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How to choose the best Toddler Toys

How to choose the best Toddler Toys
By 4 months ago 165 Views No comments


Choosing the best Toddler Toys...

That’s child’s play


Ok - Sorry. But joking aside, it turns out buying great gifts for a toddler is not quite so straightforward. In-fact buying a great gift for any young child is (unless they are with you, jumping up and down and pointing) a very fine art. 

You would be amazed how many well intentioned gifts are bought, only to find out they have moved on from that stage, or the toy or game is too advanced and has to go away for a while!

“Research released by the charity Action for Children and One Poll which surveyed 2,000 people has also revealed that over a third of Brits (37 per cent) have received an unwanted present every year.”

Get it right however and you will be rewarded with hours of entertainment, play & plenty of smiles. Read on to find out a sure fire way to go about finding the best toddler toy or gift.

This short guide is designed to make it just a little easier for you to do just that and select a toy that is both developmentally appropriate and fun.


Why not just buy the best selling toy of the year?


Easy Win! Every kid wants one what’s not to like. Well for starters if you are buying as a present do you really want to be the 3rd person to turn up to the party with a “Super Buzz Paw Glider”? But more to the point - as popular as it seems, is this really going to be a good choice for great play value or just act as a short term fix.  Best selling or ‘Must have toys’ like this are often top the toy charts at Christmas and developed off the back of a popular film tv show with huge advertising campaign they are designed to be popular...but not always created from the ground up based on great play value. So the best toddler toys are not necessarily the most popular toddler toys...


"Making the right choice means you should end up with a toy that will be in the middle of their room not the back of the cupboard in a weeks time."


Surely Mum & Dad know best.


Of course Yes…  But even as a parent with your toddler all day, you know them best of all now - but buying a best toddler toy is also about knowing what comes next, what to prepare for and what will inspire and entertain in the coming weeks and months. 

For a Grandparent or relative who isn’t there day to day making a choice is even trickier. It was probably a little while back they were bringing you up and without first hand knowledge of what stage they are at, let alone where they will be on their birthday or special occasion. Or knowing what is on the market now and what a two year old is going to love.

So whether you are a new parent looking for some entertainment for little one or a relative looking to buy the perfect wooden toys for toddlers a gift for your nephew, niece, cousin or grandchild where do you start?

Well if you do want to make a good choice in buying a great present for a special little one that will bring joy for months, not days then a good place to start looking for the best toddler toys is thinking about buying for the developmental stage of the child.


Whoah-developmental stages. I just wanted a toy.


We hear you, but it is really simple and it does make perfect sense. Things change so fast for young children - after all how many times have we heard ‘hasn’t he or she grown’ and although it’s a conversational throw away line it still holds a simple truth - kids grow and they grow and change very quickly! 

By looking at the basic developmental stages for a toddler this can help you roughly position where they are and therefore what they might be capable of and interested and engaged in. Read on to see the main developmental stages for a toddler.


The Toddler developmental stages


Developmental stages or developmental milestones are things like taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye-bye”. They are things most children can do by a certain age. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (like crawling, walking, or jumping)


1 year old toddler

• Walks independently and seldom falls

• Squats to pick up a toy

• Stacks two objects or blocks

• May use 5-10 words

• Combines sounds and gestures

• Imitates simple words and actions

• Consistently follows simple directions

• Shows interest in pictures

• Can identify 1-2 body parts when named

• Understands 50 words


1½ year old toddler

 • Responds to questions

• Continues to produce speech-like babbling

• Points at familiar objects and people in pictures

• Understands “in” and “on”

• Responds to yes/no questions with head shake/nod

• Repeats words overheard in conversation


1 ¾ year old toddler

 •Names objects and pictures

• Understands new words quickly

• Is able to locate objects you are pointing to

• Enjoys playing with new toys in varied ways

• Usually plays with toys without mouthing them

• Enjoys playing with a variety of toys and textures

• Enjoys playing with musical toys

• Enjoys sitting to look at or listen to a book

• Uses both hands equally to play with and explore toys


2 year old toddler

During the second year, toddlers are moving around more, and are aware of themselves and their surroundings. Their desire to explore new objects and people is increasing. They should be able to recognize the names of familiar people and objects, form simple phrases and sentences, and follow simple instructions and directions. 


• Is able to participate in small groups with other children

• Enjoys playing with a variety of toys and textures

• Is able to locate objects of interest

• Able to locate objects you are pointing to

• Enjoys playing with musical toys

• Enjoys playing with new toys in varied ways

• Usually plays with toys without mouthing them

• Enjoys sitting to listen or look at book

• Coordinates movements needed to play and explore

• Throw and attempt to catch a ball without losing balance

• Uses both hands equally to play and explore toys


Make your choice 

With the toddler developmental stages to hand use the age guide on the toy or a toy website that has a handy shop by age section This will enable you to narrow down your selection when looking for best toddler toys and then you can hone in on the right toy by matching the description to the relevant developmental stage and checking the previousreviews to see real life experiences of this toy.

If you would prefer to search by gender we do have a category for each although in reality all products are in both categories as all the toys are suitable for boys and girls. So instead of searching for toddler boy toys or toddler girl toys you are better off looking as before at the development stage rather than the child gender.


Come and see us

If you want to know more or get some good first hand advice there are some real toy shops like Poppets left on the high street so if you are lucky enough to live nearby come in say hello and use our experience to help you find what you are looking for. 





(Please note The above stages mentioned are to be used as guides for purchasing, not to dictate how quickly a child should or should not be advancing physically and cognitively)