33 best toys for preschoolers

Foster your child's imagination and motor skills with these fun toys that mix old-school classics with all-new gadgets.

Photo: Carmen Cheung

One of the most fun ages to buy for, these preschool toys will spark their imagination while developing fine motor skills. Look out for new and exciting things from your favourite brands including Mr. Potato Head, FurReal and Barbie. Time to get shopping!

1. Lego Duplo Frozen Ice Castle

Lego Frozen castle preschool toy with Elsa, Anna and Olaf
Image courtesy of Lego

Elsa, Anna and Olaf are living it up in this winter wonderland complete with a snow slide, teapot and snack table. Look out over Arendelle from the castle balcony, or marvel at the changing colours of the illuminated block, which can be placed anywhere your little builder wants to add a bit of magic. Lego, $60, lego.com

2. Cobblestone Farm

Toy farm with a barn and animals
Image courtesy of Bigjigs

Just like a real farm, this large wooden playset includes a stable, a hayloft and a spot for tractor parking. Designed with little hands in mind, the various pieces can be slotted together to create the farm of your dreams. Animals are sold separately. Bigjigs, $160, toysense.ca

3. Playskool Mr. Potato Head Movin’ Lips Electronic Interactive Talking Toy

Mr Potato Head Movin lips preschool toy
Image courtesy of Hasbro

This interactive version of the classic is a riot. Move around his body parts, attach one of his two mouths and then wait. With a repertoire of over 40 phrases and four parody songs, it’s exciting to see what he’s going to say next. Hasbro, $30, toysrus.ca

4. Power Rangers Playskool Heroes: Power Morphin Megazord

Transformers mighty morphin megaword preschool toy
Image courtesy of Hasbro

Battles are no problem for this Mighty Morphin Megazord. The two-in-one giant stands a whopping two feet tall and transforms into a ferocious beast with chomping action and sounds. Hasbro, $80, toysrus.ca

5. Luvabella Newborn

Luvabella baby doll preschool toy with her bottle
Image courtesy of Luvabella

This lifelike doll pulls different faces, and her tummy will rise and fall in a realistic way as she’s rocked to sleep. Put an ear to her chest, and there’s an audible heartbeat. If she’s upset, she’ll cry and she can be comforted with her bottle or soother. SpinMaster, $80, amazon.ca

6. Tin Throwing Game

Tin throwing game with beanbags
Image courtesy of BS Toys

Old-fangled fun it is with this throwback game. The concept is simple: Use beanbags to topple as many stacked cans as you can. The set includes 10 numbered metal tins and three beanbags. BS Toys, $25, benjo.ca

7. DIY Ferocious Pom Creatures

Three ferocious pom creatures preschool toys
Image courtesy of Craft-tastic

There’s nothing scary about these pompom playmates. Three pre-sewn felt critters are your instant BFFs. Simply stuff ’em with filling and decorate with mini poms. And if you thought it couldn’t get any cuter, each one comes with its own adoption certificate and a teeny heart to put inside with the batting. Craft-Tastic, $20 US, annwilliamsgroup.com

8. Coding Critters Rumble & Bumble

Coding critters rumble and bumble
Image courtesy of Learning Resources

Break free from screens and code along with the included storybook to bring the pages to life. Program your pets to play games like hide-and-seek and fetch, or design your own challenges. Learning Resources, $50, mastermindtoys.com

9. Colorforms Silly Faces Game

Colorforms silly faces game
Image courtesy of Kahoots

Based on the hit Netflix series Charlie’s Colorforms City, this game is a race to see who can make the silliest face. Flick the spinner to land on a face and build from there using the 68 pieces. Will you create a wizard with cat ears or a scuba diver with a silly hat? It’s anyone’s guess. Kahoots, $43, amazon.ca

10. Mix and Match-a-Saurus

Mix and match a saurus dinosaur preschool toy
Image courtesy of VTech

This dino is here to help kids identify feelings. Plug tiles into his back to show emotions that include happy and angry, create music such as hip hop and ballet, and take on additional personas, like a monster and a robot. VTech, $45, canadiantire.ca

11. Baby Born Surprise Bathtub Surprise

Baby born bathtub surprise doll and accessories
Image courtesy of MGA Entertainment

