Adorable baby Christmas gift ideas
It's time once again for babytalk's annual collection of the year's softest, silliest and smartest playthings. This super-amazing showcase began with 300 toys from all over the world (Peru! Germany! Parsippany, New Jersey!). After a grueling review process conducted by our team of board-certified fun-ologists, we chose 30 toys that are not only entertaining but engage baby in many positive ways. So without further ado, here are the winners...
Compatible with growth spurts!
With a product name like Ready, Set, Go Trike, Alex took the words right out of our MacBook. Babies can steer the bike from the high-backed seat (with headrest and safety bar) while Mom or Dad pushes the control handle. As he grows, remove the support accessories and watch your little Evel Knie-high go. ($75; alextoys.com)
Manhattan Toy Whoozit Busy Planet
Far beyond the moon and stars, 20 light years south of Mars, lies the Manhattan Toy Whoozit Busy Planet, which opens and closes to reveal activity elements including a mirror and teething ring. ($30; diapers.com)
B. Toys Parum Pum Pum Drum
With a busy-bee maraca, caterpillar tambourine and six other instruments (including a drum that doubles as a storage bin), the B. Toys Parum Pum Pum Drum will turn your tot into a onesie-man band. ($22; target.com)
B. Toys Elemenosqueeze
Not only can baby build Rome in one day, she can chew on Rome too! B. Toys Elemenosqueeze has a soft rubber block, arch or column for every letter, each with a hand-sculpted animal in relief. ($30; onestepahead.com)
B. Toys Wheeee-ls!
No worries about gas prices here. Simply pull back B. Toys Wheeee-ls! and watch them go. The four soft cars -- which include a taxi that squeaks and a race car that rattles -- come in a 100-percent recyclable box garage. ($16 for all four; target.com)
Otto Rocker Boy and Lola Rocker Girl
We like to call them Gwen Stuffed-fani and Gavin Stitchdale. But the good people at Blabla have dubbed these two super-soft, 12-inch dolls (hand-knit from natural fibers by Peruvian artisans) Otto Rocker Boy and Lola Rocker Girl. ($38 each; blablakids.com)
Henrietta the Pull Along Hen
A pull toy with a payoff! When your little walker takes Henrietta the Pull Along Hen on a stroll, she lays three chickadees one after the other. Press the hen's comb for authentic clucks and crows. ($16; intplay.com)
Jojo's Bump Bump
It's baby's first remote-control car! Complete with working headlights and a simple two-button remote-control carrot, Jojo's Bump Bump will go all XGames on your living room: When Jojo crashes, he's ejected from the driver's seat. ($21; walmart.com)
The Lego Duplo Play with Numbers
The Lego Duplo Play with Numbers has colorful blocks perfectly sized for little fingers, and each has a number and corresponding counting item (five worms, six apples, seven flowers -- you get the idea). Child figure, dog, wagon and white picket fence included. ($25; lego.com)