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."
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Think & Learn Rocktopus
Rocktopus from Fisher-Price teaches kids about different instruments, rhythmic patterns and more. The set features 15 instruments so kids can create songs and remixes by changing tempo and adding in fun sound effects. For ages 3 and older. Price: $59.99 at fisher-price.mattel.com.
Power Action Pikachu
Pikachu lights up, speaks, has sound effects and a light-up tail. Kids can play with this Pokémon character by squeezing its hands to light up or hear him speak. The more he is played with, the more varied his responses become. For ages 4 and older. Price: $29.99 at wickedcooltoys.com.
Power Wheels Jurassic World Dino Racer
Go on a dino adventure with Blue the raptor. Blaze over hard surfaces and grass at up to six miles per hour. Open and close Blues mouth manually for some fierce chomping action. A parent-controlled option is included. For ages 36 months and older. Price: $279.99 at amazon.com.
Magic Touch Piano
Baby Einstein and Hape's Magic Touch Piano is a wooden piano where there are no buttons or keys. With two modes of play, tots can make their own music or play along with classic melodies. Three sheets of music are included with notes matched to the colored "keys," which promotes color recognition and coordination. The volume can be adjusted for quiet play or full-concert mode. For ages 1 and older. Price: $24.99 at kidsii.com.
Fancy Nancy Interactive Doll
This interactive doll from Jakks Pacific, based on the popular children's book "Fancy Nancy," comes with a light-up butterfly bracelet for kids to wear to hear Nancy say 38 phrases or sing songs. Her bodice lights up in six different colors: Blue, yellow, orange, green, pink and purple. For ages 3 and older. Price: $49.99 at jakks.com.
'Incredibles 2', Jack-Jack Attacks
Jack-Jack Attacks from Jakks Pacific is an interactive doll representing the baby in Disney's "Incredibles 2," which opens in theaters this year. Press on his tummy and he'll laugh, giggle, babble, cry and make electric sparks sounds. Continue to press on his belly to cycle through his powers: He turns red to show his fiery flames, flashes yellow and creates spark sounds to show off his electric sparks and his eyes glow blue when his laser eyes kick in. The doll also comes with a raccoon. For ages 4 and older. Price: $39.99 at jakks.com.
Go! Go! Smart Wheels Mickey Magical Wonderland
The little drivers can ride the Ferris wheel, slide down the ramp, spin the gears and open the peek-a-boo windows. There are five SmartPoint locations where kids can listen to Mickey Mouse say fun phrases. For ages 1 and older. Price: $49.99 at vtechkids.com.
Little Tikes Shop 'n Learn Smart Checkout
Featuring an interactive electronic conveyor belt and scanner, this checkout playset reads groceries like those at a supermarket. The set can be used with or without a free app. It comes with a cash register, scanner, aisle light and more than 35 scannable foods and accessories. For ages 2 and older. $169.99 at littletikes.com.
Rideamals Scout Interactive Pony
This Walmart exclusive pony named Scout is just like having the real thing with its motorized eyes, ears, head and wheels. Programmed with more than 100 sounds and movements, kids can listen to Scout munch on his food, watch him perform a special dance and more. Kids may hop on Scout for a musical trot (3.5 miles per hour) or gallop (4 miles per hour). It also comes with a grooming brush, carrot, apple and saddlebag. For ages 3 and older. Price: $398 at walmart.com.
Sesame Street Let's Dance Elmo
Elmo encourages kids to dance and sing along to three musical modes (colors, animals and music remix) that are activated by Elmo's headphones. Elmo's heart lights up to the beat and he swings his arms, tilts his head and shakes his hips. His headphones double as a handle. For ages 18 months and older. Price: $ 39.99 shop.hasbro.com.
Star Wars Yoda Electronic Mask
Now you're the wise master with this Yoda electronic mask. Put it on, open your mouth and activate the classic Yoda sounds and ear wiggle. For ages 4 and older. $34.99 at hasbrotoyshop.com.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Epic Sewer Lair Playset
This big playset stands 43 inches tall and features four levels and seven rooms. Kids can check out Splinter's Dojo, Raphael's weight training room, Michaelangelo's arcade, hidden projectile launchers, rotating skateboard ramp, collapsing balcony and more. Action figures are sold separately. For ages 4 and older. Price: $119.99 at playmatestoys.com.
