Skip To Content

    We hope you love our recommendations! Some may have been sent as samples, but all were independently selected by our editors. Just FYI, BuzzFeed collects a share of sales and/or other compensation from the links on this page.

    27 Toys For Toddlers That Even The Toughest Little Critics Will Absolutely Love

    These toys will be a hit at playtime, even if your tiny human has big demands and even bigger opinions.

    1. A Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! 150-Piece Building Set that's so fun to build with and wayyy less painful to step on than Legos (ouch). If your kiddo isn't quite ready for tiny blocks, these will keep your little builder busy for hours!

    A a tower fashioned out of gears
    A vehicle fashioned out of gears

    Recommend for ages 3 and up.

    Promising review: "I bought this for my son when he was 3. Two years later, I’ve come back to write my unbiased review so you have one to trust. At the time, I bought these on a whim and had no idea what I would unlock. For more than two full years now, these gears have been played with DAILY. Every. Single. Day. They have held up to crashed airplanes, tidal waves hitting sea creatures, and have been catapulted into castles. Very rarely have they been played with as shown on the product pictures, as my son uses them to build different things every day. Dusty Crophopper (plane), Lightning McQueen (race car), and so much more. Our only regret is sometimes we don’t have enough pieces to build an entire fleet. These creations have an entire shelf for display in his bedroom to feature what he builds each day. This toy is durable, open ended, grows with the child, fits a variety of abilities and ages, and is only limited by imagination. I could not recommend this toy more!" —Traveler

    Get it from Amazon for $49.57.

    2. sensory swing so your tiny acrobat will be able to swing and bounce up and down to channel all of that energy they have after a really good nap.

    Child smiling while curled up inside the hanging fabric chair
    Different child using the chair as a jungle gym swing
    Another child swinging on their stomach, as if flying, onto a pile of pillows
    Rest Nests

    Recommend for ages 3 and up.

    Rest Nets is a small biz based in Israel started by a mom who created these hammocks as a way to give parents "an extra pair of hands" for entertaining kids.

    Promising review: "My 4.5-year daughter loves this swing! We have it installed in a French doorframe and has been very secure. She loves to swing while we are cooking or hanging out. I anticipate it will get so much love over the years. We love having it indoors during the winter since playgrounds aren't as practical. It was one of her favorite Christmas presents." —Chris Wiegand

    Get it from Rest Nests on Etsy for $98.60 (originally $116; available in 10 colors).

    3. Or a rainbow-colored saucer swing because rain or shine, your child can spin and swing without a trip to the park. This will be your kid's new *hang* out.

    The rainbow colored saucer swing
    Reviewer's kids swinging in the room

    Recommend for ages 5 and up. Maximum weight is 260 pounds.

    Promising review: "Very, very sturdy and easy assembly. We had a reunion and this swing kept the kids busy for hours. I definitely will be buying another." —msbakwudhic

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in two sizes).

    4. race track that'll help develop your toddler's fine motor skills as they try to figure out how to get the car through the obstacles. Your kiddo will have to use levers and buttons to get to the end where there's a magnetic helicopter waiting to pick up the vehicle. And, it doesn't require batteries!

    The race track next to a toy ambulance, a firetruck and a police car
    Reviewer's video showing the car race track in action

    Recommend for ages 3 and up.

    The track includes a toy police car, ambulance, and fire engine.

    Promising review: "This toy completely captured the attention of my 4-year-old grand-nephew, right from the get-go. He probably played with it nonstop for the first three hours, and again later in the day. Thankfully, the pieces fit well, the cars run smoothly on the track, and all the motion buttons work well — so far. Considering how nonstop he plays with it, I'm hoping it will last for a long time. I love that he is so intensely focused and engaged with it for hours; he tries his out-of-the-box schemes to make the track work differently than it was designed to do; and he's using his fine motor skills to test the different adaptations he wants to make. It's a wonderful toy and incredibly engaging. I only hope it can endure such long playing time!" —Bernie C.

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99.

    5. foam pogo jumper so your never-tired toddler can burn off some energy while you sit back. This is a safer alternative to a traditional pogo stick that your kiddo will love bouncing around on.

    The foam pogo jumper in blue and green
    Reviewer's child jumping on the pink pogo stick

    Recommend for ages 3 and up.

    Promising review: "I was happily astonished upon receipt of this pogo stick. It kept my 4-year-old grandson busy for hours at a time during the bitter cold days of this holiday season. It is well made and adjustable as children grow in height. It encourages developing a fine sense of balance. The material is tough enough to withstand use outdoors, but gentle enough to be used on hardwood floors or rugs. It is a great birthday gift for any child 4–8 years old." —frankie

    Get it from Amazon for $12.72+ (available in 17 colors).

    6. A Magna-Tiles set that parents are raving about (including myself) because kids and adults can't stop playing with them. Whatever your child creates will look like a work of art with these tiles.

    Multicolored square and triangular magnetic tiles fashioned into a tower
    A creation made with the magnetic multicolored tiles

    Recommended for ages 3 and up.

