, numbers and their first words.
VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels – Train Station Playset
Every daddy wants to buy their son a train set so they can play with it themselves. This is an excellent train set for the very youngest daddy and child. As the train runs around the track, ten triggers on the rails cause the train to come out with phrases, sound effects and music.
It is operated by hoisting the train to the top of a ramp by using a lift, and then letting it run down and around the track you have laid out.
Great fun and entertainment for both dad and his child.
VTech Spin and Learn Color Flashlight
All parents are painfully aware that small children adore noise and light. The VTech Spin and Learn Color Flashlight provides lots of both.
Push a button and the VTech Spin and Learn Color Flashlight changes color and a ladybird speaks to you. The unit offers music and sound and helps with learning to count up to three.
It is appropriate for babies up to the toddler who likes to see the light shing on the wall move around as they wave the light.
Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse, Blue
Just what you need when it is time for the little one to go to sleep. The little mite cuddles the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse and it will pay five minutes of ocean sounds and soft music, while its tummy glows. After around 5 minutes, the sounds will gradually fade and the glow will dim. Hopefully the child will now be asleep.
If the child wakes in the night, cuddling the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse will activate the music and glowing belly, relaxing and hopefully sending the child back to sleep.
VTech – Rhyme and Discover Book
A book that is an excellent introduction to animals and animal sounds for the baby and toddler. Some zooty lights, and sign along songs and nursery rhymes add more fun and enjoyment. It is a hard book, with the pages specifically designed to turn easily with small fingers .
One to treasure.
Baby Toys and Educational Toys Buying Guide
You may think that buying a Baby toy for your child is a simple task and that you can do it effortlessly but trust me, that’s not the case.
You should definitely ask for an opinion of an expert before buying any kind of toy for your baby but it is also very practical to read up some guides that will help you out as well. I will try to give my best possible insight in this one in order to make the whole buying process much smoother and easier for you.
Stimulate Infants with Baby Toys (0-6 months)
For this age you will need a specific kind of toys as although your child has only just “come” to this world, it will still require something to stimulate it and make this initial experience of his/her environment as enjoyable as possible. This is what you should consider:
- Crib toys and other useful additions: Almost any kind of Crib toy is pretty much certainly going to entertain your child and keep it satisfied for a pretty long time. Again, you should try to get him/her a bright and colorful crib toy for a maximum enjoyment. And if it allows playing some sweet background sounds, even better!
- Teethers/rattles: Very young children have an intensive urge to chew and/or bite anything they see in front of them. That is why you should get him/her a rattles and teethers. These toys are perfectly safe and they are designed to be “chewed” for an extended period of time. They also have some very nice looking shapes that will certainly entertain your child even more. I would also advise using the fridge to keep the cool when they are not used as not only that it is better for the toys themselves but for the baby as well as it helps out a lot if its gums get sore due to extensive chewing of these accessories.
- Sensory baby toys: It is very practical to teach your child that whatever action it causes a certain reaction as the end-result. Sensory baby toys are crafted with this thing in mind. By making amusing squeaky noises while they are being pressed, not only that they will create and endless entertainment for the child, they will also help it learn that it has a certain control over some happenings in the real world.
- Activities, play gyms: There are several types of activity toys to consider here – activity bars, activity centers, and play mats. As the name suggests, these sets are intended to raise up your infant’s activity levels and keep them at a convenient level. Not only that your child will be able to chew and bite these toys on its way, it will also make its first steps into exploring its surrounding.
- Soft baby books: It is never too early to make your child fall in love with the written literature. Soft baby books are a great way to establish reading activities at this age already and to amuse your child in a creative and meaningful way. Just always make sure to be properly informed and to choose the right book for that age.
Exercise Baby’s New Skills (6-12 months)
As your child grows, so does the appropriate type of toys designed for its age changes as well. But nonetheless, the toys that are suitable for this life period are just as convenient as the ones that I mentioned earlier. Here are the choices that you can make here:
- Activity tables –They are highly useful for children in this range. They will provide countless hours of fun and they will be useful as an addition to help your infant step up into the actual world on its own. These activity tables and panels with various fun colorful buttons and switches are also known for developing the cognitive processes at an increased rate at this age.
- Stuffed Animal dolls – Stuffed animals like teddy bears, cats, dogs, etc….will not only give your child an additional feeling of overwhelming joy – they will also develop its love for animals at this age already.
- Balls – I believe I don’t even need to mention how popular the balls are (not even when only the children are concerned). The best way to introduce your infant to the concept of a ball and everything that it has to offer is to get a specific glee ball that is designed specifically for this age.
