When you shop through links on our site, we may receive compensation. This educational content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

Best Toddler Toys of 2023

Fifty ideas for the best toy for your toddler.

Finding the best toddler toys isn’t as straightforward as it seems. By age one, their curiosity is expanding, and their need for exploring grows quickly.

For this age, toys that make noise and mimic the world around them are wonderful. If they’re starting to walk, a toy that supports their new mobility is a good pick. You have lots of options to choose from, so we’ll help you narrow it down.

Our Top Picks

We independently research, assess and evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on the links we provide, we may receive compensation.
Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Step2 Naturally Playful
Best Outdoor Playhouse
Step2 Naturally Playful
  • Social and interactive play
  • Sand & water features
  • Includes a sunshade
Product Image of the Kidzlane Color Matching Egg Set
Best Color Match Toy
Kidzlane Color Matching Egg Set
  • Improve hand dexterity
  • Child-safe materials
  • Quick & easy storage
Product Image of the Orwine Inertia Powered Cars
Best for Car-Loving Tots
Orwine Inertia Powered Cars
  • Stimulates creativity
  • Promotes focus
  • Eco-friendly
Product Image of the Busy Activity Board
Best for Travel
Busy Activity Board
  • Montessori inspired
  • Develops motor skills
  • Invokes creativity
Product Image of the Fisher-Price Friend Ship
Best Figurine Toy
Fisher-Price Friend Ship
  • Plays realistic sounds
  • Stimulates imagination
  • Strengthens dexterity
Product Image of the Little Tikes Basketball Set
Best Basketball Set
Little Tikes Basketball Set
  • Indoor & outdoor play
  • Develop motor skills
  • Develop balance & coordination
Product Image of the The Original Mood Flipbook
Best for Understanding Moods
The Original Mood Flipbook
  • Helpful for Autism & ADHD
  • Fun & educational
  • Solid construction
Product Image of the Slotic Wooden Puzzles
Best for Christmas
Slotic Wooden Puzzles
  • Develop color recognition
  • Interactive game
  • Eco-friendly materials
Product Image of the Melissa & Doug Take-Along
Best Traveling Shape Sorter
Melissa & Doug Take-Along
  • Develop sensory skills
  • Sparks creativity
  • Develop communication skills
Product Image of the LeapFrog Learning Friends Book
Best Digital Word Book
LeapFrog Learning Friends Book
  • Develop language skills
  • Builds vocabulary
  • Exciting sound effects

Review Methodology: At Mom Loves Best, we pride ourselves on providing you with thorough and reliable reviews. Our expert team conducts hands-on testing and meticulous research on each toddler toy, utilizing a comprehensive set of criteria to measure performance, durability, and safety. We evaluate from a user’s perspective, tracking and comparing key decision-making factors such as educational value, age appropriateness, and interactive features. Our assessments are backed by firsthand experience and solid data, distinguishing what sets a product apart from its competitors. We delve into design choices and their impact on your child’s development. Trust us to help you find the best toddler toys in the market based on our rigorous analysis and objective findings.

The Best Toddler Toys of 2023

Here are 50 great toy ideas for toddlers.

Best Toddler Toys for Outdoors

Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Activity Center

Best Outdoor Playhouse

If you have room in the backyard, this playhouse from Step2 is worth a look. It’s a pavilion-style playhouse, designed for outdoors. It resembles a miniature table, that includes two compartments for sand and water. When fully covered, it can be used as a snack table, perfect for summer outdoor fun without being exposed to the sun, thanks to its 60-inches umbrella for shade.

The activity center provides ample room for several toddlers to play at once. One of the stations included has a small sand and water area, which comes with fun accessories for pretend play. Moreover, your little one receives seven molders which he can use in imaginative play.

Community Feedback

I recently purchased this sand and water play table for my grandkids, and it has provided hours of imaginative play. The table is elevated, making it cleaner and safer for little ones to play, and the included umbrella is adjustable, providing much-needed shade. However, be prepared for the sand and water to mix, which requires frequent cleaning of the water side. Also, make sure to have smaller toys, as normal beach toys might be too big for this table, but overall, it's a fantastic addition to our playtime activities.

Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set

Best Toddler Basketball Set

My little one loves playing with balls, especially throwing them. This basketball hoop from Little Tikes has received stellar reviews, suggesting it’s worthy of a high ranking on our list. While it’s great outside, on a rainy day or for the winter you can set it up inside instead.

The set is suitable for children aged 18 months to 5 years. In the collection, you’ll receive a basketball hoop, stand, and three balls. You can set six height settings, measuring between 2.5 to 4 feet.

Community Feedback

If you're looking for a versatile and engaging toy for your little ones, this basketball hoop is an excellent choice. Its adjustable height allows children of different ages to participate, fostering teamwork and motor skill development. Although adjusting the height can be slightly challenging, the inclusion of three durable basketballs ensures there's always a ball ready for the next shot. This basketball hoop is undoubtedly a delightful addition to playtime, providing hours of entertainment for children and even bringing out the inner child in parents.

Kinetic Sand Construction Site Folding Sandbox

Best Sandbox for Toddlers

Toddlers love playing with sand — they can sieve it, dig in it, mold, and toss it. This sandbox from Kinetic Sand grabbed our attention thanks to its hypoallergenic sand and easy-to-clean-up mess. It can hold several pounds of sand, enough for hours of inventive play.

The container is airtight to protect the sand from rain and cats. Furthermore, it includes construction vehicles such as a crane and a dump truck. Alternatively, you can buy additional molders and sculpting tools.

