Newest of the New
Fun Choices for Babies & Toddlers
Tags: shower gifts, new baby, sitting up babies, toddlers, ride-on,
Posted: 2011-12-09 09:27:13 By: Joanne Oppenheim

 

New Toys for the New Baby

 

 


2011 Award
Lamaze Panda Rattle
(Learning Curve International $8 Score: ) Ideal for early tracking games with newborns, this bold black and white rattle has a quiet sound and a high contrast face that will grab baby's attention. Research shows that infants are visually attracted to the eyes on faces. This clever little plaything has big eyes and a smiling little face. It has an easy to grasp ring and the whole toy is soft enough for young babies. One side is done in short velour like plush and the back is done in silky satin. A small bunch of short green ribbons are clutched in the panda's hand, that will tickle little cheeks or toes as you use this for early social lap games. For starters you will be moving this from side to side for baby to focus on. Before long, it will be a safe choice for baby to grasp. It is soft enough so that it will not hurt even if baby hits herself in the face with her still unrefined hand movements. This is the kind of soft toy for those early months when baby is still getting control of such seemingly simple eye hand movements. Unfortunately it is a surface wash only, but it's not the kind of toy that baby will be handing independently for a while. Newborn and up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 

 
2011 Awards
Sassy Sensory Ball Set
(Sassy $9.99 Score: ) Looking for something to play with your sitting up baby? One ball has interesting fabric textures to touch (and taste), another has another smaller jingle ball safely enclosed - with slates so that babies can pick it up and turn it, and the last ball has bumps all over it--also interesting to explore. This set can be used in so many ways! You can use them for first games of roly poly. You can also play peek-a-boo games by placing one of the balls under a blanket and then watch as your baby pulls it off! Balls are also great ways of encouraging babies to crawl!! For more activities take a look at our book Read It! Play It! with Babies and Toddlers. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2011 Award
Kids Preferred Cute as a Button Chime Ball
(Kids Preferred $16 Score: )

A marvelous Cute As a Button fabric 8" chime ball with a jolly jingle safe inside and plenty of surface textures to explore. There are colorful satin knotties, textured loop to hold, a crinkle velour patch, ribbon tabs and felt fringe. Each segment of the ball has a different fabric - printed velour with stripes and another with dots, another with cotton knit stripes and others with corded and dotted velour.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 

 
2011 Awards
Smarty Kids F is for Frog Comfort Cuddly Blanky
(Kids Preferred $13 Score: )

Frog is one of three 10-inch Comfort Cuddly toys. His body is green checked cotton with licks of orange calico checks, blue feet and a bold patterned tummy. His features are stitched for safety and his eyes sit high like two bumps on top of his soft as silk velour head. Like the other Cuddly Blankies, this is an unstuffed doll that is easy to clutch. It is not really a blanky in the traditional sense, but it just may become a comfort toy that kids like to hold onto as they rest. It makes no sounds, but there is plenty for eyes to see and textures for little hands to explore. Also see O is for Owl and L is for Lion Cuddly Blanky toys. Infants and up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2011 Award
Smarty Kids H is for Hippo Mama-Baby Action Musical
(Kids Preferred $22 Score: ) Unlike most musical toys with keys that turn, this 10-inch pink plush Mama Hippo has a sweet little calico checked baby on her back winds up to make music.  Baby hippo turns slowly as it plays Brahms Lullaby with true music box sounds rather than electronic sounds--a real plus. It has several textures that range from short plush, smooth cotton with a lively print pattern and a short satin ribbon tail. This is one of a new line of musicals from the Smarty Kid line. Also new, see W is for Whale Mama-Baby Action Musical. The G is for Giraffe plays the Alphabet Song has a neck that turns.  It is cute but a bit top heavy and topples over more often than not. Infants. Surface washable only.  The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.  We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 

 
2011 Awards
Early Years Busy Ball Drop
(International Playthings $15.99 Score: )

Use the big yellow base and then stack these round chute pieces in almost any order. Baby will be ready for making things happen. Put one of the three see-through balls on top and watch it whirl round and round till it reaches the bottom. This ball drop stacks up over 12 " tall and has balls with colorful beads inside.   It is a basic for learning about cause and effect. Babies and toddlers love the repetitive action here and the sounds of the balls dropping. Chances are you will need to do the stacking at first, but you can depend upon their unstacking it.   Most of all tots love the repetition of making that ball roll down every time!   9 months & up.  The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.  We did not independently test this toy in a lab. 

NOTE OF CAUTION: We note that some online stores are shipping a knock-off that looks similar but is not the toy we tested or recommended.

