If you’re looking for the perfect gifts for toddlers, whether for a birthday, a holiday, or just because, look no further. Here are five of my favorite gifts for toddlers.
Bonus: they’re all educational! Of course.
Five Fab Educational Gifts for Toddlers
Books. Duh. You can never ever ever go wrong giving books. Make sure to inscribe the book, which makes it harder for parents to get rid of your gift. Not sure what books to give? Check out this list. Or, make an investment in their future library with Brad Meltzer’s Ordinary People Change the World series. Or, get some good ol’ Indestructibles (especially good around the age of 1).
Blocks. I spend a lot of time writing about books, but blocks are one of the best toys EVER for children. Block play fosters problem solving, foundational math skills, and creativity. My favorite blocks for toddlers are the Haba Fit Together wooden blocks. If you want a less-expensive-but-just-as-educational option, you can pick up a set of Mega Blocks (like giant Legos) for less than $15 at Target.
Puzzles. Melissa & Doug puzzles are less than $10 and can be found everywhere — Amazon, Kohl’s, Target, children’s consignment stores, Bed, Bath & Beyond… Puzzles are the gift that keep giving. Here are all the ways toddlers use puzzles: chewing on the pieces, throwing them across the room, and working on reasoning skills. Tip: unless you hate someone or hate yourself, don’t buy the puzzles that make sounds.
Stuff that stacks. What’s more satisfying than correctly stacking something? I know you were thinking the same thing. I love Plan Toys’ stacking ring. Tot Blocks are great, too, because they fit the blocks category above and can be stacked all kinds of ways (nesting them inside one another or building a tower that is screaming to be toppled). If those don’t float your boat, Munchkin makes these stacking cups that are fun to play with in the bathtub and are less than $5 on Amazon!
Toys that foster imaginative play. I found a Hape dollhouse at a children’s consignment store and it’s one of Penelope’s favorite toys. Melissa & Doug make a pretend toolkit for $10 (I got this for Poppy for Christmas because I want her to be skilled in the kitchen and handy, neither of which I am). And Janod makes this play doctor kit that is super sweet.
In the event you are looking for a really good gift that isn’t educational, but is super practical, I recently wrote about this children’s suitcase that I absolutely LOVE. The company, Beatrix New York, also makes adorable backpacks and lunch bags in the event a vacation with a toddler isn’t in the near future (lucky you).