If there’s an age where children truly appreciate and love toys more than ever, it has to be during these toddlers to preschool years. Because let’s face it, play is at the very heart of these pint-sized people! They love toys and we love to spoil them, so here are our picks for top toddler toys – and preschoolers too!
Mum Central’s top toy buying tips
Toys bring SO much joy to toddlers and pre-schoolers that it’s easy to indulge them. Before you know it you’ve got a toy box heaving with toys and a child who doesn’t know what to play with first. Want to be a little more strategic with your toy buying? Here are some top tips to remember when buying toddler toys and preschool toys!
- Look for toys that GROW with your child. Buying a toy that your child will outgrow in only a few months is money down the drain and taking up valuable toy box real estate. Look for toys you know your child will enjoy for quite a while, you can buy expansion packs to lengthen their play lifespan or have a broad recommended age range on the packaging.
- Invest in the good toys. That old saying of ‘you get what you pay for’ rings true with toys, so purchase brands you know and trust. Toddlers and preschoolers play HARD so you want toys that are safe, durable and can handle heavy play so you get the most out of your money spent. Plus, quality brands will bring great resale value to pass it on.
- Consider safety. Let’s be honest, toddlers and preschoolers though super cute, they’re also kind of reckless when excited. Consider their safety, and the safety of others when choosing toys. Arming them with a toy that shoots projectiles, motorised wheels that can get caught in hair or give any hint of possible mischievous toddler trouble should be left for when they’re a little older.
- Children LOVE to LEARN so don’t be quick to dismiss educational toys. Developing and learning problem-solving skills through games of memory, dominoes, snap or puzzles is amazing to watch as a parent and is fantastic for school readiness too.
- Let them get messy. It’s important to let children explore all areas of play, including getting messy. Turn a blind eye to the chaos it sometimes creates and breathe in their joy as they play with toys like Play-Doh, Kinetic Sand, paint, slime, water tables and so on. SO MUCH FUN!
Rotate, rotate, rotate!
Finally, a great way to keep your toddler toys and preschool toys in check and played with them for longer is to rotate your toys. Instead of having EVERY toy available ALL of the time and kids becoming bored or overwhelmed by choice, bring different toys out and put some different toys away every week. Even if it’s just two large tubs you rotate week to week – it keeps children interested and there’s the added bonus of not having to clean up your entire toy collection every day. #WINNING
Ready to update your toy box? Check out these toddler toys and preschool toys below!
10 Best Toddler Toys and Preschool Toys for 2022
Numberblocks Mathlink® Cubes 1-10 Activity Set
Where to buy: The Therapy Store
Good for: Numberblocks TV series fans and children who love numbers!
If your little one loves the global hit TV series Numberblocks, you can bet they’ll be thrilled with the Numberblocks Mathlink® Cubes 1-10 Activity Set! Friendly Numberblocks characters bring maths learning to life and make learning essential number skills SO much fun.
This awesome Numberblocks MathLink® Cubes 1-10 Activity Set is jam-packed with maths fun to discover! Included in the set are faceplates, stickers, character cards and more – plus children will be blown away by the 100 special-edition Numberblocks MathLink® Cubes to build their own characters and 30 TV-series-linked Numberblocks maths activities to explore!
So much more than just a toy, this activity kit can show your kids how numbers really work and allow them to build their own Numberblocks from one to ten. They’ll master essential early learning skills through hands-on discovery and play in no time. Maths has never been so much fun!
Plum® My First Wooden Playcentre
Where to buy: Plum
Good for: Adventurous kids who love to climb and play outdoors
My First Wooden Playcentre is a brilliant outdoor toy for pint-sized adventurers, and climbers, encouraging active play! The perfect playcentre for developing their gross and fine motor skills, toddlers and preschoolers will LOVE clambering in, out, up and over this action-packed set-up in the backyard.
Adventure awaits with this playcentre that’s packed with so many things to do. Children will love scaling the rock wall with climbing rock grips, climbing the ladder onto the lower platform, scaling the climbing net, slip-sliding down the 4ft slide or even playing in the underneath den. It even comes complete with fabric doors and netted windows, creating the perfect hideaway fort for little ones.
The two-height playcentre allows your toddler to explore and push their boundaries as they build confidence in their balance and agility through play. Made from durable, premium FSC® certified timber, there’s nothing but fun to be had with My First Wooden Playcentre!
