Best preschool toys of 2022

Mastermind Toys Happy Home Wooden Doll House

$200

Home is where the good design is, and while minimalist, this wooden set doesn’t skimp on the details. Going for a contemporary look, the open-concept layout encourages creativity since the house can be played with from all angles. Climb the stairs to reach two rooms and a balcony, or go up one more set to explore the spacious attic complete with skylight. (Dolls and furniture sold separately.)

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Our Generation Candice & Chic 18" Doll with Pet

$70

Candice and her pup, Chic, embody twinning goals with matching plaid outfits and bows for their soft hair. Whether it’s a quick jaunt to grab coffee or hanging around home, the looks will always be fetching when these two are together. Candice’s soft body and moving limbs make outfit changes (sold separately) a cinch. And Chic comes with an easy-clip leash for treks to the dog park.

Tried & Tested: “Rosie loves the accessories that came with this toy and, of course, the pup!”  – Nicole, mom of two

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Lego Duplo Wild Animals of South America

$70

A sloth slinks across a vine, a crocodile smiles at an alpaca, and two monkeys and a jaguar frolic near the waterslide. These are the animals of the South American jungle and they’re ready for action with your little explorer. The colourful set is aptly sized for small hands and enables builders to create their own tropical environment along the included landscape play mat, which adds an extra layer to imaginative play.

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Creativity For Kids Mermaid Lagoon Sensory Bin

$33

Budding oceanographers can develop and improve fine motor skills in this mermaid’s lagoon, which is contained within the clear walls of this lidded bin. The colourful sensory kit is equipped with squishy water beads, a scoop, foam mermaids, shells, a treasure box with gems, and seahorse friends. It’s gallons of fun, and when the party’s over, it’s easy to clean up and store.

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Lego Classic Creative Ocean Fun

$25

Grab your scuba gear for a deep dive with this ocean-themed kit. The box includes 333 pieces plus six ideas to build a seahorse, turtle, Viking ship, deep-sea drone, yellow submarine and a pretty pink whale. Then get ready to wade through your imagination to create never-before-seen surf or turf friends and vessels.

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Our Generation Oh So Sweet Cart

$100

Sweet friends deserve sweet treats! Our Generation besties (sold separately) can gather for a snack soiree at this sturdy 18-inch-tall cart. The set—with two easy-push wheels—includes beautifully detailed desserts, such as brownies, cupcakes, cake slices, cookies, popcorn, doughnuts, macarons and more. The balloons and tableware will make it an imaginative event to remember. RSVP yes, please.

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Mattel Polly Pocket Gumball Bear Playset

$50

Take home the excitement of a gumball machine with this beary cute set. There are six gumball capsules hiding surprises, like colourful treats, dolls of Polly and her friend Shani, and accessories like a table and chairs. Simply turn the dial to drop one down. Because the fun doesn’t stop once the gumballs drop, the bear’s cap and sides open to reveal cute, candy-themed playset vignettes, in true Polly Pocket fashion.

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Blue Orange Games Tongues Out!

$30

Uh-oh! These cute, squishy pugs were naughty and ate the lollipops! In this exciting game, which focuses on memory and attention to detail, players race to figure out which pug ate which lolli by squeezing their bellies to show their tongues. The first to match each coloured tongue to the corresponding die gets bragging rights.

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Hasbro Play-Doh Supermarket Spree Playset

$50

With the cost of groceries these days, it’s nice to know that you can craft your own! Little ones can create eggs, produce, desserts and more using 10 different colours of dough and 17 food-shaped stampers. When the food is ready, load it up in the basket, head to the checkout and deposit your play money in the sound-producing cash register. #groceryhaul

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Basic Fun! Lincoln Logs Classic Lodge Tin

$80

This early 1900s toy was onto STEM before there was even a term for it. The nostalgic all-wood set encourages bitty builders to create structures big and small using its 107 interlocking pieces. Construct the log cabin of your dreams, but make sure its foundation is strong or it’ll come tumbling down. Plus, it comes in an easy storage tin, too!

Tried & Tested: “A true classic toy and easy to use. It’s open-ended with infinite options for building.” – Katy, mom of three

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Mastermind Toys DIY Fort Construction Set

$60

Imaginations know no bounds, and this 90-piece set of angled connectors and rods sure won’t inhibit blossoming builders. Once the structure is done, throw on a sheet, fire up the battery-powered light and chill! Plus, it comes with a storage bag for easy cleanup.

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Spin Master Air Hogs Flippin' Frenzy

$70

Chaotic race-car play that’s usually associated with outdoor fun is now invited inside thanks to spongy-soft tires that won’t ruin your walls or floor! The two-in-one, remote-controlled whip—red muscle car on top and sleek blue sports car on the bottom—packs loads of 360-degree action by flipping, spinning and zipping around. Stunt-drivers-in-training can control their ride from up to 100 feet away.

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Mattel Barbie Dream Camper Playset

$180

New year, new dream camper for Barbie and friends. This year’s camping trip leans more glamping with a pretty, pink RV with 60-plus pieces, including two cute puppies, a fire pit and food to roast. There’s also room to sleep, dine, cook, relax and use the loo. But it wouldn’t be a proper glamp without a pool or the towering slide that’s not for the faint of heart. (Dolls sold separately.)

Tried & Tested: “The day this arrived, Dale took it down in the basement and pretty much lived down there for a week.” – Jeff, dad of two

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LeapFrog Interactive Learning Easel

$90

Creative thinking takes on an artistic flair with this engaging easel that has a blackboard on one side and a whiteboard on the other. Insert alphabet magnets to hear associated words and sounds, and thumb through the touch-sensitive flip book for shape and image drawing encouragement. Do you like a little music to get the creative juices flowing? Good! There are four songs that teach little ones about shapes, colours and the ABCs.

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Hasbro Peppa Pig Peppa’s Kids-Only Clubhouse

$70

There’s really only one rule at Peppa Pig’s Clubhouse: No adults allowed! In this colourful set, kids can move the walls to swap the room, and stand characters on the sound button to hear different phrases and songs. Peppa and Rebecca Rabbit may find themselves within a shop or a bakery with role-play accessories, like a concession stand and an oven that converts to a cash register. Ready for some fresh air? Take these two outside via the detachable slide and hop on the tire swing.

Tried & Tested: “The pieces are the perfect size for her little hands. Yasmeen particularly liked pressing the button to hear the Peppa Pig theme song.” – Nasrin, mom of one

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