In another instalment from our Hot Toy List for Christmas 2008, I round up my favourite buys to wow your tot from the day they’re born! My selections are cool, stimulating to help develop their motor skills amongst other things, and there are even toys to kickstart your bambino’s love of pretend play and get them on the road to learning about the animal kingdom.
Favourite brands were Brio, Lilliputiens by EQD, Haba, Baby Einstein, Pintoy, Janod, and Manhattan Toys. What’s featured here is just the tip of the iceberg of what these brands sell so go forth and shop! In case you missed it, we’ve already rounded up our soft toys for 0-1’s. Please note that toys marked 12 months have generally been saved for the 1-2 hotlists.
Brio Mania – My Very First
Brio features in nearly all of our age categories. Super stylish, tick. Well made, tick. Innovative, tick. Well priced, tick! They have a fab range of new toys aimed at babies and I suspect that ‘baby 2’ could end up being like the child of Brio… Every single item in this range screams ‘BUY ME!’
My Very First Teether and Rattle £9.99 (top)
My Very First Phone with Rabbit £9.99
My Very First Rattle Squirrel £6.99
And these and more can be found at our Bambino Goodies Amazon Store!
Soft Blocks I do love soft blocks which aside from being great toys to stimulate and entertain your tot, can also end up being decorative items in your baby nursery when you’re done with them. My absolute favourite are the Plush Soft Blocks by Small Paul (right) which are £26.50 at Peace & Jam. Also, consider our other favourites: Dwell Studio Soft Blocks – these were my favourites last year – £23 from Lula Sapphire. Wimmer Ferguson Mindshapes by Manhattan Toys – Great for cultivating your little genius – £14.95 at Toys and Interiors. Baby Einstein Discover & Play Blocks – Brilliant on a budget! – £12.95 from NewBabyBaskets
Anything by Lilliputiens Toys by EQD
Suitable: various and some stores will say birth but generally 6-9 months
Pretend play does not have to wait till you have a kitchen or some dolls or a pram. The bambino has owned the Noah’s Ark set since she was born and loved us putting on shows for her, chewing them, and now role-playing with them which at the moment seems to consist a lot of the animals kissing each other…
There are so many different role playsets to choose from and I all I know is that they are a must-have! This is high quality, soft role play at its best!
The Noah’s Ark set (top) comes with the ark, 12 animals, and a Mr and Mrs Noah (we still don’t know her name) and is £33.99 from Funky Moose. (9 months). Or if you want to go into farm territory (above left), their Farmyard is £35.99. (6 months)
They also have The Wigwam & 10 Indians where aside from playing in their wigwam, they can ride their horse and sail their boat. £39.99 (9 months) and you can also recreate The Three Little Pigs which comes with three houses that all fit within each other, with doors and windows that open and close.
Miniland Soft Ball by Haba
Age 6 months
Forget having just a ‘ball’; this toy has a mini world of items for your bambino to grip like a car, houses, river, road, and trees. It’s got a small bell inside and is covered in soft cotton jersey.
Â£12 from Lula Sapphire.
Don’t forget you can get 15% off all toys at Lula Saphire!
Baby Einstein Animal Discovery Cards
Age: 6 months
This is a gift that lasts for ages. Engage them with the colourful photos that depict 29 animals in their natural habitat and as they get older, you’ll be reading them the facts about each animal which are on the reverse of the card.
£7.99 at the Bambino Goodies Amazon Store
Brio Toddler Wobbler
Suitable from 9 months.
We’re huge fans of these new versions of the classic Brio walker. Simple and impeccably stylish with the trademark Brio look, these are a fabulous buy. The bambino uses hers as a pram too. The lime green and white version on the left is actually their newest model and it has a sliding panel to hide toys. £34.95 from Wooden Toy Store.
We own the black version (£33.50) which also comes in red and orange (£29.95) which are both available via our Bambino Goodies Amazon Store. We accessorised ours with their 50 coloured blocks which were £9.99 at the time but are sold out at Amazon and elsewhere they’re £19.99…We’re still hunting and suggestions are welcome!
The Pintoy Baby Walker with Bricks by John Crane which comes with blocks for £24.95. Also suitable from 9 months.
The ABC Buggy by Janod (I fell in love with it at The Baby Show) is actually for 12 months and will pop up again in our 1-2 years list. It is stunning in its multitude of colour, comes with 30 alphabet and number blocks, plus it has an abacus on the front. It retails for around £49.95 but it’s £40 + £4.95 delivery at Wooden Toy Store.
NooBoo Pound-a-Sound by Manhattan Toys
Age: 9 months
This is such a cool toy although we warn you, it’s a noisy one but in a good way! This delightful, colourful toy has five different areas for your bambino to pound with their soft but firm hammer and they’ll hear a sound each time. Great fun but also great for their motor skills, problem-solving, and auditory stimulation. Sounds include the click-clacking of a train and there are also different textures, pop-outs, and taggies.
£14 from Lula Sapphire. Don’t forget you can get 15% off all toys at Lula Saphire!
Brio Ride On
Age: 9 months
Another Brio delight that can introduce your bambino to the stylish world of riding on. Like a number of their toys, it’s a modernisation of one of their classics. It’s got rubber lined wheels to prevent scuffing on their little journeys and the seat is covered in fabric. It encourages their motor skills and balance and co-ordination.
£49.95 from Wooden Toy Store
If you have a bambino aged 1-2, we have published part 1 of our list of goodies for them.