10 Best Animal Toys in 2019

Product Expert supports our readers with thousands of hours of research and reporting to help you find the products for your life and your family. You support us through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about what we do.

Kids love animals – be they lions, elephants or dogs, ask any kid what their favorite animal is and they will always have a response. Animal toys are excellent gifts for children. Not only do they teach them more about the animal kingdom and how other species on this planet live, but they also come with heaps of other educational benefits and are sure to keep kids entertained in the process.

There is a wide variety of animal toys currently on the market. Whilst this is great for giving you a lot of choice over the best gifts, it can also make it seem daunting trying to find the right one. Luckily, we have done some of this research for you.

You might also enjoy: Top Scooby-Doo toys.

best overall rating
  • Great for young children
  • Cool interactive features
  • Reasonably priced
premium choice rating
  • Large Toy
  • Soft and huggable
  • Very long lasting
great value rating
  • Great for toddlers
  • Budget-friendly
  • Amazon’s choice

We consulted experts, bloggers and customer reviews to bring you this list of the top 10 best animal toys currently available to buy online, as well as a short guide to the main factors you should consider before making a purchase.

View the Best Toys for Animal Lovers, Below.

best overall rating

1. Fisher-Price Little People Animals Farm Playset

Fisher-Price Little People Animals Farm Playset

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Recommended for kids from one to five years old, this is a fantastic playset for younger kids and the reasonable price makes it fantastic for gifting. It comes with a farmer figure, as well as four different animals - a cow, a pig, a chicken, and a horse. The cow has a cute little calf alongside her. There is also a large farmer's barn playhouse for them to engage in imaginative play. This helps to build their imaginations and early interaction skills.

There is a discovery button included, which when pushed will make the barn play fun songs, phrases, and authentic animal noises. There are also additional songs, phrases, and sounds when the hayloft is opened. The silo creates a popcorn sound effect. Kids are encouraged to properly care for the animals in the set. It requires two AA batteries however the first set are included and work for a while according to customer reviews.

See more information on Fisher-Price Little People Animals Farm Playset.

Why We Like It
  • Great for young children
  • Cool interactive features
  • Reasonably priced
Our Verdict

Imaginative play is very important for very young children as it helps them build their creativity and social interaction abilities. This set is great for activating this kind of play and facilitating world building for children as young as one year old.

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe

Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

This is a very lifelike, and very tall, stuffed pet giraffe that kids will be impressed by and love throughout their childhood. It is suitable for kids from three years and up, and for an idea of size the average three to four year old will reach the base of the neck, with the rest of the neck and head making the giraffe double their height. It is very easy to wash - simply take a damp cloth or soft sponge over the fur.

It is made out of soft polyester which is very safe for kids to use and feels very huggable. Each giraffe is handmade, adding great extra detailing and ensuring it has been constructed with the utmost care. The attention to detail is fantastic with realistic spots and well shaped - it looks just like a baby giraffe! It can stand upright by itself, however, can be quiet easily knocked over by rough children.

See more information on Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe.

Why We Like It
  • Large Toy
  • Soft and huggable
  • Very long lasting
Our Verdict

This is a very impressive toy that is not only great for young children but would look fantastic in a newborn nursery. The quality means it will last them right throughout their childhood and the attention to detail is second to none.

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Melissa & Doug Animal Magnets

Melissa & Doug Animal Magnets

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

This is a perfect budget-friendly gift for toddlers. The box comes with twenty different wooden animals, each with magnets attached at the back to allow kids to attach them to magnetic surfaces such as dry-wipe boards and fridge. Farm animals, zoo animals, and wild animals are all included to help kids pick their favorites and play with them. It is a great educational tool for teaching kids about different animals, especially if used on a dry-wipe board.

They are recommended for kids from two years old and up, however, customer reviews suggest that even younger children can use them with adult supervision. This gift has been awarded Amazon's Choice for magnets for kids, as they are very high quality and durable. The wood is fully treated to prevent splinters, and the paint used is non-toxic and kid safe. There is a sturdy wooden storage case also included for easy storage and tidying up.

See more information on Melissa & Doug Animal Magnets.

