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Choosing the perfect gift for toddlers can be overwhelming and a little tricky. They’re no longer a baby but not quite a big kid. Lucky for you, we rounded up some of our favorite finds that are both entertaining and educational. Here’s your ultimate guide to the best toddler toys from favorite brands like Leapfrog, Fisher-Price, Disney and more.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
LeapFrog My Own Leaptop
A great gift for toddlers, this laptop for little ones announces personalized e-mails and lets you customize a playlist of songs. Hours of games to play, too.
Pet Vet Play Set
Calling all animal lovers and future veterinarians! Here’s one of the best toys for toddlers who are attached at the furry hip to their dog or cat. This Examine & Treat Pet Vet Play Set from Melissa & Doug consists of two plush animals, plus a 24-piece pretend vet set including stethoscope, thermometer, syringe, cast, bandages and more in a handy tote. Toy experts recommend it for helping children develop empathy.
One of our favorite toddler toys for several years, Anamalz are handmade, wooden figures reminiscent of your childhood with a fun, modern twist — the perfect classic-cute combo. Toddlers’ imaginations will go wild as they play with the poseable farm, jungle and prehistoric animals. It even comes with a cloth mat to set the stage for a creative landscape.
Baby Alive “Potty Dance” Baby Doll
The perfect doll for kids aged 3 years old and up, this baby doll speaks to her mini mommy or daddy in either Spanish or English. Baby Alive‘s realistic, adorable phrases include childhood classics like “Time to go potty!” and “Yay, I did it!” Not only that, she’ll “pee” when given a baby bottle and can even sing a song. Eww or aww, your child will adore her.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hot Diggity Dance & Play Mickey
We predict a slew of Mickey-inspired dance parties with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hot Diggity Dance & Play Mickey. This plush Disney doll is dressed in a funky light-up T-shirt and impresses people of all ages wtith his dynamic dance moves! Whether he’s bopping along to the hot dog song or playing freeze dance, Dancing Mickey is a rockin’ delight.
Alex Little Hands Peg & Layer Jungle
Toddlers will think this is one of the best Christmas gifts ever because they get to make their own jungle scene by stacking soft foam shapes, complete with monkeys, trees and flowers.
The Return of Teddy Ruxpin
He’s baaack! The plush animal kingdom’s smartest, cuddliest and most magical bear has returned just in time for the holiday season. Teddy Ruxpin‘s advanced features make him one of the best toddler gifts this Christmas. His color LCD eyes include 40 animations, and touch sensors let kids control the story and songs. Play with or without the free app.
Fat Brain Toys Tobbles
Is it art? Is it a toy? Is it one of the best toys for toddlers? Yes, yes and yes! Babies and toddlers will love stacking the bright, round textured blocks and you’ll enjoy playing, too. This is one toy you won’t mind keeping out on display.
The Rock & Roll Alphabet
A is for Apple? Boring! How about A is for Aretha? The Rock & Roll Alphabet is one of the best Christmas gifts for the kid (and parents) who are a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. Sing the whole way through the ABCs, all the way to Z is for Zeppelin. It’s the two-in-one alphabet and music lesson every kid needs.
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy
Every kid needs a Baby Einstein toy, and this one is music to our ears. One of the best toys for toddlers at Christmas or any other time of year, the Take Along Tunes inspires a lifelong love of music. Your budding Bach or Beethoven can choose between seven different melodies. Don’t worry, mom and dad keep tabs on the volume control.
Sesame Street Let’s Cook! Book
Sesame Street Let’s Cook! is one of our favorite toddler gifts for Christmas. Fun and informative, this kids cookbook features the “ABCs of Healthy Foods,” as well as 50 easy and healthy recipes for children ages 2 to 5 years old. Breakfasts, lunch, dinner and snacktime will be that much more delicious when your budding chef is learning all the most important cooking steps and nutrition tips, plus counting, matching, and alphabet skills.
Finding Nemo Bath Squirt Toys
These First Years Disney Finding Nemo Baby Bath Squirt Toys aren’t just for babies. Toddlers and older kids will love sharing the tub with Nemo, Dory, and their turtle friend. The 3-pack makes for a great stocking stuffer. We think your kid will agree that bath toys are some of the best Christmas toys.
