This page may contain affiliate links. Learn More.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Ride-on toys such as push cars and coupe cars
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!