Tops for Toddlers
On the Run Fun
Tags: toddlers, active play,
Posted: 2013-12-10 10:02:46 By: joanne Oppenheim




2013 Award
Fisher-Price Musical Walking Lion
(Fisher-Price $24.99 Score: )

A great push around toy for toddlers who still feel more secure holding on as they begin to let go and toddle. The back end has some give, so as baby pulls up it is less likely to go flying, though it is not weighted. For sit and play time, the front end has a jolly looking lion with lots of moving parts that give sensory feedback--a peek-a-boo mirror, musical keys, colorful beads, and a butterfly that slides. A gender-free toy that helps develop both gross and fine motor skills. They say 6-36 months.  It will fit better somewhere between that time--say for beginning walkers of 12-24 months, depending on when your child begins to walk.

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




2013 Awards
Chicco Sit 'n Ride Train
(Chicco $54.99 Score: )

Low to the ground for young toddlers to push or ride on. There's a lift up seat that holds treasures and the steering device on the front end really does steer! That is not a given on most ride-ons these days. A sound device also fits in the steering mechanism. You can turn the sound totally off or turn it down. It has multiple sounds - a train tooting, a bell, dog, goat, and some less than thrilling music. Still, toddlers will like pushing the buttons and making things happen and may even begin to see the connection between the images on the buttons and the sounds they activate. They will also love the handles on either side of the train that activate a squeaker on one side and a twirling black and yellow barbershop-post on the other. They say 12 months & up. We'd say this is a good choice for tots who are fairly steady on their feet and that will vary from one child to the next. Some will be ready at 12 months -  others not till 16-18 months.


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




2013 Awards
Step Two Easy Turn Coupe
(Step 2 $59.99 Score: )

Our testers spent several happy afternoons driving around in this new kiddie car that runs on foot power. It has a front castor wheel for added maneuver-ability. With a working horn and ignition key there are miles of pretend fun with the Easy Turn Coupe. As an added bonus, it can be used with younger riders that an adult can push along, however, there is no safety belt. There's a removable floorboard to protect little feet when they are being pushed. Also nice, this has a front trunk storage area and cup holders for both child and adult. 1 & up.


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




2013 Awards
Fisher-Price Rockin Tunes Giraffe
(Fisher-Price $39.99 Score: )

Rockin' Tunes Giraffe responds to your toddler's movements with music, lights, and phrases. The more kids rock the more the lights in Giraffe's mane blink and the music and phrases build. Happily, you can also turn off the sounds and lights or choose a lower volume. We like the low seat, the bat-at roller in  Giraffe's mane. Best of all, the stabile rockers make this ride-on a fun choice for steady on their feet toddlers to mount with some independence. Unlike heirloom style wooden and plush ride-ons, this plastic rocker is quite affordable and will go the distance. A big gift for a little toddler. Need a big 1st or 2nd birthday gift that won't break the bank? This is it! 12-36 months.

SNAP: Aside from the stability of this rocker, it's invitation to physical gross motor play, and its affordability, we like the cause and effect lessons built into the action. The idea of making music go faster the faster you rock gives tots instant feedback that links their actions to making something happen.

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




2013 Awards
Hape Galloping Zebra Cart
(Hape $69.99 Score: )

Perfectly balanced for beginning walkers to pull up and walk around with. Toddlers will love making the two black and white zebras go back and forth as they push this smoothly finished cart about. Designed for that still not all-together steady stage when wobbly tots are getting their balance. It allows them to hold on while they take those first independent steps to becoming true walkers. Though this is a short-term use toy, it is one that has a real function and is sturdy enough to pass along to cousins, new siblings, or good friends. 12 months & up.

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




2013 Award
Playskool Pop N Pick Up Elefun
(Playskool $29.99 Score: )

Toddlers will be popping, chasing, and picking up the five colorful balls that pop out of the blue elephant's trunk. Unlike a lot of pop up toys this does not shoot the balls high or with much force. As tots push the elephant over the balls it scoops them up again. This plays right into the toddler's delight in new-found locomotion as well as their love of repetition. We worried that the toy might be too small for two's, but our tester's dad wrote, "I do not think it is too small for a 2 year old, and Chloe is a large 2 year old. It holds her interest for 10-15 minutes, which is on par with other toys. She loves manually putting the balls in the different holes (trunk, back, bottom), and likes storing them in the handle. The one frustrating thing for her seems to be that sometimes she just wants to walk around with the toy, but it keeps spitting the balls out! Of course, she doesn't yet realize that as long as there are balls in there, it will spit them out. For that reason, the ball storage in the handle is a good idea. For the parent, the annoying thing is that the balls roll all over the place (under the couch, etc.) and we have to find them. Other than that, I think it's a good toy." A great gift for active players 18 months and up.

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


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