Why We Like It
  • Great for toddlers
  • Budget-friendly
  • Amazon’s choice
Our Verdict

With younger children, simple toys are often the best. This is a great set with a wide variety of animals to help them learn about all the different creatures that occupy our world and to create their own imaginary scenarios on magnetic surfaces.

Editor Rating

4. ValeforToy Animal Figures

ValeforToy Animal Figures

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Animal figures are classic toys for children to use during imaginative play scenarios and this is the perfect set with 54 different animals included in the bag. They have been awarded Amazon's Choice for plastic animals due to the high-quality plastic used and the excellent customer reviews left by over 700 customers. There are no repeat animals included, so you are sure to receive a good variety in the set. It includes 32 wild animals, 17 pieces of fence, four grass pieces and a coconut tree, as well as a handy storage bag for all of the pieces.

They are made out of solid plastic, meaning it will not break, and coated in the non-toxic paint for ultimate safety. Each figure is around 2.2 inches in size, perfectly safe for most young children. The plastic is bendable, meaning they are harder to snap and easier to play with. They can stand up on their own.

See more information on ValeforToy Animal Figures.

Why We Like It
  • Amazon’s Choice
  • Great variety in the set
  • Safe and durable
Our Verdict

This is, by quite some distance, the best set of animal figures you will be able to find. They come in at a very budget-friendly price, are completely safe to use, and are very hard to break.

Editor Rating

5. Wild Republic Three Toed Sloth Plush

Wild Republic Three Toed Sloth Plush

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Kids love soft toys that they can play with and cuddle, and this sloth plush is very soft as well as realistic to real-life sloths. The attention to detail is incredible - with fuzzy fur, anatomically correct proportions, and wide eyes, as well as painted details on the face. It is very huggable, with a firm, but soft, inside and cozy fur material on the outside. It is also Amazon's Choice for sloth toys thanks to the fantastic customer reviews.

It is around 12 inches long, so is perfectly sized for younger children. The fabric is made using polyester fibers, however, these are very high quality and safer for the environment than most natural fibers. There are three toes on each hand and foot, just like real sloths, and they are pointed inwards to mimic how sloths hang from tree branches.

See more information on Wild Republic Three Toed Sloth Plush.

Why We Like It
  • Soft and huggable
  • Great attention to detail
  • Budget-friendly
Our Verdict

Given the low price point, this is a fantastic cuddly toy for children to hug and play with whenever they like. Customer reviews are excellent, and the company has a great record for safe and durable toys.

Editor Rating

6. Mattel Lil’ Gleemerz Rainbow Figure

Mattel Lil' Gleemerz Rainbow Figure

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Kids absolutely love this interactive animal toy that has a number of different functions to keep them entertained. Recommended for kids from five to ten years old, this is a good option for older kids and comes in at a very reasonable price for those on a tight budget. The toy lights up with a rainbow-colored light up tail and eyes that glow. It is also packed with personality and the child will end up with an urge to look after it.

The different sensors on this toy pick up various touch and sound cues, and it has over 100 different reactions to these cues. It makes its own noises - from purring and growling to catchphrases and farting. The lights move in different times to create a light show effect, and there are various games available to play with. It comes with a set of batteries included, and the furry tail can wrap around the kid's arm to keep it close.

See more information on Mattel Lil’ Gleemerz Rainbow Figure.

Why We Like It
  • Great interactive toy
  • Packed with interactive features
  • Budget-friendly
Our Verdict

This works in a similar manner to FurReal friends but is far more budget-friendly, making it ideal if you are a distant relative or sticking to a tight budget. Even at this low price point, it still has many exciting interactive features that kids love.

Editor Rating

7. John Deere Animal Sounds Hayride

John Deere Animal Sounds Hayride

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

John Deere toys have become synonymous with quality, and this toy hayride truck is no different. Awarded Amazon's Choice for toys for one-year-old boys, this is a fantastic gift for very young children to encourage imaginative play and teach them all about farm animals. It comes with a farmer, a pig, a cow, and a horse, and each of the animals makes different sounds when sat in the hayride. The truck also plays Old McDonald, which children can sing along to in glee as they push the hayride around, taking their new toy animals on an adventure.

