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The best toddler toys to keep your little one entertained for hours

From blocks and books to scooters and trucks, these top toys will keep your toddler entertained for hours on end and come tried and tested by the Mumsnet community.

By Madeline Littlejohns | Last updated Jan 10, 2024

The best toddler toys

Playtime is about so much more than just having fun when you’re a toddler, it’s also when you learn amazing new skills and find out about the world around you. The best toddler toys will help your little one develop fine and gross motor skills, teach them about cause and effect, and help them start to learn colours, numbers, letters, and shapes.

So what are the best toys for 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds or younger? The answer will vary depending on your child's unique interests. Perhaps they already have a best doll that goes everywhere with them, or they're obsessed with their train set, and you're looking to broaden their playtime horizons. There are so many options available for toys for toddlers, from classic building blocks to interactive electronic games, and they all have something different to offer.

It can feel quite overwhelming trying to decide which toys are best to buy for your child to keep them happy and engaged. We’ve done the hard work for you though, so you can sit back and relax with our list of the best toys for toddlers in the UK.

After listening to the advice of parents in the Mumsnet forums we’ve found everything from calming books and chunky crayons to scooters and bath toys to keep little ones busy playing and learning all day long.

Here are the best toddler toys to buy in 2024.

1. Best overall toddler toy: Fisher Price Smart Stages Puppy

Fisher-Price Smart Stages Puppy

Price on writing: £18 | Buy now from Boots

Key specs

Age suitability: 6 months to 2 years  | Size: 15 x 28 x 33cm  | Batteries: 3 C batteries (Included)

What we love

  • Interactive and educational

  • 3 levels of learning

  • Soft and cuddly

  • Bright and colourful

What to know

  • Songs and sounds can get repetitive after a while

Our verdict

This cute Smart Stages Puppy will quickly become your toddler’s best friend thanks to its soft, cuddly fur, bright colours, and friendly interactive features. Pressing the puppy’s hands, foot, ear, and light-up heart will activate a huge range of songs, sounds, and phrases. In fact, this smart friend will help teach your toddler over 100 first words including colours, numbers, and letters.

The smart stages technology means that the content changes as your toddler grows and develops, from simple words at level one to engaging songs and phrases at level three. So this is a toy that your toddler can enjoy all the way from six months to at least two years, making it great value for money and a firm favourite with so many families.

Looking for something more cuddly? Check out our round-up of the best teddy bears and soft toys.

2. Best budget toy for toddlers: Tomy Hide and Squeak Eggs

Hide and squeak eggs

Price on writing: £14 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 6 months +  | Size: ‎20.96 x 8.26 x 14.61 cm  | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Simple toy with lots of ways to play

  • Great size for small hands

  • Easy to take out with you

What to know

  • Sounds are very quiet

What Mumsnet users say

“Hide and squeak eggs were a massive hit for mine at that age. They were too young to sort yet but the lids and the squeaking were the fun bits.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user SpinMeRightRoundBabyRightRound)

Our verdict

These Hide and Squeak Eggs have been a hit with toddlers and their parents for nearly 30 years and they can be found in toy boxes all across the UK. Don’t be fooled by the simple design, these little eggs are full of surprises and will keep toddlers entertained for ages. Lift the top of the shells off to reveal bright faces that little ones will love and that can also help older babies start to learn their colours. The bottoms of the eggs also all match up with certain spots in the carton for lots of shape-sorting fun.

Mumsnet users love how these eggs can be enjoyed by toddlers of different ages and we love the fact that you can easily pop the carton in your bag to keep little hands busy while you’re out and about.

