Ten Best Toys for Toddlers

Ten Best Toys for Ages 2 – 4 Years

Having observed 5 grandchildren and all their friends this is my opinion of the best toys that they have owned. The criteria that I am using to judge these toys are:

  • Engagement – the children have gone back to them time after time
  • Durable – they have lived up some rugged treatment
  • Value – the cost compared to the number of hours of use has been minimal
  • Fun – the children have enjoyed playing with them.

Ten Best Toys for Toddlers: Cozy Coupe

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Cab If you follow this blog you will know that I am a huge fan of the Cozy Coupe. I think that we have owned at least seven of these in our family. Originally I bought a second hand basic Cozy Coupe. Although it looked like it had quite a bit of prior use it still worked very well and was perfect to have at Grandma’s house.

When my twin Granddaughters were two they received the Little Tikes Princess Cozy Coupe and the Little Tikes Ride ‘N Rescue Coupe. They are now four and these Cozy Coupe cars are used almost every day.

Little Tikes Cozy Truck TailgateWe attend a playgroup called Roaming Rascals and there the girls fell in love with both the cute adorable Little Tikes Cozy Truck and the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Cab. The Little Tikes Cozy Truck allows one to drive and the other to ride at the back. The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Cab has the most adorable little face.

I cannot think of another toy that has been so used, so often, and in so many imaginative ways. We are not alone in our love of the Cozy Coupe cars; on Amazon.com it has a 4.4 star rating for the various versions of it.

Ten Best Toys for Toddlers: Step 2 Waterwheel Activity Table

Step 2 Waterwheel Activity TableChildren love water. This Step 2 Waterwheel Activity Table is like a magnet for them. This water table provides hours and hours of fun play.

We love the fact that it is sturdy and compact. It can be easily drained and refilled. The children love it because they can scoop up the water and pour it into the waterwheel. There is enough room for two to three children to play around it.

There are 380 other parents and grandparents just like us that give it 5 stars.
It is an outdoor toy so in many climates it can only be used in warmer weather. However we have been known to set it up in our garage. Like all water toys adult supervision is necessary when using the Step 2 Waterwheel Activity Table.

Ten Best Toys for Toddlers:Melissa & Doug Deluxe Latches Board

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Latches BoardThe Melissa & Doug Deluxe Latches Board is a toy that we have run into at Roaming Rascals. It never fails to draw the twins to it. They love opening all the various latches and always seem surprised to see what is behind the door.

Although it is recommended for young children our experience has been that it still engages the older ones. It is brightly colored and very sturdy.

Other parents have stated that it is a great toy when travelling. It will keep you child quiet and engage for quite awhile.

Ten Best Toys for Toddlers: Radio Flyer Wagons

Radio Flyer Ultimate Comfort WagonWe are great fans of Radio Flyer Wagons. Having owned at least three in the family we have had first hand experience with them. From our adult point of view a good wagon is a great transition from a stroller to walking from one place to another. It has also been more than useful to cart items like beach toys, balls and towels.

For the children the Radio Flyer Wagons have allowed them the comfort of being transported to the park or the beach. They also love to pull each other in the wagons or to take their dolls and stuffed animals for a ride.

The Radio Flyer Wagons are well made, durable, and well worth the price. We recommend the Radio Flyer The Ultimate Comfort Wagon. It is a little more money but the canopy, the 5 way flip and fold seats, the wide wheels, and the extra storage at the back make it worth every penny. It will last long after the children need it.

Ten Best Toys for Toddlers: Mega Bloks

Mega BloksI don’t think that there can be enough building blocks in a child’s life. Mega Bloks are indestructible. We acquired a large bag of them at a children’s second hand store. We have had them for almost ten years now and they look unchanged from the day we got them.

Mega BloksFrom the children’s point of view, it has been interesting to watch them go from just being able to join the “bloks” together to making rather intricate structures and castles. I find when things are getting a bit raucous it is time to bring out the Meg Bloks. It always changes the pace to a quieter type of play.

The Megs Bloks come in different types of packages and much to our girls’ delight they also come in pink. Most versions of them have a 5 star rating on Amazon.com and we would certainly give them 5 stars.

Ten Best Toys for Toddlers: Melissa & Doug Standing Easel

 Melissa & Doug Standing Easel When our children we had an easel. I don’t think it was the Melissa & Doug Standing Easel as I don’t think that the Melissa & Doug brand existed then. However in our family we have two of these great easels now.

From the time a child can stand and hold a crayon or pencil he or she will love this Melissa & Doug Standing Easel. Small children delight in making pictures and as adults we must be prepared to love their efforts.

