Best Baby Toys of 2008

Toys may be being recalled left and right, but that doesn’t stop a few good manufacturers from churning out cool new toys every year. In fact, some of the best baby toys in recent years were produced in 2007. Here are some of our top picks.

The recent spate of toy recalls may have made you reluctant to buy anything for the next few months. But while there are some bad ones in the lot, there are also a number of toys that really deliver. Besides, toys remain the best gift choices for babies and toddlers—they’re fun, colorful, and sure to be appreciated even by the crankiest of kids.

The best place to look is from last year’s collection. They’re definitely cheaper than the ones that came out this year, but what makes them great is that they’ve been well tested—and if they made it past 2007 without being recalled, then they’re definitely a good choice. To help you get started, here’s a list of some of the best baby toys from last year.

Grip and Grasp Stroller Toy

The Grip and Grasp is a stroller accessory consisting of three colorful toys: a bell woodpecker, a bouncing grasshopper, and a rattle that doubles as a bottle holder. According to manufacturer Tiny Love, the product is designed to promote sensory, cognitive, and motor abilities. The toys are activated by your baby’s movements, using repetitive action to both teach and entertain. It fits easily over your stroller tray or bar, so no need to get a fit-to-size stroller. The Grip and Grasp goes for around $20.

Laugh and Learn Learning Puppy

What better way to learn your ABCs than with a colorful talking puppy? This handy little toy from Fisher-Price teaches everything from basic alphabet to different parts of the body. Designed for babies aged 6 to 36 months, the Learning Puppy comes with a dog bone-patterned collar that lights up with the 10 different songs pre-loaded on the product. At only $20, the Laugh and Learn Learning Puppy offers a complete learning program in a cool, colorful package.

Learn and Groove Animal Sounds Guitar

Manufacturer LeapFrog adds a new spin on the classic musical toy with the Learn and Groove Animal Sounds Guitar. Light and colorful, the toy teaches animal sounds, number counting, pattern recognition, and other basic skills. There’s also a “freeplay” mode where kids can simply rock out to nursery rhymes such as “Old MacDonald.” The guitar can be set on the floor for smaller kids, but also comes with a strap so older kids can wear it over their shoulder. Price ranges from $15 to $20.

Sorbet Melodie Doll

This is a soft cloth doll made by French manufacturer Corolle, known for its dedication to product excellence and world-class quality. Part of the company’s Babicorolle line, it comes fully dressed with an attractive floral dress, a fitted underdress, leggings, shoes, and hair bows. All the parts are sewn on, so there are no buttons, beads, or other choking hazards. It’s not quite a bargain at $30, but it’s definitely one of the best quality dolls around.

Grabby Elephant

If the Corolle doll is a bit beyond your budget, this fun plush toy from Taggies makes a great alternative. The Grabby Elephant has a soft, “grabby” feel and a cuddly texture that kids are sure to love. It also comes with a Wiggly Mouse tucked under its belly—pull it out and it wiggles right back in! Measuring 8” x 8” x 10” and weighing a mere 3 pounds, it’s the perfect carry-around toy for toddlers. And at $15-$18, it’s also easy on the pocket.

Put N’ Giggle Octopus

This unique and colorful toy from Shelcore is the perfect pick-me-up for cranky babies. The octopus makes a fun giggling sound when you drop one of the three plush balls through the top, and his colorful plush tentacles wiggle as if he’s walking. It also plays music, sound effects, and voice recordings. The Put N’ Giggle Octopus requires three AA batteries and costs $20.

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