Toy Review: Gender Neutral

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These are toys I consider to be gender neutral.

Stuffed Animals

Age Range: birth and up (but be sure they are safe and rated for babies)

Review: I have a soft spot for stuffed animals. I love them. My children love them. Stuffed animals were a favorite toy of mine all growing up.

Buy Again?: Yes! I have to stop myself from buying too many. Here are some of our favorites:

Rocking Horse

Age Range: Depends on what you get

Review: My children really love their rocking horse. I know that for my mom, it was her favorite toy as a child.

Buy Again?: Yes, if you have the room. Rocking Horses

See N’ Say

Age Range: 18 months and up

Review: This is a fun toy for learning animal songs.

Buy Again?: Yes, this is one of those toys I consider a classic.

Fisher Price Nursery Rhyme CD Player

Age Range: 6 months and up

Review: The kids love to listen to the nursery rhymes on this. Those that teach children to read stress that learning rhymes is an important step in learning to read.

Buy Again?: Yes.

Musical Instruments

Age Range: 18 months and up

Review: I have mentioned many times how important music is to me. I love these toys for playing with music and rhythms.

Buy Again?: Yes.



Age Range: depends on exactly which one you buy

Review: This is another fun toy. It is another one of those classics. Children love the anticipation of the “jack” popping up. I know that in our church nursery, it is often the only thing that will calm children upset about their parents leaving.

Buy Again?: Yes. Jack-In-The-Box


Age Range: Depends on which you buy

Review: When Brayden was a baby, he hated to be in his car seat. I would always sing “The Wheels On The Bus” to him. When I was visiting my great aunt, she noticed this and found a wheels on the bus toy. This is a fun toy for our children. When you move it and push the different buttons, it sings the song.

Buy Again?: Yes. But I can’t find it on Amazon. I know Fisher-Price makes a bus for Little People that I have always thought looks cute. Here are all buses on Amazon.


Age Range: depends on what you get. But don’t really expect your child to start playing with figurines as he should until around two at the earliest. Most will around three.

Review: Brayden loves dinosaurs, so he loves these.

Buy Again?: Yes. Dinosaurs

Toy Doctor Set

Age Range: 3 and up (but Kaitlyn has played with one since 18 months)

Review: The kids love their toy doctor set. So do I! I can lay on the floor and relax while they play doctor šŸ˜‰

Buy Again?: Most definitely.


Age Range: 12 months and up

Review: Brayden has always been obsessed with vacuuming. Because of this, my parents got this vacuum for him. He has always loved it. It is a fun push along toy for a pre-toddler.

Buy Again?: Yes, if your child likes vacuums.

Kitchen Playset

Age Range: 18 months and up

Review: This is one of my favorite toys. And at the risk of sounding old, there are so many cool kitchen playsets these days! We bought one for Brayden 3 years ago, and there wasn’t a lot to choose from. There are much better ones now.

Buy Again?: Definitely. This is in my top five favorite all time toys. Kitchen Playset. Let me remind you that the most expensive ones won’t necessarily be a favorite. My children like the one at grandma’s house that would cost about $40 currently just as much as the one that cost a lot more.

Kitchen Dishes

Age Range: 18 months and up

Review: Dishes are the next step after you get the kitchen.

Buy Again?: Yes. Here are some we have. The first one is a great value. when we bought ours 1.5 years ago, we got much less for not a lot less.

A stainless steel set costs more money, but I like them.

Pretend Food

Age Range: 18 months and up

Review: The pretend food adds to the fun of the kitchen; however, it is definitely not necessary. First the kitchen, then the dishes, then food if you want. My mom doesn’t have food with her kitchen and my kids still have lots of fun with it. They just pretend there is food. I think there is great value in having your children use their imaginations! They don’t often play with their food with the kitchen, more for shopping.

Buy Again?: I think I would, but there are a lot of things I would get first. Pretend Food

Shopping Cart

Age Range: 18 months and up

Review: This is another fun toy for pushing. My children love filling up their cart full of food and buying it.

Buy Again?: For sure. Ours is more expensive than some you can find, but excellent quality, like you would expect from Little Tikes.


Cash Register

Age Range: depends on what you get.

Review: This is a lot of fun. They also sell some that are highly educational. My kids play with this in conjunction with the shopping cart and buying food.

Buy Again?: Yes.

Cash Register

There they are! As always, please share your children’s favorite toys.


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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book,Ā The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on theĀ AboutĀ page. Follow her onĀ Facebook,Ā Pinterest, andĀ InstagramĀ for more tips and helps.

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  1. Melissa
    November 18, 2009 / 5:26 PM

    I love this post – so appropriate for the coming X-mas season. I actually referred to it before I went shopping last weekend. Anyway, there is one toy that i don't think I saw on here that my children absolutely love and have since they could sit up. It's the Playskool Ball popper. All of my friends can't believe how much our kids love it. My almost 4 year old still loves it!!

  2. Plowmanators
    November 20, 2009 / 4:07 AM

    Thanks! That might be fun for McKenna! And I can definitely see Brayden and Kaitlyn getting a kick out of that, too.

  3. Ben & Jenny
    November 22, 2009 / 2:35 AM

    Thanks for doing the toy posts. I just made a kids' Christmas list for the family. Really appreciate the recommendations.

  4. Daisy
    November 23, 2009 / 7:16 PM

    Hi — I am surprised not to see any puzzle shape / building block type toys. I thought it was best to steer away from toys that need batteries? Any thoughts would be appreciated because I struggle on where to draw the line…thanks!

  5. Plowmanators
    November 23, 2009 / 9:04 PM

    Ben & Jenny, you are welcome! You are always so good to thank!

  6. Plowmanators
    November 23, 2009 / 9:07 PM

    Daisy, If you click on the "toy review" blog label, I have an entire post dedicated to building toys. For puzzles, I group those with learning activity toys (and plan to do a post on those at some point). If you go to "best toys for baby" blog label, you will see that puzzles are in each post once they are age appropriate. I am not a big fan of batteries in general. Most toys that take batteries definitely don't require batteries. One example is the Little People Barn. It can have batteries, but I don't put them in. I want my kids to use their imaginations. But I don't think it is bad for some toys to have batteries. In the post above, the toy that plays nursery rhymes is not bad. Nursery rhymes are good for your child to learn. So I like toys with batteries when they enhance learning, but not when they stifle creativity.

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