Little ones will have a ball playing with Spike’s bright quills. Once they’re done, hide all the pegs in the middle so none mysteriously disappear the next time they want to play.
Lab Lowdown: The pegs are easy for tiny hands to grasp and great for developing fine motor skills. You can also use them as a sneaky way to teach colors and numbers while fostering fun.
Your little one will be zooming around in no time on this fun buggy with thoughtful additions like movable mirrors, a spinning steering wheel and a hidden storage compartment under the seat.
Lab Lowdown The built-in activities are great for helping young kids boost fine and gross motor skills.
Lights and sounds grab young kids’ attention as the police race to catch the getaway car on this track with ramps, road- blocks and hidden trapdoors!
Lab Lowdown: The parts are made from sturdy plastic that easily stands up to less-than-gentle little ones.
Adopt one of these pets (they come as mystery fur balls!) and treat it to much-needed TLC. Wash, brush and dry its matted fur to see if your new friend is a dog, bunny or cat.
Lab Lowdown: Even though kids weren’t able to get them as smooth and pristine-looking as the box showed, they were still popular with little animal lovers. Pro tip: Stick the toys in the dryer for a few minutes to help speed up the grooming.
The only thing better than building a sandcastle at the shore? Building one at home! Make endless creations with this special sand that looks like the real deal but won't dry out.
Budding artists will love drawing on these pets. Create your mini masterpieces, then give the furry friends a bath to “erase” the color and start again.
Lab Lowdown: Patience needed: It took about five minutes of soaking and some scrubbing to remove the marker in Lab tests.
Test your barista skills at this fully stocked mini café. With an espresso machine and tons of cups, food and other treats, kids will stay occupied for hours.
Lab Lowdown: It’s great for boosting imagination, and kids can play with friends or on their own. are sold separately, but you can use any that fit in the one-foot-tall set.
This giant cardboard truck is over three feet tall and big enough for kids to climb right into and save the day. It even comes with its own fire hydrant.
Lab Lowdown: Testers had a blast “steering” the truck and looking out its big windows. It’s nicely priced and easy to assemble for a toy this large.
Put on some shades and get ready to feel the wind in your hair. This off-roader is perfect for bringing your favorite dolls to the beach and giving them a rad surf lesson.
Lab Lowdown: It was easy to connect our smartphone with Bluetooth and play real tunes through the car’s radio. The are sold separately.
Paw Patrol is on a roll! Fans of the show will have tons of fun with this fire truck packed full of all the gear they need to handle almost anything.
Lab Lowdown: Little ones went nuts for its realistic parts, like a two-foot-high movable ladder, flashing lights and a launcher to shoot plastic “water.” Marshall is included, and you can buy separately.
Let kids’ imaginations run wild as they search for crocodiles, baby elephants, orangutans and panthers in this fully stocked research station.
Lab Lowdown: Even though there are lots of little pieces (be careful with younger siblings), we found the instructions to be super clear, making it easy to put everything together.
Treat Barbie to a real estate investment any grown-up would be jealous of. The new home features three floors, a rooftop pool and a garage — there’s even a working elevator and a slide!
Lab Lowdown: Kids kept going back to play with this. Be aware, it’s massive (about four feet tall and over three feet wide!), so you’ll need a good amount of space for it.
Polly Pockets are back! Kids will have a blast playing with Polly and friends on adventures like DJing a party and snowboarding.
Lab Lowdown Kids go nuts for anything tiny, and these compacts are just under five inches tall. We also love that they snap shut to keep small pieces from going missing.
Wrap these fluffy friends around your arm and take them wherever you go. Their eyes light up, and sounds let you know when they’re happy, sleepy or hungry.
Lab Lowdown: Wire in the tail wraps snugly so kids can wear them on a wrist or backpack without worry.
Bring the solar system into your living room! The telescope comes with two dozen images kids can explore and learn about.
Lab Lowdown: Blinders on the side helped block light and other distractions so children in our tests stayed engaged.
Channel Mr. Incredible and his super family as you send this ride flying to stop the bad guys. As it rolls, wait for it to pop up to avoid hidden danger.
Lab Lowdown: The low-tech car jumps randomly, and kid testers loved the element of surprise.
Meet your new BFF, a cuddly puppy who has serious skills to show off. A paw shake, anyone? He also responds to sound and touch with built-in sensors.
Lab Lowdown: Kids couldn’t get over Ricky’s tricks — like flipping the bone into his mouth. They laughed the most when he “pooped” out his treats.
This set comes with five blind packs, each with a surprise buried in the molding clay. Open them all to “rescue” five cats and tons of accessories!
Lab Lowdown: Unlike other blinded toys, kids will play with this more than once, because it comes with stickers and a resealable bag that keeps the dough from drying out.
Your kids’ new partner in crime: a pint-size robot they can drive around, chat with and turn into an undercover agent.
Lab Lowdown: The remote control is straightforward, and kids figured out how to use it in only a few minutes.
Mini beauty gurus can create five fizzy bath surprises with bright colors and tons of glitter — and then have a spa day!
Lab Lowdown: It can get messy, so use a plastic tablecloth or splat mat. You can also reuse the machine to make DIY versions with household ingredients.
This indoor drone is designed with motion sensors, so kids control it with just their hands — no remote needed!
Lab Lowdown: It took a little bit of practice for kids to master the hand signals and complete the dozens of moves and tricks.
The whole family will enjoy building this next-level Lego set, which actually moves along the tracks (be sure to have batteries). Great for hours of rainy-day play.
Lab Lowdown: Lego sets always top Lab tests and impress our pros with their quality. Testers liked playing with the train almost as much as building it.
Transform into Iron Man the minute you put on this mask. It works with augmented-reality tech, so you’ll feel like you’re really on the missions.
Lab Lowdown: A smartphone slides in to bring things to life once you download the app.
Tap your inner Tony Stark to build gear straight from your favorite superhero movies. Follow step-by-step instructions on the app to create 18 different projects and learn about circuits.
Lab Lowdown: Our experts liked how well the steps were explained and that kids get a cool intro to engineering and electronics concepts with accelerometers and sensors.
The first American Girl on Mars! Help Luciana explore the Red Planet and test soil samples, conduct experiments, grow plants and more in this tricked- out station. Next stop, NASA!
Lab Lowdown: Kids loved the toy 3-D printer and the control panel that played and recorded sounds. Our engineers like that it encourages kids in STEM. It comes with everything but the , her , and .
Our engineers and analysts first ensure that each toy meets all safety standards. Then we evaluate assembly process, construction and durability; check for pinch points; and drop-test them to ensure that they won’t shatter into small pieces with sharp edges or pose a choking hazard. Final decisions come from nearly 100 children, ages 1 to 14, who assess the fun factor at home and in our Toy Lab!