The trend for Christmas 2022 is to shop early, so Smarties, we are here to help. Our friends at Toy Mania Cotswold are experts in the industry and have shared with us the latest and best in toys for this holiday season. The experienced staff at Toy Mania shared its insider info with us for this guide, just like it offers customers who walk through the doors each day. They offer the personal service you can’t get in an online search engine!
This week in our 2022 Smarty Toy Guides, we share some of Toy Mania’s favorite picks for children of all ages. Make your list and head to Toy Mania at Cotswold Shopping Center! You can avoid the shipping charges and stress of delayed deliveries. We at Charlotte Smarty Pants love supporting local, family-owned businesses like Toy Mania!
Without further ado, here are 10 outstanding toy ideas for newborns through age 5. Coming soon are our Smarty Toy Guides for Ages 6-11 and our Smarty Toy Guide for ‘Tweens and Teenagers!
1. Tobble Tones from Fat Brain Toys. Birth to 6 months . Price: $16.99.
This teeter-tottering toy makes tummy time a cinch as your baby will be mesmerized by a pendulum that swings back and forth and plays a bell tone as it strikes each side. Fat Brain Toys is a proven toy maker with a reputation for knowing just what encourages children to learn and grow as they play.
2. Jellycat storybook and stuffed animal sets. Birth to 1. Price: $14.99 for book, $27.99 for lion.
These sweet board books are paired with some of the best-made, most lovable, huggable stuffed animals on the market. What a wonderful way to bring stories alive to brand new readers. There’s also “Little Me” and a bunny, among others. This is a classic gift that helps build such an important bond between parent and child.
3. Flow ‘n’ Fill Spout bath toy from Yookidoo. 9-36 months. Price: $34.99.
This is a battery-operated toy that’s safe in the water! Water from the bath tub is pumped up and out of the faucet, creating a steady stream of fun! Kids can hold up various attachments and watch what the water will do! Yookidoo says it’s for ages up to 3 but I’d be willing to bet my almost 7-year-old would love this toy. It’s also a great option for littles who struggle with bath time.
4. Smartmax Start magnetic discovery set. Ages 1-6. Price: $40.99.
For kids who aren’t quite to the magna-tiles stage yet, these magnetic building toys are perfect for little hands just beginning to develop their fine motor skills, without the frustration of magnets that repel at one end. This is a hot seller at Toy Mania this season and has been included in the store’s “Holiday Playbook” this year.
5. Magnetic Wooden Blocks by Tegu. Ages 1-99. Price: $129.99.
This is a classic toy with a twist: wooden blocks that are magnetic! It’s a toy that grows with your child, and you can add more blocks to the collection as your child gets older. This set comes with 42 pieces of fun and has loads of “play value” as toy makers say. (In parent code, that means your child will be busy and happy for a while!) Some nursing homes are even adopting this toy for elderly residents who benefit from working on their fine motor skills too, not to mention the fun.
6. Dig it Up, Giant Truck by MindWare. Ages 4 and up. Price: $34.99.
This is the same concept as the dirt egg dinosaurs – which my sons ages 5 and 6 adore – only it’s excavating little toy truck surprises by chiseling away at the hunk of clay in the back of the truck. By the time the discovery is complete, you’ve got a full working – and playing – construction site, complete with playmat, construction signs and a total of nine trucks in all.
7. Calico Critters playsets. Ages 3 and up. Price: Ranging from $30 to $200.00.
You can’t go wrong with the Calico Critter series toys, which have been a favorite since the 1980s! They’re basically doll houses built for younger children, with sweet animal characters instead of dolls. Kids get the fun of collecting Critter characters, furniture and accessories for a cozy cottage or country home, and parents get the assurance of knowing the toys are safe enough for children as young as 3.
8. Little People School Bus by Fisher-Price. Ages 1-5. $49.99.
This is a classic toy with great new enhancements, like an optional handle that can be used to push or pull the bus, or it can be folded away under the bus. The characters include a boy who is in a wheelchair and a ramp in the back that helps him access the bus. Buttons on the top provide some sweet entertainment, including of course, the song “Wheels on the Bus!” The Carolina Panthers have ordered 96 of these from Toy Mania for an upcoming holiday charity event.
9. Tongues Out Board Game. Ages 4 and up. $19.99.
This precious and fun board game is a great way to introduce little ones to taking turns and playing with others in a game because it has simple directions. You roll a die with colors, instead of numbers, and match the colors to the tongues kids squeeze out out from little toy dogs. It’s like a pop toy and dice game all in one!
10. Magna-Tiles Dino World XL. Ages 3 to 99. $129.99.
As a mom of three boys, I couldn’t compile a list without a dinosaur in there somewhere, and with magna-tiles to boot? Win-win. These are toys that we always pull out on rainy days, take on trips and when we have playdate guests. They’re just sure-fire fun!
– Smarty Carroll
The 2022 Smarty Holiday Toy Gift Guide is sponsored by our favorite local toy store, Toy Mania in Cotswold. Find everything on your child’s wish list without having to worry about shipping costs and delivery dates! And guess what? They will wrap every gift BEAUTIFULLY and oh-so-expertly – so you don’t have to pull an all-nighter on Christmas Eve!
Cotswold Village Shops
242 S. Sharon Amity Road
Hours: Monday -Saturday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.