It’s that time of year again. Your mom and his mom and your aunt and the family friend are all asking you what your toddler wants for their Birthday (or Christmas). And you have so many things on your plate and so many things to think of that you don’t have the brain power to think of a whole list to send them.
Have no fear! I wrote this post to equip you with a handy list of all of the best toddler gift ideas that aren’t junk. This list is not just filled with cheap Amazon toys that will give them a quick thrill, this list is filled with things your toddler needs, ideas of memberships to ask for, ideas of activity supplies to ask for, outdoor toys, indoor toys, and so much more!
Birthdays and Christmases don’t have to be filled with so much stress around the toy giving. I know it is a whole thing having so many toys enter your home at these big holidays, but I am here to tell you that it is okay to have the grandparents team up and gift your family a Zoo Membership, or gift them a pair of shoes or restock your art supplies! I love being intentional about what comes into our home so that I am not left drowning in the newest and most exciting toys that get tossed to the side in a matter of weeks (or days).
So to start, for everyone who needs some great toy ideas that they won’t regret asking for, here are our family’s top picks! Before you read the list, here are a couple of rules we try to stick to when it comes to toys:
Our Toy Rules:
In our house, we have a few little rules when it comes to toys. We really hate losing small pieces and hearing annoying jingles, even if those things keep our kiddos entertained. Here are a few rules we really try to abide by to keep our home more clutter-free and keep toys that will grow with them and not get old so fast.
- No batteries. Unless its REALLY worth it. We prefer our house to be calm and not constantly playing those little songs that get stuck in your head. (And by calm, I don’t mean silent. I mean I already have screaming boys and I don’t need extra noise, ha!) And I really hate toys that require maintenance from me.
- No little pieces. We will probably have a baby crawling around and putting little things in their mouth for the foreseeable future, so we just try to say no to things that require a lot of little pieces being kept together because…it probably won’t happen.
- Useful for many years to come. We want all toys that come into our house to be useful for a long amount of time and for a wide range of ages.
- No Characters. I mean, in an ideal world. I know, I know, we own one Mack truck and all of the lightening McQueen cars, but that thing I don’t regret one bit. In general, my toddler flies through what character he’s obsessed with and I don’t want to spend money and storage space on so many that I can’t keep up with! Especially once more siblings have characters they are into.
- Worth the money. Meaning well-made, won’t get old after a few uses, and is very fun or very useful.
All that being said, this list should live up to all these expectations. If you know me, you know I really hate spending money on something that isn’t worth it to me. However, if something is worth it, I think it is worth telling you about! These gift ideas should be timeless, well made, foster creativity and be lots of fun for your littles!
Indoor Toddler Toy Ideas
- A Toddler-Sized Table – The most useful gift in my opinion! Ours is used all day every day for coloring, eating, hanging out, you name it!
- Toddler Tower – We love ours! If you have an older toddler, pulling up a kitchen chair or using this IKEA stool is just fine. You don’t need an entire contraption for them helping at the counter. However, if your tot is still a bit wobbly, these are awesome! We built one using the IKEA stool as the base.
- Nugget Couch – We really love ours. If you have space for it and are looking for a good bigger gift to have people split for the whole family, this is a great one.
- Trains and train tracks – Beware of the whole train table thing. You may regret that purchase if you don’t have the space and trains are just a phase. However, for some kiddos, it’s the best thing since sliced bread!
- Cars – Hot Wheels/Matchbox cars will never get old
- Dump trucks – Small ones for sensory play, and a big outdoor dump truck for all the mud fun
- Magnatiles – Or this off brand that is way cheaper that we love!
- Dress Up clothes – These get more and more useful as they get older and friends come to play
- Make-Believe Kits – Doctor Kit, My First Shaving Kit, Play Tools, Cash Register, etc.
- A Shopping Cart – This is my son’s obsession. If you have tile, the sound it makes gets pretty annoying, but the joy on their face is worth the sound.
- Play Kitchen, Play Food, Accessories & Apron – We love our IKEA Kitchen
- Stomp Rocket – A childhood classic! Indoor and outdoor fun.