Related: The best trikes for babies and toddlers, as recommended by Mumsnetters

3. Best playset for toddlers: Playmobil 123 Playground

Playmobile 123 Playground playset

Price on writing: £22 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 18 months to 4 years  | Box size: 28.4 x 24.8 x 9.5 cm   | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Encourages creative play

  • Promotes social skills

  • Great size for little hands

What to know

  • Not a lot of pieces included

What Mumsnet users say

“Playmobil 1-2-3 is also great for this age. Safe for 1-3 year olds” (Recommended by Mumsnet user PorridgewithQuark)

Our verdict

Playmobil has been a firm favourite with families for years and with their 123 range the fun can start with toddlers as young as 18 months. We love this particular playground set which lets young children recreate the fun of the park at home. With a slide, a swing, and a dinosaur rocker for the children to play on and a bench for mum to sit on and watch this set might be small but has everything little ones need to enjoy role playing and creative play.

Mumsnet users love how safe these toys are for toddlers as well as how versatile Playmobil is for imaginative play. We love how much fun this set is while also helping children develop their fine motor skills and their dexterity as well as their creativity and social skills.

4. Best toy truck for toddlers: WOW Toys Farm Truck

WOW toys farm truck

Price on writing: £27 | Buy now from WOW Toys

Key specs

Age suitability: 1 to 5 years  | Size: 22.86 x 9.65 x 13.97 cm  | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Sturdy truck and chunky animal figures

  • Simple push and go motor

  • Realistic engine sounds

What to know

  • Only four animal figures

What Mumsnet users say

“Mine really liked (and still like now at age 2 and 5!) WOW toys. They are really robust, the little people are made in one piece so they’re not a choking hazard and the vehicles have push and go motors (no batteries). They’re really fab. My littlest spends ages putting the animals in the farm truck and pushing them along” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Bigoldmachine)

Our verdict

Bring the fun of the farm to your living room with this great set from WOW toys. It comes with a farm truck, a farmer, and four farmyard animals for lots of make-believe fun. The push and go motorised truck makes realistic engine noises and has a space in the cab for the farmer to sit. In the back of the truck are spaces for the animals and slotting them into place helps toddlers work on their motor skills and control.

With a cow, sheep, pig, and donkey this set will help your child learn about animals and offers lots of scope for imaginative play. Parents in the Mumsnet forums are impressed with how sturdy and robust the toys are and how much play value their families have had from them over the years.

5. Best toddler toy for on a plane: Tegu Magnetic Blocks

Tegu magnetic blocks

Price on writing: £39 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 12 months and up   | Box size: ‎36.2 x 26.04 x 5.23 cm  | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Lovely quality

  • Offers open-ended play

What to know

  • Quite expensive

What Mumsnet users say

“Tegu magnetic blocks - I love these as they are easy to fish out if dropped under seats because they are magnetic!” (Loved by Mumsnet user AnnaBegins)

Our verdict

If you’re travelling abroad with a toddler any time soon then you’ll be looking for toys to keep them quiet and happy during the flight, and these magnetic building blocks come highly recommended to do just that. They look and feel great, and offer excellent open-ended play with toddlers able to build whatever they like.

While they are quite expensive, these Tegu blocks are heirloom-quality and will be enjoyed for generations to come. They’re eco-friendly and safe, with no small pieces and can be happily played with by toddlers and older children.

6. Best toy for active toddlers: VTech 3 in 1 Sports Centre

Vtech 3 in 1 Sports Centre

Price on writing: £40 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 12 - 36 months  | Size:  66 x 58 x 44 cm | Batteries: 3 AA

What we love

  • Encourages movement and gross motor skills

  • Bright and engaging

  • Lots of ways to play

What to know

  • Could be taller

What Mumsnet users say

“My 13 month old has a vtech sports centre which he loves and probably plays with the most” (Recommended by Mumsnet user orosu)

Our verdict

Get ready for action with this bright and colourful 3-in-1 sports centre, perfect for busy toddlers to burn off energy and work on their gross motor skills. They can shoot baskets, score goals, and try to hit the target with the three different size balls that are included, and they’ll be rewarded with encouraging phrases and the number of baskets they score showing on the light up scoreboard.

