The 31 Best Toys for Toddlers in 2022

Keep them engaged and having fun with mazes, music toys, and more

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Verywell Family / Lecia Landis

From talking to walking to climbing and more, so much development happens for kids between 1 and 4 years old. Toys are a great way to keep toddlers stimulated and keep their development on track. The best toys for toddlers engage their interests while developing their fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, and social skills.

Reviewed & Approved

We love the Melissa & Doug First Bead Maze because it's affordable, durable, and versatile. If you want something to engage them in pretend play, try the VTech Pull and Sing Puppy.

You'll want to make sure the toy you choose is safe, durable, easy to clean, and age-appropriate. It also helps to look for toys with different colors, textures, and sounds to engage all of their senses. Any toy you choose should be challenging enough for your toddler to learn something new without leaving them frustrated and wanting to give up. We researched popular options from trusted brands with these helpful features in mind.

Here are our picks for the best toys for toddlers.

Melissa & Doug First Bead Maze

First Bead Maze

 Courtesy of Amazon

We love this classic toy for its overall value. Made for babies 1 year and up, this affordable toy allows them to develop their sensory skills, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.

It features 18 beads of different textures and shapes, including spheres, cubes, and more. They are painted in bright colors and made from durable wood and plastic, so you know it's built to last. Each bead is easy for little hands to grasp, spin, and push along the soft-coated wires. It's also lightweight and compact, making it ideal to travel with to keep your kids occupied screen-free.

VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

3.3
VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

Courtesy of Amazon

This puppy plays music and can be pushed and pulled using the attached string. It has three buttons on it to teach numbers, colors, and parts of the body. Also, just for added fun, the ears and tail wiggle! It’s cute for all ages but best for kids between 6 months and 3 years old. 

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank

Amazon

With two learning levels, this little piggy bank grows with kids from 6 months to 3 years old. It teaches counting, sings songs, helps kids learn colors, and develops fine motor skills. It’s a lot of fun for kids to drop the coins into the bank and watch them fall through the transparent door on the piggy’s belly.

Delta Children Chelsea Double-Sided Storage Easel

Delta Children Chelsea Double-Sided Storage Easel

Amazon

Watch your little one's creativity come to life with this double-sided easel that comes with a paper roll and magnets. Designed for children 3 years old and up, the easel has a chalkboard side and a magnetic whiteboard side. At the bottom of the easel, parents and caregivers will appreciate the storage bins for crayons, markers, and other supplies for easy clean-up.

Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag, 80 Pieces

Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag, 80 Pieces

Courtesy of Amazon

Blocks never get old, and these are big, so you don’t have to worry about choking hazards or stepping on one by accident. The bag comes with 80 blocks in different shapes and colors. Kids between 12 months and 5 years old can make endless creations with this fun kit.

Inspiration Play Tot Tube Playset

Inspiration Play Tot Tube Playset

Courtesy of Amazon

You can casually teach kids between 18 months and 8 years old about gravity and physics with this tube playset. It’s designed to fit most types of toy cars (from Little People to Hot Wheels) and is transparent so your little one can watch them as they zoom down at different speeds based on the tube’s angle. 

CUTE STONE Color Changing Kitchen Sink

CUTE STONE Color Changing Kitchen Sink

Courtesy of Amazon

Have a 3-year-old who loves to play in the sink? They can have their own with this toy that actually sprays water. It comes with the sink, cups, plates, utensils, a cleaning brush, dish rack, and detergent. The dishes even change color in warm water and then return back to their original hue when they cool down. 

VTech KidiBeats Kids Drum Set

3
VTech-Kidi-Beats-Drum

Courtesy of Target

Little percussionists between 2 and 5 years old will have fun with this set that comes with three drum pads, one cymbal, and two drum sticks. Watching the lights glow and the sounds their movements make will assist in their sensory development. Each part lights up and makes its own unique sound, and there are four play modes: follow along, free play, letters, and numbers. 

Hape Country Critters Wooden Activity Play Cube

Hape Country Critters Wooden Activity Play Cube

Courtesy of Amazon

There are basically endless options for fun on this toy. The cube has four sides and a top, all with different play options including a bead maze, shape sorter, turning wheel, and more. It comes with 10 accessories, all of which help further motor skills and development. This toy is great for kids between 12 months and 6 years old. 

