This is Part 2 of our Best Baby 0 To 12 Months Educational Toys 2016 overview. Check out Part 1 right here!
Table of Contents
- 16. Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Learning Workbench
- 17. Playskool Play Favorites Busy Poppin’ Pals
- 18. Little Tikes Tap-a-Tune Piano
- 19. VTech Busy Leaners Activity Cube
- 20. Summer 3-Stage Infant Super Seat Positioner Booster and Activity Seat, Neutral
- 21. LeapFrog My Pal Scout
- 22. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Letters Mailbox
- 23. Manhattan Toy Whoozit Cosmic Bead Maze Activity Toy
- 24. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks
- 25. Fisher-Price Bright Beats Smart Touch Play Space
16. Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Learning Workbench
This adorable tool workbench is chock full of fun things to engage your baby’s interest. It has large plastic nails that light up when hit with the plastic hammer, or when your baby taps them. It plays over 15 sing-along songs and tunes (also not the entire song), fun sounds and phrases that will make your little one smile. Your baby can pound, tap, spin, slide and drill while exploring the alphabet, counting, shapes, colors, opposites and actions, all from his/her very own workbench. Through the numerous activities, colors and sounds, baby will gain better sensory perception through the lights, sounds and sights which will stimulate his/her senses. Fine motor skills get polished and tuned through the spinning, sliding and tapping mechanisms, which also improve eye-hand coordination. My kids all really enjoyed this. The workbench, which is not too large and does not take up too much storage space, uses 3 AA batteries and has two volume settings, low and high.
17. Playskool Play Favorites Busy Poppin’ Pals
There are many versions of this toy, and this is just one example which is fun and will also “grow” with your baby. This is most suitable for when your baby is already sitting up and becoming curious. This is a fun hands-on pop-up activity toy that introduces your child to different shapes and animals, and helps them progress as they are developing, learning step by step. With a slide, push, pull, turn and press, your child will be building fine motor skills and having a blast as the colorful animals pop up to the corresponding action, teaching cause and effect. After about 6 months of play, my youngest was eventually able to master activating each one of the pop-up animals. We got it for her when she was just over 7 months old. The easiest one for her to master was the circle button (panda), which requires only a simple press to activate the pop up. Second was the rocking switch (monkey). Third was the left to right slider (giraffe), which is similar to the rocking switch, but still slightly different and requiring a bit different type of coordination to activate. Fourth was the up-and-down switch (elephant). Finally, the turn-key switch (lion) was the last to be mastered. It requires a decent amount of force at the end to activate the pop-up mechanism, but will have your baby smiling ear-to-ear when they finally get it.
18. Little Tikes Tap-a-Tune Piano
If you want to take a break from flashy electronic toys, this toy piano will delight and captivate your baby! It’s ideal from about 5-6 months onwards, and is just the right size for little hands, making the four colorful keys easy to press. Babies will eventually learn cause and effect, especially by using the chimes, and begin to develop a sense of rhythm and timing. My kids went bonkers when my husband and I played the chimes, and they were quick to imitate me. The rounded edges of this plastic toy keep it safe, and this little instrument offers lots of sweet fun that keeps the baby amused while learning to love music!
19. VTech Busy Leaners Activity Cube
What I like about this toy, which is somewhat similar to the VTech Rhyme Book above, is that it is as fun without batteries as it is with them. This activity cube has five colorful sides that are wildly different from one another, encouraging your baby to reach out and explore. The cube plays 25 sing-along songs and melodies, though, like the VTech Rhyme Book, the songs contain only a few bars or are instrumental, it is still enough to stimulate your child’s auditory sense. There are light up buttons, noise-makers, things that spin, things to press, and more that will keep a baby entertained. The cube contains fourteen manipulative features: Buttons introduce animal names, animal sounds, and shapes. Press and slide musical instrument buttons to introduce instrument names, sounds, and colors. Sliding, spinning blocks promote interaction and fine motor skill development. This interactive cube also plays fun sounds when it is moved. It requires two AAA batteries to operate, and has a volume control to set on low or high. Durable like most VTech toys, this will certainly “grow” with your child and afford many hours of enjoyment.
20. Summer 3-Stage Infant Super Seat Positioner Booster and Activity Seat, Neutral
This fun 3-Stage seat “grows” with your child while offering three useful products in one:
Stage 1- Once your baby can hold up his or her head unassisted, the SuperSeat functions as a support seat for your baby to practice sitting up while strengthening back and neck muscles. The soft foam insert offers additional support and removes easily as your baby grows. The adjustable three-point harness keeps your child securely in place.
Stage 2- Next, the SuperSeat becomes an activity center which promotes development with four colorful and adorable bug toys to keep your child engaged and entertained. Now they can play while sitting up. They will use their eyes, ears and touch to explore. The 360-degree rotating feeding tray attaches to the stage 1 infant support seat. This tray also hosts a handy snack tray with dual cup holders, and is easy to clean. Pop your little one in for meal time when you begin weening them off breastmilk or formula.
Stage 3- As your child continues to grow, the SuperSeat transforms once again into a booster seat for eating at the table. The lightweight booster seat is portable so you can take it with you to a restaurant or on a play date. The chair straps built into the SuperSeat base allow for securing to any standard chair.