Community Feedback

I recently purchased this construction-themed kinetic sand set for my child, and it has quickly become a favorite toy. The contained play area and storage make it convenient, and the wrecking ball and dump truck accessories add extra fun. However, the crane tower base has trouble staying on, and there is less sand included than what's shown in the product photo. Despite the minor mess it can create, my child enjoys playing independently with it for extended periods of time.

Step2 Play & Shade Pool

Best Kiddie Pool for Toddlers

This little pool is suitable for toddlers aged 24 months, right up to 6-year-olds. The pool is made of a hard plastic molding, so there’s no inflating required.

It comes with a 40-inch umbrella, which provides shade for your little ones while they splash. For more play, you can attach the included funnel cups and spinning water wheels to the umbrella post.

Community Feedback

After purchasing this pool for my toddler, I found it to be well-made and sturdy, perfect for outdoor use. The small size and non-slip textured sea creatures on the bottom make it safe and entertaining, though the umbrellas could be larger for better coverage. Easily removable, the umbrella can also be used separately for beach or lake trips, making this pool a versatile investment.

Intex Mushroom Baby Pool

Best Inflatable Baby Pool

The Intex Mushroom baby pool is cute and super fun for small toddlers.

The inflatable baby pool is big enough for one or two toddlers aged one to three years. Overhead is a mushroom-style sun canopy that gives some protection from the sun.

The pool has a 5-inch wall and can hold up to 12 gallons of water. It measures 40 by 35 inches, and even includes a repair patch.

Community Feedback

In my experience, this pool has been a delightful addition to our backyard. The mushroom top adds shade while the cushioned bottom ensures comfort and safety for my granddaughter, who absolutely adores it. I did have a minor struggle locating the three inflation valves and wished there were directions, but the pool did come with patches.

Little Tikes First Slide

Best Toddler Slide

The Little Tikes First Slide is a popular pick among parents. It has a comfortable height of 39 inches with a 38-inch slide, suitable for ages 18 months to 6 years. At the top are removable handrails that snap into place.

Community Feedback

I'm thrilled with this slide for my kids, as it's easy to assemble and super safe with no sharp edges. However, I do wish they had covered the stair climb area, as my little one sometimes gets their foot stuck. It would also be great to have handle grip bars at the top for extra support, but overall, it's a fantastic addition to our play area.

Little Tikes Cook 'n Play Outdoor BBQ

Best Outdoor Cooking Station

This play kitchen from Little Tikes is your toddler’s own outdoor grill station. Your little one can host their own cookout alongside mom and dad.

On the BBQ stand, there’s a sink and prep station as well as an oven and shelves. You can also choose to include play food and utensils.

Community Feedback

Excellent playset for young children, as it provides endless entertainment and fosters imaginative play. I assembled the set with ease, although pre-drilled holes for the back screws would have been helpful. This grill set is perfect for my 2-year-old, but it may be outgrown quickly by taller children, and it could be more stable if it were heavier. Despite these minor drawbacks, my little one spent hours interacting with the set, making it a worthwhile purchase.

Step2 Sports-Tastic Activity Center Playset for Toddlers

Best Backyard Climber for Toddlers

For hours of outdoor fun, a climber such as this one from Step2 is a good choice. It’s a toddler-friendly sports climber, suitable for ages 12 months to 3 years.

It has a slide, and once on the ground, they can engage in basketball, football, and soccer. The climber can hold up to 45 pounds.

Community Feedback

My experience with this product has been a mix of positives and negatives. Assembling it was a breeze, and its compact size makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. However, I found that it tends to tip over easily on hard floors, so placing it on a rug or grassy area is definitely recommended. The price seemed a bit steep for the small size and some parts, like the basketball hoop, don't stay in place as well as they should. Despite these issues, my toddler and even my puppy have both found enjoyment in using this product.

Lydaz Bubble Mower for Toddlers

Best Bubble Machine for Toddlers

This bubble maker from Lydaz puts a fun spin on the old bubbles by including a toy lawnmower. The mower provides realistic engine and gear sounds.

While your child pushes the mower, the bubble maker sitting on the inside will blow hundreds of bubbles. Included are three bubble sticks and three solutions.

Community Feedback

Bought this bubble lawn mower for my grandson's 4th birthday, and it has been a hit with both him and his siblings. It was easy to assemble and the clicking sound it makes when pushed adds to the fun. However, the open reservoir for the bubble solution could use improvement, as it tends to spill easily when accidentally tipped over. The mower is lightweight and durable, withstanding rough play in the yard. Despite its minor flaws, the enjoyment it brings to the children makes it a worthwhile purchase.

SplashEZ 3-in-1 Sprinkler for Kids

Best Toddler Sprinkler

This inflatable pool comes with low walls and built-in sprinklers. You connect your water hose, thus activating the water feature.

The bottom of the pool sports an interactive ABC and animal design. This fun toy is for children aged 12 months and up.

Community Feedback

I've enjoyed using this splash pad with my 2-year-old, but there are some minor flaws to note. The hose attachment is inconveniently placed on top, causing bending or weighing the product down, and it leaks a bit, wasting water. Despite this, my child still loves playing in it, and it's great for a quick, fun water activity without needing a full pool.

Best Toddler Toys for Development

Kidzlane Color Matching Egg Set

Best Color Match Toy

This pack contains 12 plastic eggs. When opened up, they reveal their number and color. Each has a specific pattern of pegs that only suits its other half.

The user must coordinate the colors and numbers to match the halves and put the eggs back together.

