• 2012 Toy Guide: Picks For All Ages

    With the chill in the air comes an ineffable sense of magic and anticipation. Is it the spirit of the season, or all these great new toys to delight little ones?

    By Mia Weber

    FOR NEWBORNS

    Perfect for strollers, cribs, and generally looking hip for the holidays, YarningMade’s Helvetica “Hi” Baby Blanket is a snuggly mix of highbrow humor and cute coziness. Plus, the acrylic and wool throw is hand-knit and big enough to please older kids as well! $65, etsy.com/shop/yarningmade

     

     

     

    These days, there seems to be no shortage of quirky travel companions, and Miyim lets baby join in on the fun. Available at New York’s own Pink Olive, this smiling Corn Stroller toy is organic—so it’s super safe for curious babies—and features a playful rattle inside. $12, pinkolive.com

     

     

     

    With all of the daily demands of a newborn baby, nuanced nursery decoration can wind up on the end of the to-do list. Blabla’s Owl Dream Ring adds a dose of crib-side woodland whimsy in a quirky twist on the traditional mobile, sure to mesmerize and entertain all winter long. $52, blablakids.com

     

     

     

    Every growing baby needs a special rattle to occupy inquisitive little hands. We love Angel Dear’s adorable Raccoon Ring Rattle, crafted from dreamy, cashmere-soft material, complete with a mischievous face for nighttime play. $6, angeldear.net

     

     

     

    Offer your adventurous tot a whole new world of fun with Disney Baby SIMBA’S King-Sized Play Gym from Fisher-Price. This entertainment paradise comes complete with lights, music, and a bevy of dangling jungle friends to keep your baby company. $70, fisher-price.com

     

     

     


    FOR AGES 1-3

    For your newly mobile tot, check out Acorn’s elegantly crafted Wooden Walker. Made of sturdy Beech wood with a classic German design, this toy is perfect for toddlers learning to walk as well as new walkers taking their stuffed animals for a stroll around the house. $145, acorntoyshop.com

     

     

     

    Yearning for warm weather? Help your beach-loving kiddo stay nautical even in the bluster of a December snowstorm with Giggle’s Ride-On Boat toy! This cute cruiser is perfect for imaginative playtime—and soft enough to make it totally safe indoors. $110, giggle.com

     

     

     

     

    Live the life aquatic this holiday season by giving your growing kiddo the gift of P’kolino’s Fishing Hole Size Sorter. Complete with six smiling fishies in bold primary hues and a perky wooden fish tank, the possibilities for color and counting games are endless. $24.99, pkolino.com

     

     

     

    It’s easy to keep your baby entertained with the many activities folded up within Manhattan Toy’s Whoozit® Whoops! Wooby™ toy. This super multitasker includes a folded blanket, teether, and a plethora of noisemakers to keep tots smiling all season. $20, manhattantoy.com

     

     

     

    As your little one gears up to start school, give him or her the Tag Junior Book: ABC Animal Orchestra from Leapfrog! This whimsical tome offers over 24 unique activities, more than 150 audio responses, and lots of playful illustrations to help your child on the road to reading. $10.99, shop.leapfrog.com

     

     

     

    Add a splash of excitement to bath-time with the Playful Basics™ Squirt & Stack Play Penguin, new from Little Tikes. This floating toy can be taken apart and stacked back up—not to mention the fact that the cute penguin can squirt water. $6.99, littletikes.com

     

     

     


    FOR AGES 3-5

    American Girl is the iconic personalized childhood toy for young girls, This season, we especially love the 15-inch, super-soft Bitty Baby Doll and Book set, which also comes with an adoralbe five-inch plush bear to encourage sociable and nurturing qualities. $50, americangirl.com

     

     

     

    Transport your tot to the North Pole with Cate & Levi’s Elf People Puppet. Dressed in an impish green outfit with a charming chapeau, crafted from reclaimed wool, and poised for any number of holiday games, the happy puppet is environmentally friendly to boot. $30, cateandlevi.com

     

     

     

    No need to plug your little gadget lovers into technology just yet—especially when they have their own Donkey Products’ I-Wood: My First Laptop, available at Pylones. This cheeky take on a sleek computer includes two chalkboards to draw on, plus several sticks of classic chalk. $50, pylones-usa.com

