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Leah Rocketto

Best Toys For Babies And Toddlers

Don’t know what to get your little one? These picks are at the top of our list!

Talking Lotty Rock-N-Ride

Ages 9 months and up

Soft and huggable, Lotty’s got a lot to say to baby, who’ll love cuddling with her while she plays tunes and chats. She’s also got plenty of hidden features — like crinkly feet — for baby to explore. And once your little one is standing on his own two feet, he’ll love pushing the convertible Lotty along! $112,


Bamboo Zoo Monkey Soft Shaker

Ages newborn to 1 year

This adorable rattle is also a huggable (and chewable) friend for baby. The best part? This monkey is made from earth-friendly — and baby-safe — materials: The outer body is pesticide-free bamboo and inner stuffing is made of natural corn, which has no petroleum or plastic. And when this little guy gets loved so much he gets dirty, you can throw him in the washing machine (you’re welcome). $13,


Baby Bling

Ages newborn and up

Here’s some bling that won’t break the bank! Made of different fabrics, bright colors and interesting textures, the oversize diamond ring really stimulates baby’s senses. Attach it to the stroller or car seat with plastic toy links so baby can have her bling to-go. $19,


Reversible PlayMAT

Ages newborn and up

This sturdy, easy-to-store play mat has different designs on each side — both great for tummy time. Choose from City/ABC, City/Farm or City/Ocean for a safe space for baby to pay. And you won’t have to donate this one to Goodwill when baby gets older. It will become a floor mat for imaginary play with toy cars, animals or people. Got to love toys with longevity! $35,


Bear Blanket

Ages newborn and up

This bear just might be in the running to become baby’s favorite lovey. Not only does it have soft fabric and an adorable face, but also, it was designed for teething babies to gnaw on. $15,


My First Fishbowl

Ages 6 months and up

Baby’s not begging for a pet just yet (sigh of relief). And luckily, this fish bowl will keep her entertained (without the need to feed or clean up after anything). Baby will learn to put things in and take things out, developing dexterity and hand-eye coordination. You’ll love that all the fish store neatly in the bowl — and not all over your floor. $25,


DiscoverSounds Alarm Clock

Ages 6 months and up

It’s part toy, part teaching mechanism. Kids love the silly sounds and bright lights, while they learn numbers and the concept of time (in three different languages!). $26,


Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy

Ages 6 months and up

Here’s a popular choice: This dog isn’t just for cuddling. It teaches baby about numbers, letters, colors and body parts through touch and sound. It also plays some cute songs sure to make baby smile. From $6,


Little Tikes 3-in-1 Smart Trike

Ages 9 months and up

If your toddler isn’t so keen on his stroller anymore, you might want to switch to this trike, which you push and steer. When he gets older (say, around age 3), convert it to a full-functioning tricycle he’ll ride all by himself. $120,


Treetop Friends Busy Bead Tree

Ages 12 months and up

How much did you love playing with bead toys when you were a kid? Get baby in on the fun with this woodland-themed version of the classic toy. Bonus: As baby flips, slips and slides his wooden friends along the track, he’ll be developing coordination and dexterity. $25,


Libro Coco Cat Multi-Sensory Activity Book

Ages newborn and up

This cute and colorful book is perfect for babies in the grabby phase. The touch-and-feel pages and squeeze-activated sounds (it meows!) aren’t just fun for baby but also encourage visual and auditory development. $23,


Haba Discovery Blocks

Ages 12 months and up

These aren’t the typical wooden blocks: Each cube holds a tiny treasure, like a bell, a ball or mirror, which keeps baby both interested and entertained. $28,


Bright Starts Tummy Cruiser Prop & Play Mat

Ages newborn and up

The AAP recommends 30 minutes of tummy time a day, and this toy will help baby get his daily dose. How cute is it that it’s car-themed and has its own steering wheel? There’s also a mirror and a few toys to keep baby busy. $30,


B. Toys Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube

Ages 12 months and up

It’s five toys for the price of one! Each side of this wooden block has a different activity that entertains and educates your baby, including alphabet and animal spinners, and monkey-shaped cogs. And it’s cute enough to keep it out in the living room when visitors come over. $60,


LEGO DUPLO Creative Sorter

Ages 18 months and up

If your childhood was anything like ours, you know you can’t go wrong with LEGOs. And these big blocks are suitable for an older toddler. This set lets your tot build (with your help, of course) an elephant, a giraffe and a parrot. As a second activity (and to help with cleanup), place the sorting plates over the container and have him put the blocks into the correctly shaped slot. $15,


Playskool Elmo’s Find & Learn Alphabet Blocks

Ages 2 and up

What toddler doesn’t love Elmo? And who better to motivate your child to learn? When she places a lettered block in Elmo’s lap, Elmo will pronounce it. He also sings the alphabet song and will quiz your tot. $36,


Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet

Ages 2 and up

Can you believe this eco-friendly toy is made from recycled milk jugs? Your toddler will love sorting the colorful pieces to create her own garden. $28,


Imaginarium Mountain Pass Railroad

Ages 3 and up

You get a lot for your money with this train set: 6 train engines and cars, 19 feet of track, bridges, a mountain pass-through — and people, signs and trees to decorate the place. And don’t stress if you have different trains at home; it works with other brands’ wooden tracks and trains, too. $80,


All Season Dollhouse

Ages 3 and up

Here’s a classic-looking dollhouse with all the bells and whistles. It comes fully furnished, and it has a reversible rooftop decorated to represent either winter or summer (great idea, huh?). She’ll love the bright colors and assorted furniture, and you’ll love that it’s not made of ugly plastic. $180,

Plus, more from The Bump:

Fashionable, Functional Baby Products

Worst Holiday Gifts for Baby

Wacky Baby Products That Work!


*Updated December 6, 2013

PHOTO: iStock