Gifts for infants, toddlers and preschoolers
Looking for Christmas or Hanaukkah gifts for the little ones in your life? What toys are best for infants, toddlers and preschoolers?
"The best toys are the ones that kids will play with and love," said Laurie Schacht, co-publisher of "The Toy Insider." "They will teach, and sometimes those toys use 'stealth teaching,' in other words, kids are having so much fun playing they don't realize they're learning."
To see more holiday gift guides, visit newsday.com/giftguides.
'Miles from Tomorrowland' Mission Rover(Credit: TOMY)
Based on the hit television show "Miles from Tomorrowland," this mission rover turns into a Space Lab playset where Leo gives Miles missions. The set comes with a Miles figure, a Terra Skiff ride-on accessory, four space tools and interchangeable arms with a claw and flash beam launcher; $39.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2dpulHm; find the best price: http://bit.ly/2d4vHGr
Magical Wand Cinderella(Credit: Jakks Pacific)
Kids can wave the Fairy Godmother's magical wand to transform Cinderella's look. Wave the wand by the doll's dress for a colorful light show and she'll sing "Bippidi Bobbidi Boo," "A Dream a Wish Your Heart Makes" and more than 20 different phrases; $39.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2cXlCd1; find the best price: http://bit.ly/2cC4l6O
Melody the Musical Turtle(Credit: Leap Frog)
There are three ways to play with Melody the Musical Turtle. Find numbers and colors in Learn & Play mode; play memory games using the light-up numbers on Melody's back, or make music. $19.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2cAXRKa; find the best price: http://bit.ly/2ddKNZi
Nemo or Dory Dream Lites(Credit: Pillow Pets)
The foldable plush Pillow Pets are a new series of Dream Lites that help children drift off into a peaceful night's slumber. Each Dream Lite will light up the room with stars and icons. The built-in timer provides up to 20 minutes of light. New styles include Dory and Nemo from the "Finding Dory" movie. $29.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2ddNfiw; for the best price: http://bit.ly/2di9pBU
Chase ‘N Go Ball Popper(Credit: Playskool)
This active toy for babies and toddlers features multiple ways to play. Kids can place the balls in the toy; pressing the big button starts six tunes. When the trunk faces toward the elephant, the balls will continuously cycle through the toy. Turn the trunk away for race and chase fun as the balls launch around the room. Comes in pink or teal for $32.99. More information: http://hasb.ro/2d7OnDX; find the best price: http://bit.ly/2d7QI1q
Emoji Memory Game(Credit: Twizmo)
The 48 game tiles have 24 pairs of matching emojis. Place them face down and take turns looking for the matches. $6.95. More information: http://bit.ly/2dhhJ2Y
My Little Pony Twilight Sparkles Golden Oak Library(Credit: Hasbro)
Discover and create your own adventures with the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Collection Ultimate Story Pack. The newest playset is called Twilight Sparkles Golden Oak Library, a two-story oak-tree playset where kids can act out their favorite scenes from the "Friendship Is Magic" animated TV series on Discovery Family. Set comes with a Twilight Sparkle figure and themed accessories. $19.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2dcXfch; find the best price: http://bit.ly/2dKJwLH
Best Friend Max Feature Plush(Credit: Spin Master)
Bring home all the action and personality of Max, the star of "The Secret Life of Pets," due to hit theaters in July. The plush features a detachable leash, lifelike walking action and 20 different sounds and phrases from the movie. $44.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2d4ghEW; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2ddzwrH.
Funskool Activity Ball(Credit: Funskool and TOOBEEZ Brands)
The Funskool Activity Ball has two rings that, when connected to the 12 colorful pieces, form a ball. $19.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2d4dXxJ.
Love2Learn Elmo(Credit: Hasbro)
Once parents download the free Love2Learn Elmo app, they can program Elmo to know their child's name, favorite colors, favorite animals and favorite foods. Customize the app based on your child's age, abilities and interests as kids learn numbers, shapes, letters, colors and animals. Elmo will say more than 350 phrases and responses, sing songs and more. $69.99. More information: http://hasb.ro/2dpbaP5; Find the best prices: http://bit.ly/2cAGhX1.
Explore & More Amazing Arch Activity Gym(Credit: Skip Hop)
The Explore & More Amazing Arch Activity Gym from Skip Hop has a hooting owl, a musical hedgehog, a dancing fox, and more. Position the arch overhead for newborn exploration -- and slip your phone in the parent pocket to record special movements or let Grandma observe the action from afar. $90. More information: http://bit.ly/1Q82IhL; Find the best prices: http://bit.ly/2dpqJlp.