Community Feedback

Definitely a versatile and durable toy, these educational eggs have provided endless entertainment and learning opportunities for my kids, even as they grow older. The eggs teach colors, shapes, and counting, making them a perfect addition to our household. My children have found countless ways to play with them, from pretend Easter egg hunts to incorporating them into their construction truck games. These eggs have easily become a staple in our home, and I'm confident they'll continue to be a hit for years to come.

The Original Mood Flipbook for Kids

Best Book for Understanding Moods

For older toddlers, this Mood flipbook is an outstanding tool for developing an understanding of different emotions. The book includes 20 moods. As you explore each, you’ll also see ways to handle such feelings by using counting, exercise, or breathing.

It’s sturdy, too, designed with laminated pages, which are easy to wipe in case of spills or sticky hands.

Community Feedback

I'm thrilled with this flipbook that helps my child express emotions and find solutions to feel better. The first time my son used it, he showed me he was tired and we immediately went to bed. Now, he can identify when he's mad or grumpy and it has made a huge improvement in our communication. This book has been a fantastic tool for my family and has even taught me to help my child overcome negative emotions by offering choices. It's a simple yet effective way for kids to learn about their feelings and how to handle them in a healthy manner.

Coogam Toddler Fine Motor Skill Toy

Best Toddler Toy for Fine Motor Skills Development

Coogam has developed probably the cutest toy for practicing fine motor skills and matching up colors. This small beehive calls for your little one to place each bee into the right cell.

In the package, you’ll receive seven chubby bees, the hive, and a tweezer.

Community Feedback

Bought this captivating toy for my young child, and it has become a favorite in our household. Not only does it provide endless entertainment, but it also serves as an excellent tool for developing fine motor skills, color recognition, and counting. The size of the bees is smaller than expected, but that didn't deter my child from enjoying the activity. While the pinching action might be challenging for children under four, it has been instrumental in strengthening my daughter's upper body and limb muscles.

Skoolzy Nuts and Bolts Fine Motor Skills

Best Nuts and Bolts Toddler Toy

Another excellent way of practicing fine motor skills is by using nuts and bolts, and this set from Skoolzy is ideal for that. The bundle consists of 24 pieces in four various shapes and colors which the player must coordinate. It’s suitable for ages 3 and up.

The toy encourages your little one to sort and count while learning about the nature of screws. Included is also a tote bag for storage or transportation.

Community Feedback

I recently purchased this set of nuts and bolts for my toddler, and it has been a fantastic addition to our playtime. The bright colors and various shapes keep my child engaged, while also helping them learn about matching and sorting. The pieces are easy to manipulate, making it a great tool for improving fine motor skills. Not only is this set enjoyable for my little one, it has also proven to be beneficial for family members with Alzheimer's/dementia, as it keeps them occupied and helps with cognitive skills.

Battat - Sort & Stack - Educational Stacking Cups

Best Stacking Toy

Stacking, shapes, and buckets — this toy has it all. My little one loves buckets at the moment, as do many other toddlers. The package includes ten stacking cups, eight shapes, and fun stickers that encourage counting.

With the toy, a child stacks the cups, while unconsciously exercising problem-solving skills, as they need to figure out what goes where.

Next is the lid, where the shapes must match to fill the holes. On each cup is a sticker with a number and a design such as rockets or starfish.

Community Feedback

My experience with this stacking and sorting toy has been overwhelmingly positive, especially when gifting it to toddlers. The durability of the product has proven itself, as my son's toy has remained in great condition for three years without any scratches. The handle is a notable feature, adding convenience and versatility to the toy. Although I did have to apply the stickers myself, which can be tricky, the overall design and functionality of the toy make up for it. This multi-purpose toy not only keeps little ones entertained, but also provides numerous learning opportunities, including counting, colors, shapes, and motor skill development.

Lego Duplo Creative Picnic Building Set

Best LEGO Duplo Set

If you’re searching for toys that promote creative and tactile play, Duplo is a solid choice. Duplo is almost iconic, and this picnic-inspired bundle is outstanding. It consists of 52 pieces, providing opportunities to create various sandwiches, milk cartons, fruits and vegetables.

The pieces are large and suitable for ages 1.5 to 5 years. It all arrives in a sturdy Duplo box, which you can retain to use for storage.

Community Feedback

I've enjoyed watching my children play with this Duplo food set, which includes a variety of pieces for creating sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables. The set has sparked their creativity, allowing them to make unique food combinations and engage in imaginative play. It even integrates well with other Duplo sets we own, such as the ice cream cones set. However, I was slightly disappointed with the storage box, as it is made of cardboard with a plastic lid, making it less durable for younger children. Additionally, some of the pieces may be too small for unsupervised play with toddlers, posing a potential choking hazard.

Melissa & Doug Match & Roll Shape-Sorter

Best Toddler Toy with Shapes

With outstanding reviews from parents, we had to include this Melissa and Doug toy. You can teach about shapes and construction as your little one must navigate it to fit the shapes.

It’s durable and toddler-proof, made with non-toxic materials. The toy suits children ages 12 months and up.

Community Feedback

I'm impressed with this educational toy that has been a hit with my kids. The bright colors, smooth wood, and sturdy design make it perfect for developing their motor and cognitive skills. My toddler enjoys fitting each shape into its color-coded hole, while my teething baby loves handling the shapes. Although the paint chipped on one of the shapes, it's still a toy that my children play with daily. This versatile toy not only rolls and shakes, but also teaches shape sorting, making it a great long-lasting investment for their growth and learning.

Bead Maze

Best Bead Maze Toy for Toddlers

This bead maze toy from QZMTOY provides lots of fun. Parents praise the size, saying it’s great for toddlers.

