Finding fantastic toddler toys can be a bit of a chore. It’s a very special age where children need toys to help them to learn, practice their motor skills, learn their shapes and colors, and experiment with how things are put together and taken apart. Toddler toys are exciting and colorful and oddly difficult to find.

In June 2018, Toys R Us shut down its stores after 70 years of business. No, I didn’t shop Toys “R” Us too often but went there to do my Christmas shopping nearly every year. I have lots of nieces and nephews and I have to buy lots of toys at Christmas time. The last two Christmases have been extremely frustrating. Each store that I went in had a very small toy section, and very little for toddlers. And of course, there was no Toys R Us.

I recall talking about this with my mother. Let me tell you a bit of something about my mother. She has spent her entire life working with children from raising five of her own to working with the Boy and Girl Scouts and to now working as a professional in the early childhood education field. And my mother is obsessed with children’s toys and children’s books. She recently went to buy a few things at a resale shop for one of my nieces. The lady at the counter asked my mother “oh you must be running a daycare?” No, my mother just loves to buy children’s toys and children’s books so that all of her grandchildren have an exciting and educational play waiting for them at her home.

Needless to say, my mother was very sad to see Toys “R” Us closed its doors. But in a conversation with her I learned that she did the majority of her shopping the last several years online with the exception of purchasing used items at consignment shops. As it turns out many people are moving their shopping ventures for children online.

Here at Babienet, we thought we’d share with you our top five picks for toddler toy websites to save you from spending hours browsing Amazon and Walmart websites. Sometimes you’re looking for a very specific type of toddler toy and these websites have got you covered.

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Our picks for Best Educational toddler toys

Discovery Toys. Baby Einstein. Fisher-Price. There are tons of companies out there that make great educational toys for your toddlers.

What makes a good educational toy for a toddler?

Toys that allow for open and creative play which helps toddlers to experience the world through play and learn about their world creatively.

  • Manipulatives–These are physical objects/toys that allow for a toddler to physically manipulate the object to explore ideas through a hands-on approach. This may include:
    • Blocks
    • Shapes
    • Puzzles
    • Counting and sorting toys
    • Toy figures
  • Toys that encourage problem-solving
  • Toys that teach colors, numbers, or letters
  • Toys that teach skills like fine motor skills or sorting

Fat Brain Toys

Fat Brain Toys is not just a toy selling website, they also design innovative educational toys for children. You can shop their website by age and by categories such as active play, early learning toys, brainteasers, arts and crafts, teaching toys, science and nature, history and geography, and imaginative play. There’s a little bit of everything on this website to cover all ages, including your toddler.

Melissa & Doug

Melissa & Doug provides all kinds of toddler educational toys including a huge assortment of wooden puzzles. An American company, Melissa & Doug toys are a favorite of moms and tots. You can find Disney toys on their website as well.

Sago Mini Box

Sago Mini Box is an educational toy subscription service that brings fun and educational toys right to your front door. This is a great option to beat the pandemic blues and isolation your children are likely facing due to Covid-19. These boxes teach preschoolers through creative play that stimulates the mind and keeps little hands happy and busy.

Our picks for Coolest Tech toddler toys

Tech toys are popular in part because our toddlers see us involved in technology and want to do the things we do. Technology offers color, interactive play, videos and shows, music and sing-along songs that toddlers love. Many companies specialize in technology specifically designed for toddlers using science-based research and innovative design to create their products.

What makes a good tech toy for a toddler?

Tech toys for toddlers should be based in science. Designed to appeal to the brief attention spans of toddlers, technology toys aimed at this age group should offer fun and engaging content, interesting sounds, and should help to prepare your child to be comfortable working with technological devices.

Features to look for:

  • Interactive
  • Fun
  • Engaging
  • Colorful
  • Educational
  • Designed for toddlers

Here are a few of the company websites for those who are leading the way in tech for tots.

V-Tech

V-Tech is a leader in technological toys for toddlers and other age groups. Leading the way since 1976, V-tech Offers advanced educational toys that are super fun for your little ones. This company’s educational expertise is top of the line yet affordable. You can find brands on the V-Tech website such as Disney, Gearzooz, Paw Patrol, and Kidibuzz for all ages, including infants through toddlers.

Here are a few resources to help you find the best tech toys for your kids (Including another favorite of ours–Leapfrog!)

Our picks for Best Tactile toddler toys

Toddlers spend a lot of time learning about the world by using their hands. This way of learning by manipulating things with their fingers in learning how to turn them, move them around, and figure them out is called tactile learning. During this stage prior to pen and paper learning, many toddlers benefit from having a variety of tactile toys at their fingertips. These are also often called sensory toys for sensory learning.

It is without question that Lego leads the way in tactile toys for children. Lego was founded in 1932 in Denmark and has since then led the way in creative tactile play for children of all ages, beginning with the larger Duplo blocks made just for toddlers.

Duplo blocks by Lego

Lego helps to teach your toddlers to follow a creative vision. They learn to think constructively and figure out ways to put things together so that many small parts can become one larger part with a fun purpose. Creating and building their own creations helps to develop independence, creative thinking, motor skills, and persistence.

Here are some other websites that offer great tactile toys for your tots.

Our pick for Best Outdoor toddler toys

Most toddlers love outdoor play. It helps to encourage physical activity and helps to teach them how their body works and moves through creative play. Many outdoor activities do not require a whole lot of materials such as bubbles, playing games, or playing in the sandbox or at a park. But sometimes toddlers want to play with toys that don’t necessarily play well inside the home.