- Block sets – Creativity is a process that should be pursued from a young age and there is no better way of doing that now than getting your infant a set of blocks.It will keep it amused for a long time and it will also stimulate it to improve on building a bigger and bigger “tower” of blocks. That is yet another effective way of stimulating the cognitive processes at a very young age already.
- Baby toys with wheels – As your child learns to walk and crawl on its own, it will also have a need to move things on its own as well. A wheeled toy such as the car or a truck is a fairly popular choice for male infants but there are many good counterparts for female babies as well.
- Sandbox toys – Another extremely popular solution for this range is to get your infant an appropriate sandbox in the outdoor area of your home (preferably the backyard) and to get him/her a set of sandbox toys as well. Children love to play in the sand and this is another way to spend time in a creative way but also having fun along the run (it even rhymes).
- The books – You can never go wrong if you decide to buy your infant one or more books. Unlike children who are up to 6 months old, in this period they may want to discover the pleasures of particular books on their own. That is why you should consider getting a cardboard book or a book with some interactive elements that will keep your baby occupied for a certain time period.
Select Baby Toys for the Active Toddler (1-2 years)
If this is the section that interests you, congratulations! Your baby is (at least) a year old and at that age, some new possibilities open up when it comes to choosing the proper toy. This is what you can consider at this period:
- Activity toys – Activity toys just don’t get old so fast! Interactive sets, turnable panels, buttons that are pressed and produce different effects….all that will provide a good quality entertainment for a child at this age.
- Bathtub toys – As the name suggests, this is a set of toys designed to keep your child occupied while it’s taking a bath in his favorite bathtub. There is a wide selection of toys of this type and you can look them up here. A rubber duck is the most popular but certainly not the only solution.
- Crayons and paper – This is the age when many children become interested in drawing and painting so getting a set of pens, crayons, some paints, and even a paper is a great choice to stir up the creativity in its best.
- Backyard toys – As your child starts walking on its own, it will soon want to play in the outdoor areas much more often. Getting the appropriate outdoor toys like climbers, trains, and cars is thus certainly a smart investment. It will stimulate your child to be active but it will entertain it properly at the same time as well.
- Kitchen and tool toy sets – This is also the age when children like to impersonate older ones and as they are impressed by their parents who are working with different tools and repairing things around the house or preparing food in the kitchen, they want to do the same on their own. Different toys in form of tool sets, kitchen sets, phone toys, etc… will all help them fulfill their wishes….at least a little bit.
- Puzzle sets – Puzzles are the best solution for further development of your child’s cognitive functions once it gets a bit older. Once your child’s second birthday closes in, consider buying him/her a set of puzzles. You will see, you will not regret it and your child will be thankful to you for a long time!
- Books – Once again, getting the proper books for your child is a safe choice when it comes to choosing the right toy accessory. As the children grow, so does the “maturity” of these books as well. Unlike the books that are written for infants, these books will typically have more graphical illustrations and more text as well. That will stimulate your child to associate things from the books to actual things in the real world and to start learning how to read at this age already.
Teach With Learning Toys (2-4 years)
As your child gets closer to entering the official preschool period and as it is now able to talk, walk, and discover things on its own, the toys that will suit him well at this period are a bit more “advanced”. But fear not, we have the solutions here as well.
- Outdoor toys – The previous category of backdoor toys is now likely outgrown so you should consider getting the proper replacements. The things that I can recommend are water wings, basketball hoops, and whiffle toys.. These are already known as the optimal solutions for most children of this age.
- Educational games – Educational games are very popular at this age and it is very likely that your child will demand one before you even start considering getting them for him/her. Some educational games that you should certainly consider buying are Memory, Chutes and ladders, and Candy land.
- Adult-like toys – Children want to act as if they are adults when they are even younger than this. The toys that will help them feel like they are indeed adults include playhouses, musical instruments, tool sets, and even some vehicles too. The choice is not limited to these types strictly of course but this is a suggestion that you can try out on your own if you want.
- The books – The books that you should consider for this age are not the same as the ones that are written for infants and for children under and/or up to 2 years old. Some choices that you should definitely consider are “Goodnight Moon”, “Where the Wild Things are”, and “Dr. Seuss”. These 3 books are timeless and you can’t go wrong with any of them.
- Building toys – As your child’s cognitive skills are already at a certain level that can be considered decent, it will want to build things on its own. You can help him/her out by buying a proper building set. Other than the widely known LEGO sets, you can also get traditional blocks made from wood, or even some interlocking blocks. All of them will do the job perfectly.
Toys are an essential part of growing up. Not only that they are crafted to entertain children, they are also crafted to stimulate their mental and physical development as well. Getting the right toy is not an easy task but once you are covered with enough info, you should be good to go. Thanks for reading and I hope that at least some info that I provided here will be useful when you consider buying the toys for your child (or children).