Farm to Table Play Kitchen
KidKraft's Farm to Table Play Kitchen features a window box with planted carrots and purple onions that can be pulled, a stovetop with light and sounds, a large farmhouse sink with lights and running water sounds, a refrigerator with a working ice maker, storage crates, hanging hooks and a large chalkboard to feature daily specials. The set has EZ Kraft Assembly. For ages 3 and older. Price: $199.99 at kidkraft.com.
Ryan’s World Giant Mystery Egg
Reveal a lights and sounds vehicle, rare figures, special putty, a limited edition plush and more. No two Ryan's World Giant Mystery Eggs are the same. For ages 3 and older. $34.99 at bonkerstoys.com.
The Scruff-a-Luvs from Moose Toys are a mystery at first. Each comes as a matted ball of fur, only showing its eyes. To reveal your rescue animal (dog, cat or bunny), simply wash it in water, towel dry, blast drying it with a hair dryer and brushing and styling its fur. Each plush comes with a collar, name tag, adoption certificate, brush and hair clips. For ages 4 and older. Price: $19.99 at moosetoys.com.
Safari Learning Station
The Safari Learning Station" from LeapFrog grows with children while keeping them entertained through interactive learning. The three-in-one arch adjusts from floor play to standing height. Three different modes allow Giraffe, Lion and Zebra to introduce the ABCs and 123s while playing safari-themed tunes. The light-up piano lets tiny tots discover shapes and colors. Kids are extra engaged when they spin Elephant's bead spinner, twist Chameleon's tail and drop the balls through Monkey's tail to practice motor skills and learn about colors. For ages 6 months and older. Price: $49.99 at leapfrog.com.
Mr. Banks Armored Truck Machine
This vehicle helps kids track and save money. Coins are counted and visibly sorted into the side of the truck. The truck's motorized mouth eats bills and keeps them safe. Use the keypad to track bill deposits and withdrawals, and use the LCD screen to count coins. For ages 3 and older. $39.99 at jakks.com.
Furreal Shaggy Shawn Pet
Furreal Shaggy Shawn Pet is a Yorkie that can be groomed using the included pretend buzzer. Pat the top of his head to hear real puppy sounds or move his legs to create the perfect cuddling position. For ages 4 and older. Price: $24.99 at shop.hasbro.com.
Fancy French Phone
The Fancy French Phone by Jakks Pacific has telephone sounds, light-up effects and more than nine fancy phrases from Nancy herself. For ages 3 and older. $14.99 at jakks.com.
Flip and Riff Keytar
The Flip and Riff Keytar from Baby Einstein combines a piano and guitar so kids don't have to choose. Tap the piano keys or simply flip the handle up to strum the guitar. There are six instrument sounds, more than 30 different melodies and an acoustic or electric guitar option. For ages 1 and older. Price: $19.99 at kidsii.com.
Baby Alive Potty Dance Baby
Kids can practice important potty skills with Baby Alive Potty Dance Baby. When the baby is thirsty, fill her bottle with water and let her sip. When she needs to go, sit her on the potty, hold her hands and watch her sing and do a potty dance. Then, wash her hands and put a sticker on her reward chart to show her progress. Additional to the toilet, bottle, and reward chart, the doll comes with an outfit, a soap dispenser, underwear, a comb and says silly phrases. She will only go to the bathroom on the toilet, so there are no messes. For ages 3 and older. Price: $48.82 at amazon.com.
Calico Critter Town, Grand Department Store
The Grand Department Store is the focal point of the Calico Critters' new series. The design allows kids to alter the layout by repositioning various features such as the terrace, balconies, windows and awnings. Kids can let their critters into the store through the revolving tower doors, then explore different levels using the elevator. The set also comes with a Stella Hopscotch Rabbit figure. For ages 6 and older. Price: $129.95 calicocritters.com.
Vampirina Rock N' Jam Touring Van
Playdate Rapunzel from Jakks Pacific comes with her signature purple dress, shoes, a brush and a tiara. Her head moves and her arms and legs bend as you play. For ages 3 and older. Price: $59.99 at jakks.com.