We love that this sports centre also offers sensory fun with 4 songs and 18 melodies to enjoy, as well as buttons to press and gears to turn to help develop fine motor skills. It also helps toddlers learn about shapes, colours, and numbers as well as social skills like good sportsmanship. This might not be the most ‘aesthetic’ toy out there but it’s bound to be a huge hit with any active toddler.

7. Best toddler train set: Brio My First Railway

Brio My First Railway Pack

Price on writing: £36 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 18 months to 4 years  | Size of track layout: 65.3 x 99.4cm  | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Classic design

  • Colourful trains

  • Compatible with other Brio tracks

What to know

  • A bit pricey

What Mumsnet users say

“Brio train set. It’s Very much loved years later as well” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Firewall)

Our verdict

You can’t go wrong with a classic, wooden train set and this one from Brio is the perfect starter set for toddlers. Compatible with other Brio sets, it can be added to as your child gets older but is the perfect size for them to start off with. It comes with everything you need to build a simple but engaging track with ramps and a tunnel as well as a train and a rattle carriage to push around.

The set has been specifically designed with toddlers in mind for frustration-free play, with features like the guiding ramp tracks to help them roll the train smoothly onto the track. We also love the bright colours on some of the pieces and the rattle carriage which adds a fun sensory element to play sessions.

8. Best electronic toddler toy: VTech Activity Table

Vtech Little Star Activity Table

Price on writing: £35 | Buy now from Argos

Key specs

Age suitability: 6 - 36 months  | Size:  ‎40.6 x 55 x 13.3 cm | Batteries: 2 AA

What we love

  • Lots of interactive elements

  • Bright, colourful, and engaging

  • Encourages fine motor skills

What to know

  • Not that sturdy for newly standing toddlers

What Mumsnet users say

“I can’t remember whether it was his first birthday or Christmas but mine loved his activity table (the VTech one)” (Loved by Mumsnet user MyCatReallyIsAGit)

Our verdict

Get your toddler up on their feet and having lots of fun with this activity table from VTech. It has six fun learning activities for them to explore, including a steering wheel to turn which makes the little bear move, a toy phone to encourage speech and social skills, and chunky music keys and buttons to press.

Suitable for babies aged six months up to three years, this activity table is perfect for little ones who are just learning to stand and cruise to work on building their strength as well as older toddlers who can use it to enjoy learning their colours, shapes, and letters. We love the fact that the activity table can be taken off the legs and put directly on the floor for babies to play with while sitting down too.

9. Best building toy for toddlers: Duplo My First Number Train Toy

Duplo number train

Price on writing: £18 | Buy now from Argos

Key specs

Age suitability: 18 months +  | Size: 10 x 47 cm  | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Bright rainbow colours

  • Boosts fine motor skills

  • Teaches numbers

What to know

  • No number ten block

What Mumsnet users say

“Duplo is the favourite in our house. He can build with it, I can build him towers and he posts things through the windows, he puts people in the vehicles and drives them about, we have a set with numbered blocks that go on a train. It lasts so well too, most of ours is 4+ years old from DD1 was that age” (Vetted by Mumsnet user FlounderingFruitcake)

Our verdict

Get on board with building fun with this bright and colourful My First Number Train Toy from LEGO DUPLO. It’s perfect for helping toddlers work on their fine motor skills and learn the basics of building with DUPLO blocks, and it also helps introduce little ones to numbers and counting. It comes highly recommended by parents in the Mumsnet forums who love how versatile it is and how long their children will play with it for.

We love the rainbow colours of the number blocks which helps toddlers learn to place them in the right order, the only slight issue is that there’s no number ten block in the set. This won’t worry little ones though, they’ll be far too busy building and playing with the blocks on the train and with the sweet people and dog figures.