MC READER OFFER: OFFER: SAVE 20% OFF DISCOUNT FOR: MY FIRST WOODEN PLAYCENTRE CODE: MUMCENTRAL20% EXPIRY: 31ST DECEMBER 2022
Big Feelings Pineapple
Where to buy: The Therapy Store
Good for: Kids learning about their emotions
The Big Feelings Pineapple feels a lot of feelings! A fun and fruity way for young children to learn social-emotional skills (SEL) with 26 different face pieces to make ALL the possible faces associated with different feelings on this pineapple! Happy, sad, tired, confused – you name it, this pineapple can do it!
Perfect for assisting in opening up conversations about feelings, kids can explore the social-learning meanings behind the pineapple’s contented smile or anxious frown and every emotion in between. The Big Feelings Pineapple has two sides so you can double up the faces and compare contrasting faces at once. It’s perfect for pointing out differences in feelings for preschoolers and toddlers and stimulates great conversation during play.
The Big Feelings Pineapple includes a full-colour guide of suggested faces and feelings to make and investigate and when kids are done playing, they can just pop the top off of this good looking pineapple and store the face parts inside. Too easy!
Fisher-Price® 4-in-1 Ultimate Learning Bot
Where to buy: Target
Good for: Kids who love an interactive learning toy with lights, sounds and more!
Get ready for fun lights, music and hands-on activities with the Fisher-Price® 4-in-1 Ultimate Learning Robot! This robot will excite and delight to no end as your little one plays and explores with each bot individually or stacks them up into one big interactive toy box buddy!
Four robots in one, the bot’s head is perfect for spinning, twisting and flipping, while the bot’s belly offers exciting ball-popping, turn-and-click fun for sitting, older babies. When your little one is on the move, the zooming bot’s colourful lights and learning songs encourage kids to chase and play. And finally, with all the bot’s parts stacked together, it’s all you need for a tiny person and a big robot dance party!
Fisher-Price® always wants your little one to be learning – and that’s made easy with Smart Stages® technology. You can load up new songs, sounds, phrases and party games suitable for your child’s age and learning stage to keep the learning fun fresh!
2-in-1 Steel Trybike
Where to buy: Amazon
Good for: Toddlers and pre-schoolers looking for a wheely good time!
If your little one loves wheels, this is the toy for them! The 2-in-1 Steel Trybike teaches children balance and how to ride from 18 months of age. Starting off in low tricycle mode, it’s perfect for building confidence and offering lots of three-wheel support in learning a new skill.
When ready, the Trybike easily converts from trike mode to a two-wheel balance bike for the next riding stage to begin. With a unique footrest and pneumatic tyres for a smooth and sturdy ride, children learn balance from the get-go and as a result, learn to ride and pedal a bike without ever needing training wheels!
Sporting a stunning vintage look and promising to be a wheely good time, the ever-popular 2-in-1 Steel Trybike is available in SEVEN gorgeous colours with contrasting-coloured tyres, seat and handlebars. Kids can even customise their sweet ride with the included stickers! Designed to match the Trybike, helmets are available from Coconut Helmets with magnetic no-pinch closures. Suitable for children aged from 18 months up to 5 years, the 2-in-1 Trybike is available for purchase from small independent toy stores and online at Amazon.
Avalanche Fruit Stand Game
Where to buy: The Therapy Store
Good for: Kids who want to join in on family board game fun
Avalanche Fruit Stand is a fun board game where picking and placing fruit is guaranteed laughter and squeals of delight. Children will discover stacking this fruit stand isn’t quite as easy as what it is at the supermarket.
Stack the fruit in the market stall and spin! Each player needs to pick or place a fruit using the supplied chunky tweezers without having the whole fruit display tumble! In a game that is made especially for small hands, young children are working on their fine motor skills (practising the pincer grip and hand-eye coordination), social and behavioural skills (taking turns, patience and reactions to fruit tumbles) as well as counting and colour recognition – all while having a fruit stand blast!
Avalanche Fruit Stand includes 40 fruit counters, two tweezers, a spinner and an activity guide. A fun and fruity game that can be played with up to four people, it’s the perfect game for including toddlers and preschoolers on family games night!
Carry-Play Kids Table
Where to buy: Kingdom Playroom
Good for: A portable play table that grows with your child!