The maze is made of high-quality wood construction. It also sports vibrant, enticing colors.

Around the maze are cute animals, and on the bottom is a bead counting game.

Community Feedback

Got this toy for my little one, and they absolutely love it! It's a perfect size for them to hold and play with, keeping them entertained for long periods. The only downside is the extra black end cap piece that seems unnecessary, but overall, this toy is a great purchase for young kids.

Baby Activity Cube Toddler Toys

Best Activity Cube for Toddlers

Activity cubes, such as this one from Sytle-Carry, are excellent for toddlers. This toy has six different sides, each providing an activity.

You can open the cube and alter it to fit the current activity. It’s made of non-toxic, BPA-free ABS plastic and complies with ASTM and CPSIA safety standards. The cube is suitable for babies aged 12 months and up.

Community Feedback

Love how this activity cube keeps my little one entertained and engaged! The musical keyboard may have slightly off-tune nursery tunes, but it doesn't bother my 11-month-old who enjoys playing with every side of the cube. The toy is on the smaller side, making it perfect for younger children and easy to take with us everywhere we go. Despite the somewhat annoying music and occasional mechanical issues, I would still buy it again since my baby adores it.

Kenley Montessori Basic Skills Activity Board

Best Toddler Toy for Development While Traveling

This Montessori-inspired busy board is ready to take on the road. It provides hands-on learning of basic tasks and fine motor skills. The board consists of several different everyday activities that your toddler must execute.

The board has a soft felt wool coating and measures roughly 11 by 12.5 inches. It weighs less than half of a pound, so it’s easy to bring while traveling.

Community Feedback

My experience with this learning tool has been mostly positive, as it's colorful, engaging, and helps develop my child's motor skills. The sturdy and durable board offers various activities like unbuckling belts, zipping jackets, and tying shoes. However, I did have an issue with buttons not being sewn properly, which required supervision to ensure my child wouldn't put loose parts in their mouth. The price is a bit higher than I'd prefer, but it's worth it for the skills my child gains and its usefulness during car rides. Just be aware that the felt backing isn't very sturdy, so it's best used on a solid flat surface.

Best Toddler Toys for Christmas

Orwine Inertia Toy Friction Powered Cars

Best Toy for Car-Loving Tots

For toddlers who love cars, we found this set of four vehicles. In the bundle, they’ll receive a bulldozer, tractor and trailer, cement mixer, and dumper. All are suitable for ages 18 months and up.

The cars have a push friction design, so they require minimal effort to gain speed. Although simple, parents praise their vibrant appearance and how intriguing they are. The cars are safe, too, constructed from ABS plastic that’s up to ASTM F963 and EN71 standards.

Community Feedback

I recently purchased these well-crafted and durable trucks for my young child, and they have quickly become a favorite toy. The compact size makes them easy to carry from room to room, and they are perfect for travel. The attention to detail is impressive, and the "rev up" roll feature allows them to travel a considerable distance. However, it is important to note that these are not "pull back" toys, which may cause some confusion for children accustomed to that mechanism.

Slotic Wooden Puzzles for Toddlers

Best Toddler Puzzle for Christmas

These fantastic yet straightforward jigsaw puzzles make an awesome gift for a toddler. The set includes six boards with animal designs.

The material used is great too. It’s high-end, eco-friendly wood that is BPA-free. The puzzle is suitable for children aged 12 months and up.

Community Feedback

Definitely a fantastic product for young children! I noticed the vibrant colors and sturdy puzzle pieces, as they are durable enough to be passed down through generations. My granddaughter, who is 16 months old, adores the frog puzzle and is improving her skills with the butterfly and crab puzzles. These puzzles not only keep kids entertained but also contribute to their learning and brain development.

Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas

Best Pre-Christmas Gift for Toddlers

If you’re searching for a way to get your little one more excited about Christmas, then this toy from Melissa and Doug is perfect. The Christmas Ornament set will help you countdown the last days before Christmas.

The tree has a magnetic board where you attach an ornament for each day until you reach the star at the top. This is an excellent way of practicing communication skills as well as teaching about numbers. This toy will suit children aged 3 to 7 years.

Community Feedback

My experience with this Christmas countdown tree has been both fun and interactive for my family. The magnetic ornaments are adorable, sturdy, and easy to store in the base of the tree. However, I did notice that the top of the tree was slightly damaged, causing the magnet star to not stay attached properly. One thing to consider is that the back of the tree isn't as decorative as the front, so it's best displayed against a wall.

Little Blue Truck’s Christmas

Best Christmas Book for Toddlers

Engage your toddler in this enchanting Christmas story about the Little Blue Truck. In the book, the truck is busy spreading Christmas cheer as he hands out trees to his friends.

Throughout the story, you get to engage with your toddler as you count and make noises. The book is sturdy and includes bright colors. At the back, there are flashing Christmas lights.

Community Feedback

Excellent book for children, the Little Blue Truck Christmas edition has quickly become a favorite in our household. My three-year-old son adores the story, which features a snowy plot and beautiful illustrations. The best part, though, is the final page with flashing colored Christmas lights that truly capture the holiday spirit. However, it's worth noting that the lights are light-activated, so they might not work in dimly lit rooms. My family has enjoyed this book so much that we had to repurchase it after our first copy became worn out.

Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles

Best Christmas-Themed Puzzle

A Christmas-themed puzzle is excellent for toddlers who are in the Christmas spirit. Puzzles are a great introduction to developing problem-solving skill and work to exercise fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

The puzzle is composed of 1000 wooden pieces. The board is sturdy and toddler-friendly, while the plastic pegs are easy to grab onto.