10. Best educational toy for toddlers: Magnetic Drawing Board

Magnetic drawing board

Price on writing: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 3 years +  | Size: 42 x 32 x 3 cm | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Encourages creativity

  • Good size drawing surface

  • Smooth slider to erase drawings

What to know

  • Small parts not suitable for younger children

What Mumsnet users say

“My DD loved her magnadoodle at around 1 year old she still loves it now 6 months on. It's a great way to let them scribble and be artsy without mess too” (Recommended by Mumsnet user mam0918)

Our verdict

Get your toddler practising mark making and early writing skills without worrying about mess or getting through piles of paper with a magnetic drawing board. This one from SGILE has a drawing surface about the same size as an A4 piece of paper so there’s plenty of space for scribbles and drawings, and the eraser is lovely and smooth to slide across and clear the screen.

Lightweight and portable, this drawing board is perfect for using at home and in the car to keep toddlers entertained and let them practise their fine motor skills. We love the fact that the letters of the alphabet are printed around the edge of the screen so little ones can start to copy them for themselves, and they can also start to learn about shapes with the special stamps that are magnetised to stay in place on the board so they won’t get lost.

11. Best interactive toy for toddlers: Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Chair

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Chair

Price on writing: £35 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 12 months to 3 years  | Size: 18.5 x 40 x 52 cm | Batteries: 3 AA

What we love

  • Colourful, fun design

  • Packed with interactive features

  • Easy to assemble

What to know

  • On the small side for older toddlers

What Mumsnet users say

“Yes yes yes to the laugh and learn chair. We gave one to my eldest for her 1st birthday. She loved it. We wrapped it up for my now 15 month old for her 1st birthday and she just adores it. Always sitting on it and playing with the buttons” (Loved by Mumsnet user Muststopeating)

Our verdict

If you have a toddler who’s always on the go then this bright and colourful little chair might encourage them to actually sit still for a few minutes! The built-in light-up remote control on one arm has buttons to press that help toddlers learn about numbers and shapes, while the other arm has a book with pages to turn.

The seat also lifts up to reveal a secret compartment that toddlers will love to hide their treasures in. Just make sure you check it now and again to make sure your car keys or the TV remote haven’t ended up in there! We love how the Laugh and Learn chair has three levels of play so you can adjust it to suit your child’s age, with simple words and phrases to start with and imaginative play with prompts to follow as they get older.

12. Best bath toy for toddlers: Yookidoo Submarine Spray Station

Yookidoo Submarine Spray Station

Price on writing: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 2 - 6 years | Size:  ‎24 x 6.5 x 33 cm | Batteries: 4 AA

What we love

  • Encourages fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination

  • Makes bathtime extra fun

  • Bright and colourful

What to know

  • Expensive for a bath toy

Our verdict

Keep the fun and learning going all the way into bathtime with this colourful and engaging bath toy. The submarine spray station features a battery-operated submarine which pulls water from the bathtub up and out of the little diver showerhead. Spraying the water into the top of the activity station sets off a chain reaction of events like moving googly eyes, dripping water, spinning wheels that toddlers will love to watch.

We love how this toy teaches about cause and effect, as well as helping develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It’s also great for encouraging nervous little ones to spend more time in the water and explore the sensations of it spraying and dripping on their skin.

13. Best scooter for toddlers: Micro Scooter 3 in 1

Micro Scooter 3 in 1

Price on writing: £110 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Age suitability: 12 months to 5 years | Size: 67 x 21 x 50cm  | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Grows with your child

  • Great design

  • Builds balance, coordination, and fine motor skills

What to know

  • Quite expensive

What Mumsnet users say

“Micro scooters are fab! This 3 in 1 one is good because you can remove all the bits as they grow so it lasts a few years. My kids loved them” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user LulusMiniEgg)

Our verdict

At just over £100 this scooter is on the pricey side but it’s a great investment that will see your toddler through from the age of one all the way up to five. It has an adjustable ride-on seat for little ones to sit on, with a removable, adjustable parent handle for a helping hand when little legs get tired. Then as your child gets older the seat and handle can be removed to turn it into a fab preschool scooter.

