60 Best Toys for Toddlers for All Ages, According to Parents 2024

Toddlers are famous for their strong opinions (the “terrible twos” are a phrase for a reason), but the best toys for toddlers will keep those balls of energy entertained and developing, and (hopefully) help keep tantrums at bay. The market for gifts for little ones is vast, and can be daunting if you don’t know what’s worth your money. Should you go for a soft and cuddly toy that’ll soothe them to sleep during a regression, or an interactive toy that’ll boost cognitive development while strengthening those little muscles?

According to Kerri Adams and Christina Eromenok, child and family therapists specializing in play therapy at Love Play Grow, “Toys are tools for children, and can have significant impact on emotional and physical growth and child development.” Basically educational toys and those that spark imaginative play are excellent choices. Whether you’re looking for gift ideas for someone else’s child or your own, “toys are also a great opportunity for parents and children to connect together and build a positive, loving relationship” say Adams and Eromenok. Our expert sources and parent network (including myself, a newly-minted toddler mom) came together to provide the list below of all the toddler toys worth shopping, for one, two and three year olds.

Best toys for toddlers by age

Our favorite toys for toddlers, at a glance

  • Best for open-ended play: MOLUK Mini Bilibos Baby Toy, $20
  • Best wooden toy: Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pounding Bench, $15
  • Best outdoor toy: Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Car, $54
  • Best teething toy: Smily Mia Penguin Silicone Teething Toy, $9
  • Best soothing toy: Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother Musical Crib Toy & Sound Machine, $32
  • Best bath toy: B. toys Water Play Bath Toy Set, $23
  • Best sorting toy: Toomies Hide & Squeak Easter Eggs, $22
  • Best scooter toy: Skip Hop Zoo Ride-On Unicorn Toy Scooter, $65
  • Best toy to help walking development: Speedy Monkey Multi Activity Push Toy, $87
  • Best musical toy: VTech KidiBeats Drum Set, $16

Best Toys for 1-year-olds

When looking for age-appropriate toys for the newest toddlers on the block, Adams and Eromenok say the best ones are simply, “some might not even look like traditional toys” Mandy and Mel Craig, the expert behind the Toy Testing Sisters recommends the spinners, but there are also some items, like the set of scarves on our list that are everyday things that tots can use for endless rounds of stimulating play. We never pack for an outing without my daughter’s Smily Mia penguin (IMHO it’s much better than Sophie the giraffe, but I’m not here to start a war), and she’s “baked” countless muffins in her kitchen set, so these (plus the rest of this list) are real-parent approved. Whether they’re working on learning object permanence, fine motor skills, or crafting their first meal out of play food in their very own kitchen, the toys below will bring joy to any young toddler.

Fat Brain Toys Whirly Squigz 3 Silicone Spinners

Fisher-Price Baby Stacking Toy Rock-a-Stack, Roly-Poly Base with 5 Colorful Rings for Ages 6+ Months

The Original Toy Company Pop Up Fire Truck

Smily Mia Penguin Silicone Teething Toy for Babies 0-6month

Winique Wooden Shape Sorter Toys for Toddlers 1-3 Years Old

Geyoga 9 Pcs Fabric Play Scarves Rainbow Play Dance Scarves Creative Pretend Juggling Dress

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Baby & Toddler Toy Mix & Learn DJ Table Musical Activity Center with Lights & Sounds for Ages 6+ Months

Step2 Best Chefs Kids Kitchen Play Set

Jellycat ‘The Very Brave Lion’ Board Book

Montessori Toy Wooden Shape Peg Puzzle

Best Toys for 2-year-olds

During this time of pushing boundaries, Adams and Eromenok tell us toys create an essential place for active toddlers to feel some control over their environment so they “don’t seek out control as much in ways that can create power struggles.” Let them be the boss of their own garage or workbench with the toys below. The pounding bench is a top pick of our parent crew as a way to get some energy out as well, and if they become overwhelmed one of the soothing toys like the Sea Dreams Soother or the snuggly walrus will calm them down for nap time.