Good outdoor toys should encourage children to enjoy the great outdoors while being physically active. They should be engaging and fun and perfectly sized for Toddler bodies. From wagons to kitty pools, outdoor toys are a great way for your toddler to interact with their outdoor spaces. If you want to find some great outdoor toddler toys for your little busy tot, here are some great websites to steer you in the right direction.

Little Tikes

Little tykes offers all kinds of outdoor riding toys, playhouses, and role-playing kitchen sets or workbenches to turn your toddlers’ outdoor spaces into an exciting world of durable tot-sized fun. This company offers a wide variety of play that will appeal to children and keep them busy for hours of active and imaginative play.

Tonka

Tonka has been America’s favorite toy trucks for over 70 years. These trucks are durable and lifelike toddler-sized trucks and tractors and diggers that will keep them busy for hours. From digging to building your toddlers will have a blast pretending with these realistic versions of the gigantic construction vehicles that they see in construction zones. Learning all about how the world comes together and is built from the ground up, toddlers love driving these toys throughout all terrains of the yard. Give them a pile of rocks to move and it will keep them busy!

Radio Flyer

Radio flyer provides the classic and timeless red toy wagons that many of us had as children. Every backyard with children needs a Radio Flyer wagon! They come in various sizes and designs so you are sure to find one that is the perfect wagon to take walks with the family or to pull around the backyard. Your toddlers will love putting things in their wagon and pulling them around.

Ball play

Toddler play would also not be complete outdoors without a selection of balls to play with. Toddlers love throwing a ball, chasing a ball, or kicking it around the yard. There are many to choose from and here is a list of some of the best.

The 10 Best Ball Toys for Babies and Toddlers

Other resources for outdoor toddler toys:

Best outdoor toys for toddlers, according to experts

The 9 Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers of 2020

12 Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers

Sports & Outdoor Play Toys on Amazon

Our pick for Most Classic toddler toys

Who doesn’t love classic toys from their childhood? While many of these toys have changed over the years or have improved to be more safe for our children, a great many of these toys are still available for purchase today. Some brands have been around for decades and while we enjoyed them as children, we find ourselves wanting to buy these classic toys so that our children can experience the joy that we found while playing with them. We’ll start with our favorite, Fisher-Price.

Fisher-Price

It’s hard to believe that Fisher-Price has been around for 90 years. But there’s a reason this company has been so successful. Their toys are simply amazing! They are durable and fun and appeal to all different types of personalities. Yes, you can still buy Little People toys!

Mattel

Another classic favorite is Mattel, the creator of Barbie. Mattel has been around for 70 years bringing joy and fun to children. Mattel also makes the American Girl series of dolls and Hotwheels.

PlaySkool

PlaySkool has been entertaining children for 92 years. The classic PlaySkool toys bring that nostalgic glow in the parents’ eyes but most of all–they keep toddlers happy! Here are some of our favorite classic PlaySkool toy for toddlers:

Wooden Toys

Classic wooden toys will never go out of style. They bring back that nostalgic feel of “back in the day” when grandpa would make wooden toys for the grandchildren. Some of these toys are still around and you can still find them online that you may have to do a bit of digging to find the toys you are specifically looking for. Here are a few nostalgic picks that we love for fun wooden toys and that classic feel.

And don’t forget that wooden classic toys make great gifts for toddlers for birthdays and holidays!

Train Sets

You can’t go wrong with a good classic train set. Some of the classic train sets can be a bit more expensive but when it comes to the nostalgia of a beautifully crafted wooden train set, you can’t go wrong with these timeless toys. They are durable, long-lasting, and you can add to their sets To create a personalized toy train set for your toddler. Our two favorite pics are Thomas and Friends and Brio.

Thomas and Friends

BRIO

Puzzles

Puzzles come in many forms but the most nostalgic and classic form of puzzle is the wooden puzzle. Other puzzles can take on the form of tactile puzzles with pieces that your toddler will move around. Or toys that have puzzle pieces that fit into the corresponding shape sizes. Here are some of our favorite puzzles for toddlers that feel like a blast from the past.

Classic Dolls and Doll accessories

Dolls are classic toys that have been around for generations. If your toddler is a doll-loving toddler and you want to get them some of the classic dolls that you remember having as a child here are some of the ones that are still around and very popular with parents of toddlers.

We wish you the best on your search for the perfect toddler toys. Be sure to check out some of our other helpful guides for toddlers.

This article is brought to you by our contributing writers and parents here at the Babienet Parenting Community, where we value the stories of parents just like you! We welcome you to share your journey with us. 

If you want to know more great resources for toddlers:

Toddler Advice Websites for Parents and Caregivers | Babienet Blog

A Dietary Guide for Healthy Toddlers | Babienet Blog

Should My Toddler Be Wearing Shoes? | Babienet Blog

Author Bio:

Christina M Ward is a mom, grandmother, and writer of lots and lots of words. When she’s not busy obsessing over writing poetry and well-living articles, she is out in nature exploring or doing needlepoint crafts in front of Netflix. She loves books and reading, learning geeky things about nature, and helping other people live their best life.

 Websites for Great Toddler Toys is a helpful article of websites and resources for parents and caregivers of the best toddler toy websites.