    Promising review: "Seriously the best gift we have ever gotten our son. He has these at his preschool and, since Christmas, at home too and he never tires of them. In fact he plays with these almost every day and his creativity astounds me. He learns so much about how to put things together and his imagination runs wild. He would play with these for hours if he could!!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $49.99 for a 32-piece set or $109.95 for a 100-piece set..

    7. Melissa & Doug ice cream station so your kiddo can run their own ice cream shop (minus the sugar rush) and dive into pretend play. Your child will love taking your order and scooping ice cream into cups and cones.

    A child model adding a topping on an ice cream cone, while the stand, a menu and pretend money sits on the table
    Reviewer's child playing with the ice cream counter

    Recommend for ages 3 and up.

    The wooden ice cream counter comes with eight ice cream scoops, six toppings, two cones, cup, scooper, tongs, wooden spoon, reusable menu card, and six pretend dollar bills.

    Promising review: "My newly turned 3-year-old daughter instantly fell in love with this set! She loves seeing how high she can stack the ice cream cones and pretending to serve Mom & Dad her creations. She's been obsessed with climbing things around the house and we *desperately* needed a distraction to get her to stop, and this is working so far — she plays with this thing for HOURS!" —West Family

    Get it from Amazon for $54.99.

    8. A flower-building activity set because your *budding* genius will be able to tap into their imagination and build amazing flower displays. This STEM activity comes with hundreds of pieces for endless possibilities

    The plastic flower toys
    The plastic flower toys stacked into a tower

    Recommend for ages 3 and up.

    Promising review: "I bought this flower garden as a gift for my 3-year-old daughter. She absolutely loves it! She has always enjoyed blocks and this is something different that has kept her engaged for hours! We highly recommend this product to others!!" —Ashley Petersen

    Get it from Amazon for $11.98+ (available in two sizes).

    9. The Nugget foam play couch, so you're toddler will be able to reconfigure the four parts to create forts, obstacle courses, or whatever they can imagine without rearranging your entire living room. It's also the perfect rainy day activity that'll keep them entertained when the weather isn't ideal for outdoor play.

    Two models playing on the blue nugget

    Nugget Comfort is a small biz based in Butner, North Carolina, that specializes in play furniture made out of foam cushions.

    Promising review: "My 3-year-old and my nearly 5-year-old have played with this thing constantly. Sometimes they are just lounging around on it but mostly it’s part of their adventure play. It’s been a boat, a castle, a camp, and so much more. They are gonna freak out when they get a second soon." —Tabatha C.

    Get it from Nugget Comfort for $249+ (available in 22 colors/patterns).

    10. A sports center for your tiny all-star because they will love that it has an LED scoreboard, gears, buttons, and plays 50+ songs, sounds, and phrases. 

    Reviewer's child playing with the sports center
    Reviewer's child dunking a ball in the sports center basket

    Recommend for ages 1 and up.

    Promising review: "I bought this as a Christmas gift to my 16-month-old grandson. He loves it...we can spend hours kicking the ball or playing basketball. It was definitely his favorite toy and it is great for keeping him busy. It is also educational as it teaches kids how to count and ABCs. I highly recommend this item." —Maurice Horn

    Get it from Amazon for $44.99+ (available in two colors and two packaging options).

    11. A three-in-one tent, tunnel and ball pit that totally takes me back to my childhood when ball pits were basically at every fast food restaurant. This set will transform your home into an exciting play area where you toddler will be able to crawl through a tunnel, jump in a sea of colorful balls, and have a ~blast~ in a rocket.

    A closeup of all the components
    The tent, tunnel, and ball pit in family room

    Recommend for ages 3 and up.

    FYI: this set does not include the plastic balls, but you can purchase them here.

    Promising review: "I got this for my 1-year-old and she loves it! I love that we have the option to take it apart and use the tent, ball pit, or tunnel separately. We got 500 plastic balls from Walmart to fill it with (pictured) and I think it’s a great amount, but you could get less and I think it would still be fine. It took about 10 minutes to set up the first time: I had to crawl inside the tent to put the poles up (which I actually fit in pretty easily), and there are about 20 little ties to hold it all together that took some time to do, but the more times I set it up the quicker it gets. I would definitely recommend this toy!" —Kala Terry

    Get a three-piece set from Amazon for $34.99+ (also available in one- and five-piece sets and in various styles).

    12. A 100 Words Book — an interactive book that will help your child learn the alphabet and different words. It has fun sounds, images, lights, and activities to prevent that *boredom meltdown.*

    The 100 Words Book for kids

    Recommend for ages 18 months and up.

    Promising reviews: "My 10-month-old nephew gets so entertained by it. I love watching him play with it. It’s pretty cool because, when he touches the picture it actually teaches him something about the picture. One setting teaches him about the sound of the picture he touches and the other setting tells him what the picture actually is. It covers, vehicles, animals, food, vehicles...etc." —Vanessa

    "One of the best gifts we bought for our 1-year-old on his first birthday!! This is an amazing electronic book for toddlers or little ones that are learning their first words. It is also something they can continue to learn with as they grow because there are different settings. I couldn’t believe how nice it was for the price. Great buy and very educational/fun!" —slowdown&lookup12

    Get it from Amazon for $18.57+ (available in seven styl