You can almost hear the internal primal scream emitted from millions of parents across the United States. That’s right, the holiday season has commenced ushering in Toy buying stress for Moms and Dads. But fear not you wonderful readers of CuteMonster.com, help has arrived just in the nick of time. Especially if you’re buying for kids ages 18 months to 5 years old.
I’ve put a list together of relatively inexpensive toys which my children and their peers have used extensively. Details about the toys as well as any pertinent information(age appropriateness, etc.) have been provided to remove the guess work out of the decision making process.
Earlyears Baby Farm Friends Bowling
Six numbered plush Barnyard animals pins along with a plush ball that either jingle or rattle softly. Provides countless opportunities to develop motor skills, color identification, word formation, and of course interactive gaming. Great for kids 18 months and up.
Buy it on Amazon.
Roll and Play by ThinkFun
The use of a big colorful plush cube appeals to even the most indifferent player. Children immediately gravitate to the soft plush geometric shape wanting to pick it up and toss it around. The patterns and structure of the game lend itself to quick comprehension by all participants. What’s more, although the game is targeted to toddlers, older children ages 4 and up will also find Roll & Play captivating. Appropriate for ages 18 months and up.
Buy it on Amazon
Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube
Learning shapes and colors offers a wonderful sense of discovery and achievement for a young child. As a parent, I’ve enjoyed observing the wheels turning in the minds of my children as they were fully engaged in the challenge of sorting out shapes. This shape sorting cube is made of wood and well constructed. Each shape is vibrantly colored and easy for a child to grasp. The added value to this product is the evolution of the child’s interaction with the shape sorting cube. In essence, the toy offers them something new as their minds develop. A great choice for an educational toy. Appropriate for ages 2 through 4 years of age.
Buy it on Amazon.
Zingo! Sight Words by ThinkFun
Educational and fun. Zingo! Sight Words takes the game premise of Bingo, replaces the numbers, and incorporates sight words which are words most frequently used in the English language. Based on my own official game testers aka my children, Zingo! Sight Words offers up challenging yet accessible game play that encourages older kids to help their younger siblings learn to read. Appropriate for Pre-K to 1st Grade.
Buy it on Amazon
Garbage Truck by Battat
This is a durable toy garbage truck which has provided countless hours of fun for my son and daughter. It has a loading compartment in the back of the truck to place a couple of toy garbage cans. This also inadvertently serves as a neat little compartment for kids to carry smaller items(smaller trucks, blocks, etc.) on the go. In our home, this truck has been thrown, crashed into walls, dropped from tables and more and yet it has remain relatively unscathed each and every time.. If you’re seeking an all around dependable toy truck that can endure the rough playing habits of a typical toddler, it’s worth a look. Appropriate for ages 12 months and up. Buy it on Amazon.
Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer & Stroll Trike
A great little tricycle for toddlers. Makes use of a push bar which a parent can actually steer to help one’s toddler navigate and move along smoothly. This particular feature is especially helpful for toddlers who are not yet capable of peddling and steering on their own. The assembly of the tricycle is a bit cumbersome but well worth the effort. The other minor grievance is the clip used to hold in the steering bar. If your child tends to run and push the tricycle with his/her feet rather than peddle there’s a chance he/she will kick loose the holding clip which would not allow a parent to steer the tricycle. Great for 2 to 4 year old. Also has a storage compartment for essential cargo(juice boxes, dinosaurs, etc.). Buy it on Amazon.
Little Tikes Easy Rider Truck
One of the most versatile riding toys you can purchase for your child. It’s a riding toy, a hauling toy, and a pushing toy all rolled into one. Also fun are the sounds of the buttons on the steering wheel. Your child can honk an authentic sounding truck horn or can back the truck up with the common beeping noise from a big rig. He/she can even start the ignition. The sounds alone spark the child’s imagination and entice the child to partake in the world of operating a “Big” truck. The wheel can be pulled out and act as a pulling handle. The back of the truck converts from dump truck to riding toy. This particular feature is great but requires an adult to make the change. The clips that convert the truck to riding mode are slightly difficult to engage. Overall, my son had enjoyed this product for almost 3 years. It has a tremendous amount of value since the use of this truck grows as your child develops. I highly recommend this toy. Appropriate for ages 18 months to 3 years of age.
Buy it on Amazon.
Razor Jr. Kix Scooter
Both my kids enjoyed learning to ride on this 3 wheeled wonder. The tilt-to-turn feature ensures a child can intuitively turn left or right with less of chance to fall. The extra-wide, slip resistant deck provides additional stability and most importantly confidence to new riders. Razor Jr. has a whole line of Kix scooters to choose from including the recently released Monster Kix or Zombie Kix Scooters. Parents might want to check out an adult size Razor A5 Lux Scooter to join in on the outdoor fun. Kix Scooters appropriate for ages 3 to 6. A5 Lux recommended for ages 10 and up.
Spin Master Toys follow up to last year’s wildly successful Zoomer interactive dog, Zoomer Dino is an all new enhanced interactive robot toy that responds to voice commands as well as being controlled via a remote. Both my children enjoyed the interactivity of the original Zoomer and the Zoomer Dino toys provides a new element of fun given it’s a dinosaur. Recommended for kids ages 5 and up. Buy it on Amazon.
Happy Holidays Everyone!