NEW BABY in the FAMILY....
Choosing Their First Toys
Posted: 2015-04-16 11:58:59 By:




2014 Awards
Sassy Peek-a-boo Barnyard Blocks
(Sassy $12.99 Score: )

Four textured fabric blocks with interesting patterns, sounds, and peek-a-boo flaps that make them easier for baby to grab and explore. Use these for looking at, touching, and talking games. Stack em up and use a swipe of the hand or a ball to knock them down. They put numbers, letters, and words on them, but by the time baby is ready for those the blocks will be old news.  Just enjoy them for their sensory possibilities and for playful games.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2014.




2013 Awards
Manhattan Toy Turn & Discover Rattle
(Manhattan Toy $10 Score: )

A new look and interesting shape for baby to explore with almost all their senses. Unusual vibrant colors and patterns to look at, bumpy edges to chomp on for teething and touching, three different clicking sounds to hear when the bug knobs are turned, and a rattle sound when the toy is shaken. Turn all the keys in one direction and then spin it to make it look like a flying saucer. Marked for 3 months and up, but this seems more like a toy for sitting up babies who are getting into two handed play.

SNAP: A good choice for developing hand muscles to twist and turn the three oversized"keys" give kids three different rewarding sounds. This will be of interest to children well beyond the age marked on the box.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on




2014 Awards
Alilo G6 Cute Rabbit Player Children's English Song & Story Player Machine
(Alilo $59.99 Score: )

An awesome bunny (available in pink or blue, that is a combination night light, music player, story teller, recorder and customizable player that you can start using with infants and well beyond. The pre-recorded music, both songs an just instrumental, is pleasant and not the typical tinny electronic stuff. Push the light switch and bunny's ears light up and change color slowly and without big brightness. It comes with 20 nursery rhymes and stories that preschoolers will enjoy and you can customize it and add your own stories and music. The plastic body is made tough and the battery is rechargable. You can lock the settings and oh, yes, the volume control(built into the tail) is easy to adjust and has some real range, not just high and low. It comes loaded with a micro SD card slot and mini USB port to update content. One of the most innovative toys we received late this holiday season. Marked 12 months and up, though we think the music on a table in an infants's room would be fine. It's not a toy you would give a 12 month old to handle either. For the very young, this is a listening or watching toy. Preschoolers are the ones who will want to learn how to push the buttons.

SNAP: A night light, music player, story teller, this is a gift that will be enjoyed by children from infants to well beyond preschoolers. Best of all you can record storeis, and music of your own choice to the extensive library.

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on




2014 Awards
Kaloo Colors Doudou Puppet Bear Patchwork
(Janod $24.99 Score: )

What a perfect little bear for early lap games and tracking. Bear's patchwork body has patterns and textures for little hands to explore, a little face for baby to gaze at and bright colors that will attract baby's attention. Use this for singing songs to baby and tracking games that engage baby between sleepy time and feedings. Newborns & up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on




2013 Awards
The Tiny Seed Soft Book
(Eric Carle, Kids Preferred $9.99 Score: )

As fabric books go, this is one of the sweetest. The illustrations look like Eric Carle paintings and each page has something interesting to touch and explore. The sun has ribbon rays and a little worm is hiding under a flip-down mound of green. The silky fabric pages have crinkle sound built-in and the front cover has a chewy corner with textures for teething babies. A good laptime book with sensory learning to share with baby. A nice shower gift or going-for-a-visit goodie to bring along for baby.

SNAP: Fabric books like this one can survive tasting as well as early page turning. They are useful in helping kids learn how a book works from front to back and from left to right. Single objects on the page develop knowing and naming. You can expand on what is on the page by talking about the color, shape and looking for other objects in your home that are the same color. The sensory feedback on each page makes this a book children can enjoy alone as well as with you.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on


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