Preschool toys aren't just fun - they help kids learn and develop social and motor skills, too. According to specialty retailers interviewed by TDmonthly, these are the top-10 most-wanted preschool toys.
*No manufacturer paid to be included in this list. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with TOYDIRECTORY.com/TDmonthly Magazine.
Get to the airport on time with the 1.2.3 Airport Shuttle Bus. Equipped with a luggage compartment, this shuttle can accommodate three passengers and one driver, all included. This set, with its colorful and rounded pieces, is perfect for toddlers who love toys on wheels. Recommended for ages 18 months and up. — David Stelzer, owner of Shananigans in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly in an October 2014 survey that Playmobil 123 was one of his store's best-selling line of preschool toys.
Build a musical instrument with this 24-piece set. Includes 2 mouthpieces, 2 trumpet ends and twisting tubes. All components are made of unbreakable ABS plastic. Compatible with Tubation. — David Stelzer, owner of Shananigans Toy Store in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that the Saxoflute is one of their store's best-selling musical toys.
Baby Farm Friends Bowling from the Earlyears line includes six numbered pins with a soft weighted ball so baby can practice coordination and counting at the same time. The cushiony pins make soft sounds and resemble farm animals including a cow, pig, sheep, dog and duck. The colorful ball has its own distinctive chiming sound and the pins are distinctively numbered from one to six and are easy to stand up. The toy comes with a reusable zip bag, so when kids are done with it they can put it back. This toy won an iParenting Media Award. "Bright, colorful and classic, it's a must for any 12 month-old," Sue Tice, public relations manager for International Playthings, told TDmonthly. — "We actually have baby bowling — soft cloth pins and balls — by International Playthings that does well," said Cheryl Pyles, manager at Toyland in Milford, N.H., when predicting hot-selling baby items for Christmas 2007. — "It's all seasons for babies, and International Playthings for babies and toddlers," said Patricia Masing, co-owner of Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich. — Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that this soft bowling set was a best-selling toy in the infant & toddler category. — Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Doodlehopper 4 Kids.
Brightly colored animals and familiar objects illustrate the letters of the alphabet on these cardboard blocks. Nested, the ten vibrant blocks fit into the included carrying case. Stacked, they form a tower nearly three feet high! — In a February 2015 survey, six out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Melissa & Doug makes their best-selling wooden toys. Bebe Feimster , manager of Big Smile Toys/Hardware Center in Paoli, Pa., said these blocks do particularly well.
Big fix-it fun for the smallest fixer uppers. Encourage imaginative play with chunky tools made from durable, soft plastic. Includes saw, hammer, screwdriver, wrench, drill (with sound) and tool box measuring 9"L x 5½"H x 3¾"W. Launch date: January 2012. Awards: 2012Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Gold Seal Award
These floating drums introduce kids to rhythm while they bathe, and can be pitch-adjusted according to the amount of water in the drums themselves. They come with a waterproof rhythm chart. — “We sell tons of Alex's bathtub musical instruments. A dozen or so [per month],” Mary Porter, owner of The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in spring 2009. — In March 2009, eight of 64 retailers named instruments by Alex-Panline as their best-selling bath toys. — Alex products are always top sellers for Melody’s Choices, Owner Steve Melody told TDmonthly in spring 2009. “Stock it well and it will sell well,” he said.
Yes, you "herd" right; a new BLEATING SHEEP puppet grazes in Folkmanis pastures. With her sweet, comical face and soft, silvery fleece, this is one puppet "ewe" will surely love. Animate her mouth as you gently squeeze her body to hear her bleat.
When children press a key on the piano, they not only hear a sound, they see stars pop up! The clear arch guides the popped stars onto a different pipe so when another note is played, they’ll pop some more! Adults can remove the arch to allow the stars to land on the floor, encouraging children to crawl after them. Pop! Pop! Piano measures 9" x 11" x 5.34" with clear arch attached. For ages 12 months and up. — Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that Pop Pop Piano is their store's best-selling musical toy. They sell around 10 each month. — Dean Smith, owner of JaZams Toys in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in an April 2015 survey that the Pop-Pop Piano is their store's best-selling infant & toddler toy. They sell around 12 each month.
Entertain your friends and LOL with the Grunting Pig puppet. Delightful silky soft plush of pale pink with grey patches and a curly tail come to life with a workable snout, mouth and front trotters. Squeeze his pot belly to make him grunt and witness the hilarity that ensues! This little piggy wants to come home with you. 14” long Awards:2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award — In a June 2014 survey, four out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Folkmanis was their best-selling puppet brand.
Writer's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author