7. Curiosity Cube
9 to 24 months
Nothing fancy here, just a well-designed plastic cube with baby-friendly, sensory-activating gizmos everywhere you turn it. It's sure to open young neural pathways -- and also keep your kid amused while you mash bananas. Just about everything's an educational toy as far as babies are concerned, but this award winner is especially adept at cramming in activities that will engage the senses and improve fine motor skills. It's got color, it's got moving parts, and it's got six sides of curiosity-piquing doodads. Where many baby toys miss the mark -- too much stimulation, too narrowly targeted for a certain age, too noisy for parents -- this one gets it right for 9- to 24-month-olds.
The bottom line: A curious widget perfectly targeted for toddlers.