Toy Experts Reveal 2018’s Hottest Holiday Toddler Toys
Lifestyle| | By Robin Milling
Before you know it, the holidays will be upon us. They are already right around the corner. Don’t worry, the experts from Toy Insider have once again compiled a list of hottest holiday toys toddler and infant parents will be racing to stores to snatch up. Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht and her knowledgeable toy team take the guesswork out, choosing the most appropriate gifts for your tot — from games to plushies. Some will challenge their little minds with sights and sounds, while others are just for cuddling. (Have a slightly older child? Don’t worry, this list has recommendations for preschoolers!)
Take the stress out of holiday toy shopping and see what they are recommending this year for infants and toddlers. Here are some of their favorite toy picks that will not only encourage your child’s imagination during playtime, but will teach them, too. There are toys that will provide exercise and others that will even teach them a new language or phrase.
For newborns, there’s Dolce Afghan Hound. This plush canine is a wonderful cuddler. Your baby can fumble with its crinkly ears while shaking the bead rattle in its tummy, and or honking on the squeaking nose. There’s even a Dolce teether to bite on rather than the hound.
Another great toy for newborns is the Touch & Discover Sensory Turtle from V-Tech. Your 3-month-old can cuddle this adorable plush turtle, which morphs into a soft wobbly ball by tucking in the head and legs. It’s like the peewee version of a Transformer. The light-up button on the shell changes the turtle different colors while they hear sounds and cheerful tunes.
There’s nothing like bath time for the little ones. Tide Pool Bath Set from Green Toys has everything they need to make getting into the tub a fun activity. Recommended for ages 6 months and up, this seven-piece bath set includes many creatures from the sea, including a starfish, scallop, abalone, snail, squid, and jellyfish. A seaweed-patterned storage bag makes clean-up easy. Each piece is made from 100-percent recycled plastic that holds and pours water in their unique way.
The Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker from V-Tech caters to your newly active baby. Recommended for kids ages 9 months and older, it comes with all the bells and whistles that’ll entice them to push it along to practice their gait. The early learning center comes with five piano keys that play more than 70 sing-alongs, music, sound effects, and phrases. There is a pretend telephone handset in case you want to let mom know you’re running late for dinner.
For your wannabe peace officer, there’s Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch and Chase Police Tower from V-Tech. Recommended for kids ages 1 year and older, your toddler can race the SmartPoint Police and Getaway cars around the playset. Instead of a siren, Po the Police car plays sounds and six sing-along songs. The letter “P” is the focus for language skills.
The Fisher-Price Little People Share & Care Safari is a must-have for any one-year-old who is an animal lover. Your child will discover which animals belong in which habitats. There are six different animal figures and habitats with interactive lights, songs, and phrases that will teach them all about animals in the wild. A pop-up computer screen lists animal facts. There also is a working zip line, drop-through waterfall and spinning water basin, soft jungle vines for Tarzan fans, and peek-a-boo bush to spy on their favorite jungle creature. A safari guide also is included.
This Infinifun My First Yoga Mat is a great way for your 2-year-old to join in while you practice your downward facing dog. The soft mat has 16 touch-sensitive pads that illustrate various basic yoga poses. There are three games that help kids learn about body parts, take BitsyBot’s challenge, and practice their coordination and balance. It’s also bilingual (English/Spanish).
Learning Friends 100 Words Book from LeapFrog is recommended for toddlers 18 months and older. Your child will make new friends with turtle, Tiger, and monkey, who will show them more than 100 words in categories including pets, animals, food, activities, and clothes. When they touch the words, they’ll produce sound effects and fun facts. The light-up star button plays two songs. The words and songs can be heard in both Spanish and English for bilingual learning.
The builder in your 18-month-old will love Toomies Flappee Stackees. The five-piece animal piece set can be mixed and matched into stackable Toomies. When you press the top of their head, their wings, arms, legs, ear, trunk, and beak all move together. A push-and-go safari car is included to drive them around.
Teddy Ruxpin Hug ‘N Sing plush Teddy Bears are wonderful bedtime companions for your toddler. Recommended for toddlers ages 2 years and older, this musical bear quartet is available in Adventure Teddy Ruxpin (above), Friendship Teddy Ruxpin, Lullaby Teddy Ruxpin, and Teddy Ruxpin’s best friend Grubby. Your little one will be asleep in no time.
For 2-year-old tots who like to play with babies, there’s My Very Own Nursery from American Plastic Toys. It comes with a crib, storage shelf, and cupboard. Kids can feed the baby in the feeding chair with their fork or spoon and serve it on the plate. Or they can give baby a drink out of their sippy cup and then wash out everything in their sink. Unfortunately, the baby doll is not included.
The Race Car Maker Dough Set from Green Toys is great for your 2-year-old toddler, who may grow up to be a race car driver that manufactures their own vehicle. The parts are made of organic flour and 100 percent recycled plastic so you feel good about the planet while your kid creates.
What toddler doesn’t love a unicorn? Starshine The Bright Lights Unicorn is perfect for toddlers 18 months and older who want a unicorn that also lights up in magical colors. Starshine’s horn lights up in a rainbow. The hearts can either play music or quiz your child with age-appropriate questions. The seven charms can add sound effects to crafted melodies that create their own songs by pushing the blue heart button. When you squeeze the unicorn’s tail, her wings flap along to whimsical phrases.
For 9 months and older, there’s Chase Me Casey from V-Tech. Casey knows when your child is near through sensors of sounds and motions. This toy will provide hours of play as your child chases after this dancing and skating electric toy monkey.
Here is a complete list of the infant and toddler toy ideas from TI. SHARE this story with other parents looking for inspirational holiday toy ideas.