The Carry-Play Kids Table is the first-ever patent registered portable kids’ activity table in Australia. Its unique design creates an all-in-one table for all the activities toddlers and pre-schoolers can throw at it! No more having to buy multiple tables for water play, sand play, building or craft, Carry-Play can do it ALL with ease. It even has Duplo and Lego compatible tabletops too!
Carry-Play is height adjustable, allowing for a play surface when kneeling or sitting on the floor, standing to play or seated. Quick and easy height adjustments require no tools, the legs are interchangeable and fully removable in just seconds.
A range of add-on accessories extends the Carry-Play, turning it into a dollhouse, light table or even a dry-erase table for even more fun. And if you want to take it with you on holiday, Carry-Play folds down to a compact suitcase to save on space. Plus, enjoy FREE SHIPPING when you purchase from their online store!
MC READER OFFER: OFFER: SAVE 10% OFF DISCOUNT FOR: CARRY-PLAY TABLE & ACCESSORIES CODE: MUMCENTRAL10 EXPIRY: NONE
Octonauts Octopod Playset
Where to buy: Big W and Target
Good for: Octonauts fanatics!
Sound the Octo-Alert! Fans of the popular Netflix series Octonauts: Above & Beyond, can now act out their favourite storylines with this awesome Octonauts Octopod Playset!
This iconic Octocrew headquarters is the perfect place for the Octocrew to plan their next adventure or take a well-earned rest after a difficult deep-sea rescue! Kids will love launching the Net to rescue creatures in trouble or the Rescue Claw to bring them into HQ for a check-up! Slide into the Octonauts action down the Octopod Slide with the Captain Barnacles action figure dressed in his exclusive Deep Sea Diving Suit and removable Deep Sea helmet. So cool! Included in the set are also Vampire Squid, Starfish and Slime Eel figurines plus a special Mission Card.
The Octonauts Octopod Playset is compatible with other Octonauts playsets, figures and vehicles all launching in July! – The Octopod Playset is sure to be the centrepiece for any little fan’s Octonauts collection. All that’s left to do is have a fun time playing and Explore! Rescue! Protect! with the Octonauts!
Musical Whale Fountain
Where to buy: The Nile
Good for: Children who love some splashy bath time fun!
Little ones will have a whale of a time at bath time with this gorgeous Musical Whale Fountain for some splishy, splashy tub time fun!
Bath time really can be magical with the right bath toys at your tot’s fingertips. The Musical Whale Fountain has two play modes to enjoy. Choose from watching the whale blowhole fountains dance to five different melodies or play each coloured whale like the keys of a piano, watching each whale’s fountain disappear and watch another whale’s fountain spurt higher!
The Musical Whale Fountain easily attaches to the bathtub surface with the attached suction cup so it stays in place and can easily be removed when bath time is over. Perfect for encouraging musical development (and providing the perfect hair washing distraction!), you’ll just need 4 x AA batteries (not included) to get you started!
Yay4Play Ultimate Activity Kit
Where to buy: Yay4Play
Good for: A one-stop activity kit to entertain more than one!
We LOVE educational activity kits and so do toddlers and pre-schoolers! The Yay4Play Ultimate Activity Kit contains a 70 Brick Kit designed to be shared with siblings or friends. Jam-packed with instruction cards for more than 40 fun activities that scale in difficulty, engaging your little one’s minds at any level – and then giving them the opportunity to try something a little harder to develop new skills with confidence. It’s a kit full of (sneaky educational) fun!
This sturdy kit contains everything you need to keep not only children aged 3-6 years entertained but the whole family too. The brick set includes animals, people, wheels, larger bricks and shapes for children to discover and play with. There are even emotion bricks which are brilliant for teaching children about their feelings. You’ll also find pegs, dice, ribbons, pipe cleaners and fidget toys and more to spark imagination and stimulating, innovative play.
Everything you need is at your fingertips in the Yay4Play Ultimate Activity Kit – you just need to open the box and get busy playing!
MC READER OFFER: OFFER: 10% OFF DISCOUNT FOR: YAY4PLAY KITS CODE: mumcentral10 EXPIRY: 28th JUNE 2022
We hope you have found the perfect toddler toys and preschool toys for your little people. Be sure to take advantage of the discount codes above and get a jump on any birthday or Christmas shopping and SAVE! We’ve got plenty of other guides for those shopping for baby and more. Check out: