Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Toy Review: Toys for Baby

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LeapFrog Music Table

Age Range: 6 Months and Up

Review: If I were restricted in life to five toys only for my children, the Leap Frog Music Table would be one I chose. It has great value for many different ages. Brayden got it at 7 months old. It has been loved by all three children. It teaches colors, shapes, music, numbers, cause and effect...

Buy Again?: Definitely yes.

Fisher Price Shape Sorter

Age Range: 9 months and up

Review: I honestly am not sure what I think about this toy. I do remember Brayden playing with it a lot. He liked it so much that a good friend bought one for her son and he loved it. It wasn't really used by Kaitlyn a lot, but it might just be that it wasn't out as much for her. It is fun because they can empty it and fill it back up again, which babies love. Brayden spent lots of time working on putting the shapes in the holes.

Buy Again?: I would definitely buy a shape sorter. This one has great reviews on Amazon. It is a good one, but there are probably a lot of good ones. So this is a maybe for me.

Fisher Price Rock a Stack

Age Range: 6 months and up

Review: This is a great toy that is enjoyable across the ages. The young baby will enjoy just holding and mouthing the rings. As she gets older, she will start to try to play with the toys as it is intended to be played with. Then she will use it to learn colors and as bracelets and whatever else strikes her imagination. I know I have mentioned this toy on the blog in the past and many people have commented how much they love it. This toy is great for learning spacial relationships.

Buy Again?: For sure. This is a great toy for baby.

LeapFrog Popup Toy

Age Range: 9 months and up

Review: This was a gift from my parents. This is a very fun pop up toy. It plays the alphabet, nursery rhymes, and shapes and colors as the child pops up. The "buttons" help with fine motor skills, and the toy overall teaches cause and effect.

Buy Again?: Yes, I would buy this again. It is a really fun toy that the child likes well into the toddler years. But I think other pop-up toys would be fun, too.

Baby Einstein Blocks

Age Range: newborn and up

Review: These are fun blocks for baby. They teach colors and textures. As I was looking at it on Amazon, I saw that one person said there was a recall because of lead in the blue block. I noticed the blue block is different than the set I have. So, keep that in mind. There are a lot of fun blocks out there (one made by infantino). My guess is that if there was lead in the blue block, it has since been corrected, but that is just my guess so take it for what it is worth.

Buy Again?: I would buy blocks again, yes, but I would look into the lead thing before buying these specific blocks. I would also look at the other blocks available before choosing which ones I thought baby would like best.

Car Seat Toys

Age Range: newborn and up

Review: We have several different car seat toys. I am not going to list every individual toy--I will list those that are extra popular. Car seat toys will hang from the bar of the car seat. I also use them to change out toys that hang from the bar on our gym for baby. That is actually my favorite use of them.

Buy Again?: Yes. There are so many out there. It is hard to choose one! Just look around and see what you think your child will like. Car Seat Toys. Here are some that we have.

This first one has a couple of features I think are nice. One is that the ears are crinkly, which babies love. It also pulls down and vibrates going back up.

The next one is one of McKenna's all-time favorite toys. She has the duck. It is crinkly, has teether parts to chew on, and is easy to hold. The duck is nice because it has the bill to chew on. This link has 5 left. Go to Infantino Peek-a-boo Rattle to see all options on Amazon. Last I checked, Wal-Mart had the duck ones in store.

I have talked about this one on the blog before. This toy is quite versatile. The year I bought it, it was an award winner.

Wrist Rattles

Age Range: newborn and up

Review: When I first saw these toys, I thought they were pure genius. A baby can play with this because he won't drop it over and over and over... I found them when Brayden was too old, but I was sure to get them for Kaitlyn. While Kaitlyn and McKenna have both had enjoyment from them, they didn't use them like I envisioned. I really think Brayden would have, but not the girls. They were not concerned enough with playing with toys at that young of an age; they were content to look at everything around them.

Buy Again?: If you have a really busy baby who is too young to hold on to toys, yes, this would likely be good. If you have a content baby, there are better toys for when they start holding on to toys. These are not the ones that we have; we have infantino brand. With the Lamaze, you get more for your money. I also think that they are probably better than the infantino. As I look at the Lamaze, I think McKenna would have liked the ones that go on the ankle. She loved sucking her feet!

Rattles and Teethers

Age Range: newborn and up

Review: This is my favorite group of toys for baby right now. I have a good friend who left her Sassy phone at our house one day. McKenna played with it, and loved it so much I thought I would get it for her. When I looked on Amazon, I found this set. McKenna loves it!

Buy Again?: Definitely. This is likely to turn into my favorite gift to give to babies.

Gum Ball Machine

Age Range: 6 months and up

Review: This was a gift from my parents. This is a fun toy to teach baby about cause and effect. Yesterday, Brayden and Kaitlyn were playing with this toy and laughing hysterically, so I guess it has lasting power.

Buy Again?: Yes, I would buy this again. The one I have linked below is the cheapest one on Amazon. This one has only two reviews, but the link with over 70 reviews is more expensive, so I went for this one. Plus this one comes with more balls.

Sassy Teether

Age Range: birth and up

Review: This was given to McKenna by some friends of ours, and it is one of her top five favorite toys. Probably top two. It is great for teething (as the name suggests). I also like that they can hold on to the toy in a variety of places, which is great for early learners.

Buy Again?: Definitely yes.

Baby Einstein Links

Age Range: Newborn and up

Review: This is a toy that was very popular for all three children. They are fun on their own. You can also use them to link a toy to an object to prevent it from flying on the ground. You can link things to a shopping cart, the car seat, the stroller, etc.

Buy Again?: Definitely. This has to be about the best $5 I ever spent.

Little Tikes Discover Sounds Toolbox

Age Range: 6 months and up

Review: This is a really fun shape sorter--especially for any child too-oriented. They put the shape in the hole, then push it through with the hammer (or their hand). It lights up and makes fun sounds. Brayden really loved this, and Kaitlyn had fun with it, too.

Buy Again?: Definitely yes.

Little Tikes Hammer

Age Range: 12 months and up (according to the manufacturer)

Review: This was a gift from my sister. Brayden has always loved tools, even from infancy. For his first Christmas, my sister got him this. He loved it. It lights up and makes noise when they hit things with it, so it is good for cause and effect learning.

Buy Again?: Yes

Little Tikes Baby Piano

Age Range: 6 months and up

Review: This was also a gift from my sister. This is a great toy for cause and effect and music. Later on, you can also use it to teach colors. My children have all loved this simple toy.

Buy Again?: Yes. There are definitely fancier pianos out there, but this is one of the least expensive out there.

Fisher Price Jungle Treehouse

Age Range: ? 9 months and up?

Review: This is a really fun toy. However, there is a part that wears out over time. Ours took about a year before it wore out, but Brayden is really easy on toys. There are a lot of reviews on Amazon that say it happened to them, too. Fisher-prices is really good to work with, though, and will usually send you a replacement item free when you call.

Buy Again?: I am undecided. I think probably not. It is really fun, but it isn't fun for it to wear out. Fisher-price is really good to work with, though, if you are willing to go through the work of working with them :)

Fisher Price Activity Walker

Age Range: 6-9 months and up

Review: This was a gift from my cousin. This is one of the most popular toys we have. The babies love to sit by it and mess with all of the gadgets. The walkers (toddlers) love to walk with it because it is a bit safer to walk with when they are learning. The older toddlers and preschoolers love to run around with it and it is often a variety of other things like a lawn mower.

Buy Again?: For sure! But it looks like they might be hard to come by. It is a fun toy, but in a store, it sold new for $15-20. If you can't find it for that, you can probably find similar items for that price range.


These are some of our toys that our babies have loved/love. There are a lot of toys out there for children, though! I am always amazed to visit homes of other people and see that we have very few toys that are the same, and their toys are fun and educational, too. So by no means is this list "the only toys for baby" or anything. They are just what I have experience with.



roberjen said...

LOVE these toy reviews! Thanks for doing them. Any advice on a 9 1/2 month old who refuses to nap now because she has learned to stand in the crib? I keep waiting for it "to pass" but its been almost a week now. She just hops right back up every time I go into lay her down. Someone tell me this will pass...:)

Janelle said...

Thanks so much for these reviews! My son is 18 months and it's so hard to buy him toys! He's still developing his preferences so trying to decide if he will like a toy or not can be frustrating. Your little people reviews have been very helpful. I didn't play with them as a child, but I've been thinking of getting some for my son. Your opinion is very helpful. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this.
Oh, and roberjen, this will pass!! :)

Anna said...

Thanks for the reviews! My 7 month old is getting the leap frog music table from my parents for Christmas and I can't wait! I wanted to add four toys to your list that I love. The first one is the Fisher Price Soundstage. We got it at 6 months and it is one of our favorite toys. It's a little pricey but I think it is well worth it. The next one is the Fisher Price amazing animals sing and go choo choo. I had a hard time finding it. It retails for around $30 I think but Amazon is selling it for around $100 I think. I was unable to find it in stores but "googled" it and found in on a website. I am giving it to William for Christmas and cannot wait for him to open it. Our neighbor has it so we have been able to play with it some. The train is fun but the animals that go in it are even more fun. I think the name of the the third toy is Roll Arounds and Fisher Price makes them and they are little balls. One set that we have are clear and have different things inside of them. The other set that we have are textured. They are the perfect size for William to hold in his hand. I think he is going to learn how to crawl by chasing them around. The last toy I found at COSTCO and it is a set of textured bouncy balls. There are two large ones and 4 small ones. We love them and have loved from since William was around 4 months old.
I am also thinking about getting William the playskool ball popper for Christmas. Does anyone have a review on this toy?

Plowmanators said...

roberjen, it will pass :) Since she just pops back up, I would probably just leave her be and wait for her to get over it. Some might do well with a stern "it is nap time now, not playtime."

Just be sure she gets lots of time to stand during waking hours so she feels less of a need a naptime.

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome Janelle!

Plowmanators said...

Anna, thanks for your ideas! Iwill check those out. I love toys :)

The Cash's said...

Hi Valerie,

Thank you so much for everything you write - I have no idea how you find the time! I am about to go back to work after a 15 week maternity leave (2nd child), and am not ready to get back into that hectic lifestyle with 2 kids. Oh well... it is what it is. I was wondering if you review custom made products? I have something I'd love for you to look at called The Pumpkin Sack, but TOTALLY understand if you are not interested. I don't want to put a lot of detail here so I'm not using your site that way, but let me know if there is a way I can get you more info if you are interested. Let me know your thoughts and thanks for even considering! (oh, and sorry for posting here... I didn't see another way to contact you so it wasn't a comment for everyone to see).

Plowmanators said...

Sure, just post your email and I will email you about it and you can give me the link. As soon as I get it, I will delete your email address off the site.

Unusual gift ideas said...

Thanks for this. i have to buy some some kids toys for this christmas. musical toys

B. Morgan C. said...

Thank you so much for the toy reviews! I used them to figure out what to get my 10-month old for Christmas. This made it so much easier!


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