Melissa & Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Set

Melissa and Doug Bake and Slice Set

Courtesy of Walmart

You can’t go wrong with a toy that lets a toddler pretend-bake cookies. This wooden set is great for kids 3 years old and up and includes 12 cookies, interchangeable toppings, a spatula, a cookie tray, an oven mitt, a cookie dough tube, and a pretend knife. Your toddler can practice their fine motor skills, number concepts, and matching skills.

VTech Spin & Learn Color Flashlight

VTech Spin & Learn Color Flashlight

Courtesy of Amazon

Tots 12 months to 3 years old can work on their colors, numbers, and animals with this flashlight. It plays music and, with the spin of the top, the light changes color. The buttons and turning top will not only activate the toy but will also help develop fine motor skills. 

Little Tikes T-Ball Set with 5 Balls, Pink

Little Tikes T-Ball Set with 5 Balls, Pink

Courtesy of Amazon

This is one of those toys that never goes out of style. Kids as young as 18 months old will have tons of fun with this t-ball set. It comes with the stand, two balls, and a lightweight bat. When it’s not in use, the stand folds down and can store all of the pieces to be hung on a wall and out of the way. 

Melissa & Doug Take-Along Shape Sorter Baby and Toddler Toy

Melissa and Doug Shape Sorter

 Courtesy of Melissa and Doug

If you’re a family who travels, or you just have a toddler that loves to bring toys with them everywhere they go, this shape sorter is perfect. The soft case paired with a hard top that zips on and off makes it perfect for toting around. The top has nine shape cut-outs that your kid can fit little blocks into. It will help teach colors and shapes, develop fine motor skills, and is great for kids as young as 9 months old. 

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe

VTech / Amazon

The features on this desk are seemingly endless. Great for kids 2 years old and up, it teaches numbers, colors, letters, body parts, music, speech, and more. The desktop can be propped up and turned into an easel too. If your kid somehow gets through all of the included activities, there are extender packs you can get to make the toy last even longer. 

Melissa & Doug Play Pound & Roll Stairs

Melissa & Doug Play Pound & Roll Stairs

Courtesy of Amazon

This simple toy is deceptively fun for little ones. There are three stair levels, each with a hole (and a cute animal design) that a ball can fall through with the pound of a mallet. Your kid can watch the ball fall and move to the next level with each pound. This toy is best for kids 12 months and up. 

Fisher Price Little People World of Animals See ‘n Say

Fisher-Price Little People World of Animals See 'n Say

Courtesy of Kohl's

Great for kids between 18 months and 5 years old, this toy teaches kids animals and their sounds. All they do is point the little arrow in the middle at the animal they want to hear. The child then pulls the lever on the right-hand side, and the toy will identify the animal and play the sound it makes.

Kiddey Play Tent with Tunnel

Kiddey Play Tent with Tunnel

Courtesy of Amazon

Two tents and a crawl-through tunnel, what’s better than that? Kids as young as 3 years old can enjoy this toy which has tons of play potential (add some plastic balls to make ball pits, for example), and it collapses down into a little carrying case when it’s not in use. The extra-durable, waterproof, and tear-resistant material means that you can take the fun outdoors or just hang out indoors.

Melissa & Doug Giddy Up and Play Activity Toy

Melissa & Doug Giddy Up and Play Activity Toy

Courtesy of Amazon

Tots as young as 9 months old can play with this horse, which has so much more to offer than pretend riding lessons. It’s packed with little features to help develop fine motor skills, like various textures, rattles, fringe, a zipper pocket, a mirror, and more. Your toddler will instantly be obsessed with the horsey and galloping sounds when they squeeze the ears.

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano Wooden Musical Toy

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano Wooden Musical Toy

Amazon

This little piano is made of mostly wood and comes with six songs on “sheet music” that your toddler can play. The notes and keys are color coded so your child can learn to actually play the song on the sheet. Great for kids between 6 months and 3 years old. 

Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog

Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

Amazon

With 12 colorful removable spikes, this little hedgehog will help toddlers 18 months and older further develop their fine motor skills. Each hole on the hedgehog’s back is numbered to help them learn counting, and the spikes are a variety of colors which are perfect for sorting. The best part is you can store the spikes back in the hedgehog for quick and easy clean-up.

