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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Linkimals Smooth Moves Sloth
This interactive sloth features lights, music, songs and fun dance moves. He claps his hands and bobs his head along to the beat. Kids can press on the sloth's feet to learn numbers, colors, opposites and the alphabet. Additional Linkimals are sold separately. For ages 9 months and older; $29.99; fisher-price.com.
Disney Junior T.O.T.S. Nursery Headquarters Playset
The Tiny Ones Transport Service (T.O.T.S.) nursery, where baby animals are cared for before they head home, is a multilevel playset with lights, sounds, a baby monitor, a slide and an elevator. The set includes three flocked babies with diapers that change color in cold water during bath time. There's also a bouncy seet, removable swinging basket, a cloud cart, a secret trap door and more accessories. The T.O.T.S. baby animals are based on a new Disney Junior animated TV show, which will debut this year. For ages 3 and older; $39.99; justplayproducts.com.
Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Song Puppet with Tempo Control
To hear the full "Baby Shark" song, kids just have to move the puppet's mouth. Move the shark's mouth fast or slow and it will control the tempo of the song. The collection features Baby Shark, Mommy Shark and Daddy Shark, each sold separately. For ages 2 and older; $19.99; babyshark.wowwee.com.
Paw Patrol, Super Paws, 2-in-1 Transforming Mighty Pups Jet Command Center
Little Paw Patrol fans can get a deluxe jet and command center in one set. The jet emits light and sound, and has a disc launcher with five included discs. It also comes with an exclusive Mighty Ryder figure and folds for easy storage. For ages 3 and older; $59.99; spinmaster.com.
Disney Frozen Elsa’s Ice Palace by Little People
Elsa's ice blue castle features many buttons that kids can activate to light up the staircase, hear an excerpt from "Let It Go," create spinning snowflakes and more. The set includes Elsa and Olaf figures and other accessories. For ages 18 months and older; $39.99; fisher-price.com.
LeapBuilders ABC Smart House
With this 61-piece block set, kids can build a house, learn the alphabet, colors, shapes and more. Insert the 20 double-sided learning blocks into the Smart Star cube to hear songs, phrases and sounds. For ages 18 months and older; $39.99; leapfrog.com.
Disney Princess Ariel Music & Lights Vanity
Open the clamshell-shaped vanity to hear "Under The Sea" and watch Sebastian spin. It also comes with a Flounder jar with lid, play perfume bottle, tiara, dinglehopper brush and more. For ages 3 and older; $59.99; jakks.com.
Playhut Pinkfong Baby Shark
The popular YouTube video with the catchy "Baby Shark" song is now in the form of pop-up play tents featuring illustrations of Baby Shark, Mommy Shark, Daddy Shark and more. It's easy to set-up and take down to store, and includes two three-foot tunnels, multiple doors to crawl through and a flap that can be tied back. For ages 3 and older; $34.99; basicfun.com.
Fisher-Price Bounce & Spin Puppy
Kids can bounce up and down or spin around on this stationary, musical ride-on puppy. It features songs and fun sounds, easy-to-grip handles, interactive buttons and lights, and teaches the alphabet, numbers, colors and more. For ages 1 and older; $59.99; fisher-price.mattel.com.
Little Baby Bum: 'Wiggling Wheels on the Bus'
Intended to encourage babies to move and crawl, this Little Baby Bum's "Buster the Bus" toy wiggles with an easy squeeze while playing a version of the kids classic "Wheels on the Bus." For ages six months and older; $19.99; littletikes.com.
Roar & Stomp Giganto
Kids can push a button to make Gigantosaurus open his mouth and to hear roaring sounds. He also stomps and makes real stomping sounds, and has six points of articulation. For ages 3 and older; $29.99; j akks.com.
Juno The Baby Elephant
Juno is a toy baby elephant loaded with more than 150 movements and sounds. Kids can teach her tricks with accessories, feed her a peanut or give her a mouse to love. She has a trunk that responds to touch and a personality that will grow. For ages 5 and older; $99; spinmaster.com.
Ryan's World Super Surprise Safe
Kids can use the sledgehammer to smash one of the five included safes to reveal more than 30 surprises, which may include a Ryan figure, tattoo stickers, Red Titan light up ring, slime and more. For ages 3 and older; $39.99; justplayproducts.com.