Little Tikes Red/Blue First Slide
This Little Tikes First Slide is great for tiny tots, and it is perfectly sized (3-feet long) for younger kids. It is equally appropriate for indoor or outdoor use, plus parents will appreciate how easily the slide folds down without tools and is compact enough for quickie storage.
Hans the Hedgehog Pillow
Is anything cuter or cozier than a Squishmallow? When it comes to Christmas gifts for toddlers, this stuffed animal pillow named Hans the Hedgehog has stolen our hearts. He’s more than just a bedtime buddy: super soft, easily washable and oversized for extra comfort, Hans and pals are made from marshmallow-like material, perfect for comfort, support and warmth at home, at a sleepover, while traveling in the car and beyond.
Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Super Chef Suite
Play-Doh is a classic toddler toy for a reason! Shorty chefs will cook up a colorful, creative storm with the Kitchen Creations Super Chef Suite. From make-believe appetizers to main courses, and don’t forget dessert(!), this kit includes everything your mini Martha Stewart or petite Wolfgang Puck needs.
These squishy pals caused quite a frenzy in our office and are one of the best Christmas gifts we’d like for ourselves! They each sing their own song. Squeeze their tummies and those little mouths open wide for each note, revealing teeny teeth. Squeals of delight (from you and your kid) are guaranteed.
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet
With its protective rubber case, the Fire HD 10 is clearly a tablet made for very active youngsters. But that’s not the only smart aspect of this device: it also boasts easy-to-use parental controls that can limit screen time (or protect young eyes from unsuitable content), while simultaneously allowing your kid to meet his or her learning goals through educational games and animated series. What more can you ask from a toddler toy? Price varies by edition.
PJ Masks Deluxe Headquarter Play Set
Inspired by the hit TV show PJ Masks, Cat Boy, Owlette, and Gecko fans will love this super-sized toy with three different character-themed levels. The Control Center allows kids to choose a mission, activate their favorite heroes’ sayings and play the theme song. Other features include a zipline, elevator, figurines and vehicles. Needless to say, this toddler toy has been topping Christmas wishlists for a few years now. For ages 3 and up; some assembly required.
Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus
It’s time to rock — and learn! The Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus is a musical sea creature that will teach your toddler all about instruments, music styles, counting and more. The rockin’ toy has three play modes for math, games and music. Parents can also download the free Rocktopus app to make cool music videos with their kids.
Rescue Runts Husky Plush Dog
And they called it puppy love: The KD Kids Rescue Runts are adoptable plush pets that kids can “rescue,” groom and love. A grooming kit includes a brush, tweezers and more to help rid their pet of (pretend!) fleas, clean its paws, wipe away tears and brush its soft but messy fur. Adorable and adoptable, make this the best toddler Christmas gift ever by bringing home all four rescue puppies!
Moj Moj Claw Machine Playset
Parents can feed their nostalgia for old-fashioned diner claw machine games by gifting their kids an Original Moj Moj Machine. It’s fun, it’s cool, it’s cute and super delightful, plus it actually works! Can you say best toddler toy ever? We want one in our house.
Girls Dress Up Trunk
Your little princess, bride, mermaid, pop star or fairy ballerina will spend hours playing make believe with this Toiijoy girls dress up trunk. The 22-piece set includes tutus, fairy wings, magic wands, a microphone and much more. This costume chest in simply one of the best toddler gifts for girls around.
Little People Take Turns Skyway
Tiny tots learn to share the road with the Fisher-Price Little People Take Turns Skyway. One of the tallest Wheelies racetracks on the market, this awesome toddler toy features three different tracks, a launcher, cool racing sounds, a gas and repair station and much more automotive and imaginative fun.
Real Rock-A-Too the Show Bird
For all the future ornithologists out there, may we present the Rock-A-Too Show Bird. Much like a real feathered friend, this animatronic avian wonder boasts over 50 sound-and-motion combos, plus he sings, dances, does impressions and tells bird brained jokes. As toddler toys go, this one is sure to soar to the top of the “must play” list!
