Rody Horse $ 44.99
All I can say is that this horse is the epitome of classic, yet modern, unique, yet iconic, colorful, yet tasteful toys. We will have one. If I can just wait one more year (age range is 2 – 4).
Baby Stella, from Manhattan Toy, starting at $29.99
Another toy from my old stomping grounds, and this one I actually had a hand in. Though she’s changed over the years, Baby Stella is still a great first baby doll – with extra clothes and play accessories to round out the care-giving experience.
Ekorre Toddler Wagon/Walker, from Ikea $ 24.99
Another wood toy winner from Ikea, this one plays that all-important role: walker. The handle adjusts positions, and the wheels adjust their speed. I’m thinking maybe the over 60 set would like something this fashionable, but slightly bigger?
Kitty Crayons, from Kitty Baby Love $14 – $18
One of the best examples of toddler-friendly first crayons available. These guys are luscious, and even if you never color with them, they would happily sit on your shelf – “egging” you on to try just one mark.
Catty the Cat Pull Toy, from Djeco $32.99
A little spendy, but you only need one pull toy, and this one is perfect to follow around your toddling tot.
Puzzle Stacker, from P’Kolino $39.99
A great combination of versatile stacker innovation (each ring breaks apart and has kept me occupied stacking them in various patterns!) and classic colors and materials. The thing just reeks of quality the minute you play with it.
Lola Doll, from Sophie and Lili $25
We all know that a little tot and a doll with clothes just ends up a little tot (possibly naked) and a doll who is most definitely naked, and with no clothes. Lola will solve that dilemna for you. And she’ll do it quite fashionably, I might add.
Conga Drum Set, from Edushape, $39.99
I think we already know that little ones like to make noise. Perhaps channeling them in the direction of “music” making might be a more appropriate outlet? Add a great CD such as They Might Be Giants, Here Comes Science and call the gift giving done.
Bigbos the Wolf, from Deglingos, $39.99
A bigger “badder” (in the best sense of the word, think motorcycle gang) baby needs a stuffed friend with a bit more attitude. It appears Bigbos is ready for the challenge.
The big splurge:
Modern Rocking Horse, from HIPo Necessities, $199
This is the big ticket item. But it also doubles as a piece of furniture, a place for extra stuffed friends to rest, or blankets, or pillows, or you, or the less-weighty family pet. I think a rocking horse is a childhood necessity. Isn’t that what grandparents are for?
Ekorre Rocking Moose, from Ikea $39.99
If you’re strapped for cash, there is still hope. And in many ways, a moose is so much more quirky and fun than a plain old streamlined “horse” object (see above).