This baby has lots of surprises, from “charms” hidden in her diaper to hair and eye colour that are revealed with water. Each unique feature corresponds with an included legend that will tell you exactly who your baby is, including the name, birthday and favourite food. MGA Entertainment, $60, walmart.ca

12. Orangutwang

Orangutwang game
Image courtesy of PlayMonster

Whoa, easy does it! Players race to hang fruit off an orangutang as he dangles precariously from a tightrope. But be careful, because once he gets overloaded, he’ll spring up and send all the fruit into the air. Playmonster, $40, amazon.ca

13. FurReal Cubby, The curious bear interactive plush toy

Cubby the furreal bear
Image courtesy of Hasbro

This unbearably cute bear is loaded with 100-plus sound and motion combinations. He plays soft music when he’s tired and will move his head, ears, eyes, mouth, arms and nose like a real cub. He loves to eat and will be so happy if you feed him. Hasbro, $130, toysrus.ca

14. Aquabeads Beginners Studio

Aquabeads toy with colourful beads
Image courtesy of Epoch Everlasting Play

You spray, they stay. Use the template sheet to create cute designs, such as puppies and penguins. Spritz the beads with water and wait as they magically merge together. The kit includes more than 800 beads (some in jewel tones!), a flipper, a sprayer, a pen, a template and a box to keep it all neat. Epoch Everlasting Play, $27, amazon.ca

15. Knuckle-Headz 2-Pack

Two knuckle heads race cars, one shark and one alligator
Image courtesy of Skullduggery

Zoom, crash, smash, zoinks! When these speedy cars collide bumper to bumper, the animal riders launch from their seats into the air. Pop them back in place and do it all over again. Skullduggery, $15 each, mastermindtoys.com

16. Kinetic Sand Sandisfying Set

Kinetic sand play set
Image courtesy of SpinMaster

You know those strangely mesmerizing videos of calming shapes being sliced or smooth textures being poured? Now your kid is the star and can produce their very own satisfying fun. Pull out your camera and choose your tools. You can dice, slice, squish, scoop or grate your sand to create transfixing works of cinematography. SpinMaster, $27, mastermind toys.com

17. Banana Blast

Banana blast toy with monkey and bananas
Image courtesy of Goliath Games

Roll the dice to find out how many bananas to pull from the treetop. The monkey could blast out of the tree at any moment, and when he does, it’s a scramble to catch him. This game is bunches of fun. (Yep, we went there.) Goliath Games, $20, toysrus.ca

18. Barbie Dreamplane Playset

Pink Barbie dream plane set
Image courtesy of Mattel

Barbie is living her best life on this private plane with reclining seating, ample leg room, personal TV screens and a snack cart fully stocked with munchies, including sushi. Dolls are sold separately, but the set includes 15-plus accessories. Mattel, $100, toysrus.ca

19. My Fairy Garden Tree Hollow

Fairy garden toy with seeds and fairy
Image courtesy of PlayMonster

Kids can exercise their green thumbs by planting quick-germinating seeds in this whimsical tree home for Willow the fairy. All the necessary gardening tools, like a shovel, trowel and watering can, are included to tend to this dream garden. PlayMonster, $30, toysrus.ca

20. Lego Duplo Mickey’s Vacation House

Mickey Mouse Vacation house
Image courtesy of Lego

If there’s one thing Mickey Mouse likes to do, it’s chill out at his vacation house. Reversible bricks transform these swanky digs into an all-season chalet. Minnie, Goofy and Pluto have also flown in for a little R&R. Lego, $60, lego.com

21. Smashers Series 3 Dino Smash-o-saur Playsets

Smashers dinosaur and orange egg
Image courtesy of Smashers

Smash Rex has big jaws and is ready to crush some eggs. Lift up his tail and he’ll bite down, or press the shell on his back and he’ll poop out more Dino Smashers. What’s inside each one is for your little palaeontologist to discover. Smashers, $45, amazon.ca

22. Demo Duke

Demo Duke blue toy car
Image courtesy of SpinMaster

Rev up this monster truck by pressing the red lever and watch him smash into whatever he encounters. When you want him to uncrumple, press the button on his hood and he magically re-builds himself. The truck’s interactive spike tells alternating fart and burp jokes. SpinMaster, $70, toysrus.ca