Disney and Pixar Buzz Lightyear Star Command Spaceship Playset
Open this playset to reveal a light up cockpit with special sound effects and multiple play areas. Kids can use teh satellite station to track missing toys, blast enemies with projectiles from both wings, move items with the working claw and more. The set also includes an exclusive glow-in-the-dark Buzz Lightyear figure. For ages 3 and older; $79.99; shop.mattel.com.
Little Tikes Tasty Bake ‘n Share Kitchen
Perfect for budding chef, this role play kitchen makes cooking sounds and can be made larger to suit kids as they grow. The set also comes with more than 40 accessories and three play recipe cards, plus it works with all Tasty Jr. "Bake 'n Share" activity food packs (each sold separately). For ages 2 and older; $99.99; littletikes.com.
Melissa & Doug Top and Bake Wooden Pizza Counter
This wooden pizza-making set comes with 34 pieces including a counter/pizza oven, a menu, delivery box, rolling cutter, pizza toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, olives and peppers), play money and more. For ages 3 and older; $49.99; melissaanddoug.com.
Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle
This classic-looking tricycle features chrome handlebars with streamers, a chrome bell, a double deck rear step making it easier for little ones to get on and off, an adjustable seat and more. For ages 2 and older; $69.99; radioflyer.com.
The bright pink plane has realistic airline features, such as working overhead components, a snack cart, reclining seats and a puppy travel companion. For ages 3 and older; $74.99; barbie.mattel.com.
Scruff-A-Luv: My Real Rescue
The 'Real Rescue' Scruff-A-Luv reacts to how you care for it, and it will respond with a pulse, whimpering, eating, shivering and other things an actual rescued pet might do. It features more than 30 sounds, and there's a mystery animal (dog or cat) in each box. The set includes one pet, collar with an ID tag, bottle, comb and adoption certificate. For ages two and older; $39.97; moosetoys.com.
These soft, stretchable plush animals come in a variety of characters and colors, such as penguin, dog, unicorn, narwhal, llama and more. They are also available in three different sizes. For ages 7 and older; $6.99; bhteddybear.com.
Cutetitos Babitos Series 1
These new surprise-packed three-inch plush animals that come hidden in a burrito blanket. There are 12 different characters to collect, such as Giraffito, Chipmunkito, Owlito and more. What's more, each pet comes with a gender reveal diaper. For ages 3 and older; $7.99; basicfun.com.
Pets Alive Boppi the Booty Shakin' Llama
Boppi is the newest addition to Zuru's Pets Alive collection of robotic toys that encourage movement. Kids can sing and dance along to Boppi's three songs as she also moves to the music. Other Pets Alive animals include Fifi the Flossing Sloth, Magical Unicorn and Cute Scootin' Hamster WaterGirls. For ages 3 and older; $19.99; petsalive.zuru.com.
Fisher-Price Wonder Makers Design System Build Around Town Starter Kit
With more than 75 pieces, this Amazon exclusive set allows kids to build their own town. It comes with a wooden train tracks, vehicles, characters, vehicles, acccessories and much more. For ages 3 and older; $39.99; amazon.com.
Disney The Lion King Mighty Roar Simba Interactive Plush Toy
The classic lion cub says phrases from the movie, challenges kids to roaring contests, leans back when he's ready to play and more. He can move his head, eyes, ears, mouth, legs and tail, with more than 100 sound-and-motion combinations. Simba also comes with a play treat. For ages 4 and older; $99.99; shop.hasbro.com.
Sesame Street Love to Hug Elmo
This plush Elmo toy speaks English and Spanish, loves to give and receive hugs, talks, sings and may even suprise kids with a kiss. For ages 18 months and older; $29.99; shop.hasbro.com.
6V Plush Simba
This Walmart exclusive ride-on plush Simba roars like a lion cub and moves at a top speed of 2.5 miles per hour via an easily-pushed foot pedal. A Lion King-themed jungle den is also included. For ages 3 and older; $149; walmart.com.
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; $59.99; fisher-price.mattel.com.
Create art that glows with this light-up screen. Kids can insert one of the stencils, featuring games, art or learning, and once their drawing is complete, they simply press the color-change button and choose from eight light effects to create a glow. The screen easily wipes clean. The set includes three dual-sided neon pens, 30 stencils, eraser cloth and more. For ages 3 and older; $19.99; buymagicpad.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. For ages 6 months and older; $14.99; vtechkids.com.