Ages and Stages: toddling along with pull toys (Plan Toys Dancing Alligator review)


I suppose I should admit it, even though I can hardly believe it myself:  I am the mama of a toddler now. 

Amelia has been walking since just shy of her 10 month birthday and this mama certainly wasn’t ready for it.  Truth be told, I’m having a real hard time thinking of my baby as a “toddler” despite the fact that she’s been toddling along for almost two months now. Slow down, baby girl, slow down.

Amelia’s new-found walking skills mean that she is very interested in things that she can pick up and carry, like little baskets, small soft dolls, the measuring cups with handles.  One can usually find her toddling along with an object in each hand as she makes her way around our home.

The dancing alligator

She also currently loves push and pull toys.  She’s accomplished learning how to push the doll stroller, albeit in a rather awkward fashion, and anything with a string or a leash gets dragged along on the floor behind her.

One of her favorite toys right now is a pull toy: the Plan Toys dancing alligator.

We were given the chance to try one of Plan Toys Plan Wood products and the Dancing Alligator was a perfect match for Amelia’s stage of development.

Ways we play with the gator:

  • she “feeds” the gator
  • walks with the gator and pulls him along
  • sits on the ground and pushes the gator
  • opens and closes his mouth with her hands
  • the gator “chomp, chomp, chomps” on our toes
  • pointing to the gator’s eyes and mouth

What this mama appreciates about Plan Toys and the gator

First of all, I think this little toy is adorable. I appreciate that it is a simple toy, requires no batteries, and the alligator makes a charming little “click-clack” sound as it is pulled along.

Plus, it is helping to develop Amelia’s coordination, motor skills, and even her imagination as the alligator chomp, chomp, chomps our toes or wiggles as he walks along behind her when she pulls the toy as she toddles through our house.

Made from sustainable materials:

  • printed with soy ink
  • non-toxic glue
  • water-based, non-toxic dye
  • PlanWood organic paint
  • chemical-free rubberwood
  • recycled and recyclable materials

This toy is intended for children ages 12 months and up, though my toddling eleven month old enjoys it.  The dancing alligator would be best suited for a walking/toddling or preschool aged child, in my opinion.  While it doesn’t have any sharp edges, it does have a long pull string so I wouldn’t allow any unsupervised play for really young children.

Overall, I’d say the Plan Toys Dancing Alligator is a nice, quality toy for a toddling child and one that most kids in this age and stage will enjoy.  If you’ve got a toddling little one who likes pull toys, this would make a charming addition to the toy box.

Now, how to get the baby to slow down a bit ….

What are your toddlers favorite toys for the early walking days and beyond?  Why did you choose them for him/her?  Do you consider the materials and manufacturing process when choosing toys for your child?

Disclosure:  I was given this toy for review.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own.


Have you heard the news? The new baby play ebook Zero to Two is here and it is full of ideas for play and learning from infancy through the toddler years. Find out how to pick up your copy here.

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. Ha!We have plan toys over here… my kids love them!!! But I have never seen the crocodile… too cute!!!
    se7en´s latest post: Se7en’s Celebrities: Time to Craft…

  2. Hmm. Haven’t heard of Plan Toys. But the alligator is cute and I like how you list all the different ways it gets played with.
    Steph´s latest post: Four Awesome Things About Marriage

  3. I haven’t heard of “Plan” either. Will have to check it out.
    Any push toy with big, chunky wheels was always a hit with my littles, and my soon-to-be 3 yr old still adores his lady bug pull toy with shapes holder on the bug’s back – it spins when he pulls it.

    He loved the push mower I got him a year or so ago so he could mow like daddy.

    Any ride-on toys that had big handles – mine loved to push those as well before they mastered the ride aspect.
    Kerry @ Made For Real´s latest post: A Less Stressed Christmas


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