The sturdy wheels can operate on hardwood floors as well as thick carpets, and the overall model is very durable and can last through even the roughest of wear and tear. This toy is such good quality it can even be passed down to younger relatives when they grow out of it and last for decades.

See more information on John Deere Animal Sounds Hayride.

Why We Like It
  • Durable
  • Trusted brand
  • Great music features
Our Verdict

We love John Deere toys for their quality - both in terms of construction and in terms of how well they keep kids entertained. These simple toys do not rely on any gimmicks, and kids the world over still love them.

Editor Rating

8. Gund Flappy The Elephant Plush Toy

Gund Flappy The Elephant Plush Toy

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

This adorable toy elephant has animated ears and will sing when you push his right foot. Pushing his left foot also activates a peekaboo game function that babies love playing with. It is made out of very soft plush material, and the stuffing is perfect for creating a huggable toy where babies will not notice the electronic box at all. It can be used from birth, and we recommend it for kids under two years old.

It does require three AA batteries and though a trial set is included we do suggest you include the second set as the included batteries drain quite quickly. The animated ears flap along to the song, as well as cover the elephant's eyes for peekaboo. The soft material is also very durable, and the stitching is high quality ensuring the toy will not fall apart.

See more information on Gund Flappy The Elephant Plush Toy.

Why We Like It
  • Cute singing feature
  • Animated ears
  • Durable and soft
Our Verdict

This toy is perfect for giving as a baby shower gift, or even as a just because of a gift for a baby. The singing and flapping ears are incredibly cute, and babies love interacting with the elephant and giving it a hug.

Editor Rating

9. FurReal My Baby Snow Leopard Pet

FurReal My Baby Snow Leopard Pet

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

FurReal Friends are interactive, animated toys that mimic pets and other animals. Flurry is Amazon’s Choice for FurReal friends thanks to the awesome interactive features and great customer reviews. She is able to walk forwards, and the head is moveable. A feeding bottle toy and fish rattle are included. The feeding bottle will have her making cat feeding noises, and the rattle will encourage her to walk in the direction of the sound. Though she has a hard shell, the fur is very soft and cuddle and most kids will enjoy holding her when not in use.

Unlike other FurReal friends, she is only activated by touch so no need to worry about her accidentally turning on under the wrong lighting or sound levels. She has more than 45 different sound combinations including cooing, slurping, and meowing. She can also kick her feet and has a very affectionate personality. The first set of batteries are included so she can be used right out of the box.

See more information on FurReal My Baby Snow Leopard Pet.

Why We Like It
  • Trusted brand
  • Great features
  • Excellent for younger children
Our Verdict

FurReal Friends are enjoyed by kids of all ages, but this toy is especially great for younger children thanks to the affectionate personality and friendlier noises. It also comes in at quite a low price for FurReal friends, which is fantastic given the additional features she has.

Editor Rating

10. PLAYMOBIL® Large City Zoo

PLAYMOBIL® Large City Zoo

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Playmobil is a very well trusted brand when it comes to kids playsets and this kit is fantastic for animal lovers. It allows kids to set up their own imaginary zoo complete with enclosures, a kiosk and of course a wide range of animal figures. It also has Playmobil character pieces allowing kids to create interactions between people and animals during imaginative play sessions. The two main enclosures are lions and penguins, however, meerkats are also included.

Like all Playmobil sets, this can be customized with other playsets in the range. It is also well sized for kids to use their own figurines. Playmobil sells other animal toys separately - there's no need to buy an entire set again. It is made using child-safe plastic, and is recommended for kids from four years old and up.

See more information on PLAYMOBIL® Large City Zoo.

Why We Like It
  • Trusted brand
  • Large playset
  • Great for imaginative children
Our Verdict

Playmobil playsets are good starter sets for imaginative play and help kids come up with their own scenarios. This encourages creativity and basic social interaction skills. This is a very high quality set with great attention to detail.