SNAP: Sing a little song as you play with this ball drop classic. Try it to Wheels on the Bus..."See the balls go round and round, round and round, round and round. See the balls go round and round all though the day." Now switch to " See the balls go down, down, down, down, down, down,etc. Make up other verses about the sound of the balls going plunk, plunk, plunk.

To reinforce color concepts sing about the color of the ball that is in action.

These kinds of made-up songs reinforce concepts such as color, action words,and sensory language in meaningful ways that are more memorable. It's not a quiz game, but a playful way to use language and interact together.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2010 Award
Magna Giraffe
(Edushape $29.99 Score: )

Stack up the parts of this colorful giraffe and the four pieces hold together thanks to the magnets safe inside the head, middle and bottom. The pattered fabric pieces are colorful and each has a colored shape that is supposed to be matched so that the giraffe is in size order. This little detail is not going to interest beginners, who will be happy to put the giraffe together in any order. Indeed, part of what we like about this is the way it holds together without being too exacting about the size order fears. There's a jolly rattle on the happy looking giraffe's head, a mane of colorful ribbons to finger, and bouncy legs with rattle feet. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. 9 months and up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2010 Award
Homerun Taggies Blanket and Baseball
(Taggies $25$ Score: )

Blanket is not exactly a good description of this 13.5 x 13.5” velour lovie that might better be called a mini-blankie. It’s flat as a blanket and shaped like baseball catcher’s mitt. It’s super soft to the touch tan sueded velour that looks a bit like worn leather. It also has a stitched on white satin baseball appliquéd on with red stitches and a bumpy white pique patch where the webbing would go. There are satin ribbon taggies along the edge of the glove for grabbing. Also very cute, a 3” velour Homerun Taggies Baseball rattle($12 ) that has a quiet sound and can be hung on the stroller. We prefer the smaller baseball to the larger 5” ball, which is O.K. for rolling games, but has no sounds.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2010.

 


 

Toys for Toddlers 1's & 2's



 

 


2011 Award
Educo Butterfly Garden Push Toy
(HaPe $24 Score: )

Scaled just right for beginning walkers, this jolly push toy has a big multi-colored flower that turns and three butterflies that twirl above as it is pushed forward. The flower sits on bright green wheels and has a green handle. Holding something in their hand as they walk seems to help some beginning walkers with their balance. It's a way of holding on while letting go. This is not a weighted toy to hold them up. They need to be able to walk without it, but it is a fun toy to match their new-found walking abilities. 


The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2011 Award
Kidoozie Little Roadster Steering Wheel
(International Playthings $28 Score: )

We had a toddler visitor who would not let go of this interactive steering wheel. He went all the way home to France with it and his mom reports it is still his favorite! We know steering wheel toys have always been a hit with toddlers. But this one is going to get more mileage than most. It's a big blue wheel with a broad green base that keeps it stabile on the table or floor. But that is just the practical part. This electronic steering wheel has icons on the buttons that kids may begin to "read" when they want to toot the horn, call for and emergency truck, or "listen" to the radio. As they steer side to side the blinker arrows light up.

It has a shift button; shift into Drive to activate the screen as they steer. Put it in Reverse and hear the back up signal sound. There is a turn on button that starts the engine and brake sounds when the car is put in Neutral. All those special effects are sure to be used hit and miss at first, but more purposefully as they get to find their way around on imaginary trips. Marked 12 months and up. We think slightly older kids will find many ways to use this for their pretend play.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2011 Award
Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar Rocker
(Kids Preferred $125 Score: )

What toddler wouldn't love to have this great big beautiful 25-inch fabric Very Hungry Caterpillar rocker of his or her very own? Straight out of the picture book by the same name, this wonderful ride-on has fabric segments that are softly padded for comfortable sitting and each segment is covered with fabric that is designed to look just like Eric Carle's artwork. The face with it's big eyes, and feelers make it look like the caterpillar stepped out of the pages that have pleased toddlers for several generations. Be sure to bring home the book if you do not have it already. It is a classic! This is low to the ground and designed for toddlers and small preschoolers from 2 & up.  The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2011 Award
Manhattan Toy Cozies Dog
(Manhattan Toy $22 Score: )

With a beanbag bottom that helps it sit on its own, this grey and white pooch with stitched features and a huggable body will please toddlers and preschoolers who love an armful. One of a collection of Cozies, the brown and tan monkey and smiling gray and white Dog are about as cute as stuffed animals can be.   Both have long limbs that make them easy to grab and hold and they are floppy  enough to lie down for naptime snuggles.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2011.

 

 
Products for Infants
Products for Toddlers
Products for Preschoolers
Products for Early School Years
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