Monilon Aqua Magic Water Doodle Mat
Petite Picassos and fierce little Frida Kahlos will adore playing with the Monilon Aqua Magic Water Doodle Mat. This artistic learning toy comes with three magic pens and helps your creative cutie express their imagination. We think it’s a great and compelling Christmas gift for toddlers that’ll keep them happily busy for hours.
PAW Patrol Ultimate Fire Truck
Hooray! It’s Marshall’s Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck to the rescue. For all the tiny PAW Patrol fans out there (we know there’s a lot of ’em!), heroic adventures await. Featuring an extendable ladder, mini fire cart, water cannon launchers and more cool gadgets making this the ultimate rescue vehicle and one of the hottest toddler toys this Christmas.
Boris the Friendly Interactive Plush Monkey
When your little monkey needs a friend, Fingerlings HUGS plushies are always ready to cuddle. This tiny primate is one of the best toddler toys for brightening up a kid’s room — and mood. Not only that, but he also gives kisses and hugs and even repeats back what they say.
Step 2 WaterWheel Play Table
Here’s the gift that won’t stop giving: It’s an activity table stacked with wheels, canals, a cup, boats and a tower. And though it was meant for water, we think it’d be just as fun with sand, dry noodles or rice, soap bubbles or mud. Babies like it just as much as bigger kids (as old as 5) do, so it’s one of those super versatile toddler toys that will provide years of entertainment.
Melissa and Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Set
Got a little one who loves helping you cook? This set makes one of the best Christmas gifts for budding chefs. Their imaginations will thrive as they bake, decorate, count and sort these cookies in preparation for the block’s next fun tea party. All cookies fit into a handy, dandy tube, so you can throw them in your purse for an easy on-the-go toy.
Explore & Write Activity Desk
Here’s a hybrid toy and education tool that should be at the top of every parent’s toddler toy list: the VTech® Explore & Write Activity Desk. They’ll be industriously learning letters, numbers, music, colors and more while you get your own work done. Not only does the writing pad come with a light-up, traceable display, but the desk also transforms into an easel, chalkboard and art supply storage space. Place it in your own home office and both of you can keep focused on getting the job done.
Peppa Pig Fun Fair Playset
Everyone’s favorite oinker is hoofing it to the fair. Kids can join Peppa and George on the Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, in the fun house or help them press their luck in the game booth. Go ahead, take a chance on Peppa’s playset as a top choice toy for toddlers and young, wannabe farmhands.
Melissa and Doug Car Carrier Truck
This wooden car carrier truck is the wheel deal and one of the best toddler toys for car-obsessed little boys (and girls). It will keep little hands busy loading and unloading the four colorful cars included. The upper ramp easily lowers for effortless loading, and the cars are compatible with wooden train tracks.
This cute, fun learning toy is good to go—literally. The handle on Alphie’s head makes him the perfect pal for your kid on car trips or dinners out. The cards, which will help in sounding out letters, shape sorting, cause and effect and vocabulary, fit in Alphie’s little backpack. You can tell your kid Alphie’s kind of like the computer you use — only Alphie is way cooler!
Laugh & Learn 3-in-1 Smart Car
Kids will get revved up when they open up this sweet toddler gift. The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn 3-in-1 Smart Car teaches your increasingly mobile child how to confidently develop from walking and bouncing to riding and “driving,” plus many more motor skills. The interactive dashboard entertains as your mini roadster listens to fun sounds and songs about the alphabet, opposites, counting, and beyond.
Alex Discover Learn to Dress Monkey
This monkey’s outfit offers 11 activities, including buttoning, snapping, hooking, looping, bucking, tying, zipping and more, making it one of the best toddler toys for devleoping motor skills. Those snazzy socks and shoes are real, and the overalls and T-shirt are removable, too.
The classic board game of your childhood is as sweet a Christmas gift as ever! Decades later, Candyland is still a favorite — equally beloved by toddlers, older kids and adults. Grab a handful of gumdrops and join in on the fun.