Cupcake Set(Credit: Green Toys)
The Cupcake Set from Green Toys lets little bakers practice colors and counting, develop fine motor skills and host make-believe parties for their stuffed animals and friends. This 16-piece mix-and-match set includes frosting, cakes and cupcake liners for five complete cupcakes, plus a cake stand display. It is made of recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates or PVC. $24.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2dm0rFI; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2dyZXdq.
Care for Me Learning Carrier(Credit: VTECH)
This playset lets kids put the plush puppy inside or take her out of the carrier. Hear playful phrases when opening and closing the door. There is an activity panel on the side of the carrier. $24.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2cLiphL; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2dzVd4Q.
Go! Go! Smart Animals(Credit: VTech)
Go! Go! Smart Animals-Furry Animals Assortment from VTech, when placed on Go! Go! SmartPoint locations, respond with different phrases. Caroline is a cat, Dawn is a Dalmatian, Richard is a rabbit and Debbie is a Labradoodle. Press each of their light-up buttons to hear three sing-along songs. Push the animals to hear fun sounds and six melodies. While a melody is playing, push them again to add fun sounds on top of the melody. $9.99. For more information: http://bit.ly/2dm3YUB; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2dCVS4r.
Play-Doh Town 3 in 1 Town Center Playset(Credit: Hasbro)
This ultimate Play-Doh Town 3 in 1 Town Center Playset features a bakery, florist, mechanic and a vehicle. Kids can create items such as cakes and flowers. The set includes two figures, a vehicle, accessories and eight cans of Play-Doh. Suggested retail price $39.99. For more information:http://hasb.ro/2byiMOY. Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2d9sliC.
Walking Talking Pets(Credit: Spin Master)
Characters from "The Secret Life of Pets," a Universal Pictures movie that hits theaters in July come to life with these motorized figures that walk and talk. Choose Max, Gidget, Snowball and Mel, each with their own phrases and unique action moves. $12.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2d4ghEW; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2czq8Mt.
Bizzy the Mix & Move Bot(Credit: VTech)
Mix & Move Bizzy from VTech lets kids build their own robot. It comes with 10 different accessories so kids can create a different robot every time they play. It also includes 10 melodies that children can personalize by switching around the accessories to add in their own special sound effects. $24.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2cyKYM1; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2d6Mib0.
My Friend Dory(Credit: Bandai America)
The My Friend Dory interactive plush doll features motion and touch sensors that activate sounds and up to 50 phrases. She moves both her eyes and mouth and speaks "Whale." $39.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2dkUdUi; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2dAd9fM.
Kidz Delight Smooth Touch Smartphone(Credit: KD Group)
This interactive device includes four fun games to help little ones learn colors, numbers, animal names and sounds. It has a touch-sensitive screen with 22 different interactive icons that allow curious little fingers to trigger voices, sounds and music with a single touch. When the child leaves the phone idle for a few seconds, it will automatically call them back. The incoming pretend call icon flashes, just like a real phone. $14.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2d0G0e9; Find the best prices: http://bit.ly/2dwDI5k.
Svan Ice Cream Cart(Credit: Svan)
The Svan Ice Cream Cart lets kids serve customers by scooping play frozen treats onto connectable cones. The cart is equipped with more than 30 pieces, including scoops of ice cream, connectable cones, an ice cream scoop, popsicles and Italian ice. $149.95. More information: http://bit.ly/2cLjHJH.
Light 'n Go 3-in-1 Activity Walker(Credit: Little Tikes)
This 3-in-1 walker features projected lights to encourage little ones to take their first steps, more than 70 activities, songs and sounds. Best for ages 9 months to 36 months; $39.99. For more information: http://bit.ly/2cYimz8. For best prices: http://bit.ly/2cYhBpZ.
Disney Zootopia's Judy's Police Cruiser(Credit: Tomy)
Judy Hopps is a Zootopia police officer in a police cruiser with lights that flash when driven. Disney Zootopia's Judy's Police Cruiser playset includes the cruiser, Judy figure and Law-Breaking Mouse figure. $24.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2d6pN87; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2doBGs1.
Shopkins Tall Mall(Credit: Moose Toys)
This set features different play areas with level one for home and garden, level two is where Shopkins can hang out to eat and level three is where kids will find electronics. The Tall Mall folds down for easy on-the-go transport and features extra storage. It's a Toys R Us exclusive and also comes with two exclusive Shopkins figures. $34.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2dfvJKO.
Dreamworks Animation Trolls Hug Time Poppy Doll(Credit: Hasbro)
Poppy includes music, phrases, lights and sounds. She comes with a comb, a tiara and a matching wearable Hug Time bracelet for kids, and when activated, both bracelets and Poppy's hair light up. Best for ages 4 and older; $29.99. More information: http://hasb.ro/2dBhwcC. Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2dBhn97.