Community Feedback

Great wooden puzzle with sturdy pieces that provide a challenging and enjoyable experience. My family and I spent days working on this 1000-piece jigsaw, appreciating the high quality of the product and the full-sized picture included. The puzzle also has letters on the back of the pieces, which can be helpful for assembling and sorting, making it adaptable to your desired difficulty level. However, some pieces had splinters, and a few connections were difficult to fit together. A strong light is recommended as the muted colors can be hard to differentiate.

Elmo’s Countdown to Christmas (Lift-the-Flap Book)

Best Sesame Street Christmas Book for Toddlers

Count down the days to Christmas with this flip-the-flap book from Sesame Street. In the book, little ones can discover fun surprises under each flap as they explore the world of Elmo and friends. There are over 30 flaps, and the book has received stellar reviews from parents.

Community Feedback

Bought this Christmas book for my toddler, and it quickly became a favorite in our household. The story is adorable, featuring all the beloved Sesame Street characters, and the numerous flaps throughout the book keep my little one engaged and excited. We had fun searching for the hidden kitty on each page, adding an extra layer of enjoyment. The flaps can be a bit small and delicate for tiny hands, but with some assistance, they work just fine. The vibrant colors and heartwarming message about celebrating with friends and helping others make this a perfect holiday book for young Sesame Street fans.

VTech KidiBeats Kids Drum Set

Best Drum Set for Toddlers

Toddlers love toys that make noise, and with this drum set from VTech, they can make some sounds of their own. The set consists of three drum pads and a cymbal. Drum sticks are included so your toddler can play along to nine melodies in different genres, including pop, rock, and dance.

The set offers four modes of play — Free Play, Numbers, Follow-Along, and Letters. As they hit the pads, they’ll activate flashing LED lights.

Community Feedback

Great toy for young children who love music and exploring different sounds! My grandson was captivated by this drum set, and it quickly became his favorite toy. The adjustable volume is convenient for quieter playtime, and there are plenty of play modes to keep them entertained. However, the drumsticks can be difficult to attach, and it would be better to have simple holders instead of clips. While we did experience some issues with the power button, the overall quality and enjoyment of the toy make it worthwhile.

Betheaces Water Drawing Mat

Best Drawing Board for Toddlers

Once a toddler discovers how to use a pen, no wall or bookcase is safe. This doodle drawing mat can help keep their attention away from the walls and onto a safe surface. The mat is a soft polyester that is non-toxic.

It works with water markers. Fill them with clean water, then have the tot draw on the mat. After three to ten minutes, the doodles magically disappear, allowing your little one to draw more.

The mat measures 40 by 28 inches, and it’s suitable for ages 3 years and up.

Community Feedback

My experience with this drawing mat has been mostly positive, and it's a hit with my kids! They love how easy it is to use and clean - just add water to the markers, and the mat does the rest. Although it doesn't completely erase in some places, it's still super cute and mess-free. However, the markers do leak water quite a bit, so make sure you have a nice area to lay the mat out to dry. It's great for toddlers, but be careful with dogs or bigger kids stepping on it, as it can get damaged.

RenFox Kids Musical Mat

Best Musical Mat for Toddlers

If your little ones love making noises and music, then you can’t go wrong with a musical mat, and this one from RenFox is a good example. This mat measures 14.2 by 43.3 inches and contains eight instrument sounds. Along with the sounds, there are various modes, even a record and playback.

The musical mat is soft and comfortable to play with and easy to clean. The material is a high-quality, non-toxic fabric. There’s even a volume control to save your ears.

Community Feedback

I'm pleased with this piano overall, but there are a few minor issues. My baby loves playing it, but accidentally turns it off often due to the placement of the on/off button. The piano is entertaining for toddlers, and even has a recording feature that I didn't expect. However, it would be better if it turned on with any button press, as I constantly have to turn it back on for my little ones.

Radio Flyer My 1st Wagon

Best Toy Wagon for Toddlers

Many toddlers love hauling their stuff around, so a classic red wagon is a popular choice. This one from Radio Flyer doesn’t disappoint — it’s a miniature version of the original cart. It includes a steel stamped body, no-scratch edges, and molded wheels for added durability.

The wagon is small and suitable for children aged 18 months and up. There’s enough room for a few toys as the interior measures 15 by 7.5 inches.

Community Feedback

Great little wagon for storing and transporting toys, with a cute design that resembles the full-sized version. My 20-month-old grandson enjoys rolling it around the house filled with his stuffed toys, while I found it perfect for my cats' toy box. The handle and wheels are made of plastic, which is a slight disappointment, but it still works well for its purpose. Assembly was easy and the directions were clear, making it a charming addition to our home.

Best Toddler Toys for Travel

Busy Activity Board for Toddlers

Best Toddler Activity Board for Travel

A brilliant solution to those long car rides is an activity board. This two-sided board from Esjay can keep your little one entertained for at least a few miles.

It’s Montessori-inspired and includes snaps, laces, buckles, and letters. There’s also a pocket where you can keep the letters and numbers. It’s suitable for toddlers aged 12 months to 4 years.

Community Feedback

This activity board is a cute and engaging product that captured the attention of both my 7-month-old and my friend's 18-month-old. There are numerous mechanisms for opening and closing, providing great practice for small motor coordination. My 20-month-old especially loved the shoelaces during a long car trip, and when he got carsick, the toy was easily machine washable. However, some clasps were of cheap quality, and there is a small piece from the drawstring feature that could be a choking hazard; I recommend tying knots in the ends of the strings to prevent it from coming off. The velcro alphabet should also be saved for later months due to being small and mouth-sized.

