child with toys
From balance boards to sensory beads, stimulate your little one's creativity with some of these new additions to the toy chest. Image Credit: Pexels/Jonas Mohamadi

Mums and dads all know that the trick to keeping children entertained is refreshing the toy box every now and then. Children are fast, intuitive learners and supplying them with the newest puzzle or activity to crack, feeds their ever-growing curiosity. If your child seems less engaged with their existing playthings, it’s time to bring home what other parents can’t stop raving about. We’ve compiled a list of trending toys of 2022 that educate, engage and entertain all at once, including meditative soft toys and the in-demand wobble board. 

Don’t forget to check out our selection of electronic toys, if you’re looking to introduce coding and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) basics to your child. Get your items delivered to you as soon as tomorrow with Amazon Prime.

1. Best Overall: Omi The Elephant Meditation Toy

When your child is upset, Omi the Elephant can help your little one calm down with mindfulness techniques. The interactive stuffed animal comes with four guided exercises that children can access by pressing one of its paws – daily reset is a 90-second kid-friendly meditation, sad or mad reset prompts guided breathing for 90 seconds, 30 second reset helps with three deep breaths and the last paw triggers calming music for relaxation. All of which provide your child with the tools to regulate their emotions and understand them better.

Suitable for: Ages 3 and up

2. Best Sensory Toy: DoodleJamz JellyPics

The latest sensory toy for children familiar with tablets, DoodleJamz’s pad is a tactile drawing tool that boosts creativity and makes no mess. Behind a plastic frame, colourful non-toxic gel beads can be squished or sculpted with a shaping stylus to decorate pictures lodged in the background. The pictures are completely swappable so that your child has an endless variety of canvases to work with.

Suitable for: Ages 5 and up

3. Best Stuffed Toy: Just Play Disney and Pixar Turning Red

If you and your child are fans of the Pixar and Disney animation Turning Red (2022), hop on the trend and get them their own Red Panda Mei plush toy by Just Play. This 16-inch soft toy is symbolic of Mei’s whirlwind emotions that can in turn help children express their own. Use Red Panda Mei as a prompt to talk to preschool children about feelings and weave creative stories. Reviewers note how large and soft the plush toy is, but are wary of shedding.

Suitable for: Ages 3 and up

4. Best for Maths: Learning Resources Numberblocks Reusable Clings

Inspired by the Numberblocks children’s TV series, these colourful one to 10 decals teach children arithmetic basics using play. There are eight sheets of cling blocks in the box that make up 142 pieces in total, all of which stick on clean, smooth surfaces like whiteboards or windows at home. Children aged three and above can use fun facial features like googly eyes, colourful arms and legs to animate numbers. This is a great way to introduce preschool children to maths.

Suitable for: Ages 3 and up

5. Best Building Blocks Toy: Miniland Family Diversity Blocks, Multi-Color

Miniland’s Family Diversity Blocks exposes your little one to the many different families they will encounter as they grow up. Using 33 plastic blocks of various complexions and hair colour, children are challenged to create the combination they get on the wheel. It makes for an engaging play date game for a group of four to six.

Suitable for: Ages 3 to 6

6. Best for Physical Activity: Kinderfeets Kinderboard

Possibilities for play are endless with Kinderfeets’ grey wobble board. Suitable for toddlers and preteens alike, the Kinderboard is a handcrafted piece of curved timber that can be used as a slide, seesaw, table, rocking bed, a balancing panel and anything else that excites your child’s imagination. We picked out Kinderboard in particular for its doodle-friendly chalkboard surface – this and a set of chalks will keep your child occupied for hours.

Suitable for: 18 months and up

7. Best for Family: Poetry for Neanderthals

This one is a card game for family nights with children. Poetry for Neanderthals is exactly what it sounds like – players have to describe the given phrase with single syllables, without using complex vocabulary. Any use of big words will automatically cost you points. Expect lots of laughter with little ones as you build their vocabulary along the way!

Suitable for: Ages 7 and up

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.