Looking for Christmas or Hanukkah 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.
Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart
This toy ice cream cart from LeapFrog features buttons, lights, sound effects, music, phrases and more. It comes with four flavors of ice cream (two scoops each), three toppings and three flavors of sauce so kids can create their favorite sundaes, and includes a cash register and magnetic scooper; $39.99 at leapfrog.com.
GearZooz Roll & Roar Animal Train
Kids can use their imagination to mix and match gears to make their own train and also improve fine motor skills. Four animals can ride the train and bring excitement and interactions with songs, phrases, animal sounds and more. $29.95. More information: vtechkids.com.
Little Tikes My First Drone
My First Drone is a perfect toy for your little one who's interested in everything aerial. The RC Drone has a one-touch remote, protective propeller rings and auto-hover technology. It also has a cool design with lights and sounds. Recommended for ages 4 and older. $42.99. More information: littletikes.com.
Storytime Rhymes Sheep
This cuddly sheep plays calming lullabies and two relaxing stories to get your little one to fall asleep. Playtime mode features two engaging stories and upbeat songs for sing-alongs. The sheep's tummy lights up to the music and timer mode will turn the toy off after 15 or 30 minutes. It also includes a rhyming board book. For children of all ages. $24.99. More information: vtechkids.com.
Fans of Disney Pixar's "Cars" films will love hanging out with Lightning McQueen, Mack and Cruz Ramirez. They can build their own version of Flo's V8 Café, while improving fine motor skills. The set also comes with a gas pump, bricks resembling gas pump dials, Flo's sign, and buildable Disney Cars 3 characters. Recommended for ages 2 and older. $39.99. More information: shop.lego.com.
Vampirina Bat-tastic Vampirina & Wolfie
Fans of Disney Junior's "Vampirina" will love playing with the Bat-tastic Vampirina doll, dressed in a spooky dress and necklace and always with her friend, Wolfie. Kids can press the necklace to hear phrases from the show as well as sounds from her light-up bat wings. Recommended for ages three and older. $39.99. More information: justplayproducts.com.
Puppy Dog Pals doghouse playset
Fans of Disney Junior's show "Puppy Dog Pals" will love playing with pugs Bingo and Rolly in their two-story doghouse, featuring a tire swing, elevator, seesaw, slide, roof glider and more. Recommended for ages three and older. $29.99. More information: justplayproducts.com.
Color Wonder Magic Light Brush
Your little artist can paint as much as he or she wants with the mess-free Color Wonder Magic Light Brush and Drawing Pad. The paint only appears on the special paper, nothing else. Kids can dip the brush into the paint pot and apply it to the paper, then the bristles will light up to let them see what color they've chosen. Recommended for ages three and older. $19.99. More information: shop.crayola.com.
These sweet-smelling plush toys are super soft and come in a variety of collectible sizes. Some of the characters include Winnie the Pooh, Stitch, Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey, Minnie and more. $9.95 for mini sets, $6.95 for small plush, $16.95. More information: shopdisney.com.
Disney Minnie Bow Cute Discovery Activity Table
Little ones can play with more than 10 activities, such as turning pages on the storybook, steering the wheel and honking the horn, listening to music and more. $34.99. More information: toysrus.com.
Laugh & Learn First Words Smart Puppy
This interactive puppy from Fisher-Price helps little ones learn their first words, with eight starter blocks, light-up shape buttons, different reading levels, music and more. For ages 9 months and older. $49.99. More information: fisher-price.com.
The Chuckle Ball
The Chuckle Ball from Spin Master is a self-rolling and self-bouncing toy that comes to life, making silly sounds. $19.99. More information: shop.spinmaster.com.
Fisher-Price Zoom ’n Crawl Monster
Fisher-Price Zoom 'n Crawl Monster will keep babies occupied for hours with more than 15 songs, phrases and sounds, and five colorful balls that spill out of the monster's mouth. Babies are motivated to crawl to chase after the monster, or can sit and play to interact with it; $35. More information: fisher-price.mattel.com.