The quality on the Micro scooter is incredible, with its grippy, reinforced footplate, soft handle grips, and non-marking PU wheels, and it’s built to last your child through all their toddler years. It’s also really stylish and eco-friendly, with parts made from recycled discarded fishing nets.

Shopping for a scooter? Take a look at our tried-and-tested guide to the best kids' scooters.

14. Best classic toy for toddlers: Building blocks

Top Bright building blocks

Price on writing: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 12 months +  | Size of small cubes: 3 x 3 x 2 cm  | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Mix of natural wood and brightly coloured blocks

  • Endless play potential

  • Fun shape sorter in container lid

What to know

  • Small blocks might not be suitable for young toddlers

What Mumsnet users say

“Wooden blocks and a decent board to rest them on? Might not be the most exciting present but they never went out of fashion in my house” (Recommended by Mumsnet user PinkPlantCase)

Our verdict

Building blocks are a toy box staple thanks to the open-ended play opportunities they offer as well as all the skills they help children develop. This tub has 80 blocks in a few different colours, shapes, and sizes and is perfect for building everything from towers to towns.

We love the mix of natural wood and vibrant colours in this set of blocks, as well as the addition of a few soft rubber blocks for a different sensory experience. The square blocks are printed with the letters of the alphabet and decorated with pictures of animals that correspond with each letter, so the M block has a picture of a mouse, for example. Building with these blocks will help develop fine motor skills and also patience as toddlers try to balance and stack them. And tidying up offers more chances to learn thanks to the shape sorter in the lid of the container.

15. Best toddler toy for little artists: Crayola Easy Grip Crayons

Crayola easy grip crayons

Price on writing: £3 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 12 months +  | Size: 6 x 1.5 cm  | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Chunky size for little hands to grip

  • Good range of colours

  • Non toxic

What to know

  • Need to press quite hard to make a mark with them

Our verdict

Chunky enough for little hands to hold, these crayons are perfect for little artists to start creating their own colourful masterpieces.

Each little pack has eight crayons in a range of classic colours and they’re perfect for drawing and scribbling as well as using with colouring in books. These would also be great to pop in your bag to keep little ones entertained if you go out for coffee or a meal.

16. Best bedtime books for toddlers: Ten Minutes to Bed

Ten minutes to bed little dragon book

Price on writing: £5 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 2 - 4 years  | Size: 32 pages  | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Lovely range of stories

  • Calming for bedtime

  • Encourages early reading

What to know

  • Some dark text on dark images is hard to read

What Mumsnet users say

“The 10 minutes to bed books are firm favourites here” (Loved by Mumsnet user Beees)

Our verdict

Reading together is a great, calming activity for any time of the day but it’s especially good as part of the bedtime routine. Parents in the Mumsnet forums particularly love the books in the ‘Ten minutes to bed’ series, with their children asking for them night after night.

The books are available in paperback for you to read to them or as board books for them to hold themselves and look through. We love the gentle, rhyming stories and the beautiful engaging illustrations and can see our bookshelves filling up with every story in the series.

17. Best toddler jigsaw puzzle: Orchard Toys Big Tractor Puzzle

Price on writing: £9 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 2 - 5 years  | Size: 59 x 42 cm  | Batteries: None

What we love

  • 15 big, chunky pieces

  • Fun, busy image with lots to talk about

  • Good for hand-eye coordination

What to know

  • Might be too simple for older children

Our verdict

With big chunky pieces and a bright and colourful picture, this jigsaw is perfect for toddlers to put together. The puzzle is strong and durable so it can stand up to being completed and taken apart over and over again.

We love the busy picture that you get when the puzzle is completed, with the bright red tractor and all the animals to look at and talk about. Sitting and discussing all the things you can see with your toddler will help develop their observation and communication skills, while the puzzle itself helps with hand-eye coordination and problem solving.

