The 2013 Hot Toy List is out. Top toy retailers like Walmart, Kmart, and Toys R Us are sharing their favorite kid-tested picks that are sure to bring squeals of joy and hours of entertainment. This list of favorites covers a large age group, starting around 18 months old. So, if you have a special toddler in mind, we’ve broken down the list for you to include some well-reviewed alternatives.
Hot Toy Lists this time of year are fun for all ages. My kids pore over toy store mailers and catalogs just like I did when I was a kid. When they’re little, they love it all, so why not buy them something that’s well-reviewed and built to last?
An old hot list favorite has a new trick
Playskool Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo will cost you around $50. If your little one loves Elmo, then this interactive cuddle toy will keep them entertained with real hugs and fun imaginative stories.
Want to make it an Elmo-themed Christmas? Viewpoints reviewers also love these budget-friendly Elmo products:
“We definitely love this spout cover! It fully covers the spout and the kids love pointing it out during bath time!” —Gabreally22, a reviewer since 2013
“This DVD has helped her A LOT in (my daughter’s) potty training journey. She asks for the Elmo DVD and it covers almost all the topics of using the bathroom in a friendly way.” —GolyerMommy, a reviewer since 2010
Looking to spark imaginative play? The doctor is “in”
Doc McStuffins Deluxe Get Better Check-Up Center, by Just Play, is getting great reviews all around. It’s a great way for your toddler to role-play with friends, family, and even stuffed animals and dolls. Imaginative and dramatic play is important for cognitive development, but this large-scale checkup center comes with a price tag of around $70 at Walmart (if you can still find it), and as high as $230 on Amazon.com.
Need something similar on a smaller scale? Check out this Viewpoints’ reviewer favorite:
This electronic puppy responds to touch and the provided eight-piece doctor’s kit fits neatly inside the stylish carrying case, which also comfortably holds the animated puppy. Great for any budding veterinarian!
“My two-year old daughter received the Barbie Hug and Heal Pet Doctor Kit this past Christmas. It’s one of her favorite toys. She loves puppies in general, so right there she liked it, but the puppy also makes sounds (bark, whine, pant), which elevated it to favorite. She’ll sit for a decent amount of time and play with it pretending to feed it and give it a shot or take its temperature or carry it around with her.” —GMRsMom, a reviewer since 2008
Superhero Batcave tops the Hot List and Viewpoints reviewers agree
Fisher-Price Imaginext Batcave is a winner. There’s a Batcomputer, secret walkways, a Batwing, an elevator, jail and more. Recommended for ages 3 – 8, this toy will last for years to come.
“As a teacher, I really recommend the imaginext line of toys. We have this one (the Bat Cave) and I was taken aback by the fabulous design that inspires imaginative play, as well at the fine motor coordination skills of the “actions” the cave can do. Nice work!” —stnkyferit, a reviewer since 2010
Looking for that hot cuddle plush toy?
FurReal Friends Cuddles My Giggly Monkey Pet is flying off the shelf at a high price of $50 or more. Can’t find it anywhere?
Viewpoints reviewers love this cuddly and educational alternative:
Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Puppy invites baby to learn about parts of the body, the alphabet, colors and counting through singing, dancing and playing.
“I bought this for my grand-daughter for Christmas and I am so happy with it. The dog is so soft and loveable and it teaches them at the same time.” —busymominlehi, a reviewer since 2013
Happy shopping! Check out Viewpoints.com for more great toy ideas.