Disney's Frozen Sleigh, a Walmart exclusive, lets Anna and Elsa fans ride on their magical sleigh fit for two. Traveling at a maximum speed of 5 mph, it has lights, tunes and a realistic look. $298. More information: walmart.com.
Super Wings Super Robot Suit
From the popular TV show "Super Wings," this large robot transforms into a vehicle with lights, sounds and more. It also comes with a Jett figure, which turns from plane to bot, and fits right into the vehicle. $39.99. More information: auldeytoys.us/brands/super-wings.
Marvel Swing & Sling Spider-Man
This plush can swing in the air, hang upside down, tumble forward and backwards, and do a 360-degree back flip. He also says a handful of phrases, plays the "Spider-Man" theme song and more. $39.99. More information: justplayproducts.com.
VTech Pop-a-Balls Drop and Pop Ball Pit
The VTech Pop-a-Balls Drop and Pop Ball Pit lets babies climb into the pit filled with 30 colorful balls for some educational fun. They develop motor skills while listening and interacting with the music and sounds, as well as being surrounded by different animals and numbers. This is a Walmart exclusive. $49.99. More information: vtechkids.com.
Dusty the Super Duper Garbage Truck
Real Workin' Buddies Mr. Dusty will help kids to tidy up their play room with three ways to play with small toys -- he eats them up, sweeps them up and dumps them out. $39.95. More information: jakks.com.
This life-like baby doll comes with interactive accessories, such as a spoon for feeding, play time with Lamby, nap time with a bottle and a pacifier. The boy or girl dolls laugh, blink, purse their lips, chew and more; $99.99 at spinmaster.com.
Kinetic Sand Folding Sandbox
This portable storage playset from Spin Master is great for digging and scooping kinetic sand. It comes with two pounds of sand, three different molds and two mini tools. $29.99. More information: spinmaster.com.
Kids can create their own Wookiee teddy bear from Build-A-Bear Workshop. He comes with a built-in bandolier and the Star Wars logo on his paw. Kids can also add Star Wars sounds and accessories. Other Star Wars bears include Phasma Bear, Rey, Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Bobba Fett, a Stormtrooper and more. $35. More information: buildabear.com.
Mickey and the Roadster Racers: Racing Adventures Mickey
Kids can race along with Just Play's Mickey, from the new Disney Junior series "Mickey and the Roadster Racers." As he drives, the car does 360-degree spins. He moves his head side to side as if he's driving. He can stand, wave his flag, move his arms up and down, talk, sing and make racing sounds. Mickey even does a victory dance after a game of Race to the Flag. For ages 3 and older. $39.99. More information: justplayproducts.com.
PJ Masks Rival Racers Track Playset
Disney Jr.'s popular nighttime heroes Catboy, Owlette and Gekko can zoom through the raceway to save the museum from Night Ninja. Launch the vehicles using one of the two built-in mega launchers and watch them loop around the curves. The playset comes with a Catboy figure, Cat-Car and Night Ninja Bus; $39.99 at justplayproducts.com.
Little Sprouts collectible figures
Children can collect all the kid, baby and pet Cabbage Patch Kids Little Sprouts collectible figures and have a new adventure everyday. Each Blind Pack includes a pet figure and a kid or baby figure. It comes with a collector guide to track and find all 120 figures. $3.99. More information: wickedcooltoys.com.
Peppa Pig Lights & Sounds Family Home
Inspired by the popular Nick Jr. TV show "Peppa Pig," this four-story playset home has seven rooms, 13 accessories with lights and sounds and three figures: Peppa Pig, George Pig and Zoe Zebra; $59.99 at target.com.
Think & Learn Teach 'n Tag Movi
The Think & Learn Teach 'n Tag Movi from Fisher-Price is an interactive toy that gets kids up and moving while developing listening skills and ability to follow directions. For ages 3 and older. $50. More information: fisher-price.mattel.com.
Edushape Curiosity Cubes Set
The Edushape Curiosity Cubes Set contains four candy-colored cubes. Maneuver the cube until the beads land where they belong. $19.99. More information: edushape.com.
Play-Doh Noodle Makin' Mania Set
Kids can create pretend noodle dishes from ramen bowls to ravioli. The set includes a noodle maker, four noodle discs, ravioli book-mold, lasagna cutter, bowl, plate, knife, roller, fork and five cans of Play-Doh. Use the half molds to create macaroni, cheese and other toppings. $14.99. More information: hasbro.com.
LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition
The new tablet from LeapFrog includes 20 educational games that incorporate spelling, reading, math, coding, science, music and more. It comes with a removable silicone bumper, stylus, LeapSearch Web browser, which allows kids to safely surf the internet, parental controls and more; $119 at leapfrog.com.
Mickey Transforming Roadster Racer R/C
This R/C vehicle is based on Disney Jr.'s popular cartoon "Mickey and the Roadster Racers," which features two cars in one, lights, sound effects and even Mickey's voice. The car can move in multiple directions, honk its horn and transform using the remote; $39.99 at walmart.com.
Go! Go! Smart Wheels Race & Play Adventure Park
Kids can move the go-kart up the hill with the hand crank, pull back the lever and launch the vehicle to the top of the track. The go-kart can race down the track, through a 360-degree loop and out the jump ramp. It also includes a Ferris wheel, carnival game and swinging gate; $39 at vtechkids.com.
Wicked Cool Toys is bringing the iconic toy from the 1980s back. The 14-inch-tall Teddy Ruxpin will read stories with a motorized mouth and features LCD eyes with more than 40 expressions that are synched to the stories. The touch sensors in the hands and vest allow children to start, pause or fast-forward through the books and songs. It comes with three built-in stories and a free app; $99.99 at wickedcooltoys.com.
Thomas & Friends Super Station
This multisystem track set includes 10 Sodor locations (Tidmouth Sheds, Knapford Station and more), three engines and enough room to store more than 100 Thomas & Friends engines; $99.99 at fisher-price.mattel.com.
Billy and Mason Action Dolls
Billy and Mason Action Dolls from Boy Story are the first two in a line of 18-inch boy dolls. These plush and vinyl dolls have ball-jointed limbs. $99. More information: boystory.com.
Shimmer & Shine Magical Light-Up Genie Palace
Based on the popular children's TV show "Shimmer and Shine," this playset comes with 20 play pieces, including the Shimmer and Shine dolls. Kids can clap their hands to activate the lights, and it has more than 100 sounds, phrases and songs, and a magic mirror; $129.99 at toysrus.com.
Techno Gears Bionic Bug Kit
The Techno Gears Bionic Bug Kit from The Learning Journey comes with more than 80 colorful construction pieces, a power motor and more. Build a bug with motorized gears. $19.99. More information: amazon.com.
Paw Patrol Sea Patroller
This new set from the hit television series "Paw Patrol" features flashing lights, sounds, drop-down wheels and a moving crane. Kids can store up to two Paw Patrol vehicles on the deck. It comes with Ryder's Rescue ATV vehicle, a Ryder figure, an exploration platform, an octopus, two lifesavers and a detachable anchor; $59.99 at toysrus.com.
Cabbage Patch Kids Little Sprouts Vet Center Playset
The Cabbage Patch Kids have shrunk - these Little Sprouts, from Wicked Cool Toys, are 120 collectible mini-kids, babies and pets. Little Sprouts figure offerings will be available in four- and eight-pack sets as well as Blind Boxes. All sets include a mix of kids, babies and pets. The Little Sprouts Vet Center playset comes with a grooming station with a bath tub, pet bed, working scale and more. $19.99. More information: wickedcooltoys.com.
Little Tikes 3-in-1 Sports Zone
Little ones can try out basketball, soccer and bowling in one playset. It includes an adjustable height hoop to grow with the child, lights and sounds, games and two balls; $54.99 at toysrus.com.