21. LeapFrog My Pal Scout
LeapFrog is known for creating some cool tech toys for kids, and the My Pal Scout is no exception. This cool baby toy allows you to download your child’s name and favorite food, animal and color (via an internet connection). Your baby will also be able to listen to 5 lullaby tunes, 4 learning songs, and activities with numbers, animals, food and more. It also connects online to LeapFrog’s Learning Path center for customized learning ideas and insights from the toy manufacturer. My Pal Scout teaches first words, feelings and emotions, counting and colors. He also features a lullaby timer with five, ten or fifteen minutes of bedtime music, a blinking collar and volume control to help little ones transition to quiet time. Scout comes with 5 pre-loaded songs, or you can select and download your choice of learning tunes and lullabies from an online list of 30 songs. Just press a paw to play music, learn songs or play games (the fourth paw is on and off)!
The Play Games paw just chats with your little ones, asking them about their favorite color, animal and food (which you can customize to be the same assuming your baby can talk). Scout also makes animal noises, talks about feelings “I feel happy, show me your biggest smile!” and engages your child in direct dialog. The songs Scout sings are adorable and the choices you make when customizing show up in the songs he sings, and although it doesn’t sound smooth or natural when Scout inserts the customized words and names, your baby will likely not care. The Night Songs paw is really useful and enjoyable. You click it once and it does five minutes of the lullaby music you chose when customizing. Press it again, you get ten minutes. A third press and you get fifteen minutes. This is a really nice feature for those babies that have difficulty falling asleep on their own.
22. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Letters Mailbox
This popular toy is on the more expensive side, but your baby will undoubtedly have a blast dropping envelopes through the slot of this musical mailbox. Full of interesting things to look at, touch and listen to, this product has a lot of educational value. Your baby will develop imagination and creativity and also get an early grasp on mailperson role-play techniques while improving fine motor skills by sliding letters into the mail slot, and as soon as you open and close the mail door, musical rewards will play each time you do. In addition, your growing child will learn colors, first words, counting and the alphabet. With a smiling face on the yellow door, a happy red bird on top and a colorful spinning snail on the base, this mailbox is a sensory bonanza. The red flag on the side of the mailbox is another highlight, teaching baby about opposites through music and phrases. Though it is a bit annoying that the back of the mailbox is open, you can utilize this to your advantage by sticking your hand in there to surprise your child. This product is powered by 3 AA batteries, and with more than 20 sing-along songs, tunes and phrases, your baby will love will be transfixed. There’s even a parcel to shake and rattle, three letters to mail, and plenty of busy activities that will keep baby entertained for hours!
23. Manhattan Toy Whoozit Cosmic Bead Maze Activity Toy
Want to keep your baby quietly entertained? The Whoozit Cosmic Bead Maze features many engaging sensory activities for the curious baby, all without any electric noises or flashing lights. The bright colors, bold patterns and interesting shapes will instantly capture their attention as they begin to explore the fun multi-sensory Babies will love the multiple tactile features promoting their developing fine motor skills, such as the 3 colorful bead runs, rotating gears, textured fabric cords, and gliding Whoozit character. They will love the baby-safe self-discovery mirror, and parents will appreciate the solid wood feel of this classic activity toy.
24. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks
A simple, yet wonderful shape sorter for babies, this inexpensive toy provides endless fun and learning as babies sort, stack, identify and match shapes. This toy is great for hand-eye coordination, recognition and problem solving skills. Babies love filling up the bucket and dumping it out, dropping the shapes through the shape sorting lid or using the handle to carry around the ten brightly colored blocks. All ten blocks fit inside the bucket, with a carry-handle for easy take-along. There are more sophisticated shape sorters out there, but for this stage, and at this affordable price, this sorter is a great buy!
25. Fisher-Price Bright Beats Smart Touch Play Space
With this incredible product, we wrap up this top 25 list. It features an interactive, touch sensitive light bar that responds to your child’s touch with music, lights, colors, sung songs and much more! The Play Space has three different modes, each of which is intended to make the toy useful to your baby as he/she grows: In Piano Play Mode, your baby can sit and touch the bar to activate musical tones and lights. Taking a break from play will trigger ‘reward’ songs and a synched light show. Dance Mode is all about upbeat music and phrases that encourage your baby to get up and move. Game Mode introduces your baby to ABCs, counting, and colors while encouraging the baby to look at, move, and follow the lights. Your baby can touch the bar to play a cool, new ‘Alphabet Song,’ activate counting to 5, hear colors – all while being encouraged to follow along and touch the appropriate light panels.
The amusing music and sounds, colorful dancing lights and variety of textures help stimulate baby’s senses of sight, hearing and touch. As your baby discovers how to activate the music, sounds and games, your baby is learning that their actions make exciting things happen – a fun introduction to cause and effect. When your baby moves around the Play Space, gross motor skills are being strengthened; while fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination are improved by putting the three colorful balls on the ramp and watching them roll all the way down, batting at the roller ball or twirling the fun spinner. This great product will accompany your baby from sitting to crawling to standing and moving – providing learning and entertainment for every age, from infant to toddler! It requires four size C batteries which are NOT included. Though of course this item really stands out when it is turned on, even when it is shut off, my kids seem to find it interesting.
When shopping for toys for your children, look for items that aren’t just age-appropriate and entertaining but also toys that will progress their cognitive and physical development, and inspire their creativity and imagination. Start with eye-catching and noise-making/musical toys for infants who can observe, listen and are developing the ability to touch toys. Toys which hang from car seats or lightweight rattles are a perfect choice. Once babies are able to be propped up, or sit up on their own, a whole new world of toy choices opens up. Babies learn through introduction to new sounds, textures, shapes, and colors, as well as the manipulation of objects. Interactive toys become increasingly more interesting for older children who want to do more! Join me next time as I list the Top 25 Brain-Boosting and Skill-Building 12-24 Month Toddler Educational Toys.
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