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Unexpected Joys: Top 20 Toys for 2020

Toys that focus on unplugged fun, soothing sensory experiences and neighborhood play

Malia Jacobson

Published on: October 30, 2020

Unexpected Joys: Top 20 Toys for 2020

bunny rattle

Early years (ages 0–5)

Magnetic Me ‘One World’ Modal Magnetic Footie, $39

Newborns can’t play with toys, but they (okay, their parents) do appreciate adorable, comfy clothing. Magnetic Me is known for silky-soft baby duds with hidden magnetic closures for quick, easy changes. Its new “One World” print is inspired by a wish for global peace and health in 2020 and beyond; 10 percent of proceeds are donated to CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty by distributing food and hygiene kits, and empowering and protecting women and girls during COVID-19.

Bunnies by the Bay Friendly Chime Baby Rattle, $10

Local favorite Bunnies by the Bay creates super soft, supremely giftable plush toys in its Anacortes workshop. “What I love about their toys for newborns is that they have sewn eyes and other features, so they’re not a choking hazard,” says Geleynse. “Their new rattle line is plush, beautiful and sweet.”

Dans La Jungle Stack-Up Cubes and Three Chicks by Moulin Roty, $26

Stacking cubes are a classic gift for the 2-and-younger crowd. This new set from Moulin Roty’s Dans La Jungle collection comes with a bonus: three sweet chicks that tots can tuck inside the cubes. 

Dans La Jungle Cascading Spinning Tops by Moulin Roty, $48

A whimsical take on the popular ramp-style toy, this item features cascading tops that twirl their way down three levels to the bottom. “We’re excited about Dans La Jungle toys,” says Geleynse. “This is very similar to a toy my daughter received for her first birthday, so when I saw it, I just fell in love.”

Moulin Roty Storybook Torch, $16

This flashlight, equipped with colorful disks, projects images onto any flat surface. Little ones can put on their own storybook show; caregivers can incorporate stories into kids’ bedtime routines.

Peaceable Kingdom Smoosh and Seek Treehouse, $20

This new memory game by Peaceable Kingdom has a satisfying sensory twist: Players work together to find animal friends and “squish” their images into smooshy dough. “One thing I love about Peaceable Kingdom is that they will replace all missing or damaged game pieces, including the dough,” says Geleynse.

Manzanita Kids Toy Mailbox, $49

Handcrafted in Seattle from kid-safe, sustainable wood, Manzanita Kids toys are satisfyingly tactile playthings made to last. “Our mailbox encourages imagination and helps retain bonds with friends and family that we just can’t see right now. Kids love ‘reading’ their mail and using the slot in the box,” says Manzanita Kids founder David Minnery. “We also offer custom letters, where you can pen your own letters to your littles!”

Great Pretenders Super-Duper Hero Teal Tutu, Cape and Mask Set, $32

Thriving in 2020 and beyond takes flexibility, versatility and a dash of superhero spirit. This three-piece set includes a double-sided mask and comfortable, high-quality finishes to take tots and preschoolers from rock star to superhero to dancing queen in style.

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