Coming up with great gift ideas for toddlers can be challenging. Find out what makes a great Christmas gift for a toddler here.

Ultimate List of Gift Ideas for Toddlers

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Coming up with great gift ideas for toddlers can be challenging. Find out what makes a great Christmas gift for a toddler here. For unique gift ideas for everyone on your list, check this out.

christmas tree with decorations and print that says gift ideas for toddlers

Best toddler gifts for 1 and 2-year-olds

I have been caring for toddlers for 22 years and I have some great ideas to share with you to help you get something the child will love. I don’t like things that promote junk food or screen time.

Kids need to play with open-ended toys and explore and create. When thinking of gift ideas for toddlers, please try to stay away from electronics such as tablets, electronic games, or media such as movies. Kids have plenty enough of that.

wooden and cardboard puzzles on the table

When coming up with gift ideas for toddlers, remember a few things. Toddlers are curious. They are learning to be creative (A person’s creativity is formed by age 8, so now’s a good time to nurture that). They are absorbing knowledge like a sponge, so what you influence them with now makes a big difference. Toddlers are ACTIVE.

I don’t like interactive toys for young kids. Things that have only one use or can only be played with in a certain way. I love to see kids create ways to play with what they have. I love to see gift ideas for toddlers that spark the imagination.

toy food on a toy plate

The number one best gift for any age child is BOOKS! Books are great for kids to explore, wonderful for bonding time with adults to read books to them. Books help toddlers learn that words have meaning and reading to your baby or toddler is the first step in their journey to learn to read themselves.

There are so many wonderful books for kids of this age. I prefer board books for my toddlers because they last a lot longer. This gives more opportunity to teach the young child to care for books before the pages are so easily torn.

Toddlers are learning to nurture like they are nurtured. Good gifts for toddlers to stimulate nurturing play (which is important for girls AND boys) include:

Stuffed animals: A favorite character such as paw patrol or a sesame street character that a child can snuggle with can comfort them and give them a lot of hours of snuggles and joy. Kids can also do dramatic play with stuffed animals. The barney stuffed animal that my kids still play with was my daughter’s when she was 1 on up, and she’s 27.

Dolls (baby dolls and figures with houses, etc. are great for this) Dolls teach boys to be nurturers for jobs such as dad, uncle, pediatrician, firefighter, etc. They teach kids to nurture, act out their feelings, explore different roles and so many other things. Learning to care for a baby starts with playing with baby dolls.

Christmas ideas for toddlers

  • Dramatic play toys that can be used to play pretend as well as snuggly gifts and toys that teach kids things are great gifts for toddlers.
  • Dress me dolls (dolls or animals that have something to button, snap, zip, etc.)
  • Dress up clothes
  • Toy dishes and tools
  • Cars
  • Little people toys (buses, airplanes, and other toys with little people to play with them)
  • Soft blankets
  • Fluffy pillows
  • Soft furniture like a bean bag chair or tiny couch

Fine motor skill building is an important part of development for young kids and every toddler needs to learn to manipulate blocks, playdough, and other materials.

  • Blocks such as benders, Lincoln logs, Duplo blocks, etc.
  • Playdough
  • Sand and water table
  • Digging toys
  • Stacking cups
  • Lacing cards

Toddler educational toys are great gifts to give.

  • Board books
  • Busy Bugs or other games or toys with manipulatives (small pieces that can be sorted, counted, or used to make patterns)
  • Oh Rats, puzzle game or other simple games
  • Puzzles with 2-6 pieces
  • Music toys, pianos, drums, xylophone

Ride on and climb on toys are great for gross motor skill building and toddlers are doing  a lot of that. Anything that enhances that is a great gift for a toddler. Little tykes and Step 2 make many wonderful choices.

  • Slides
  • Climbers
  • Swings
  • Ride-on toys such as push cars and coupe cars
  • Tricycles

fisher price school bus, little person, and stuffed dinosaurs, gift ideas for toddlersGift ideas for toddlers who have everything

There are so many great options for toddler gifts. Just keep in mind how fast they are learning and growing when choosing something for them. Try to find something that will nurture that. It’s easy to do once you think about the benefits and uses of the gift. We are lucky to have curious toddlers to love and spend time with. They are special and fun!

Coming up with great gift ideas for toddlers can be challenging. Find out what makes a great Christmas gift for a toddler here.

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  1. This is such a great post! I’m about to become and Aunt for the first time, so I know I have the toddler years to come and I don’t want to buy my nephew any gifts that won’t help him and encourage exploration! Bookmarking for when he’s slightly older!

    1. Great! Coming soon I am going to post gift ideas for infants, so stay tuned for that too! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I agree with all of this. Toys that don’t constantly ‘talk’ or make noise at you and just let kids use their imagination are so fun and creative. I also like the Little People playsets and the figures are really durable. I actually became a Discovery Toys rep because I’m in a smaller town could not find many educational play based toys in the stores near me (not going to spam your page with any links though 🙂 ) Homemade playdough is great – do you have a go-to recipe that doesn’t get goopy? Also, do you find sand/water tables super messy afterwards (I’ve mostly kept sand/water play separate because I didn’t know if the sand would just be a huge cleanup headache). And the cozy coupe is fantastic – toddlers are drawn to that little car like a magnet!

    1. Thank you for your questions and comments. I love discovery toys, i used to sell them too. 🙂 I have a lot of them still. I don’t actually make a lot of homemade playdough, so I’d have to research that answer for you to get one that lasts well. As far as sand and water tables, i don’t find them messy. We dump our water out after each use and we have pea gravel in our play area so we use that in our tables instead of sand since it’s already here, but when we used sand, as long as we kept it covered, it stayed nice. 🙂 Thank you again for stopping by!