Seeking Good Manipulative Toys

Updated on August 30, 2011
A.H. asks from East Berlin, CT
6 answers

My son will be 1 soon, and I'm starting to look for some birthday presents. I've already done some looking through various place (Fat Brain Toys, Amazon, etc), but I haven't found quite what I want. He has some nice manipulative wooden toys (Melissa & Doug type things), but now I need something that is good and provides more challenge for a 1 year old on up. Ideally, it would not be something that makes noise (no batteries), but with lots of things to pull or move or manipulate in some way. (I'm thinking something along the line of those dolls with laces and buttons, but appropriate for a younger age). Cloth or wood would be great, and something of a relatively small size that can be carried along and not too big for my little guy to hold on to. Any and all suggestions appreciated, but recommendations for specific toys that you have had for your own kids would be the best.

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answers from Boston on

below you'll find an old post i made on another mom's board - but it might be helpful to you too! discovery toys has some great things and i think anything that your child shows an interest in is great - puzzles, trucks, trains, dolls, garbage trucks, kitchen playset, grocery cart (we save old boxes of waffles, cereal, crackers and set up our own grocery store). i know you were looking for portable things though. hope this helps!

with all the scary recalls happening lately - a group of moms came up with this amazing list of websites that sell great things. you don't have to worry about lead paint or chemicals!!! so many of my friends have vowed not to buy things from china or from certain toy manufacturers like mattel, fisher price, etc. and it's probably a good idea!! too many scary things keep coming out in the news! i just thought i would pass this on to everyone i know to help take the worry out and save you some time trying to find an alternative.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Congrats on the new baby - I have two boys 14 mons apart. They are most rewarding and challenging job I'll ever have.

How about some books? My 19 month old love books by Sandra Boynton. (Actually he loves all books, he's a little obsessed with them.) Her rhymes are great for vocabulary improvement - and the pictures are colorful and engaging. My son received a set of 8 colorful stacking cups (Babies R' Us) that he loves. Bubbles have been a hit as well.
Take care,



answers from Boston on

I'm a toddler teacher and we use toys from lakeshore. They have a good selection of manipulative toys.



answers from Boston on

The toys from Melissa & Doug are of good quality and if you get the age appropriate, I am sure that you can find something. Amazon always has their stuff.

I also like these traditional toys.



answers from Boston on

Hi A.,

I can provide you with safe, fun toys for children from birth to 5th grade! Discovery Toys has some really incredible toys for all age groups and abilities. Check out their website at and contact me for more info. Congrats on the new baby!

R. V.
[email protected]



answers from Philadelphia on

I think that <a href=" </a> are good for pre-k , kindergarten, and depending on the toy, first grade. They're are so many options out there since most toy companies realize that it is important to incorporate learning while having fun. I have bought peg boards, building blocks, and puzzles for my older children in the past. I especially like the toys that help with learning math skills considering that math is a subject that seems to be a struggle for many young children recently. Sounds like a good idea to start holiday shopping too while I think about it !

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