I have to admit I LOVE buying toddler gifts. The toys these days are so fun and cute. But at some point I think most parents look around and realize the kids have so much stuff they don’t actually play with.
So here is my list of the BEST Gifts for Toddlers that the whole family will love. I’ve got big ticket items to silly stocking stuffers. These are all gifts that can be enjoyed by older members of the family in some way in addition to the little ones. I think most of these (with supervision would be great for kids 18 months to 3 years).
Lit Joy Crate
Lit Joy Crate is a bookish subscription box company that ships a box with a book and some related goodies once a month. What’s really cool about Lit Joy is that they have a box for even the little readers. Their Children’s Book box has great picks for kids 3-7 years old that even younger toddlers will enjoy. These boxes will have whole family excited to burst them open each month. And what a fun and easy way to add great books to your family library. There are different subscription lengths and you can even buy one time boxes.
Dress Up Gear
Whether it’s homemade or store bought a few dress up pieces are perfect for sparking the imagination of your little ones. I love the idea of gifting a whole dress up bin but if you already have some costumes or just don’t want to invest that much now even a few inexpensive pieces can be loads of fun. Fairy wings can be found at the dollar store most times of year, if you time things right you can catch some awesome deals on swords and fake armor too. After Halloween even the grocery stores have costume pieces for great deals. Last year we bought a few hats and Teddy will still randomly put them on and dance. Get creative there are dress up ideas all around and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. And if you want to make your own items I have LOADS of costume tutorials to get you started.
Tri-Side Art Center from Little Partners
This three sided easel has a chalkboard, dry erase board and flannel board. It has adjustable heights, slots for art tools like paint and crayons and even has a roll of paper that can be refilled to paint and draw on. This thing is awesome for kids of all ages. Teddy who is 2.5 years old and his cousins (8 and 9) use this together all the time. Did you hear that? TOGETHER. If you have the space for this it’s a great investment. The Tri-Side Learn and Play Art Center the type of piece that a whole room could be centered around. We also love our Little Partners Learning Tower too! You can get 10% off of orders at LittlePartners.com with the code RGR10.
Have you seen these cool squishy water beads that start off the size of sprinkles and then grow to marble sized gelatonous beads? They are super fun. Teddy loves to see the change in size and they are great for easy sensory play. They are really inexpensive and you get a bazillion of them since the beads are so tiny when they ship (can we say yay for something that takes up almost no space at all?). I’ve seen people fill kiddie pools with these which seems fun and terrifying all at once. We love to just watch them grow and feel them and sort colors and that kid of thing. Even the older cousins get a kick out of these.
I swear every toddler I’ve meet has been obsessed with chapstick. It doesn’t matter if it’s the stuff in the tube or those little EOS balls but there is something that draws them in about the stuff. As long as your little one isn’t the type to try to take a bite out of it chapstick is an easy inexpensive gift that they will totally adore. And as an extra perk if the toddler has his or her own chapstick you’re less likely to get that gross wet sensation when you go put your own on. Come on you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Sorting and Counting Toys
We have a few sorting and counting toys and while Teddy doesn’t “get” every aspect yet he loves playing with them. One of our favorites that gets played with every single day is the Sorting Pie. Even the cousins love playing with this thing. I don’t force Teddy to try and sort he just bakes with it but along the way he is learning colors and shapes and numbers. And every once in a while we put it away using the guide sheets counting or sorting. We also love these counting cookies and shape cookies.
Let’s Go Fish Game
This will sound like a totally weird one because most toddlers do not have the coordination to operate the Let’s Go Fishing game as it’s intended but they still can have hours of fun with these cute fish that open and close their mouths. Teddy loves to try and catch the fish, sometimes with help and sometimes cheating haha. He also likes to put other items in the fish holes and watch them go up and down. He’s even put a fake pizza on it and told us it was baking. I know crazy right you’d never think such a classic cheap-y toy would be the gateway to so much creativity but I’m telling you we’ve had a blast playing this with the cousins how it’s meant to be played and then just letting the little guy do as he pleases!
Whether you have a whole percussion kit, just a few kazoos, or maracas, instruments can be lots of fun and they come at all different price points. It’s fun to watch the little ones march and put on productions with various instruments. We have this really fun drum kit that comes with all kinds of bells, symbols and other percussion instruments as well as a thrift store keyboard. My nieces have a harmonica that Teddy loves to play with and we even have a few of those plastic kazoos. There are so many different instruments from toy level to actual starter instruments that can get your little musician going.
Passes to Fun Places
We have a number of fun memberships to children’s museums, the aquarium, and even the water park. We use ours ALL THE TIME. I’ve read a number of articles saying these kind of passes are a waste of money but I’ve found them to be totally the opposite. It’s such a great deal and there’s always something fun to do. Just make sure you will for sure go enough times to make the membership fee worth it. Make sure to check out deal sites since they often will have specials for passes or even seasonal events.
If your kids are like my little guy they get plenty of candy and treats but there’s something special about a pez dispenser that’s all your own. I remember LOVING them as a kid and Teddy is no exception. He is thrilled when he gets to grab a candy from his Cinderella or Duck. It’s the best little bribe ever ha. As long as you are the holder of the dispenser and the kiddos can’t just go to town I think these make super fun gifts!
Books, Books, and More Books
And of course I couldn’t do a Toddler gift guide without encouraging you to buy books. I honestly think for a kid who has all their basic needs met that books are possibly the best gift of all. And don’t just give them books that they can do themselves, give them the gift of your time; the gift of your snuggles while reading; the gift of your focused attention. There are so many amazing books. I encourage you to find a couple new ones to add to your library and take time to read them together! It also might be fun to give them a gift card and then take them on an outing to pick out a book of their choice. Want some suggestions? Here are just a few board books for the little ones that I love.