We love this easel as it lasts from the time a child can stand to it up a child is quite grown. Our grandson is ten and although he draws on other products, he still loves to use the easel. He especially likes to show the younger ones how use paint.

I would say that at the low Amazon price of $60.00 this is an extremely high value product. It is sturdy, versatile, easily stored, and very much used. It has 4.5 stars with over 1,174 reviews.

Ten Best Toys for Toddlers: Plasma Car

Plasma Car My daughter introduced the Plasma car to our family when she purchased three as Christmas presents. She bought one for each family that had a child at that point. We were all intrigued by how these cars worked. It was amazing that by just turning the steering wheel the car was propelled forward and could be easily turned. It is recommended for ages three to eight and we can attest to the fact it is used for those ages plus older. Even a few of our adults love to get on these and race around. The plasma car will hold up to 220 pounds. For smaller children they can be placed either in front or behind an older sibling or adult.

The Plasma car comes in a plethora of colors – pink, red, blue, yellow, purple, lime green, black, and several two-tone versions. There are several of these at the playgroup we attend and they are always in full use.

The one we own is about seven years old and still going strong. I think we may buy another this fall so the twins will each have their own ride. It has a 4.6 star rating. *Be careful when purchasing as there are some knockoffs of this car.

Ten Best Toys for Toddlers: Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage

Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage Although the Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage is one of the more expensive toys on our list we feel it has real value. In our family’s case this one lives in the other Grandparents garden and has been there thirteen years. It is still in extremely good shape and used by all the children when they come to visit.

In our own family we have the Step2 Naturally Playful Front Porch Playhouse. It was a gift from an indulgent uncle. Although it is almost double the price of the Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage I feel it does not really offer double the fun.

Even after thirteen years the doorbell on the Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage still rings loud and clear. The door and shutters still open and close easily. It has a 4.6 star rating and gets my vote for a great outdoor playhouse.

Ten Best Toys for Toddlers: Thomas and Friends Wooden Train Set

Thomas and Friends Wooden Train Set Thomas and Friends Wooden Train Set has been in our family for eight years. The beginning of collecting the Thomas the Train pieces was when a friend of mine gave me her grandsons’ set. They had outgrown it and were glad to past it along.

Our Grandsons have loved it and now our Granddaughters love to play with it. Interestingly when the boys come to visit they will still drag it out and build with it. I have like the idea that you can buy bits and pieces of it at anytime. The little cars have made great stocking stuffers over the years. Some of the railway cars like Thomas And Friends Wooden Railway – Battery Powered Percy have been particularly popular. One of the most popular pieces has been the Thomas Wooden Railway – Musical Caboose. All the children have loved it. We added the BRIO Record and Play Railway Station to our set because the children love that they can record their own messages of “All Abroad”. I think that most children would also love the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway – All Aboard Station that has Sir Topham Hatt giving six signature Sodor phrases.

All the wooden train pieces get 5 stars and rightly so. They are extremely durable; give hours of different play opportunities, and stand the test of time.
If you have girls don’t think that they won’t like Thomas and Friends. I can assure they will.
Again a word of caution there are many knockoffs of this product and they are not all compatible with each other. We have ended up with a bit of a jumble of tracks and not all of them fit well.

Ten Best Toys for Toddlers: Radio Flyer Duel Deck Tricycle

Radio Flyer Duel Deck Tricycle Our Granddaughters started out with a couple of old small hand me down tricycles. For their third Christmas we gave them pink Radio Flyer Duel Deck Tricycles and they love them. They were slightly too big for them at Christmas but by spring they were just the right size. They are big enough and sturdy enough that their seven-year-old sister takes a spin on them occasionally.

One of the great things about this style of tricycle is that the peddler can take a passenger on the back deck. This step down deck also makes it easier to mount the tricycle. They come both pink and red. They have very real bells that are slightly hard to ring. The Radio Flyer Duel Deck Tricycle pink one has girly pink streamers from the handlebars. With 178 reviews it is rate 4.6. The red one has red and white streamers. It is not rate quite as high 4.1 but some of the earlier reviews talk about tipping problems with the tricycle. We have not had that problem and one of the twins races it up, down and around on the driveway. We are thrilled with these pink Radio Flyer Duel Deck Tricycles and so are their owners.

Where to Purchase the Ten Best Toys for Toddlers

It has been our experience that using Amazon.com is the best way to buy many products but particularly toys. They come delivered right to your door and are often eligible for Free Shipping. Amazon’s return policy and customer service is terrific. We highly recommend it.

There are many, many more wonderful toys and over the next weeks we will be reviewing them. This list of the Ten Best Toys for Toddlers is the ones our family has and is enjoying the most.

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