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The best thing about being a kid in 2021 (because, lord knows, there are downsides): Toys have never been more child-friendly. Toy makers who truly “get” kids are designing products with their needs—for sensory stimulation, for movement, for rich, nourishing narratives—in mind. From trendy fidgets that put the “pop” in popular to actual flying Snitches to earth-friendly introductions to the world of play, every item we’ve included here will entertain and delight your little ones, no matter what lies ahead.
RELATED: The 2021 Toy Trend We Didn’t See Coming (But Makes So Much Sense)
3. Audio Toys
The tech revolution has come to story hour. And thankfully, a series of readaloud-delivery systems may even be an antidote too much tablet time. The first is the Toniebox: a small speaker which magnetically connects with a collection of kid-friendly, hand-painted figurines. The one shaped like Rapunzel plays classic fairytales; The one shaped like The Gruffalo plays that book, and so on. There are educational phonics games, sing-along collections and even a mindfulness Tonie that plays guided mediations created in collaboration with GoNoodle. On a similar note, Yoto Player is a wireless speaker that allows kids to insert cards featuring audiobooks (one card contains the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, for example) or bedtime meditations. You can also search for content by age, which makes browsing a cinch. Enriching downtime? That’s music to our ears.
Toniebox Playtime Puppy Starter Set ($100); Yoto Player ($100)
5. Earth Friendly Toys
It’s never too early to teach kids to appreciate nature—and to protect it. Rush to Recycle is a board game that inspires players to sort glass from plastic, and even to compost. Upgrade your fairy garden with a magical wood shire house made from the branches of an alder tree and throw in some homegrown, butterfly-friendly milkweed while you’re at it. And if you have a truck enthusiast, Green Toys offers ideal diggers and dumpers made from 100% recycled plastic. Clean up time. Mean it.
Magic Wood Shire House ($80); Construction Truck ($14); Grow a Milkweed Activity Kit, ($25)
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