Smart Stackers

Ring stackers have long been considered a great starter toy for children because it promotes fine-motor-skill development. “But these toys do more than boost dexterity, ” says Kirsten Cullen Sharma, Psy.D. and clinical assistant professor at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone’s Child Study Center in New York City, “They can also encourage cognitive development.”

The seven eco-friendly options showcased here will encourage focus and enhance your child’s learning:


The Duck Family Stacker, colored with water-based paint, features rings that are numbered and grouped by color. “Because the pegs vary in height and can hold only a set amount of pieces, this toy is perfect for introducing the concept of limits,” says Sharma. She also points out that having pegs at differing heights is a wonderful introduction to superlative concepts—think tall, taller, tallest ($26,


The Garden Stacker, made from sustainable rubberwood, contains pieces in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures, which helps promote sensory exploration ($20,


Babies will love watching the sustainable-wood Giraffe Stacker wobble back and forth, thanks to a ball that’s built into its base. According to Sharma, “The motion will also encourage development of depth perception” ($18,


The sustainable-wood Seasaw Dogs stacker from Vilac swings back and forth as you add more pieces, which introduces kids to the concept of balance and weight ($25,


Little ones will be captivated by the charming colors on this sweet sailboat, which gets its hues from water-based ink.  Plus, playing with the curved pieces will help develop your child’s understanding of spatial relationships ($64,


This sustainable-wood Mother Hen Ring Stacker by Djeco is a clever alternative to the classic plastic toy ($19,


This sustainable-wood stacker will expose your child to different shapes and colors thanks to the diverse shapes of its pieces. And as kids grow older, it doubles as a prop for pretend play ($19,

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