The Hippest Toys on the Block
Toys even parents will get excited about.
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Trinkets Kids Love
From toys inspired by historical art pieces to beginner instruments, these playthings, games and sets will engage your little one like never before!
Spin & Slide, DJ Panda
DJ Panda is on the scene and ready to bring your 6-months-plus babe up to date on the latest beats. From EDM and hip-hop to pop, there’s nothing DJ Panda can’t spin. Set DJ Panda to either music or percussion, then let the music-making begin. Your baby will be delighted by pressing the drums, making them go rat-tat-tat and lighting up. The turntables around the drums can also spin, which allows baby to “scratch” the records. There’s even a crossfader! We’ve never seen a cooler baby’s toy. The headphones on DJ Panda’s head have busy beads for fine motor skill development.
BUY IT: Infantino, $15
Each Rockabye Baby! album features tinny instrumental music box versions of songs you know from your party days, like “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys and “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg. Just imagine rocking your infant to the music that brings you back to your young, freewheeling, spit-up-free years.
BUY IT: Rockabye Baby!, $12
Andy Warhol Suite of Toys
Galison, founded in 1979 to make artist imagery widely available by working with museums, created The Andy Warhol Collection. This superb collection of paper products features a lot of cool items for kids, including a coloring book, temporary tattoos, wooden blocks and a bevy of items featuring Campbell’s soup (a jigsaw puzzle, a memory game and crayons). Now the little artists in your home will recognize Warhol’s work when you hit the museum.
BUY IT: Galison, $4-25
Faber-Castell Studio Pottery Wheel Kit for Kids
Haven’t you heard? Ceramics are the thing to do in young urban enclaves, so why not bring that talent home to your house? Faber-Castell knows art, and this kit provides everything you need: a pottery wheel, three pounds of clay, a six-piece tool set, a craft apron, a table cover, 12 pots of paint, a sponge, two paint brushes, glaze, illustrated instructions and ideas. The pottery wheel is even foot pedal operated. Your kiddies will learn different pottery techniques and the history behind pottery through an easy-to-understand illustrated instruction booklet.
BUY IT: Amazon, $59
Ebi Silicone Teether and Holder Set
If you dream of your future gourmand someday whipping up souffles worthy of Master Chef Junior, get him started on this hip teether. Made of 100 percent food grade silicone, it’s the perfect size for small chompers. There are nubby textures on both sides to soothe sore gums, and you can chill the whole shebang for additional relief. The attached holder is lined with food-grade silicone beads and a rust-resistant stainless-steel clip. Your little one will be saying “omakase” before you know it.
BUY IT: Amazon, $26
If you’ve got a blossoming architect or urban designer on your hands, don’t limit her to blocks or even Montessori toys like Grimms. Give her the gift of an endless number of cities she could build, using the 160+ soft pieces in this kit that feature a mix of iconic architectural shapes from around the world. Suggested for ages 5 and up, the kit includes a cut-out graphics sheet and free online access to the “Archi-Texture” Sticker Library. It’s also compatible with Arckit 3D components you can buy separately, as well as with any other Arckit products. Think of them as the Legos of architecture, but even more versatile. Kids can build to scale and spark ingenuity while learning STEAM skills. If your child needs more inspiration, check out Galison’s Frank Lloyd Wright collection or help him or her build a house with the Arckit GO Plus collection.
BUY IT: Amazon, $60
Skip Hop Farmstand Rock-a-Mole Guitar
Start familiarizing your 6-month-old with a guitar’s structure and functions with this adorable avocado guitar, which lets your baby start strumming. The buttons on the frets can be pressed for six songs and guitar riffs, and the colorful lights keep your little one interested. The avocado’s center pit will play four guitar riffs as well, and you’ll be teaching fine motor skills with each move.
BUY IT: Hip Hop, $12
Shine Bright: At the Studio
Petit Collage makes the cutest magnetic dress-up kits for ages three and up. The kits look like paper doll dress-ups, except the 25+ clothing and accessory pieces are magnetic, and the case is magnetic, so it’s even easier to dress up the doll. “At the Studio” features a painter who can be dressed in various outfits with paintbrushes and palettes. On the right side of the kit is an easel, onto which you can place your choice of two paintings–one featuring abstract expressionism and the other a floral scene.
BUY IT: Petit Collage, $12
You may have a little Ringo Starr in your household who can't stop banging on pots and pans; take him or her to the next level with this wooden, kid-sized version of the drums, which includes: two different sizes of drums, a cymbal, a guiro and drumsticks. Your tot can pull up a chair or stand while playing. Parents will love that the set isn't treated with heavy chemicals and the glue is formaldehyde-free. What's more, PlanToys is environmentally responsible and uses leftover wood packed together at a high density to make their toys.
BUY IT: Amazon, $55
Edward Gorey Children’s Collection
Even before Lemony Snicket, Edward Gorey ruled the world of the bizarre, tongue-in-cheek and wonderfully droll, and this kids’ collection proves it. The Cats memory game features 72 cards of silly, eye-arching cats and a 185-sticker book with 50 of Gorey’s characters, including: The Black Doll, Category, Dancing Cats, the Doubtful Guest and more. If your little one delights in Count Olaf, he’ll love this collection just as much.
BUY IT: The Gorey Store, $8-$29