10 Cool Toys for Toddler Boys in 2018

With a toddler boy, you should always expect the unexpected. This means getting a gift that he’ll definitely like can be a daunting task. Despite that fact, there are a few things you can count on when it comes to his nature and personality. First of all, he has a massive amount of energy that needs to come out somewhere, which means getting a toy that requires a lot of movement is as safe a bet as it gets.

Another thing you can assume is that your little guy is fascinated with the world and wants to learn more about it, so getting something that sparks his imagination is also probably a good idea. Whichever direction you choose to go, we’ve got you covered with a selection of best toys for this age, so sit back, relax and enjoy shopping!

Best Toys for Toddler Boys

Electronic Dog

electronic pet photo

Having a family pet has never been easier. Yes, we know, this is supposed to be a list of toddler boy toys, and here we are talking about family pets right from the get-go, but bear with us. Having a dog could be one of the most developmentally beneficial things for a little boy. The companionship, responsibility and unconditional love that a dog can teach are indispensable. But we all know dogs can be a bit of a hassle, especially keeping one indoors close to a little kid. There’s hair, dirt from outside, and sometimes the dog may even decide to ‘go to the bathroom’ right on your brand-new carpet.

That’s where this cute electronic doggo comes in. It’s all (or, at least, most of) the fun, with none of the hassle. He follows you around, plays games and barks just like a regular dog. And on top of that, he will sing and dance!

Pros:
  • Realistic dog sounds and actions
  • Responds to touch
  • Sings and dances

Cons:
  • The music can be a bit annoying
  • Works on smooth surfaces only

Friction Cars

friction cars photo

As a great way to teach your kid about construction and farm vehicles, this set of friction-powered cars includes a cement mixer, a bulldozer, a dump truck and a tractor. Aside from teaching your little one about life on the construction site, these are an excellent tool for your kid to learn more about basic stuff like shapes and colors. Cars are always a great gift for little boys, since they spark curiosity, as well as boost their creativity.  

Under the hood, the vehicles have a great 4 wheel-drive friction system, which allows them to travel long distances from just one short push. Obviously, no batteries are required, and the cars are very quiet. They work on all kinds of surfaces, from your living room to the sandbox. The cars are made of the highest quality plastic and exceed all safety standards.

Pros:
  • No batteries required
  • Safe and quiet
  • Durable

Cons:
  • Smaller than you might expect

Galt Toys Nursery Trampoline

If there’s one thing toddler boys have plenty of, it’s energy. And what better way to spend that extra energy than bouncing it away on this really cute turtle-shaped trampoline? It sure beats him running around the house with you trying to catch him all day long, plus it will definitely make him sleep better. You can thank us in the morning.

This ingenious thing can be used indoors, as well as out, and will give your little one a workout even on those rainy days when playing outside isn’t an option. If your kid is just learning how to walk, he can get years of fun with this toy, since it is meant for kids up to 44 pounds. The stability bar will keep him steady and upright, so you can safely focus on other tasks, not having to make sure he doesn’t fall over every second.

Pros:
  • Great activity for child
  • Safe
  • Cute design

Cons:
  • Not very springy

Step 2 Push Car

step2 sports car

If you’ve ever purchased products from Step2, you know that this is a high-quality manufacturer of kids’ toys. Their products are well known for their durability and safety, as well as overall build quality. But this little car takes it a step further even for this company. On this product, they collaborated with none other than McLaren, a sports-car company with an immense pedigree, coming from the UK. The Ventura-orange McLaren 570S push car will make your kid the envy of the playground.

The car itself is not only pretty but practical as well, sporting 3 cup-holders, 2 for the kid and one in the back for the parent, as well as a phone holder in the handle, added by popular demand. There’s also a seat-belt, to make sure your kid is sitting securely, and a cool feature which allows you to fold the handle under the car for easy transport.

Pros:
  • Great look
  • Very practical for daily use
  • High-quality materials

Cons:
  • Requires adult assembly

Mega Bloks First Builders

mega blocks kids photo

It’s building time! Here’s a great set of introductory building blocks for your little boy to use his imagination and build cool things with. This set comes with 80 blocks for freestyle building. The set doesn’t include any instructions, apart from a few pictures on the bag itself to give your boy some building inspiration. He can build different structures like houses, spaceships and more since this set is really all about using his imagination and make whatever he wants.

The blocks come in a durable bag with a cute handle so you can take the blocks outside or to a play date and your little guy can build on the go. Boys love using their imagination to build all kinds of things and this will let your kid do just that. These blocks are great for young builders since construction sets help develop fine motor and sensory skills.

