Quality doesn't have to break the bank. We scoured major toy conventions and tested loads of products to find the best toys under $25. Check out our fully independent picks.

Tea Set

Green Toys

Why We Love It

Durable, lightweight tea set for four encourages pretend play. Made from recycled materials. Dishwasher safe.

Rat-a-Tat Cat

Gamewright

Why We Love It

Players compete for the lowest score in this comical card game that builds memory and basic math skills. An all-time Red Jellies favorite.

Sand Ice Cream Set

Melissa & Doug

Why We Love It

A twist on traditional sand toys. Set up your own beach ice cream shop. Scoop ice cream and add sprinkles to the cones. Encourages pretend play.

Peacock Embroidery Kit

Hape

Why We Love It

Practice basic sewing with this all-in-one embroidery kit. Builds dexterity, focus, and color pattern recognition.

Chef Costume

Melissa & Doug

Why We Love It

Cute costume inspires independent and cooperative pretend play. Well-made, durable, and machine washable.

Colorful Bath Squirters

Ubbi

Why We Love It

The great white whale of bath toys: a squirter without the mold (thanks to easy twist-off tops). Littles can mix and match, squirt, and scoop water.

Farm Stacking Cubes

Djeco

Why We Love It

Traditional nesting blocks combined with animal figures to boost motor skills and inspire creative play. Stack the blocks then match the animals to their house.

Stargazer Lottie

Arklu

Why We Love It

Calling all astronauts! This high quality doll is ready for stargazing. Small size convenient for travel. Bonus that she looks like a kid (no makeup, jewelry, or high heels).

Mini Band Instruments

kilofly

Why We Love It

Kids create and experiment with sound with this multi-piece set. Enough instruments for kids to enjoy together. Includes bag for easy storage.

Little Red Riding Hood

Smart Games

Why We Love It

Use puzzle pieces to build Little Red Riding Hood a path to Grandma's house. Second level of play incorporates the Big Bad Wolf. Builds spatial reasoning and problem solving skills.

Little People Camper

Fisher-Price

Why We Love It

Sturdy playset with two kids and many cute critters encourages pretend play. Many songs and sounds (and an on-off switch if you prefer quiet!). Closes for easy storage and transport.

Space Explorers Puzzle

Crocodile Creek

Why We Love It

Space fans will love the whimsical artwork. This 72-piece puzzle is sturdy with nice-sized pieces.

Garage & Car Wash

Melissa & Doug

Why We Love It

Small size and great combo of parking garage plus car wash. Engaging features like a working elevator, garage with doors, and roller and dryer strips. Easy carry handle.

Match It! Words

Learning Journey Int'l

Why We Love It

Self-correcting puzzle introduces littles to spelling and reading with kid-friendly images. Boosts letter recognition.

Sand Play Set

Green Toys

Why We Love It

This set is all about quality basics. A durable bucket, shovel, rake, and sand mold to get architects creating. Eco friendly. Made in the USA.

Race to the Treasure!

Peaceable Kingdom

Why We Love It

A cooperative game in which all players work together to build a path and beat the ogre to the treasure. Excellent for spatial reasoning, strategy, and team play. 

Great Vehicles Ferry

Lego City

Why We Love It

Cool captain's deck and gate that opens and closes to let cars onto the ferry. Great combination of building and pretend play. Note: Ferry doesn't actually float.

Find It! Dino Puzzle

Learning Journey Int'l

Why We Love It

Large, cheerful puzzle for dinosaur fans. Includes a word- and object-recognition game that provides opportunities to interact and discuss puzzle elements.

Rattle & Teething Set

Yookidoo

Why We Love It

With a crinkly pirate's hat, interesting stripe pattern, and (pleasantly!) musical parrot, this rattle and teething set is stimulating and engaging.

Chunky Farm Puzzle

Cubbie Lee Toys

Why We Love It

Well-made, attractive wooden puzzle. Practice animal recognition as your little one positions the pieces, building eye-hand coordination.

Stack & Pour Buckets

Skip Hop

Why We Love It

Great for bath or beach! Cute buckets have three different sprinkle designs to engage kids' attention. Small enough for little hands and easily stackable.

Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel

Educational Insights

Why We Love It

Beautiful graphics and cool squirrel mechanism. Develops fine motor skill and turn-taking. Word to the wise: Amend rules so wind doesn't blow all the acorns away.

Confetti Jump Rope

Just Jump It

Why We Love It

Let's get jumping! This high quality rope is an excellent weight and length. Comes in a variety of colors. Order two to introduce double dutch.

Personalized Frame

Gifted Oak

Why We Love It

Beautiful wooden frame engraved with new baby's name and birth stats. Perfect for a birth announcement or newborn photo.

Submarine

Green Toys

Why We Love It

Working propeller. Great scoop-and-pour function. Seaworthy vessel is made from 100% recycled materials. Dishwasher safe. Opens for easy cleaning.

IQ Puzzler Pro

Smart Games

Why We Love It

Compact, portable, single-player brain teaser that boosts logic and spatial reasoning. 2D and 3D puzzles. 120 challenges.

Garden Build & Spin

Learning Resources

Why We Love It

Attach gears and characters to board then see the cause-and-effect of turning the handle. All pieces mix-and-match. Great introduction to gears.

City Rescue Rug

Melissa & Doug

Why We Love It

Toddlers to the rescue! Littles can steer the four rescue vehicles around town on this adorable play rug. Rug has anti-skid backing. Machine washable.

Toy Truck & Animals

Cubbie Lee Toys

Why We Love It

Load up those animals - pretend play ahead! Well made and carefully sanded to create smooth surfaces.

Inspiration Art Case

Crayola

Why We Love It

Unleash little ones' creativity with this 140-piece Crayola set. Includes crayons, colored pencils, markers, and paper.

Hisss

Gamewright

Why We Love It

Draw cards and match colors to complete the most snakes. Boosts matching, spatial logic, and turn-taking. Great first game.

Ice Cream Truck

Lego Juniors

Why We Love It

Great combination of building and pretend play. With 136 pieces, it's a challenging but not overwhelming build. Includes two figures and cute ice cream products.

Stegosaurus Mosaic

Hape

Why We Love It

Use colorful wooden circles to create an adorable dinosaur. Excellent rainy day craft. Builds eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.

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