     

     

     

    Cultivate your child’s passion for the culinary arts early with this almost-good-enough-to-eat Felt Play Food Sandwich Set from Melissa & Doug. Your crafty chef can create subs, burgers, pita pockets, and more—without messes in the kitchen for you to clean up! $19.99, melissaanddoug.com

     

     

     

    Even in the dead of winter, conjure up scenes of picnicking in the park with ALEX Toy’s Picnic Basket, with an authentic wicker carrier and an 18-piece enamelware set of dishes. Perfect for indoor lunches while you’re awaiting warmer weather! $39.95, alextoys.com

     

     

     

     

    Feed your child’s need for speed with the Kids Only’s 16” Original Big Wheel Racer! Crafted from durable plastic, this classic riding bike is perfect for rolling around the block all year long. $59.99, toyrus.com or kidsonlytoys.com

     

     

     

     

    Open the door to hours of enchantment with My Little Pony Rarity’s Carousel Boutique Playset from Hasbro. Complete with a brightly colored, spinning carousel, the two ponies and carnival accessories and sure to put a smile on the face of any horse enthusiast. $29.99, hasbro.com

     

     

     

    Allow your fantasy fiend to escape into the bright and cheery playland of the Moshi Monsters with MEGA Bloks’ Moshling Garden set. Including 24 different pieces to customize the fantastical paradise, this toy inspires endless creativity in imaginative play. $7.99, megabloks.com

     

     

     


    FOR AGES 5-8

    Makedo, which has made a name for itself as the next generation of LEGO, provides the tools for kids to turn recyclables into virtually any kind of toy. We love the Elephant “guided kit” that comes complete with cheery stickers and 33 reusable parts for building your own safari friend. $15, mymakedo.com

     

     

     

    Let Sanrio’s beloved Chococat set the trend for stylish winter garb this year. This precious plush toy is sure to unleash plenty of fond feelings and winter warmth! $38, sanrio.com

     

     

     

     

    Keep craftsers forever entertained with Land of Nod’s I’m Not Bored Anymore Art Jar, brimming with supplies like googly eyes, glue pens, wooden buttons, and much more. $29, landofnod.com

     

     

     

     

    From the zany team that brought us the Ugly Doll plush toys comes a new line of hideously cute vinyl figurines. We’re loving the Blox Ice-Bat Vinyl Toy, which boasts all of the Ugly Doll charm in a whole new package. $20, uglydolls.com

     

     

     

    Searching for a bright and cheerful doll to cast a positive glow on the holidays? Don’t miss Lalaloopsy’s bright and bold Dyna Might Superhero Doll, a spunky figurine that’s ready to take on the world with pretty pink goggles and a frisky pet raccoon. $26.99, lalaloopsy.com

     

     

     


    FOR AGES 8-12

    eeBoo’s Community board game invites the whole family to come together to build a system of roads to connect special locales. The flocked green game pieces also evoke a surreal sense of the outdoors. $20, eeboo.com

     

     

     

    Kick-start your budding designer’s creative juices with the MetKids at the Met Museum Store’s Interior Design Lightbox Lap Desk Kit. Give your young interior designer all the tools he or she needs—from tracing films to sketch sheets to colored pencils—to craft the designs of their dreams! $44.95, store.metmuseum.org

     

     

     

    This year, Yoda and LEGO combine to bring a practical edge to one of childhood’s most iconic movie characters and beloved toy brands. This futuristic alarm clock is sure to take some of the sting away from the early mornings come the end of winter vacation. $29.99, toysrus.com

     

     

     

    We’ve found the perfect edgy stocking stuffer for your pre-teen with this fun and funky vinyl canine from TokiDoki. We love the Punkstar Rudy Vinyl Toy’s shiny mohawk and studded collar. $9.95, tokidoki.it

     

     

     

     

    Nothing says winter whimsy quite like a perky little penguin. We’re in love with Folkmanis Puppets‘ version of the beloved cold-weather bird: the Bow Tie Penguin puppet. Complete with a festive little bowtie, this feathered and furry friend is sure to be a hit this holiday season. $21.99, folkmanis.com

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