Pros:
  • Great for motor skill development
  • Chunky and strong

Cons:
  • Sometimes it takes a little strength to latch the pieces together

Kids Musical Instruments

Music is a universal language. No matter where you come from and where you’re going, it is something we all love and something that brings us together. Countless studies have shown that music has an immense impact on a child’s development and growth. Any child psychologist will recommend getting your kid a musical toy, especially in early development. Playing a musical instrument in early childhood can have various long-term benefits such as boosting your kid’s cognitive skills, improving his memory, teaching him patience, fostering creativity, developing his motor skills, etc.

This set comes with 10 colorful instruments of various tones and volumes for your little musician. It includes a carrying bag for easy storage and is equally fit for both boys and girls, so your kid can easily have a jam session with his friends or siblings. The seller will also provide a full refund within 30 days if you’re not 100% satisfied, so there’s really no risk involved.

Pros:
  • Cognitive and creative development
  • Great variety in one pack
  • Safe and healthy

Cons:
  • Some pieces require adult supervision

VTech Cash Register

It’s time to go grocery shopping! Here we have the Ring and Learn Cash Register from VTech. This is a super fun interactive cash register that has two modes of play and over 80 songs and melodies, phrases and music. The interactive play set introduces colors, numbers, and food for young learners. Your kids will love role-playing a trip to the grocery store and picking out bananas, milk, carrots, fish and more.

Your little boy can place everything in the shopping basket while he shops and a pretend credit card makes it all kind of real. Place the food on the scale to hear more sounds. Number buttons light up when pressed and cheery rollers play songs when rolled. Press the ‘open’ button and the drawer pops out with the ever-recognizable cash register sound effect. Overall this is a great set for toddlers. It encourages storytelling and role-play and helps reinforce motor skills.

Pros:
  • Includes 10 pieces of plastic food
  • 80+ songs and phrases

Cons:
  • The included batteries are for demo purposes only

ALEX Toys Little Hands First Scribble

We’ve talked about arts and crafts before, and it’s pretty much common knowledge that it encourages imagination, creativity, improves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. With this product, which is basically your kid’s first coloring book, he will hone all of those skills mentioned above, and it will be a great gateway into the world of art. Later in life, when he moves on to using a pencil and other tools, the skills acquired here will come in handy.

The book itself is a hard-cover which means it can withstand any abuse your kid is likely to throw at it. It also comes with stickers which we all know kids love. Other than that, the book basically contains big unfinished pictures that need to be completed in any way your kid sees fit. At this age, you really shouldn’t expect him to create works of art, but it’s really all about creating muscle memory of the motion of drawing and writing.

Pros:
  • Great keepsake for your kid’s first scribbles
  • Improves motor skills and creativity

Cons:
  •  Stickers are hard to remove
  • Thin pages

Cartoon R/C Race Car Radio Control Toy

cartoon race car photo

The Cartoon Race Car from Liberty Imports is a fantastic way for your kid to learn to use a remote-controlled toy. It is colorful and bright, so you know your toddler will focus his attention on it immediately.

If you think a car might be a little bit too complicated for a kid this age, think again. This car actually has a deceptively simple control system with only 2 buttons – forward and reverse, the catch being that when the car reverses it also turns slightly to the left. The button in the middle of the steering wheel/ remote will make the cars honk and make the headlights flash as music plays.

Another cool thing is that the ‘driver’ figure is removable so that your kid can take it out and play with it separately. The car is meant to be used on flat and smooth surfaces but works surprisingly well on carpet too.

Pros:
  • Very well made and durable
  • Simple intuitive control

Cons:
  • Goes through batteries rather quickly

VTech 2 in 1 Learn & Zoom Motorbike

VTech 2 in 1 Learn & Zoom Motorbike photo

As the name suggests, this is a 2 in 1 ride-on toy for kids that also has lots of creative activities for engagement. It can be used as a tricycle with a sturdy base for babies 12 to 18 months to safely ride, but it can also be made into a 2-wheeler for toddlers 18 to 36 months. With three sing-along songs and 15 melodies, this colorful bike has a lot for your kid to explore. The dashboard plays sounds and music, and the arrows pointing left and right help teach direction and road safety. This toy also plays motorbike sounds, introduces shapes, objects colors and so much more.

This is a great toy for babies and toddlers. For babies, it is perfect for helping build stability and balance, aside from giving the legs a great workout. In the bike mode, it is great for toddlers with a need for speed; but not to worry, this toy will only go as fast as your kid can push it.

Pros:
  • Covers a wide age-range
  • Interactive dashboard

Cons:
  • Too low for some kids

How to Choose the Best Toy for Your Toddler Boy?

