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Toy Fair 2018: The top 7 toy trends mamas need to know about

Cardboard’s going to be everywhere soon.

Toy Fair 2018: The top 7 toy trends mamas need to know about

#TeamMotherly scored a sneak peek of the best brands, products and toys for 2018 at New York City’s annual Toy Fair. From toys that encourage kids to hone their imaginations and dive into pretend play to others that teach innovative learning styles like Montessori, we’ve found the best of the best in toys for the coming year.


After spending the day exploring thousands of products and chatting with hundreds of companies, here are our picks for the most innovative, interesting, and downright fun toy trends for 2018.

1. STEM

It’s never too early to encourage learning through STEM toys and activities.

Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set, $66.83, Amazon

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Hape Sonic Playground, releasing later this year

2. Wooden

Wood and other natural materials were everywhere this year; we love a toy that mama and baby will find beautiful.

Melissa & Doug Fresh Mart Grocery Store, $199.99, Melissa & Doug

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Hape Wooden Railway Double Loop Railway Set, $89.99, Amazon

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Hape Marble Run, $129.99, Amazon

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Kiddimoto London Bus Ride On Walker, $335.29, Amazon

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Manhattan Toy Company Wooden Castle, $125.85, Amazon

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3. Cardboard

Easy to put together and perfect for sparking imagination.

EverBlock Jr. Building Blocks Combo Pack, $59.95, Amazon

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Melissa & Doug Food Truck Indoor Playhouse, $49.99, Amazon

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Space Odyssey Playhouse, $130.00, Uncommon Goods

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4. Montessori-inspired

Encourage children to explore their world and learn through touch, play, and real world learning.

Kid O A to Z Magnatab, $27.62, Amazon

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Water WOW! Alphabet—On the Go Travel Activity, $4.99, Amazon

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The Manhattan Toy Company Knit Rattle, $9.00, Manhattan Toy Company

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Manhattan Toy Company Tree Top Adventure, $66.23, Amazon

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5. Eco-Friendly

Products that are safer for both baby and the environment.

EverEarth Childrens Gardening Bag With Tools, $29.90, Amazon

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Green Toys Airplane & Board Book, $15.99, Amazon

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Munch Mitt Silicone Teether, $15.99, Amazon

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Plan Toys My First Camera, $13.50, Amazon

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6. Nostalgia

Can you say MY LITTLE PONY???

Ty Beanie Boos Slush Dog, $6.09, Amazon

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My Little Pony Mini Collection, $16.48, Amazon

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Lite Brite Magic Screen, $25.75, Amazon

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Fisher Price Classics Retro Chatter Phone, $12.99, Amazon

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7. Sensory Play

Play Visions Inc. Floof Modeling Clay, $16.99, Amazon

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Geomag Magicube Free Building Set, $59.95, Amazon

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Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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What went viral this week: Pregnant Disney Princesses + an airline nightmare

Now, more than ever, we need to hear those good news stories.

Last week was a week.

We lost a legal and cultural icon with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and deadly wildfires continue to blaze on the West Coast. Now, more than ever, we need to see creativity, kindness and compassion in our world—we need to hear those "good news" stories, but we also need to see the headlines that show us how and why the world needs to change .

And right now both kinds of stories are going viral.

Here are the viral stories you need to read right now:

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