The 30 Best Toys for Toddlers in 2021

Keep them engaged and having fun

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Our Top Picks
The timeless toy will keep your little one occupied as they spin and slide the beads, developing their coordination.
Tots can look after their very own pup with this interactive toy, featuring sounds, songs, numbers, and colors.
A piggy bank that does more than store coins, the toy develops your kiddo's counting and Spanish skills through sing-along songs.
Toddlers will simultaneously improve their fine motor skills and have fun with this 80-piece set of colorful blocks.
If your toddler has a toy car collection at home, they can use this Tot Tube to race them down the tunnel track.
If your child loves to play in the kitchen, give them their own with this set, featuring a play sink and color-changing dishes.
Aspiring musicians can choose to create their own beats or follow along to built-in melodies.
There's so much for your tot to look at and move with this dimensional play cube, complete with a puzzle and rollercoaster.
Satisfy your youngster's sweet tooth with this playset of wooden cookies and utensils.
Your tot can use this flashlight for their adventures, choosing between multiple light colors and listening to various songs.

So much development happens for kids between 1 and 4 years old. They completely morph from kicking and screaming on the ground to only an occasional meltdown in the store when you won’t buy them candy. Since they’re changing so much during this stage of life, it’s hard to know what toy to buy them that will be both developmentally appropriate and fun.

We’ve come up with a list of the best toys for toddlers that your favorite little kid will be sure to love.

Melissa & Doug First Bead Maze

First Bead Maze

You probably remember playing with these when you were a kid because they are so fun! Tots as young as 12 months old can play with this bead maze which has 18 wooden beads and three plastic rings that can be moved along soft-coated, loop-de-loop wires. The beads are sized just right for little hands and have different looks and textures to help further development. 

VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

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 old to 3 years old. 

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank

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.

Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag, 80 Pieces

Blocks never get old, and these ones 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

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

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. 

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

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 Wooden Cookie Play Food Set

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 and interchangeable toppings, spatula, cookie tray, oven mitt, 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

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, changes its light 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

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

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 hardtop 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 Deluxe

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

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

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

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 (like getting some plastic balls to make ball pits), 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

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

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

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 cleanup.

Kidzlane Bubble Machine

Are there any little kids out there who don’t love bubbles? Parents who are sick of blowing bubbles themselves can invest in this, 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! Race Track and Racecar Set

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

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

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

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

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

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 Land Rover Ride On Car with Parent Remote Control

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

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! 

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

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, smoothie, the fixings for a sandwich, fruit, and pretzels. It’s the pretend version of a very delicious real-life meal.

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 or just hang out indoors. 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.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce content 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.

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