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Holiday Gift Guide: Toddlers

It should be easy to pick out a great gift for the kids on your list, but more often than not, they are the most difficult to shop for.  You want to get them something that they will enjoy and actually use.  You also know that they already have a room full of toys, and don’t really need another action figure, doll, or stuffed animal.

Today’s gift guide is for toddlers. Toddlers are tons of fun to shop for.  They are finally beginning to understand toys, and they show a clear preference for what they like and do not like.  They have tons of personality, which will help steer you towards gifts that they will enjoy.  On the other hand, toddlers rarely use toys in the way that adults expect they will.  The best gifts for toddlers are items that can be appropriately used in a variety of ways, and that will encourage creative play. 

Wooden blocks and pieces: We love wooden blocks for a couple of reasons; they are very durable, they are aesthetically pleasing, not only to kids but also to adults, which is a big plus because they will end up all over your house, and they are generally more multipurpose than plastic blocks, which can often only be used or arranged one way.  Some of our favorite sets include the Imaginarium Wooden Block set (available on Amazon in a few different size options) and the Stack-a-Spool set from Mama May I on Etsy.

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Sensory Play: If you are looking for a single activity that will keep a toddler busy for at least an hour then we have two words for you: Sand Box.  Toddlers LOVE sand play, it has some kind of magnetic force that draws them in.  Now yes, it can be messy, and We wouldn’t suggest putting it in the house, but here are a couple of options.  This Step2 sandbox has a lid (a must for keeping sand in and critters and rain out!), and is fairly unassuming in it’s natural tones and $50 on Amazon, it’s an inexpensive option. If you are looking for something that you can use indoors, and possibly switch the contents fairly often, try this Inflatable Sensory Tray by S&S.  The huge plus with the inflatable tray is that it can be deflated and put away without taking up too much space. 

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Dramatic Play: Dress up is a favorite activity for toddlers, and you can gift them with some really great play items that don’t cost a fortune or take up a ton of space.  After Halloween be sure to check clearance racks for costumes, and kids’ resale stores are a great place to look too.  little ones can make a lot of play happen with just a few inexpensive items – a feather boa, some bandanas, a cape, a simple DIY tutu, or a child-sized cowboy hat are all great ideas that can be found at nearly any big box store.  If you want something a little more personalized try iCROWNyou on Etsy for amazing animal masks and personalized crowns and magical capes on Etsy for personalized super hero capes. 

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Music: Toddlers love to make noise, we probably don’t need to tell you this! In order to keep mom and dad from loosing their minds, we recommend staying away from the plastic instruments that blink and beep, and seem to play that same song over and over and over… If you know a toddler who really truly loves music, then invest in their passion, gift them with a smaller versions of real musical instruments.  The Melissa and Doug Beginner Band Set is a great option for introducing children to instruments. we also love the Melissa and Doug Learn to Play Piano (We pretty much love everything by Melissa and Doug).

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We hope this gives you some great ideas for your favorite toddler, let us know what other items you’ll be purchasing in the comments! Tomorrow we’ll have a gift guide for preschoolers. 

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