23. Toy Story Imaginext Buzz Lightyear Robot

Buzz Lightyear Toy Story Robot
Image courtesy of Mattel

Ready to go to infinity and beyond? Put Buzz inside the cockpit and make him blast off in a separate spaceship. The robot’s right arm is a projectile launcher, while the left is a claw. Mattel, $65, Walmart.ca

24. Play-Doh Wheels Firetruck

Play Doh fire truck with ladder and hose
Image courtesy of Hasbro

If there’s a fire to put out, Play-Doh is on it. Swirls of blue dough fill one tub to mimic water that can shoot out of the hose. Orange and yellow dough can be moulded into flames or made into badges using a mould on the back of the truck. There’s even a ladder for rescuing kitties. Hasbro, $30, Walmart.ca

25. Baby Alive Happy Hungry Baby Doll

Baby alive happy hungry doll with food
Image courtesy of Hasbro

Included in this doll set is everything you need to appease baby’s insatiable hunger. Combine her food packets with water, put on her bib and plop her down in front of her feeding tray. Bring the spoon to her mouth, and she’ll open wide. With over 50 sounds and responses, Baby Alive will tell you exactly what she needs, including an “uh-oh” when it’s time to change her diaper. Hasbro, $70, Walmart.ca

26. Plumber Pants Game

Plumber pants game
Image courtesy of Hasbro Gaming

Two or more players take turns raiding the poor plumber’s tool box and stashing tools on his belt. His pants slip more and more as they get weighed down. Once his drawers fall to his feet, water sprays out of the sink! Hasbro Gaming, $25, Walmart.ca

27. Super Spirals Quadrilla Set

Hape super spirals quadrille play set
Image courtesy of Hape

We bet you’ve never seen a marble run quite like this before. Encouraging STEM development, this deluxe set has a corkscrew-like double-sided spiral, a xylophone ramp that will perform a little tune as the marble races over it, and four blocks that reorient the marble in a different direction. Zoom, zoom! Hape, $170, scholarschoice.ca

28. Jobs Roundabout Puzzle

Hape jobs roundabout puzzle
Image courtesy of Hape

This double-sided puzzle aims to teach kids about people’s unique contributions, highlighting careers such as teacher, postal worker, doctor, chef, builder and firefighter. One side shows individuals and the other displays a cityscape of where they all go to punch the clock. Hape, $14, allstarlearning.ca

29. Boppi, the booty shakin’ Llama

Boppi the booty shakin llama
Image courtesy of Zuru

Boppi the Llama is down to clown. Invite her into your home, and she’ll have everyone giggling and shakin’ their booties. Programmed with three dance songs, Boppi has the moves with all of her booty-moving and head-spinning motions. Twerk it! Zuru, $30, toysrus.ca

30. El10T: My first coding robot

El10t coding robot toy
Image courtesy of Elenco

EL10T (Eliot, get it?) is a perfect learning companion for burgeoning brains. The coding blocks—which plug into a control panel—power EL10T’s movements and teach programming, problem-solving, critical thinking and logic. Elenco, $132, overstock.ca

31. Calico Critters Village Pizzeria

Calico critters village pizzeria
Image courtesy of Epoch Everlasting

Using an authentic-looking pizza oven, the Village Pizzeria is serving up pies whole and by the slice. With Calico Critters’ usual attention to detail, this set comes with teeny kitchen tools, including a cheese grater rolling pin and pizza cutter. Epoch Everlasting Play, $52, amazon.ca

32. Explore and write activity desk

Explore and write activity desk
Image courtesy of VTech

Learning is extra fun when you’ve got a stylus to trace things and five interactive pages that cover colours, shapes, letters and numbers with a corresponding LED screen. As your kid gets older, the desk is easily transformed into an easel and chalkboard with storage. VTech, $80, toysrus.ca

33. Oops Scoops

oops scoops ice cream toy
Image courtesy of Yulu

Elbows Up–it’s time to scoop. In this fun stacking game, kids create towers of ice cream mounds. It’s not all chill, though. Keep a steady hand because these cones have been known to shake and shiver, knocking your soaring scoops to the ground. Yulu, $25, target.com

Read more:
17 best toys for big kids
25 best toys for babies and toddlers

25 best toys for little kids

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