Furreal Ricky, the Trick Lovin' Pup
This playful pup is full of tricks. He can flip his bone, shake his paws and look for food when hungry. Kids can reward Ricky with treats and a pat on the back. He comes with more than 100 sound and motion combinations, with sensors on his cheeks, nose, mouth, paw and back. Accessories include a bone, 18 treats and a treat pouch. For ages 4 and older. $129.99 at hasbrotoyshop.com.
These new surprise dolls with unique hairstyles in bright colors are based on the 12 girls from the Hairdorables videos on YouTube. Each doll comes with 11 accessories. There are 36 Hairdorables dolls to collect in Series 1. For ages 3 and older. Price: $12.99 at hairdorables.com.
Pomsies Patches Plush
Pomsies are wearable pom-pom pets. They react when you touch and play with them, with more than 50 different responses such as purring, eating and singing. A brush is included with each Pomsie to give them extra love and care. For ages 3 and older. Price: $14.99 at amazon.com.
Electric Light Blocks
Create a nightlight, skyscraper, glowing robot and more with this set of interlocking blocks that light up when connected to the base. It's compatible with other construction block systems of the same size, such as Lego Duplo blocks. Choose from 36 or 102 blocks. For ages 3 and older. $30 and up at uncommongoods.com.
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn 3-in-1 Smart Car
Your baby is in the driver's seat of this Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Crawl Around Car. The car comes with more than 75 songs, tunes and phrases for interactive learning and features a grow-with-me design so little ones can stick with the car as they learn to sit, crawl and walk. The entertainment lasts with the interactive lights and sounds, windshield wiper, horn, built-in ramp and the shapes and colors sorting door. For ages 6 months and older. Price: $59.99 at fisher-price.com.
The Incredibles 2 Family 5-Pack Junior Supers Action Figures
This five pack of the Incredible Junior Supers Figures comes with Elastigirl, Mr. Incredible, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack. The figures are for use with =Incredibles 2 Junior Hydroliner Playset (sold separately). For ages 3 and older. Prices start at $27 on amazon.com.
Little Live Pets Rollie My Kissing Puppy
Rollie is always excited to see you. He kisses and cuddles like a real puppy, wags his tail and closes his eyes to sleep. He comes with more than 25 cute sounds and actions and an adoption certificate. For ages 5 and older. Price: $54.99 at littlelivepets.com.
Paw Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck playset
Marshall's Rescue Fire Truck set from Spin Master comes equipped with flashing lights and sounds, extendible ladder and a cart that's stored inside. For ages 3 and older. Price: $59.99 shop.spinmaster.com.
Feed Me Cookie Monster
Cookie Monster is hungry. Feed him his cookie and listen for silly phrases and his signature song. Squeeze his belly to hear it rumble or to hear him speak. For ages 18 months and older. $29.99 at shop.hasbro.com.
Curiosity Table Activity Station
The Baby Einstein Curiosity Table Activity Station is a two-sided table that combines art and science. One side is loaded with colorful gears and a circuit that turns on a lightbulb. The flip side offers a blank canvas for creativity. The table is adaptable to kids' needs, as its legs can be removed for seated play and the middle panel can be removed for an expanded play area. For ages 1 and older. Price: $69.99 at kidsii.com.
Design & Drill My First Workbench
Budding builders can hammer, nail and drill bolts into this bench to create fun patterns and more. The set comes with a drawer to store the 120 colorful bolts and nails. For ages 3 and older. Price: $49.99 at educationalinsights.com.
Stem Jr. Wonder Lab
Kids can let their inner scientists shine with the Stem Jr. Wonder Lab from Little Tikes. The lab comes with eight unique maze pieces, three maze balls, three test tubes, three stirring spoons, stirring stick, eyedropper and lab goggles. Also included are 20 STEM experiments that use common household ingredients and more than 40 sounds and phrases that bring the lab to life. For ages 3 and older. Price: $119.99 at littletikes.com.
Fingerlings Hugs from WowWee have extra-long arms perfect for hugs and cuddling. Kids can also swing them, pet them and rock them to sleep. Give them a kiss and they'll kiss back. The recording feature allows kids to record their own voices then throw the toy in the air to hear a funny remix of what they said. For ages 5 and older. Price: $29.99 at fingerlings.com.