Kidzlane Bubble Machine

Kidzlane Bubble Machine

Courtesy of Amazon

Are there any little kids out there who don’t love bubbles? Parents who just can't keep up with making enough bubbles can invest in this bubble maker, which is battery operated and will fill your backyard with bubbles in a matter of minutes. All you need to start it is bubble solution (it comes with an 8-ounce bottle) and the push of a button. This machine is great for kids 3 years old and up.

Hey! Play! Wooden Race Track and Racecar Set

Hey! Play! Wooden Race Track and Racecar Set

Courtesy of Amazon

Kids 3 years old and up can watch their cars zig and zag down this wooden ramp. It comes with four little cars that are sized just right to roll down the ramps with ease. When it’s not in use, all four cars can be parked on the top level and out of the way. 

Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon

Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon

Amazon

This little wagon is great for kids between 12 months and 4 years old and includes multiple developmentally appropriate ways to play. Younger tots can lean on the handle and use it as support while they walk, and older kids can stuff the wagon full of toys and drag it around for transport and play. When your kid isn't playing with it, you can use it in their room as toy storage too.

Melissa & Doug Match and Roll Shape Sorter

Melissa & Doug Match and Roll Shape Sorter

Courtesy of Amazon

Your toddler can work on colors, shapes, and fine motor skills with this wooden shape sorter. Unlike traditional shape sorters, this one rolls so they can easily find the right hole for their block. Kids as young as 12 months old can play with this toy, which features 6 colors and 12 shapes.

Hey! Play! Toy Golf Play Set

Hey! Play! Toy Golf Play Set

Courtesy of Amazon

If you have a little golfer on your hands, they will love this set. It comes with a case that has wheels, a strap, a handle, and space to store four golf balls (which are included). There is also a putting cup and flag as well as two clubs and one putter. This cute little set is designed for kids 30 months (2.5 years) and older.

VTech Care For Me Learning Carrier

VTech Care for Me Learning Carrier

Courtesy of Walmart

Animal lovers from 9 months to 3 years old will have so much fun with this veterinarian toy. It comes with a plush puppy, a bowl, a bone, bottle, ball, comb, and carrier. The carrier is decked out with buttons that light up, play music, and teach letters, colors, numbers, and sounds.

Step2 Best Chefs Kitchen Playset

Step2 Best Chefs Kitchen Playset

Courtesy of Amazon

This kitchen has it all: an oven, stove, sink, coffee maker, fridge, shelving space, and 25 accessories to go with it. The open design makes it perfect for kids to play together. Kids between 2 and 5 years old who love to play pretend in the kitchen will have so much fun with this set that includes everything from cups and utensils to little bottles of ketchup and mustard. 

Best Choice Products Kids 12V 2-Seater Licensed Land Rover Ride On

Best Choice Products Kids 12V 2-Seater Licensed

Courtesy of Amazon

Your toddler will basically be the coolest kid on the block with this play Land Rover. It has two seats for 3-year-olds and up to sit back and relax in while they cruise the sidewalks (either manually or with the use of your parental remote control). It is available in four colors, all of which feature an AUX plug, working lights, a car horn, and more. 

Learning Resources Grow It! Gardening Play Set

Learning Resources Grow It! Gardening Play Set

Courtesy of Walmart

For the little gardeners 18 months old and up, this set comes with 3 planters, 2 veggies, 2 flowers, a shovel, and a watering can. The flowers and veggies can be changed out across the planters where they can be “planted” and “pulled” when ready. It’s a fun way to get them excited about gardening! 

VTech Smart Shots Sports Center

Smart Shots Sports Center

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

Want to teach your toddler basketball or soccer? This little sports center is the perfect toy for that. It comes with both sports balls, a net for kicking, and a hoop for shooting baskets. The scoreboard keeps count of shots, makes noises, lights up, and it’s just generally a lot of fun! This toy is great for kids between 1 and 3 years old. 

Learning Resources New Sprouts Healthy Lunch Play Food Set

Learning Resources New Sprouts Healthy Lunch Play Food Set

Courtesy of Amazon

Toddlers as young as 18 months old can do some grocery shopping or pack a picnic using this playset. It comes with a basket, a bowl, a smoothie, fruit, pretzels, and the fixings for a sandwich. It’s the pretend version of a very delicious real-life meal.