Melissa & Doug Take-Along Shape-Sorter

Best Traveling Shape Sorter

This padded shape sorter from Melissa and Doug is ready to hit the road. It includes two sides — one shape sorter with nine textured blocks in various colors and shapes. The other side has crinkly flaps where your little one can discover everyday items and matching shapes.

Community Feedback

My experience with this toy has been delightful, as it not only engaged my little one but also provided educational value. The bright colors and sturdy construction make it a visually appealing and durable option for young children learning shapes and colors. This toy comes with a cute, portable storage bag which makes it easy to carry around and prevents pieces from getting lost. The soft sides and variety of shapes keep my child entertained, making it an ideal choice for long trips or extended playtime.

Buckle Toys - Belle Turtle

Best Road Buckle Toy for Toddlers

This adorable plush turtle is a fantastic tool for mastering the art of buckles. The turtle consists of six toddler-friendly fasteners in different clasp styles. Your child can exercise fine motor skills while also familiarizing themselves with numbers and shapes, thanks to the decorated pocket.

The turtle measures 9-by-6 inches. It’s easy to hang on the stroller or car seat.

Community Feedback

My almost 2-year-old loves playing with this buckle toy, and it keeps her entertained for extended periods of time. The variety of buckles and zippers helps improve her hand-eye coordination, and the soft material ensures it's comfortable for her to handle. I found that the buckles are gentle and don't snap shut too harshly, making it safe for little fingers. It's also excellent for keeping her occupied during car rides and flights. However, I do wish the straps were a bit longer to make it easier for her to hold and fasten them.

Playskool Explore 'N Grow Busy Gears

Best Travel-Friendly Gears for Toddlers

Gears are lots of fun for toddlers, and this board has 11 of them. Toddlers can turn the gears and watch them swirl and whirl while playing sounds, as well as lighting up. The board includes a convenient carry handle, and it’s recommended for ages 1 year and up.

Community Feedback

My experience with this interactive toy has been nothing short of amazing, as it captivated both my 1.5-year-old and my autistic son. Not only did it provide hours of entertainment, but it also helped improve their fine motor skills through the engaging gear system. The toy's durability and bright colors make it a timeless choice for young children. However, I did find the volume control to be a minor issue, with the motor being quite loud initially and my son easily changing the volume settings. Despite this, the toy has proven to be a valuable addition to our collection, promoting both learning and playtime.

Number Maze Magnetic Game by Haba

Best Maze Toy for Traveling Toddlers

My toddler is into magnetic toys at the moment, so I had to include this. The Haba Number Maze has received outstanding reviews from parents, praising how great it is for traveling.

The toy is made of laminated wood and comes with a pen and safely contained magnets, so there are no choking hazards.

Toddlers must use the included wand to match the balls with the corresponding animals. It’s excellent for ages 2 years and up.

Community Feedback

From the moment I introduced this magnetic maze to my toddler, it became a hit. The sturdiness and vibrant colors make it an attractive and durable toy for young kids. My child quickly grasped the concept and enjoyed sorting the balls by color while improving their fine motor skills. The magnet strength can be overwhelming for younger kids, causing balls to stick together, but with guidance, they learn to overcome this minor issue.

Dot to Dot for Tiny Tots

Best Drawing Toy for Travel

Give a toddler a marker, and they can entertain themselves for hours. This activity book is fantastic since it has a wipe-clean design. Kids can draw and then wipe it off to start again — it also saves a ton of paper.

In the activity book, there are numbers, mazes, and puzzles. Users can practice problem-solving skills and number recognition. The dry erase marker comes included, too.

Community Feedback

My experience with this wipe clean book has been fantastic for my little one who is just starting to learn how to write. The simple, straightforward pages with bright colors and fun themes keep my child engaged without overwhelming them. I've found that using Expo dry erase markers or Crayola dry erase crayons make it even easier to clean the pages. However, be aware that the included marker may not be the best quality and can cause stains, so consider using alternative markers or crayons for a better experience.

Fisher-Price My First Fidget Cube

Best Fidget Cube for Travel

With an activity block such as this one from Fisher-Price, toddlers can explore different textures, keeping their fingers busy. The cube consists of six sides with metal and rubber buttons. It’s a good size for traveling.

Community Feedback

I'm really impressed with this versatile toy, which offers multiple ways to play and learn for my little one. The vibrant colors and various formations like stacking cups, Russian dolls, and individual balls are perfect for teaching colors and counting. My child especially loves the smiley rattle ball, which makes a fun noise when shaken. However, I did find that snapping the pieces together can be a bit difficult for younger children, and they don't stack inside each other like nesting dolls for easy storage. Another minor issue is that the pieces can be quite challenging to separate once connected.

Playskool Classic Dressy Kids Boy Plush Toy

Best Plush Toy for Travel

This plush toy offers five getting-dressed activities that your toddler can practice. The toy is soft and includes zippers, buttons, laces, and buckles.

When on the go, there’s a travel clip to fasten the toy onto a seat or diaper bag. He’s machine washable and suitable for ages 2 years and up.

Community Feedback

Best of both worlds, this doll offers not only a cuddly companion for my toddler but also aids in developing fine motor skills. Its various features - button, zipper, laces, velcro, and buckle - provide ample learning opportunities, though the velcro and fabric buckle could use some improvement in durability and ease of use. Nevertheless, my child enjoys carrying this doll around and has made significant progress with buttons and shoe-tying. Perfect for different ages, this versatile doll has become a beloved toy in our household, assisting our little one in mastering essential life skills.

