Back-To-Basics Toy Ideas

The hottest toys of the season often have many bells and whistles. They sing, dance, light up and move on their own. But all this flash isn’t necessary for your baby or toddler to enjoy a toy.

Here are our top picks for simple, wooden toys that are fun and educational.

Melissa & Doug Train Set


Train sets are a classic children’s toy and this set doubles as stacking blocks. Practice shapes and colors with your child as they play conductor around your living room. Several stores such as Joseph-Beth Booksellers or Carters carry Melissa & Doug products, but it can also be found at Toys R Us for $16.99


Hape Discovery Box


An activity cube, or discovery box, is a great toy for babies as soon as they can sit up on their own. These squares have a different activity on each side, such as bead mazes, color wheels, and mirrors. It’s like four toys in one! $42.00 from Hape Toys. A list of retailers can be found on their website.




B. A-maze Rain Rush


Babies will enjoy using the rain-sound maker as a rattle and a rolling toy, or they can guide the beads to the bottom of the tiers. Bonus: it is made from recycled materials! It can be found for $19.99 at Buy Buy Baby.




Personalized Name Puzzle


Puzzles work motor skills, hand-eye coordination and problem solving for toddlers. These name puzzles are unique to each child, and you can practice the alphabet while playing! You can find several vendors for these puzzles on Etsy, or Lillian Vernon makes them for $24.99.