Final Verdict

Toddlers will love the Kiddey Play Tent with Tunnel (view at Amazon) which comes with two tents and a tunnel. The extra-durable, waterproof, and tear-resistant material means that you can take the fun outdoors too. You can also check out the Kidzlane Bubble Machine (view at Amazon), because what little kid doesn't like bubbles? All you need to start it is bubble solution (it comes with an 8-ounce bottle) and the push of a button.

What to Look for in Toys for Toddlers

Interests

Toddlers can be very clear about what they like—but their interests can also change quickly. They aren’t afraid to throw a toy down on the ground and yell “no” if they don't like it! One safe bet is to look for toys that feature some of their favorite characters, like Mickey Mouse or Sesame Street friends, or toy versions of grown-up stuff they love (like golf clubs or kitchen tools).

Those tend to be a hit because toddlers love imaginative play, especially if it mimics real life. These kinds of toys are also good for providing teaching moments when you are playing with your toddler. North Carolina-based occupational therapist Meredith Soucie says adults can help kids learn about the things around them by “identifying and labeling objects and asking/answering questions related to their environment” while you’re playing together. 

Milestones

It's important for caregivers to support little ones as they continue to master and strengthen their skills. Toys are an excellent, fun way to do this because they offer toddlers opportunities to practice skills and learn concepts in an engaging way.

  • Gross motor skills: Especially in the early toddler years, kids can usually walk and run, but they are still working on strengthening their muscles and gross motor skills. In general, Soucie says “toddlers can continue to learn how to move their bodies...by enjoying playgrounds” and other toys that will give them space to make big movements, like the Kiddey Play Tent and Tunnel (view on Amazon). 
  • Pretend play: At around a year old, toddlers begin to imitate behaviors of others, which is where the imaginative play comes in. The Cute Stone Color Changing Kitchen Sink (view on Amazon) encourages this kind of play. 
  • Early math skills: Once they get closer to 2 years old, toddlers will start sorting objects by shape or color, which helps them get ready to learn math later. Both the Take-Along Shape Sorter (view on Amazon) and the Match and Roll Shape Sorter (view on Amazon) support this development. 
  • Thinking skills: The best toys for cognitive development will have some sensory aspect to them, and Soucie suggests caregivers “set aside time for messy sensory and fine motor activities” regularly. That might include “finger painting, drawing with crayons, playing in water, sculpting with play-dough, rice play, and gardening/planting activities.”

Entertainment Value

Toddlers are curious, they have a lot of energy, and they often have little regard for their own safety, which means the most entertaining toys will allow them to explore and move around, but will also keep them safe. Look for toys that get them running and/or jumping around, like a soccer ball or trike, as well as some that allow them to get creative and think critically (in a fun way).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many toys should a toddler have?

    For toddlers, it is less about the number of toys and more about the quality of the toys you have. For example, you could have some toys that use both colors and shapes to inspire play, which would take the place of two separate toys only focused on one element. Toys that focus on imagination, motor skill development, cognitive development, and problem-solving are appropriate. Having a few toys on hand that promote these things is better than having more toys to simply have more toys.

  • What skills should my preschooler be working on?

    Preschoolers should be working on creativity, problem-solving, and gross and fine motor skills, to name a few. Gross motor skills can include activities like walking and pushing, and fine motor skills work on manual dexterity, which includes things like pushing, squeezing, and grasping small objects.

  • How do I get my preschooler to share their toys?

    Sharing is a super complex concept, and it truly depends on your child’s development and age. A toddler who is 2 years old might not understand sharing, but one who is 4 could. In order to teach your child how to share their toys, first know that it is a lengthy and involved process that will take a lot of patience. If you think your child is old enough to understand sharing, you can start by modeling the behavior, talking about feelings they have when asked to share, and offering choices.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce for a variety of platforms. She’s a wife to a public school administrator and mom to 1-year-old and 3-year-old daughters. In addition to regularly scouring the internet to find the best things for herself, Ashley spends multiple hours a week researching, comparing, and writing about products specifically for kids and families.

More Toys for Kids

When it comes to toys for kids, our team has you covered. The Verywell Family team of editors (who are parents or have nieces and nephews of their own) have tested, gifted, and personally recommend every item we feature. Find more of our top toy picks for every developmental stage and personality phase here:

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Toddlers (1-2 years of age).

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Toddlers (2-3 years old).