Maybe, instead, you wonder if you can find something that’s a bit cheaper but of practically the same quality. You can do both, actually, by not looking at just the brand, but the overall play and learning value the toy presents. Here are a few ideas.
1. Melissa and Doug Geometric Stacker. This is definitely something different from the usual stacking rings. Brightly coloured and big enough that little hands won’t have trouble holding them, this stacker uses interlocking blocks, hexagons, and rings. You don’t need to worry about choking hazards, either.
This is the perfect toy for tiny tots to learn about colour and size, even while having fun.
2. Wooden Blocks. A 100-piece wood building block set, while not as brightly coloured as most other toys, still presents the opportunity for hours of open-ended play. This is the best way to encourage your kid’s imagination, planning, and spatial skills.
Nothing is breakable, and a carrying container included with the set helps make sure nothing gets lost. Both toddlers and pre-school children will enjoy this gift.
3. Fisher-Price Bubble Mower. At some point, little kids want to learn more about how things in the real world work. That’s why certain toys for kids resemble their full-sized counterparts. Give them this fun and whimsical toy mower that sounds just like the real thing, without the risk of injury you find with a real mower.
Just be sure to read instructions well when filling the tank with bubble solution so that it doesn’t clog, so your young one is sure to have loads of bubble-blowing fun. If it’s raining, they can still ‘mow’ the carpet, so they won’t get bored.
4. Waboba Pro Ball. Plastic beach balls are too light or too big, while regular balls don’t have much bounce in the water. This water-bouncing ball solves that problem, allowing your kids to play bounce-and-catch even in knee-high or waist-high water.
Whether you’re at the beach or in your backyard pool, this innovative ball is great for all ages. Younger kids may want to use both hands, and you’ll want to be careful where you aim it so it doesn’t hit anyone. Otherwise, it’s perfectly safe and will provide lots of fun.
5. Little Tikes Totsports T-Ball Set. An early intro to the world of sports will help energetic kids release extra energy, to help them settle down. The adjustable stand ensures that your toddler won’t have too much trouble hitting the ball with the oversized bat. If any toy can help hone hand-eye coordination, this can.
6. Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow. Help your little girl unleash her inner Katniss with this bow-and-dart set. Bright blue and white with an eye-catching eye design, it enables her to be both tough and sweet. Hone her dexterity and accuracy, without hurting anything or anyone, since the arrows are foam-tipped.
7. Jenga Classic Game. Not many games can outdo the classics, and Jenga definitely counts as the latter. Build the tower according to instructions, then take it in turns to pull out a block, trying not to knock the tower over? It helps build a sense of friendly competition that doesn’t get old.
Kids are nothing if not inventive and imaginative, so don’t be surprised if you find your little one trying to make a castle out of Jenga blocks. It may be among the relatively cheap toys, but it definitely gets a lot of mileage, so it’s worth it.