18. Best wooden puzzle for toddlers: Airlab Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle

Airlab Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle

Price on writing: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 12 months +  | Size: 15 x 15 cm  | Batteries: None

What we love

  • Simple colourful puzzles

  • Chunky wooden pieces with no sharp edges

  • Comes with storage bag

What to know

  • Might be too easy for some toddlers

Our verdict

If your toddler isn’t ready for a big floor puzzle yet then these adorable wooden lift-out puzzles are a great alternative. The set comes with bee, butterfly, ladybird, and snail puzzles, all made with organic, renewable beech wood with smooth, rounded edges.

The puzzles come with a little storage bag which is perfect for keeping all the pieces safe and together when you’ve finished playing and also means you can take the puzzles with you if you’re visiting a friend and want to keep your child happy and entertained.

19. Best walker for toddlers: VTech First Steps Baby Walker

Vtech First Steps Baby Walker

Price on writing: £30 | Buy now from Argos

Key specs

Age suitability: 9 months to 3 years  | Size:  46 x 40 x 45 cm | Batteries: 3 AA (Not included)

What we love

  • Bright and colourful

  • Removable activity panel

  • Sturdy and easy to assemble

What to know

  • Can slip on wooden floors

Our verdict

Encourage your toddler to get up on their feet with the help of this vibrant walker from VTech. It’s sturdy design can handle them putting their weight on it when they’re still a little bit wobble and once they’re on the move they’ll love pushing it around the house.

The front of the walker has an activity panel that can be taken off and placed on the floor for an added play experience. With buttons to press, sounds and lights to explore, flaps to open, and a toy phone to take off and play with, your toddler will be kept busy for ages.

What kind of toys are good for toddlers?

The best toys for toddlers are ones that are engaging and fun while still teaching them and helping them develop valuable fine motor, gross motor, social, and cognitive skills.

How do toys help with toddler’s development?

Toys help with toddlers’ development by promoting a whole range of skills through play. As children push prams, ride scooters, and kick balls they’re building their gross motor skills, while their fine motor skills are developed as they build towers with wooden blocks and tackle jigsaw puzzles.

Playing with interactive toys and looking at books together also helps with learning letters and numbers as well as first words, and role playing toys help them learn empathy and social skills.

How can you tell if a toy is safe for your toddler?

When it comes to picking out toys for a toddler safety is a top concern. The things you need to be looking out for include making sure the toy is age-appropriate with no small parts that could be swallowed and no sharp points or edges.

You should also check that the toy has the CE symbol and the UKCA mark which shows that it meets strict regulatory requirements.

What’s the best toy to buy for a toddler?

We think the best toy you can buy for a toddler is the Fisher Price Smart Stages Puppy. With all the charm of a classic soft toy and the addition of engaging, educational elements this is a toy that toddlers will enjoy for a long time. It will help them develop social skills and fine motor skills as well as learn first words, numbers, and letters.

About the author

Madeline is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about family life, psychology, and photography on her blog This Glorious Life.

She is a mum of two who lives in Swansea and loves walking to the beach with her children, eating cinnamon rolls, and having fun with her camera.

How we chose our recommendations

We have thoroughly researched the best toddler toys on the market and picked out our favourites. Our research includes tried and tested experiences from a wide range of reliable, trusted sources. Here is how we carefully picked out the best products.

Recommendations from real parents

The most valuable reviews consistently come from parents who have been there, done that and who know what toys are actually worth spending money on. So before recommending any products, we always investigate what our trusted Mumsnet users think as they deliver the most honest and impartial advice on our Talk boards.

Expert advice

To make sure we choose the best, safest toys for your toddler, we also researched the thoughts and opinions of experts in the field.

Consumer feedback

We also scoured the internet, seeking authentic, genuine reviews from parents who have bought the products themselves, noting any positive and negative feedback. This helps us to ensure every product we recommend has great reviews, and allows us to evaluate the merits and disadvantages of each product thoroughly.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.