- Puzzles – By this time, the chunky baby puzzles are getting old and they can actually do real life puzzles! We love all of the Melissa and Doug floor puzzles or their smaller wooden puzzles. I love how the foam puzzles are easy for little hands, but I don’t like how chunky they are for storage.
- Blocks – We have this Melissa and Doug one and it gets played with daily
- Melissa and Doug Cleaning Set and a Vacuum
- Baby Doll & Stroller – We don’t have one (yet) but my kids love pushing the stroller at friends’ houses
- Characters: Dinos, Animals, People, etc.
- Games – Go Fish, This One, Scavenger Hunt at Home, Candyland & Sneaky Snacks Squirrel
- Books – Always a great gift!!!
- Lego Duplos – Beware of starting the LEGO obsession…however they are fun.
- Doll House – In my dreams I would have this Hearth and Hand one
- Tea Set – My niece loves this one!
Outdoor Toddler Toy Ideas
I love outdoor toys!!!!! These are the best category of toy gifts for me. Almost all of these are so timeless, and very pass-down-able. They get used by everyone in the family and get everyone outside and having fun.
- Micro Scooter – We have the Maxi Version that was a hand-me-down and it still worked great at the lowest setting for a two-year-old! People love the Skidee ones that are similar and a bit cheaper!
- Bike With Training Wheels
- Bike Trailer for Parents
- Playhouse – We have this one and love it so much!
- My First Trampoline – If you have room for this they LOVE it
- Soccer ball and goals
- Baseball glove & Baseball
- Basketball & Goal
- Saucer Swing
- Beach Toys
- Gardening Tools & Watering Can
- Water Table
- Picnic Table – This Little Tikes one is great, but this IKEA one is super cute
- Mud Kitchen – Or some type of sensory bin stand to keep outside
- Dome Climber
- Picnic Blanket – the best thing to keep in your trunk!
- Bubbles, Chalk, Etc
- Camping chair
- Sleeping bag
- And If you really want to have everyone team up…a swing-set and playhouse combo deal would be an incredible gift if you have the space!
Memberships and experiences are the gift that keeps on giving! I love gifts that are experiences. They don’t take up space and they are so fun for your kiddo! It also gets you out of the house and having fun. We like to have people split the cost of these. Any of these ideas would be perfect for your toddler:
- Zoo Membership
- Children’s Museam Membership
- Disney Plus Subscription
- Pass to indoor play places
- Tickets to water park
- Soccer Shots Sign up
- Swimming lessons
- Chuck E Cheese trip
- Tickets to the Science museam
- A birthday party
Sensory and Arts & Crafts Supplies
Restocking on these types of things are a great gift. Who doesn’t love fresh crayons and markers or a brand new coloring book? Toys like this are great because they don’t last forever and take up space in your house, can keep them entertained and encourage creativity!
- A Sensory Bin Container – We have this one that busy toddler recommends!
- Kinetic Sand
- Water beads
- ABC magnets
- Paint & Brushes – These spill-proof cups are very helpful!
- Coloring Books
- Construction Paper
- Safety Scissors
- Crayons & Markers
- Color Wonder Markers
- Melissa and Doug Water Wows
Practical Toddler Gifts
Ah, my favorite category!!! What parent doesn’t love a good practical gift. Something they actually need. Especially since at this point, they are too young to care if they get what they asked for. Milk that for what it is worth! Soon, they are going to have more opinions and won’t be as thrilled about a pair of shoes as they will be now. Here’s some ideas to get your brain going:
- Shoes – We are obsessed with Natives
- Winter Coat
- Rain Boots
- Puddle Jumper
- Beach Towels
- Baseball Cap
- Backpack – The Pottery Barn ones are so cute but something I’d only get if they were a gift! This a great time to ask for one.
- Pottery Barn anywhere chairs
- Toddler or Twin Bed
- Car seat or Booster Seat
- Water Bottles – We love Contigo
- Okay to wake clock – We have had this one but love our Hatch!
And that’s it! There are all of my favorite toddler gift ideas that aren’t just another piece of junk. I hope this list was helpful for you to have something to reference when you don’t have time to research and think of allllll of the things. What toddler gifts do you love and have lasted for more than just the holiday season in your house? I would love to hear in the comments below!
Cheers to not stressing about toddler gifting any longer!
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