The deMoca Quiet Book for Toddlers

Best Soft Book for Travel

This soft and quiet activity book is excellent for long journeys. It’s Montessori-inspired and includes nine activities, including matching, buckling, and telling time. Along with the book, you’ll receive a zippered washing bag so you can throw it in the washer when needed.

Community Feedback

I'm impressed with the quality and functionality of this quiet book, as it effectively kept my goddaughter entertained during various occasions such as church services and long car rides. The attached pieces, bright colors, and engaging activities like matching shapes and practicing buttoning make it an excellent learning tool for young children. Although the book is smaller than I expected, its ability to zip closed and keep little hands occupied makes it worth the price.

Wellchild Magnetic Drawing Board for Toddlers

Best Magnetic Drawing Board for Travel

This magnetic drawing board is great for traveling. Your toddler can stay busy without you worrying about the car’s upholstery.

Included is the magnet pen, three stampers, and a carry bag. The board is a non-toxic, BPA-free material.

Community Feedback

As a parent, I was excited to give this magnetic drawing board to my child for our long road trip. Upon receiving it, I noticed that the magnet on one of the shape pieces had fallen off, which posed a choking hazard. The colors weren't as vibrant as advertised, but the attached pen and travel bag were convenient features. My child enjoyed using it, but I removed the small magnet pieces for safety.

Best Toys for Toddlers Who Have Everything

Fisher-Price Little People Travel Together Friend Ship

Best Figurine Toy for Toddlers

Your toddler can set sail on the seven seas with Little People from Fisher-Price. The Friend Ship is full of treasures that will keep your little one busy — there are realistic sounds and songs, plus fun figurines. All pieces are large and suitable for ages 1 to 5 years.

Community Feedback

When I first bought this cruise ship toy for my 1-year-old, I was impressed with its sturdiness and how well it held up to rough play. My child absolutely loves the songs and enjoys putting the little people characters inside the ship. The fact that it can be folded up with all the accessories inside makes it easy to transport from room to room. The different features, like the hammock, dock, and jet ski, provide endless possibilities for imaginative play. This toy has been a great addition to our collection of Little People sets and has provided hours of creative fun for my child.

LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Best Digital Word Book

In the book, Tiger, Turtle, and Monkey will introduce the reader to 100 age-appropriate words. There are various categories, including animals, pets, mealtime, colors, food, and activities

It’s suitable for children 18 months to 4 years.

Community Feedback

My one-year-old granddaughter has been learning so much from this interactive book, and it's easy for her to use with buttons that are simple to press and pages that are easy to turn. She loves the bilingual feature, which allows her to explore words in both English and Spanish by just pressing a button. The book covers various topics, such as colors, animals, and body parts, providing endless fun and learning opportunities. My granddaughter particularly enjoys the animal sounds, which she finds hilarious. In my opinion, this well-constructed, educational book is definitely worth the investment.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Pull & Play Learning Wagon

Best Play Wagon for Toddlers

This Pull and Play toy wagon from Fisher-Price is a good pick for children aged 6 to 36 months. The cart has educational and hands-on play content, including ABCs, shapes, sounds, and light-up buttons. The pull-along wagon can even speak Spanish for bilingual children.

Community Feedback

Love the educational aspect and versatility of this toy wagon, which has been a hit with my 2-year-old son. He enjoys pushing and pulling it around, while also learning shapes, colors, and numbers from the three different activity levels. The small storage compartment is a convenient addition for keeping his smaller toys organized. This wagon is not only engaging and educational, but also extremely durable and sturdy. It has provided hours of entertainment and learning for my son and would make a great gift for children of a similar age.

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe

Best Toddler Activity Desk

The Touch and Learn activity desk from VTech is amazing. It includes the desk and stool. Your toddler can sit and draw, learn words, and engage in 20 activities and songs.

Under the desk is a hidden chalkboard that flips up when needed. The activity desk will suit children aged 2 and up.

Community Feedback

I recently purchased this V Tech educational desk for my child and I must say, it arrived in excellent condition and was easy to assemble. My child particularly enjoys the fruit chart and alphabet games, which seem to be helping in developing their thinking skills. However, I noticed that the desk doesn't hold their attention for extended periods of time, and some features, like the music chart, are not as appealing to them. The desk does require four AA batteries, so be prepared with a screwdriver to open up the back and insert them. Despite some minor drawbacks, this educational desk has been a worthwhile purchase, and I'm glad to see my child engage with it, even if it's for shorter periods of time.

Munchkin Fishin’ Bath Toy

Best Bathtime Toy for Toddlers

This fishing rod is a beloved bath accessory for toddlers. The set contains a magnetic fishing rod and three underwater characters that float with the magnet pointing upwards for an easy catch.

The toy is suitable for ages 24 months and up. However, remember to air dry the rod to prevent rust in the screw.

Community Feedback

Great bath toy that keeps my little one entertained while introducing them to the concept of fishing. This toy is colorful and easy to store, which is a plus for me. The fish are made of hard plastic and the fishing pole handle just cranks and makes noise, but it doesn't take away from the overall enjoyment my child gets from playing with it.

Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube

Best Magic Cube for Toddlers

The Mozart Magic Cube is excellent for music-loving parents. It consists of eight sides, each representing a musical instrument, including a French horn, harp, piano, and violin. It will play up to eight Mozart masterpieces for the user to enjoy while it lights up in bright colors.

