Walk into any toy store and there is a whole range available. They all have their purpose and some of them are pretty great. However, having had three babies and toddlers of my own, these are the 5 baby and toddler toys you cannot live without.
Best 5 baby and toddler toys
There is a vast array of toys available for babies and toddlers and the girls have played with a great many of them. Get them all but definitely get these five toys.
Manhattan Toy Winkle and Skwish
This Winkle is an amazing toy. The name is funny enough and if said in non-parent company, you might find some people misunderstand you!
The amazing thing about this winkle is that it holds your baby’s attention for a pretty long time. I wish I knew why it worked but there is no understanding it in my over-developed adult brain. This toy is great. Babies as young as a few weeks (and fully alert) will grab a hold of it and they will truly enjoy it.
If you are into science, the winkle will remind you of an atom with all the circular strands scattered around the centre. There is no obvious order to the strands. However, this is irrelevant to a baby (or at least, I think it is – who knows what goes on in the mind of a baby?!). For a baby, it is a chewy, colourful mess of glee.
It is definitely chewy and can even be chilled for a little time in the freezer and used as a soothing teether.
I was loaned this by a friend and I immediately had to own it as my baby loved it. It is now the property of my third child who still enjoys it at 19months.
The Skwish was another great one. It was even amusing to adults. You skwished it and it came right back up. A really cool toy.
The Shape Sorter
All three of my kids just loved sorting out shapes. Place a baby with shapes and any shape sized holes and you either get a frustrated or delighted baby. You definitely get an engrossed baby as they try to force square blobs into circular holes.
This Tolo toys rolling shape sorter also encourages crawling and builds co-ordination. Also, each of the shapes is a rattle as well so babies tend to love the sounds as well.
This Tolo Shape sorter is just the best shape sorter on the market and is considered thus by a lot of parents so of course I had to get one for myself.
Tolo Toys Rolling Shape Sorter
Pop Up Baby Toy
Now this is the absolute best way to keep a baby occupied. Again, who knows why? I just KNOW that it works. The animals pop up and no matter what the baby is doing, he or she will race along to try and push those animals back down. I suppose this could explain their liking of peek-a-boo.
My girls just loved, loved, loved pushing the animals down over and over. As their hands become stronger, they will be able to pop open the animals themselves as well.
This toy has saved me from too many episodes of toddler boredom and baby wailing.
V Tech Baby Walker
Being the cheapskate that I am, we picked up a new one of these from a second-hand market for the princely sum of approx $10. It was amazing. We got it for our second daughter and she loved playing with it. Before she could walk, she would sit in front of the piano keys and the spinning rollers. All the lights and noise would keep her occupied for a little while and then she started to crawl.
At this point, the telephone was a great distraction as she crawled around with it in one hand. Needless to say, that went missing fairly early!
Finally, she pulled herself up and suddenly realised how great the handlebars were for aiding movement and off she went.
Unfortunately, one day she discovered she could run without it. It got left outside the house, rained on one time too many and it became a silent aid to movement. I must add that it did last a considerably long time in spite of the mistreatment - It spent the whole winter by the side of the house (careless parents). It still worked in spring but then one more rain shower and it was officially silent.
It is still a great walker and silent toy for my third daughter who alternates it with a shopping trolley :-)