Building blocks, dolls, puzzles, oh my! With more than 1,000 exhibitors showing off more than 150,000 products at 111th annual International Toy Fair, it's safe to say there was something for everyone. As we roamed the halls, we were wowed by everything from beautifully made wooden toys to the way technology has been integrated into classic favorites for new patterns of play. If you're following us on Instagram (which you should be; we're lilsugar1), you got a play-by-play as we made our way through the convention, but that was just the beginning. Here's a peek at the toys and playthings that will be hitting store shelves throughout the year, and what your kids will be clamoring for in the coming holiday season!
For all of the hi-tech excitement that we spotted at this past week's Toy Fair, there's one genre that was refreshingly void of on/off switches, batteries, and USB hookups. Durable, classic wooden toys are a hot trend for 2013, and we couldn't be happier about it. Check out some of our favorite timeless wooden playthings for tots — coming to a toy store near you later this year!
Because there are some playthings that never go out of style . . . Next time your tots want to put on a show, give them the props to tell the tale of their choosing with puppets. These decidedly low-tech toys are a great way to spur little imaginations, and the options are endless when it comes to genre and design. Here are 11 of our favorite finds to ensure that the next puppet production in your house is the performance of a lifetime!
Although the classic teddy bear is an adorable little guy, we've found a few quirky twists on soft companions that your tot is sure to love. From crocheted critters to plush penguins, these stuffed toys are perfect for snuggling or pretend play. Since many of them are handmade, they also make unique gifts for new moms-to-be. Click through for our 12 favorites guaranteed to make playtime plush.
When it comes to baby toys, it isn't always the most innovative or newfangled concept that gets our attention. Oftentimes, the best playthings for infants are the product of simple, clever tweaks on preexisting classics. This year, we've narrowed down six of our favorite baby toys and invite you to vote for your favorite. Is it the VTech Alphabet Activity Cube, which features five sides of fun? The simple but beautifully constructed Hape My First Gym? Fans of the Skip Hop Treetop Friends collection were likely to add the Busy Bead Tree to their little one's toy box, and Fat Brain's Tobbles Neo breathed new life into the classic stacking toy. Finally, BuckleyBoo's BuckleyLion features a smart design that's meant to grow with your baby, encouraging multiple phases of cognitive development. Which toy gets your vote as the year's best for baby?
Your lil 4-year-old is quite the little kid now. She has favorite toys and characters and probably picked out what she wants for the holidays from the pile of catalogs that already arrived. That said, these fun finds — including arts and crafts projects, racing cars, and magnetic building tiles — are sure to be hits when your preschooler opens them!
Your adorable new baby can only see so much at birth, making high-contrast baby toys best for encouraging her to grasp, reach, focus, and move her eyes all around. Until about 6 months of age, she can only see black, white, and a bit of red, making baby toys full of those colors best for stimulating her budding senses. Along with holding her attention and encouraging her visual development, these toys are adorable and budget-friendly, making them perfect baby shower gifts. Click through for a collection of high-contrast baby toys perfect for any new tot!
Honing your lil one's hand-eye coordination is easier than you think. Many of the things we take for granted are challenging tasks for budding babes. Buttoning buttons, zipping zippers, and figuring out how to tie a shoe are all examples of how hand-eye coordination work. Honing the skill of getting your hands to work with what your eyes are seeing gets your lil one on track with developing fine motor skills and exploring the fun of big gross motor movements. You'll be surprised at how fun and easy it is to find ways to encourage your tot's hand-eye coordination. Click through for ideas you can enjoy today!
Who says playtime can't be productive? When you stock your toy chest with the right toys, your lil one will never know she's honing fine motor skills while spending hours having fun. We've rounded up playthings that encourage the development of the small muscles of your child's hands, paving the way for solid grasping skills and perfect for nice and neat handwriting in later years! From building to slicing, click through for a sampling of toys that do more than just make noise.