Fun stuff: toys that earn babies’ squeal of approval

Fun stuff: toys that earn babies’ squeal of approval

Colleen Moriarty

The Quack Pack $25 The mama duck and babies in tow are willing to go wherever your own little duckling ventures. Baby road test: Sydney, 18 months, soon made this toy her pal and pulled it all around. She was easily able to stand the ducks back up if they fell over during a sudden U-turn. 12 months and up. [right arrow] Woodkins: 800-966-3762,

Chase ‘N Play Turtle $15 This toy has three modes: One plays music, another quizzes the child on shapes and colors, and the motion mode encourages a crawling baby to play “catch me if you can” as the turtle creeps away. Baby road test: Claire, 8 months, was intrigued by the crawling mode and reached out to grab the turtle as it inched by. 6 months and up. [right arrow] Bright Starts: 770-751-0442,

Exersaucer Mega $60 Here’s a portable activity center loaded with enough amusing toys to keep your baby busy while you tackle chores. Bonus: It folds up easily for storage. Baby road test: Claire, who was teething, loved bending the toys and chewing on all the edges. 4 months to walking. [right arrow] Evenflo: 800-233-5921,

Activity Ball $25 Well-sized for floor or lap play, this colorful toy has textures, crinkle areas, jittery movements and rattling beads to explore. Baby road test: Logan, 10 months, smiled as he inquisitively poked the toy and learned how to pull the wiggly head; he also loved watching it jiggle back into place. 6 months and up. [right arrow] Tiny Love: 800-843-6292,

Musical Pop-Up Pals $15 Your little one can push and pull the milk bottle, press down the cheese slice, twist the dog bone and flip the switch to get the animals to pop up and play the classical music of Vivaldi. Baby road test: Wyatt, 9 months, squealed with surprise when the bird popped up and said, “Tweet,” and the cow “mooed.” 6 months and up. [right arrow] Baby Einstein: 800-793-1454,

Villa Lilliput $20 This soft toy features a cat and a little wooden clown. There’s a small mirror for baby to peek into, and the toy can be strapped to a stroller for on-the-go play. Baby road test: Logan had fun putting the characters inside their villa again and again, and giggled when an adult squeezed the cat’s squeaker. 6 months and up. [right arrow] Haba Toys: 800-468-6873,

COPYRIGHT 2004 Weider Publications

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group