Editor Rating

Buyer’s Guide

Animal toys are great for a variety of reasons, but first, you should check that the kid you are buying for will appreciate it. Though many of you who loved animals as a kid may be surprised at the idea that some kids do not like certain animals, some can be seen as scary – especially by younger children.

This can be overcome with some of the toys more geared towards younger children, but it is still worth checking with the parents. Here are some other factors you should consider when buying animal toys for a child.

Safety

Lots of animal toys are made out of plastic so you should make sure they are made out of non-toxic materials. If you are buying for younger children you should also make sure not to buy a toy that has a lot of small parts. Always check the customer reviews to confirm the safety of the toys. Wooden toys should be treated to prevent splinters, and metal toys should have rounded edges to prevent the risk posed by sharp edges.

If a toy is made in the US, Canada or EU, it will conform to American manufacturing standards and will likely be safe enough for children. You can also check if they conform to state-specific regulations which are often stricter than federal regulations – California, in particular, has many regulations around the manufacturing standards of toys.

If it is made elsewhere, it may still be safe as there are still rules in place for products imported into the US, but you should check customer reviews to make sure it is safe enough for children to use and has minimal risk involved.

Educational Value

Many of the toys have various types of educational value. Construction based toys help to develop early STEM skills; animal figurines encourage imaginative play which develops social understanding and creativity, and many of the toys come with instruction or information booklets that help teach kids about the animal kingdom and how different species live.

The toy does not need to be educated to be a good gift – but it will certainly help win you points with the parents and further enrich the lives of the kid receiving the gift.

animal-toys-image-2

Relationship with the Child

Are you a family friend of the child? It is best not to go too overboard and limit your budget to something suitable. If you are a grandparent or even, in some cases, an aunt or uncle you can get away with spending a little bit more if you want to. If you are a more distant relative or family friend, you should aim not to go over $50, and if it is a gift for a kid’s birthday party you should definitely stick to less than $20.

Your relationship with the child will also impact how well you know them. If in doubt, ask the parents for advice before you go ahead and purchase. Closer relatives will be expected to be more thoughtful, but most parents will appreciate that you’ve made the effort to double check your ideas with them.

Age of the Child

As suggested above, you need to make sure you are buying a toy that is safe for the age of the child you are buying for. You should, however, also consider some other factors related to the child’s age. Simple construction toys are unlikely to stimulate the minds of older children, whereas LEGO toys might. If you are buying a book you should also check the reading level is appropriate for the kid, and DVDs definitely need to be age appropriate.

When considering the age recommendations made by manufacturers, you should aim always double check customer reviews. Sometimes a toy advertised for seven to 12-year-olds is better given as a gift for eight to ten-year-olds. The recommendations by the manufacturers are usually in terms of safety, and maximum possible ages to still gain some entertainment value from it, but sticking to a gift where the child’s age is in the middle of the age range will be a safer bet.

Quality of Materials

The toys should be sturdy to make sure they can go through the immense wear and tear kids often give to their belongings. Have a look at customer reviews to gain an idea of how well the toys have lasted with other children before pressing ahead. If you are gifting to an older child this may not be as much of an issue.

For books, make sure they are made out of thick cardboard before giving to young children, and for electronic toys, you should also consider how well the components work after time. Any plastic figurines should have a little bit of giving to them to prevent them from snapping, as stiffer toys can actually break easier.

animal-toys-image-3

Conclusion

Animal toys make excellent gifts for children, who often have their own favorite animals and enjoy learning more about the animal kingdom. From plush toys and figurines to interactive robots and playsets, there is a good range of fantastic animal toys currently available to choose from. Safety should always come first, but we suggest also chatting to the parents and trying to find out their favorite animals and what kind of toys they usually play with.

This also means you have less chance of accidentally buying them a gift they already have. We believe these are the best animal toys you can currently buy, but this list also serves as a good starting point for further research into the vast array of animal toys available. If you consider all of the factors we have discussed, we are sure you will find the perfect gift.

Expert Tip

If you’re still stuck, try chatting to others who are giving a gift to the child to figure out the kind of things they will be receiving. This gives you a great idea of any gaps that you can fulfill with your gift.