Toddlers like to learn actively. They are little explorers and mainly develop new skills through play, following their own unique interests and keeping their own pace. In that way, the toys you choose to give your child at this age can play an important role in shaping his development in the years to come. For a first-time shopper, buying toys for toddlers may seem like an easy thing.

However, by now you probably already know that this is not the case. Walking into a toy store today leaves you overwhelmed and crippled with choice. There is an incredible variety of toys on the market for kids of all ages, so how can you choose the right one?

Look for versatile toys

Toddlers don’t exactly follow instructions very well, and they like to play with toys in their own way. Sometimes that means using a toy in a way that the creator never meant for it to be used.

Therefore it is a very good plan to choose toys that aren’t very restrictive in terms of how they need to be used, ones that are more ‘open-ended’, if you will. This means that your kid can play a variety of different games, or have his own ‘style’ of using a particular toy. Building blocks are a great example of this type of toy.

Choose something that your kid can grow with

One of the worst things that can happen when you get a new toy for your kid is for them to lose interest in it after a couple of days or even hours. Although you can manage to avoid that by paying close attention to the type of toy your kid likes, there’s something you can’t and should never want to avoid – your child is growing.

This is a bit of a problem, especially at this very young age, because they develop so quickly that it’s hard for toys to pick up. Try getting something that spans a wide age-range, and adapts to your kid’s growth, so that he can stay interested in it for years, rather than months.

children wooden toys

Five year old boys are incredibly enthusiastic, imaginative, and energetic – they’re simply bursting with all these characteristics. That’s why they need toys to challenge them; otherwise, they get bored very quickly. Look for puzzles, learning toys and building toys to find something that will keep them curious, engaged, and busy.

Criteria we used

There are a number of criteria you can focus on when trying to decide which toys to buy for your toddler, and generally speaking, you wouldn’t be wrong focusing on any one of them.  In our opinion at this stage in a child’s development, the primary factor is fun – the more interested he is in a particular toy, the more he will learn from it.

As we said before, you can’t really expect a toddler to follow instructions, or play with a toy because he understands that it is beneficial in the long term, so getting something that sparks his interest is of utmost importance. Aside from that relatively obvious fact, two factors that we found particularly important were problem-solving and imagination.

Problem-solving

As mentioned before, toddlers learn through play, and the more they play, the more they practice particular skills. So, if you want your kid to develop into an independent adult with a great sense for solving problems, nurture that skill with problem-solving toys. These are toys that ‘expect’ your kid to figure something out on his own, or with a little help from you, and thus build his logical skills and help him grow into a problem-solver. Most of the time, these types of toys are also great for spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.

Imagination

Near the end of toddlerhood, getting closer to the age of 3, kids start to develop their creativity and imagination and become able to pretend that they are someone else, or that certain things are not what they really are. This is the time to get your kid toys that allow him to take advantage of that new-found skill – acting out stories, or role-playing as different personalities. Pretend play like this, helps build language and social skills, as well as sequencing (putting things in a logical order).

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my toddler’s intelligence actually depend on toys?

This is not necessarily the case. Of course, there are certain skills and affinities your kid will naturally be better or worse at, no matter which toys he plays with as a toddler. In fact, unfortunately, most products that claim to ‘make your kid smarter’ haven’t really been scientifically proven to do anything at all. However, you can intuitively understand that certain types of toys will allow your child to practice a certain set of skills, and we all know practice makes perfect. As long as your boy is using his body and mind, he is learning. Whether he is using an expensive toy that claims to improve his intelligence is not that important.

My boy seems really interested in shiny, colorful and loud toys. Is that the type of toy I should be looking for?

You’ve probably already noticed that lots of toys for toddlers are taking advantage of the fact that kids this age respond to loud noises and bright lights. These toys are often marketed as especially great for your child’s development because they sport a plethora of different functions. However, some psychologists argue that this actually has an adverse effect on your kid’s development. Basically, the more functions and noises the toy has, the less it leaves to your boy to imagine and create himself.

Think of it as watching a movie, versus reading a book. If the toy just does all the work and ‘performs’ for your kid, he isn’t really learning anything. On the other hand, just like with reading a book, some more minimalist toys will bring out the best from his imagination allowing him to create his own stories. Naturally, this depends on the child’s age and level of development, and ultimately you will have to be the one to find the balance between the two.

Conclusion

If there’s one thing that you take away from all this, it’s that when toddlers play, they learn. A good toy will help your kid develop new skills, practice and perfect the ones he already has, as well as foster his relationships with other kids and people in general. When choosing a toy, think carefully what kind of benefits it can bring to your child; whether it is just for entertainment, or if it will help the development of your boy. Finally, don’t shy away from getting involved in your kid’s play, after all, that’s one of the best things about being a parent.