Doc McStuffins Hospital Care Cart(Credit: Just Play)
The Doc McStuffins Hospital Care Cart features a light-and-sound patient scanner, a talking EKG with a printout roller, a kid-powered blood pressure cuff and more. The cart plays "Welcome to the Hospital" and comes with patient Findo; $49.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2cucaP0. For the best prices: http://bit.ly/2dpsyDR.
Paw Patrol Zoomer Marshall(Credit: Spin Master)
Zoomer Marshall makes more than 150 real sounds from the hit TV show "Paw Patrol." Press his badge for 80 different interactive missions and tricks. His backpack also transforms into water cannon launchers and two motors in his front paws help him zoom to his next mission; $69.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2dbjySu. Find the best prices: http://bit.ly/2dtp8w7.
T-Blasts Quad Blaster(Credit: Playmates Toys)
Each T-Blasts Quad Blaster fires up to 40 feet and comes with four Ninja Turtles character darts, which are oversized and made of safer, soft foam. Collection includes Quad Blaster Leonardo, Quad Blaster Michelangelo and Quad Blaster Raphael. $14.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2djbYBS; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2dh3n2l.
Floof Indoor Snow and Snowball Maker(Credit: Play Visions)
The Floof Indoor Snow and Snowball Maker includes a new compound that looks like snow, feels like a marshmallow and molds like clay. $12.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2cLjru7.
My Life As A Food Truck(Credit: My Life As)
This Walmart exclusive includes more than 40 accessories, such as pretzels, hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, onion rings, soda bottles, ice cream scoops, cones and more. Your kid's doll (not included) can fit comfortably in the driver's seat and the kitchen area expands for additional play. $97.97. More information: http://bit.ly/2dh9RxC.
TMNT Half Shell Heroes Headquarters Playset(Credit: Playmates Toys)
This transforming playset unfolds to reveal new play areas. It features street level trap doors for kids to decide whether to send the Turtles to freedom or Shredder to jail. There are four levels of surprises and it contains two action figures, Raphael and Bebop; $49. More information: http://bit.ly/2cRJb6X. For the best prices: http://bit.ly/2cR1fMx.
Little Kingdom Arendelle Treat Shoppe Playset(Credit: Hasbro)
Visit Elsa's favorite spot in Arendelle with The Arendelle Treat Shoppe Little Kingdom Playset. Elsa wears her Coronation Day gown, and the set comes with a pretend snow-cone-making station and a cooler to store accessories. Suggested retail price $17.99. More information: http://hasb.ro/2dGEJ9N. Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2dQ37qQ.
Go! Go! Smart Wheels Treasure Mountain Train Adventure(Credit: VTech)
Kids can turn on the motorized freight train and watch as it chugs around the tracks, through the tunnels and up hills on its own. There are nine SmartPoint locations featuring fun phrases, music and more; $43.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2dhbMT4. For the best prices: http://bit.ly/2dZdKux.
My Little Pony Explore Equestria Crystal Empire Castle(Credit: Hasbro)
This My Little Pony playset has rotating light-up features and reflects three cutie marks at the press of a heart-shaped button. It also includes two staircases, 16 accessories, two closets that spin and a swing for the Baby Flurry Heart figure. It also includes a Princess Cadance figure as well; $39.99. More information: http://hasb.ro/2cVaonu; Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2cC4kjc.
24V Disney Princess Carriage Ride-On(Credit: Dynacraft)
A Walmart exclusive, this pink ride-on carriage features Disney Princesses graphics, gold accents, working doors and ornate interior details. The coach is large enough for two children and includes a detachable "wear and share" tiara, heart-shaped steering wheel and luxurious curtains. There's also a magical light-up wand and enchanting fairy tale sounds; $398. More information: http://bit.ly/2ctAq4o.
Barbie Rainbow Cove Princess Castle Playset(Credit: Mattel)
The rainbow theme runs throughout the playset floors and brightly colored backdrops. At the top, sparkly clouds can hold a fairy doll (sold separately). There's also double doors are decorated with rainbow hues and cutout butterflies, a dining room on the first floor and a shell-shaped mermaid pool outside; $99.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2cZPp6F. Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2cLAAE7.
Fisher Price Little People Sit 'n Stand Skyway Playset(Credit: Fisher-Price)
Toddlers can take their Wheelies vehicles at the top and watch as the cars zip and zoom their way around the many spiral ramps to the bottom. The playset changes from a sit-at roadway to a stand-up Skyway. It includes two Little People Wheelies cars; $40 http://bit.ly/2cQXp9V. For the best prices: http://bit.ly/2duJ958.
Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar(Credit: Fisher-Price)
Kids can develop coding skills with the Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar by arranging the segments in many combinations to send the creature on his path (forward, left, right and more). You can configure the segments in such a way that the toy can reach targets throughout a room; $49.99 at fisher-price.com. http://bit.ly/29PpIDl. Find the best price: http://bit.ly/2dGGl3h.
Go! Go! Smart Friends Enchanted Princess Palace(Credit: VTech)
VTech's Princess Palace features a ballroom, music room, kitchen, parlor and observation tower. There are five MagicPoint locations, phrases, lights and more. The MagicChat lets two characters chat and sing with each other (additional characters sold separately); $54.99 at vtechkids.com. More information: http://bit.ly/2dGHFmR. For the best price: http://bit.ly/2dC8BaS.
Disney Frozen Northern Lights Elsa(Credit: Jakks Pacific)
When kids wave their hand over the snowflake and hold it there, they can watch as the Northern Lights are restored and sparkle on Elsa's dress. The doll says 40 phrases and sings "Let It Go;" $39.99 at jakks.com. More information: http://bit.ly/1XBks79. For the best prices: http://bit.ly/2dQ4LIU.
Lion Guard Training Lair Playset(Credit: Just Play)
The popular Disney Jr. television show comes to life with The Lion Guard Training Lair Playset, which stands 3 feet tall and features lights, sounds and secret surprises. The set comes with two exclusive figures, a rock-climbing area, a bungee launcher, a race track, a telescoping lookout perch and more. There's also a working zip line, rock lift and boulder drop; $59.99 at justplayproducts.com. More information: http://bit.ly/2dHzwPP. For the best prices: http://bit.ly/2cQVnTe.
Disney My Time Singing Elena of Avalor Doll(Credit: Hasbro)
Press Elena's gem necklace to hear her sing "My Time," a song featured in the hit TV show "Elena of Avalor" on the Disney Channel. The doll's arms allow her to hold the included guitar as she sings; $29.99 at hasbro.com. For more information: http://hasb.ro/2dpo8gd. For the best prices: http://bit.ly/2dQ7Itg.
Talk-to-Me Mikey(Credit: Playmates)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michelangelo, a Toys R Us exclusive, recognizes a child's questions and responds in hundreds of unique ways in less than a second. Mikey features movement and position sensors, he signs songs and plays games with kids. $39.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2djl020. For the best prices: http://bit.ly/2dqY7Kn.
Little Live Pets Snuggles My Dream Puppy(Credit: Moose Toys)
This puppy moves, feels and responds just like a real pet. Kids can feed this no-mess puppy with his bottle and he'll fall asleep in their arms. Pat his head or rub his tummy and Snuggles will make puppy sounds. $54.99. More information: http://bit.ly/1L6CEwm; Find the best prices: http://bit.ly/2dfCEUh.
Paw Patrol Jungle Playset(Credit: Spin Master)
This interactive playset transforms from a Monkey Temple into Jungle Headquarters. The set includes lights and sounds, trap doors, control panels, vines to slide down into the jungle explorer vehicle and an elevator that takes the pups up safely. The set includes the new pup Ryder; $49.99 at spinmaster.com. More information: http://bit.ly/2d0Zlw4. For the best prices: http://bit.ly/2dcq9XR.
Laugh & Learn Crawl-Around Learning Center(Credit: Fisher-Price)
This learning toy features three adjustable levels to grow with baby and four stations to explore, including a self-discovery mirror, jumbo rattle roller, fishbowl clicker and more. Babies will learn body parts, opposites, colors, shapes and ABCs. Parents can also leave a personalized message for their baby to hear; $49.99 at fisher-price.com. More information: http://bit.ly/2deTSCR. Find the best prices: http://bit.ly/2dtkONK.
PJ Masks Headquarters Playset(Credit: Just Play)
Based on the hit preschool superhero animated TV show, the PJ Masks Headquarters Playset features three character-themed levels and stands more than two feet tall. The PJ Picture Player allows kids to choose their mission while using the zip line, working elevator, hanging cat rings, trap door and pop-out hatch. Cat Boy figure and Cat Car are included. $69.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2dueNTK.
My Friend Pikachu(Credit: TOMY)
Weebles Core Figures(Credit: Jazwares)
Weebles Core Figures and Core Figures with Vehicles from Jazwares brings the Weebles brand to the 21st century. All six Weebles feature a weighted round base and 3D heads and arms. $3.99 to $34.99. More information: http://bit.ly/2cIeMcc; Find the best prices: http://bit.ly/2d0wJT1.