Ahhh, the toddler. Part sweet babe, part strong willed alien. Hah! I miss my daughter at this age because she was so fun, despite screaming pretty much nonstop. This gift guide was curated with her help (she’s now 4.5), and she recalled all of these toys herself or pulled them out because she still plays with them. Whether you’re shopping for your own children or looking for a gift for a loved one, I hope you enjoy this Gift Guide: for the Toddler (1-3 years old):
Oh and these gifts most definitely apply to both boys and girls! Mostly everything is gender neutral, not that it matters! Our daughter loves trucks, dinosaurs and mud … and if we had a son, we’d offer him all the same things!
1. Classic Piano: It looks like a baby grand piano, but it’s durable and such a good introduction to the piano. The sound is more like a toy than a real piano, but that’s perfect at this age! Harper got hers around 1.5 and still uses it almost daily at 4.5!
2. Wipeable Coloring Book: This is a God send, and I wish I found it sooner!! For babes who love to color, this is a must! It’s a wipeable and reusable coloring book, so you can switch out the paper scenery, have your babe color the heck out of it and then wipe it away and do it all over again! Great for restaurants, traveling or just every day art!
3. Leap Frog Fridge Phonics: A fun take on the old school refrigerator magnetic alphabet letters, this one helps sing / sound out the sounds each letter makes. It’s also great for hand / eye coordination, allowing your toddler to practice placing each letter into place.
4. Picnic Basket: This is such a darling musical adventure with 3 different levels, allowing your toddler to grow with it. The songs are so sweet, and your toddler will feel like they’re on a magical picnic no matter where you are.
5. Preschool Table and Chair Set: Whether you have a designated playroom or even a corner in your family room like we do, giving your toddler a table and chair at their level is such a great way to help them learn. So many things in their world are not their size, but this table and chair set is perfect! They can play kitchen or school, use it for snack time, or as an art table. Helping them learn how to pull out and scoot in will help them gain independence, which is the goal, after all! We chose a wooden set like this because it wasn’t such an eye sore in our home, and it felt more “real” (vs plastic). I guarantee this practical gift will be a big hit!
6. Water table: Another fantastic opportunity to help your toddler learn at their level, at their pace. My daughter couldn’t get enough of her water table and played with it daily! We got rid of ours when we moved last year, and she still asks for it back. If it’s colder where you live, you can still use it indoors with pom poms, rice or beans (obviously with direct supervision). When it warms up, we always kept water or soapy water in ours and opted out of the sand. Such a fun gift!
7. My Pal Violet: We love everything from LeapFrog, but this is such a sweet and lovable toy. Violet is still a part of our family and daily routine … my daughter loves her! You’re able to customize what she (or he if you get the green Scout) says, so she’ll sing with your child’s name, favorite foods and favorite colors.
8. Building Blocks: Another great toy that grows with the child: these oversized building blocks are like a first set of Legos and so fun for the whole family to get down and play together.
9. Tea set: What toddler doesn’t love a tea set?! This one is durable, able to support real liquids if you dare but also sings songs, helps count and teach shapes.
10. Balance Bike: This is one thing we didn’t get for our daughter but wish we would have! Research shows that balance bikes are so wonderful for teaching balance, coordination and make the transition into riding a bike seamless. I like this one because it’s adjustable and grows from toddler to preschooler!
11. Disney Princess Dress Up Costumes: The perfect set of princess dresses for a toddler! These are so sweet and easy for the toddler to put on themselves. The sizing says 4-6, but Harper wore them comfortably in sizes 2-4 and is just growing out of them size-wise now in a toddler 5. They are velcro open and close, so very adjustable.
12. Music Set: I’m a big believer in early exposure to the arts (if you can’t tell), and this set is a perfect introduction to instruments! We set Harper’s music set in a basket on top of her piano, and often “one man bands” it: singing, playing the piano with one hand and shaking a tambourine or maraca in the other. So sweet!
13. Spike the Fine Motor HedgeHog: Get your toddler practicing their fine motor skills with this adorable toy! Best for 18 months and up!
14. Egg set: Able to be used in kitchen play, to fine-tune motor skills and help with shape sorting, color recognition and emotional intelligence, we love this egg set!
15. Puzzle set: These puzzles started our puzzle collection, and they are so great for toddlers through to preschoolers! It comes with a rack, which is so nice to store on a bookshelf because no one likes puzzles with missing pieces!
16. Oversized bear: This remains the focal point of my daughter’s bedroom, and it might forever be her favorite present. Santa brought an 8′ bear from Costco, and it is BIG and takes up a lot of space. If we could redo (but let’s face it, we can’t just swap it out), we would have asked Santa to bring this 4′ bear instead. Still oversized and fun but not so darn big! hah!
17. Baby dolls: Twin baby dolls … a boy and a girl! Best of both worlds! Most toddlers love caring for their baby dolls, and these will likely become a part of your own family very soon. I know I’m a “Grandma” to about 10 babies (the others are hand me downs from sisters) … haha! If you’re looking for sets to go with the babies so your toddler can get the full experience, check out the food set and the travel accessories too.
18. 4 in 1 Tricycle: If you’ve noticed a theme with my gift guides, it’s all about growing with the child, and this is exactly that. From a buckled in toddler learning to steer to walking with a push toy to guided tricycling to independent tricycling, this 4 in 1 tricycle has it all! I like that you can upgrade to get some parent features like a drink holder and storage, which is so nice on walks!
19. Balance board: Your toddler will have no clue that this balance board is great for balance, brain building and coordination development … they’ll be having too much fun!
I could go on and on … I love buying presents for this age group because everything is always so welcomed, magical and special. If you’re looking for something in particular, have a themed idea you want some ideas for or have anything to add, please comment below! Happy shopping!