A special preview of the coolest playthings and gifts your kids will be begging for this year from Chicco, Hasbro, Wild Planet, Alex, Haba and more.
Chicco’s Splashing Sea Horse and Sea Friends float and are easy to stack. When babies push the sea horse’s head, he’ll squirt a shot of water. All three are machine washable.
chicco.com, $9.99, 6 months+
These beautiful crayons from Clementine Art are made with simple ingredients — soy wax, beeswax and chalk, and are colored with mineral pigment, so they’re as green and clean as the bright white packaging they come in. We love the rock shape, too.
Sold at Whole Foods and clementineart.com, $5.49 per box, available now
MiYim chose a perfect theme — garden vegetables — for their new stroller toy line. They designs are friendly, and so are the materials (they’re natural and hand-dyed.)
miyim.com. $8.99, available now
Need an all-in-one activity book for a long trip? Here’s a doodle pad from Alex that’s got it all — it’s full of coloring and activity pages, stickers, and includes 8 easy-to-hold crayons.
alextoys.com, $12.00, 3+
Sure, you’ve heard of eating Jell-O — how about bathing in it? Pour a box of Gellie Baff in your tub and watch the water turn into ooey, gooey slime. It may look gross, but it’s safe, doesn’t stain, and leaves skin feeling soft. When bath time is done, sprinkle the dissolver packet and the goo disappears. It’s a bit pricey — $10+ a bath — but it’d make an extra special treat for a good test grade or game-winning soccer goal.
Haba has tons of new rattles, with seriously cute, colorful wooden shapes strung on elastic. We loved the Flower Trio and Jungle caboodle, but with so many sweet ones to choose from, it’s tough to pick a favorite.
These animal tools are perfect for a tiny workshop and the cutsie designs, like the monkey wrench, hammerhead shark set, duck tape measure, and boa bolts, will make “fixing things” extra fun.
learningresources.com, $12.99 for each set, ages 3+
These DANO Circus Teethers are the just the thing for sore gums. Each 3-ring set contains a flexible, firm and rigid ring, and they all come in a compact case. Bonus: they’re BPA- and PVC- free.
Squatz are the perfect party favors, stocking stuffers, or just a fun surprise to pull out on a rainy day. The compact collectibles are blank when you buy them; it’s not until they’re submerged in water and fizz that their character is revealed (aliens, ninjas, robots, pirates, wrestlers, cavemen, biker dudes or rocker.) Their heads are interchangeable, making them a fun thing to trade at birthday parties. Since they’re only $5, you can afford to buy one for everyone.
wildplanet.com, $4.99 each, Available now, Ages 4+)
If you loved Toy of The Year ’09 recipient Crayon Town, (we did), you’ll have fun with Wild Planet’s new creative Crayola table game, Guess My Picture, a game of creating and identifying pictures made from different shapes.
Furreal Friends Sunggimals are palm-sized puppies, kittens and bunnies that move their heads, wag their tails, and cuddle when you pet their backs or tummies. (Which means they do pretty much everything that real puppies, kittens and bunnies do — except poop.) Cute overload!
hasbrotoys.com, $7.99, available spring 2010
Have a just-about-to-walker? Wheel Pals are cute and fun to chase and race, and at $3.99 each, you can buy the whole cheery jungle and farm collection.
hasbrotoys.com, $3.99, available spring 2010
These chunky and textured Jack and Jill teethers also double as play figures, giving them life beyond the teething phase. At $3.99 each, won’t break the bank.