Glimmies Glimtern Lantern Playset
This lantern-shaped house makes a great home for your child's Glimmie, little star creatures that light up in the dark. Place a Glimmie in the Glimtern and she will light up. The Toys R Us exclusive set comes with an exclusive Aurea, a Ladybug Glimmie; $17.99 at toysrus.com.
Disney Junior Doc McStuffins All-in-One Nursery
Kids can care for their baby dolls with this set that features a light-and-sound stethoscope, a portable electronic patient laptop with a light-up screen, sounds and lullaby music, scale and more. For ages 3 and older; $79.99 at toysrus.com.
You & Me Baby So Sweet
This 16-inch nursery doll features brown eyes and comes with the lilac sleeper. She has a detailed, expressive face, a soft body with vinyl arms, legs and head. This Toys R Us exclusive also comes with a newborn hat; $34.99 at toysrus.com.
Magic Fairy Wand Fairy Princess Fern
This fairy princess talks, teaches magical spells and more. Simply flick your fairy wand for thousands of interactions; encounter unicorns, pixies and Piggle Wiggles and more. It also features two LCD video screens; $59.99 at toysrus.com.
Melissa & Doug Star Diner Restaurant
With two play spaces in one, kids will have loads of fun. The Star Diner Restaurant set includes: oven, stovetop and grill, two-shelf fridge, drink dispenser, milkshake mixer, jukebox with spinning dial and coin to drop in slot, and spinning cake plate on pass-through shelf; $199.99 at amazon.com.
Paw Patrol Mission Pup Pad
The Mission Pup Pad from Spin Master includes six mission cards with the Pup Pad. Press the button to activate the mission, choose the pups needed for the rescue, hear their signature phrases and more. $19.99. More information: spinmaster.com.
The Pixlplay Camera from Pixl Toys turns a smartphone into a kids' camera, safely protecting an Apple, Android or Windows device. It features rubber grips, a wrist strap, focus lens and film advance with clicking sounds for pretend play. $29.95. More information: pixltoys.com.
Paw Patrol – My Size Lookout Tower
Help the Paw Patrol crew spot danger with the My Size Lookout Tower. The set includes a Chase vehicle, Chase figure, two Chase Pup Packs, a Marshall figure and two Marshall Pup Packs; $99.88 at amazon.com.
FurReal Makers Proto Max
Using the downloadable app, kids can create and code their own custom-designed pet with this Amazon exclusive; $119.99 at amazon.com.
Enchantimals Panda Tree House Playset
The Enchantimals are known for their unique personalities and special friendships. The Enchantimals Panda Tree House Playset includes an exclusive Prue Panda Doll and her friend Nari, outdoor seating and kitchen and bathroom accessories; $39.99 at amazon.com.
Baby Alive Sweet Tears Baby
Baby Alive Sweet Tears acts like a real baby, showing emotions and lighting up when she doesn't feel well. The baby says 35 plus phrases in English or Spanish and the set includes: doll, outfit, stethoscope, thermometer, bandage, tissue, juice box, brush and instructions. $49.99 at amazon.com.
Fisher-Price Think & Learn Smart Cycle Toy
The Fisher-Price Think & Learn Smart Cycle Toy, an Amazon exclusive, incorporates fun and exercise into one exciting bike. Bluetooth technology allows kids to play using a tablet or TV screen, and the more they pedal, the more games they can access and learn. Games include: Letter and Phonics, and Spelling and Vocabulary; $149.99 at amazon.com.
Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone
Your little one can tap and play musical favorites while developing audio recognition. For ages 12 months to 3 years; $29.99 at amazon.com.
FurReal Roarin’ Tyler, the Playful Tiger
Make a noise or roar at Hasbro's new Furreal friend and he will roar back in response. He can also crouch, respond to squeaky toys, make 100-plus sounds and motions, and more; $129.99 at amazon.com.
PJ Masks Headquarters Playset
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.
Escape in the Forest Playset
New Pokemon playsets geared toward girls include the Escape in the Forest Playset from TOMY. Comes with furniture and accessories, three Pokemon and an exclusive Serena figure. $24.99. More information: toysrus.com.