Community Feedback

As a gift for a child with special needs, this toy's easy push buttons, bright colors, and music were a big hit. My son enjoyed playing with it daily, although the sturdiness could use some improvement as he managed to break one piece off.

Wooden Race Track Car Ramp

Best Toddler Racetrack

This wooden ramp race track stands out from the other toys on today’s list. It consists of four brightly-colored ramps that the included cars must race down. At the top, there’s a parking lot to gather the vehicles.

It’s a high-quality wood and BPA-free toy that uses non-toxic paint. The cars are sturdy enough to withstand the rough-and-tumble nature of toddlers.

Community Feedback

I'm thrilled to share my experience with this car racing toy, which has become a favorite for my 2.5-year-old grandson. He's been playing with it non-stop, even preferring it over his Hot Wheels and Fisher Price garage. The simplicity and the incorporation of colors and numbers make it an excellent learning tool, with an added bonus of improving hand coordination and visual tracking. However, I must caution that the cars are quite small and could pose a choking hazard, so adult supervision is necessary during playtime.

Blue Horse Hopper

Best Bouncer for Toddlers

This Blue Horse Hopper from AppleRound is terrific for toddlers who have some extra energy to burn off.

It measures about 11 inches in height and 23 inches in length. It’s stable, and parents praise how much fun it is. The toy includes a pump for inflation.

Community Feedback

Love this hopper for my energetic toddler! In just 20 minutes, my 2-year-old was bouncing all around the house, and it provided the perfect indoor energy release. The provided pump made inflating the hopper a breeze, and the durable material has withstood all kinds of play. Just be aware that it can rub paint off baseboards if it's rubbed against them enough.

VTech Touch & Teach Word Book

Best Activity Book for Toddlers

With this activity book from VTech, your little one can learn about words and the alphabet. It includes touch-sensitive pages and six categories of words, making it a fantastic introduction to early education.

Cody and Cora, two tech smart cubs, guide the reader through the book.

Community Feedback

Best educational toy I've come across for my little one! My 2-year-old absolutely adores the find the word game and laughs every time they get one right, while my few-month-old baby loves swiping their hands across the easy-to-turn laminated pages that are drool-proof. This touch and learn book has a user-friendly and durable design, making it an excellent tool for fun and learning. The pressure-sensitive technology is a huge improvement over older electronic books with tiny, hard-to-press buttons, making it much more engaging for young children. However, I do wish the creators had chosen more practical and common words for toddlers, rather than ones like "quilt" or "vase." Despite this minor drawback, I've seen my children's vocabulary and letter sound recognition improve since using this book.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Light-up Learning Vacuum

Best Vacuum Toy for Toddlers

Getting toddlers interested in vacuuming is the dream for any busy parent. Who doesn’t want a child who pitches in with the cleaning around the house?

Fisher-Price has the toy for that — this learning vacuum is vibrant and fun. It includes an “on/off” switch and canister just like a real vacuum, but this one will play music and sounds.

Community Feedback

Love the educational aspect and versatility of this toy wagon, which has been a hit with my 2-year-old son. He enjoys pushing and pulling it around, while also learning shapes, colors, and numbers from the three different activity levels. The small storage compartment is a convenient addition for keeping his smaller toys organized. This wagon is not only engaging and educational, but also extremely durable and sturdy. It has provided hours of entertainment and learning for my son and would make a great gift for children of a similar age.

Are Toys Good for Toddlers?

Playtime is a crucial part of childhood — it’s one way that children learn. While toys aren’t always necessary, they often spark imagination for further play. Finding the right toys can aid a child’s development, help them talk and better their understanding of the world.

Toddlers need opportunities to play with different types of toys. They must be made of suitable materials and should promote imagination. Since children this age like to put things in their mouths, you must be sure the toys you choose don’t present any choking hazards (1).

What Kind of Toys Do Toddlers Play With?

Toddlers will play with almost anything and they don’t know whether a toy is safe, so it’s essential to pay attention to potential hazards.

The best toddler toys are those that let them discover the world. Here are a few examples:

How to Choose Toys for Toddlers

Need a cheat sheet on picking the best toddler toys? Follow these tips and you’ll be in the clear.

Choose Something Flexible

Try to pick an open-ended toy — one they can play with in various ways.

Encourage Problem-Solving and Exploration

Toys that give children a chance to figure something out will promote their development. Such toys include puzzles and building blocks.

No Choking Hazard

With toddlers, you want to ensure that everything is large enough so it won’t be a choking hazard (2). Tug on pieces to verify they don’t come loose. A general rule-of-thumb is that you shouldn’t give a toddler under the age of three a toy with parts that are small enough to fit through a toilet roll tube.

Sparks Imagination

The second and third year is where a child’s imagination takes off. Choose something your little one seems interested in, such as toy cars or dress-up costumes.

The Takeaway

Toys play a crucial part in a child’s life — playing is a way they learn and develop various skills. Finding the best toddler toys isn’t always easy — there are loads to choose from, and many aren’t worth your time.

When looking for toys, it’s essential to pick something safe and one that benefits your little one physically and mentally. Flashing lights and sounds aren’t a necessity — simple building blocks can easily do.

Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?
Thank You For Your Feedback!
Thank You For Your Feedback!
What Did You Like?
What Went Wrong?
Headshot of Shannon Serpette

Edited by

Shannon Serpette

Shannon Serpette is an award-winning writer and editor, who regularly contributes to various newspapers, magazines, and websites. Shannon has been featured on Insider, Fatherly, SheKnows, and other high profile publications. As a mother of two, she loves to write about parenting issues and is dedicated to educating other parents at every stage of their child's development.