MOLUK Mini Bilibos Baby Toy

Battat Car & Color Sorting Playset

Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother Musical Crib Toy and Sound Machine

Toomies Hide & Squeak Easter Eggs Toddler Toys

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pounding Bench Wooden Toy With Mallet

BUNMO Easter Basket Stuffers Pop Tubes Large 4pk

Play Doh Fun Factory Deluxe Set, 6 Cans

Lego 2+ Disney Pixar Lightning McQueen & Mater’s Car Wash Fun

Toniebox Audio Player Starter Set with Playtime Puppy

Fisher-Price Baby Chill Vibes Walrus Soother

Best for 3-year-old

Now’s the time when toddlers enter fully into the world of pretend play and role play, and toys are the way children “connect with caregivers” and “learn coping skills,” says Adams and Eromenok. These toys will help toddlers learn real-life skills while spending time in their playroom before taking their new abilities out into the world.

PicassoTiles 100 Piece Set 100pcs

Magnetic Color & Number Maze

Fisher-Price Doctor Playset Medical Kit 7-Piece Toy for Dress Up and Preschool Pretend Play Ages 3+ Years

Melissa & Doug Fill and Roll Grocery Basket Play Set With Play Food Boxes and Cans

Montessori Kitchen Tools-13pcs Toddler Toys Kids Cooking Set

LeapFrog 2-in-1 LeapTop Touch

Playskool Sit ‘n Spin Classic Spinning Activity Toy for Toddlers Ages Over 18 Months

Melissa & Doug Work & Play Desktop Activity Board

Baby Einstein and Hape Magic Touch Piano Wooden Musical Toddler Toy, Age 6 Months and Up

Useful gifts for toddlers

Some of the best gifts for toddlers acknowledge this “amazing stage of development where a child’s brain grows extremely fast,” say Adams and Eromenok. When looking for useful gifts for this formative stage of life, think of items that are learning resources for mental, emotional, and physical skills. And it doesn’t hurt to find some options that make bath time easier on both parents and children. Mandy and Mel are fans of anything that gives toddlers a chance experience “sensory and open-ended play,” meaning they’ll work on new skills while also burning some of that enviable toddler energy.

Lunix LX15 14pcs Modular Kids Play Couch

Marlowe & Co Indoor Cotton Sensory Therapy Compression Swing for Children and Adults

Glo Pals Water-Activated Light-Up Cubes for Sensory Play, 12 Pack

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Baby Learning Toy Smart Stages Piggy Bank

Fat Brain Toys Pretendables Cleaning Set

Noriter Project Dream Bundle

Skip Hop Zoo Ride-On Unicorn Toy

B. Toys Water Play Bath Toy Set

Crayola Bath Slime Scented Soap 4 Colors and Scents, 6 Pack

Best Active Toddler

Yes, the best toys for toddlers are those that help them learn and grow during playtime, but sometimes you need a toy that’ll get the wiggles out while doing so. If you have the space, outdoor toys like the car below can be a lifesaver. If you have a small apartment, don’t fret, it can still be transformed into a toddler-appropriate obstacle course with a friendly bouncing animal to ride or a musical toy like a mini drum kit to bang on. Adams and Eromenok assure us that these toys will promote active play, while also leading to less couch (or parent) jumping.

Foldable Climbing Triangle Ladder

Melissa & Doug K’s Kids Bowling Friends Play Set

Melissa & Doug K’s Kids Bowling Friends Play Set

Special Supplies Stepping Stones

Speedy Monkey Multi Activity Push Toy

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Car

PlanToys 8-Piece Mini Golf Playset

Fisher-Price Corn Popper Baby to Toddler Push Toy

WADDLE Bouncy Hopper Inflatable Hopping Animal

Best toys for travel

Traveling with a toddler can be an anxiety-inducing experience, so the best toys for travel will keep your tot “engaged, contained, and occupied without their normal routine,” say Adams and Eromenok, while taking up the least amount of carry-on space. And if they help them learn their ABC’s or practice hand-eye coordination while doing so, even better!

Mini Voyager Travel Activity Kit

Fat Brain Toys Original Dimpl Brand Baby Toy, 1 piece

Guolely Busy Board Montessori Toy

Kids Erasable Doodle Book Set

BIZYBOO The Original Seek & Find Plush

‘My Sticker Dress-Up: Baby Animals’ by Louise Anglicas

Melissa & Doug PAW Patrol Water Wow! Chase Water Reveal Travel Book Activity Pad

Jellycat Jungly Tails Cloth Book

Montessori Sensory Toys for Toddlers

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