PJ Masks Super Moon Adventure Rocketship
PJ Masks Super Moon Rocketship from Just Play lets kids recreate adventures from the series using special light, sound and lever features. They can push a button to release the toy's legs and ramp, then launch the included gekko figure out on his space rover. The rocket ship cockpit holds up to three PJ Masks figures. For ages 3 and older. Price: $ 39.99 at justplayproducts.com.
Minnie Mouse Sing & Spin Scooter
Go on a scooter trip with Minnie as she sings to upbeat songs. Simply tap her pink bow and she will start singing a catchy song as you scoot her along with her sweet dog Snowpuff. For ages 3 and older. Price: $39.95 at shopdisney.com.
Melissa & Doug Examine & Treat Vet Play Pet Set
Become a veterinarian and take the included plush dog and cat in for an appointment. The 24-piece set comes with a stethoscope, thermometer, ear scope, cast, "treatments," "ointments" and more. Easily move from check up to check up with the handy tote bag. For ages 36 months and older. Price: $29.99 at amazon.com.
PJ Masks Romeo's Lab Playset
With a light and sound panel, working crane, laser launcher and rolling lab charger, Romeo's Lab Playset from Just Play offers kids dual-level play. The set includes a Romeo figure, Romeo's robot figure, lab charger and three tools. It can also be transformed into a mobile lab by using the attached wheels for transport. For ages 3 and older. Price: $39.99 at justplayproducts.com.
Fisher-Price Little People Take Turns Skyway
Kids share the tracks and learn to take turns with the Little People Take Turns Skyway Playset. The playset stands at over three feet and has three different tracks that feature a launcher, racing sounds and phrases, and play stops like a gas and repair station along the way. Two easy-to-grip Wheelies cars are included. For ages 18 months and older. Price: $39.99 at fisher-price.mattel.com.
Peppa Pig Fun Fair Playset
Ride the Ferris wheel, hop on the merry-go-round, make silly faces in the fun house mirror or visit the game booth with Peppa and George at Peppas Fun Fair. A Walmart exclusive for ages 2 and older. Price: $34.88 at walmart.com.
Kingdom Builders Hex Castle
Hex Castle comes with more than 30 pieces so the cornerstone of Kingdom Builders can be rebuilt and rearranged. Use targets and action bolts to reveal different parts of the castle, such as a dungeon, working drawbridge, dropping balcony, hidden trapdoor and more. King Hex is included. For ages 3 and older. $69.99 at littletikes.com.
Explore and Write Activity Desk
Discover letters, numbers, music, colors and more with the Explore and Write Activity Desk. The writing pad lights up and helps kids learn numbers, shapes and letters through tracing. The desk also transforms into an easel and chalkboard to let the imagination thrive. For ages 2 and older. Price: $54.97 at vtech.com.
Power Wheels Barbie Dream Camper Ride-On Vehicle
Hit the road for a camping adventure in this Walmart exclusive Power Wheels Barbie Dream Camper van. Barbie leads the way with her voice as you drive the car at up to 5 miles per hour. Upon arrival, open the back to reveal a play kitchen with a fold-out grill and sweet snacks inside. The vehicle can drive over hard surfaces and grass, and has a parent-contolled speed option. For ages 3 and older. Price: $398 at walmart.com.
CozyPhones are lightweight, comfortable and washable headphones. They feature thin speakers in the fleece headband for a comfortable fit for most head sizes. Built-in volume control and a cable are included. Styles include a unicorn, fox, frog and panda; $19.99 at cozyphones.com.
Hidden inside this Playfoam pod are wild animal figures that can be taken apart and swapped with the other collectible critters. Series 1 features 12 animals; $7.99 at educationalinsights.com.
JoJo Siwa Singing Doll: "Kid in a Candy Store"
This new JoJo Siwa doll sings "Kid in a Candy Store" and features an oversized pink bow, and poseable arms and legs. She also comes with a pink microphone and a hairbrush; $19.99 at justplayproducts.com.
Bright Lights Soccer Ball
This soft, bright soccer ball introduces opposites and numbers, plays three songs and says playful phrases with a push of a button. Kids can kick, pass or shake the ball to activate the motion sensor to hear fun sounds; $14.99 at vtechkids.com.