Bring storytime to life by pairing these eight toys with the classic books that inspired them for a great baby shower (or anytime!) gift. There are many benefits to reading to babies and toddlers, from building early language skills to fostering social and emotional development. And these toys take it to the next level, making your child fall in love with the books even more. Introduce these classic stories and beloved characters to a whole new generation of readers!
Guess How Much I Love You Play Gym
Babies will love this play gym to the “moon and back.” Inspired by Sam McBratney’s classic children’s book about the love between a parent and child, this playmat features a musical mobile, dangling toys, a teether, ribbon tags, and a flower mirror. It comes with a carrying case for portable tummy and play time!
Available at amazon.com, $74.99.
Paddington Stacking Toy
An adorably soft alternative to the classic stacking rings, the Paddington stacking toy is topped off with the instantly recognizable red hat of the bear who loves marmalade. The rings come in various sizes that teach babies and toddlers about cause-and-effect. Paddington may get up to mischief in Michael Bond's stories, but this toy will surely keep your little one out of it.
Available at yottoy.com, $26.
Elmer the Elephant Comfort Blanket
Straight from the pages of David McKee’s stories about the patchwork elephant is the Elmer comfort blanket. The bold colors are eye-catching in the unmistakable pattern of the book's illustrations, and the soft plush is soothing on sensitive skin. Elmer’s classic elephant face with large ears and trunk complete the design.
Available at amazon.com, $18.82.
The Cat in the Hat Take & Shake Ring
This easy-to-hold ring-shaped rattle features the famous Cat in the Hat from the eponymous Dr. Seuss classic. The large plush ring has the distinct red-and-white stripes of the hat, and three smaller teether rings encircle it. The face is embroidered with details that include the whiskers to bring out the trouble-making cat’s distinctive features.
Available at manhattantoy.com, $13.
Curious George Tackle Box Playset
Paired with the board book Curious George Goes Fishing, this plush tackle box is a perfect introduction to the mischievous monkey created by Margret and H. A. Rey. The tackle box has a touch-and-close fastener to keep all the parts, including a crinkle worm and squeaky toy fish, inside when not in use. The soft fishing rod even has a fastener that sticks to the fish for real fishing action!
Available at amazon.com, $39.95.
Winnie the Pooh and Pals Bath Set
Take bath time to the Hundred Acre Wood with this Winnie the Pooh bath set. The figurines include five beloved characters from the classic book series by A. A. Milne. The bucket has a straining lid, plastic handle, and a pour spout for all of baby’s bath-time needs. Store the figurines in the bucket to save space.
Available at shopdisney.com, $19.99.
Eric Carle Very Hungry Caterpillar Developmental Toy
Inspired by Eric Carle’s iconic hungry caterpillar, this toy is designed to stimulate all the senses of your littlest bookworm. Hook the brightly colored teether and activity toy to a carseat or stroller and let baby explore the many textures. The plush caterpillar features beads, tags, rings to chew, crinkles, and a jingle bell rattle.
Available at target.com, $9.99.
My First Corduroy Cozy
Babies will love cozying up with the velvety corduroy of this security blanket in the likeness of the bear from Don Freeman’s treasured children’s book. The buttoned overalls and pocket are appliquéd and embroidered, making the toy safe for newborns. The back is a silky satin for a different texture experience. Babies and parents alike can’t help but falling for Corduroy’s sweet face.
Available at yottoy.com, $22.
—Katie L. Carroll
featured photo: Kids Preferred