Are you looking for gift ideas for toddlers? As a mom of 3 kids, I have made a list of our favorites. These are items that my kids play with again and again. My youngest is currently 19th months old, so I’m still looking for more ideas. Please share your favorites in the comments. I get commissions for purchases made through the affiliate links in this post.
Gift Ideas for Toddlers
For me, the best toddler toys are ones that stand the test of time. They are ones that my child loves as a toddler but still will play with a few years later.
My oldest absolutely loved trains when he was a toddler. It was a toy he played with every day. We were constantly building tracks and playing with trains. Aiden is now almost 8. He still enjoys playing trains every now and again. Lily (age 3.5) also loves playing with trains. She’s been learning since she was little how they work. She loved exploring cause and effect with trains. It’s a great way to introduce train tracks to toddlers without it feeling overwhelming. Elon (19 months) is also beginning to love trains. He likes playing with the train sets at the train store. At home, he still takes apart the tracks that his brother and sister make.
I don’t really have any recommendations for a fabulous train set. We bought simple sets that were on sale. I recommend keeping a look out for good prices. I will say that I love the set pictured above from Hape. My kids play with the Hape Musical Rainbow Railway Train Set every time we go to the train store. We brought home the xylophone melody track piece. It was a welcomed addition to their beloved trains plus it’s perfect to play with on it’s own.
I write for the Learning Resources blog, so they send us products like the jumbo dinosaurs above. These dinosaurs are one of my toddler’s favorite toys. He plays with them every single day. We have both the Jumbo Dinosaurs 2 set and the Jumbo Dinosaurs: Mommas and Babies set. We like to use them for pretend play and learning games. (Check out our dinosaur mazes.)
I think every toddler needs to have cars and trucks to play with. Green Toys makes some that are the perfect size for them. I love that Green Toys products are made from recycled plastic. My kids’ favorites are the blue pick-up truck (which is currently half off on Amazon) and the dump truck. We had fun exploring ramps with our Farm Animal Races with Little Blue Truck – a great introduction to simple science concepts for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Combine the blue truck with the story of Little Blue Truck for the perfect toddler gift under $20. Looking for more book suggestions for toddlers? Check out this list of animal sound books for toddlers.
My kids love LEGO. We have a giant bin of DUPLO that gets played with almost daily. DUPLO bricks are perfect for little hands. The sets are so versatile and will grow with your child. My almost 8 year old still plays with the DUPLO bricks. He likes using them for his large scale creations because they are quick to build. We have several different sets – Cars, Mickey and Minnie, super heroes, the zoo, the train, the carousel, and basic sets.
My suggestion is to get a set with basic DUPLO bricks (you get more bricks for your money) and choose a themed set that you know your kids would love. My kids love playing with the DUPLO figures (we have Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Mickey, Minnie, zoo animals, a zoo keeper, and a few kids) and the vehicles. We always put the sets together when we first get them but rarely do they get put back together like that again. This year I have my eye on the DUPLO My Town Family because it has more flat platforms and accessories that I know my kids will use. They love building houses and other buildings with their DUPLO bricks.
Little People are a classic toy that toddlers love. There are so many different characters and vehicles to choose from. My youngest two have a thing for school buses (probably because their big brother rides one). We have this bus. They also have a new version that has a lower price.
When Aiden was one, he played with the Little People Barn all the time at daycare, so we got him one for home. It is still played with 7 years later. The set above is their latest version – the Caring for Animals Farm Playset.
Ramps and vehicles are definitely a favorite for my toddlers. We have built lots of ramps over the years. The cool part about the Fisher-Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway is that it’s always built. The downside is that it takes up some space. We keep this toy in our living room. The kids use the cars that came with it as well as Hot Wheels cars. (Hot Wheels are not meant for kids under 3.)
We were sent the Stack ‘N’ Spray Tub Fountain for review. My 19th month old loves anything to do with water. Bath toys like the ones from Yookidoo are so much fun. Lily (age 3.5) and Elon loved spending some extra time in the tub to play with the fountain.
The Stack ‘N’ Spray Tub Fountain comes with 3 boats, 2 squirting characters and a battery-operated platform that draws water in to create the fountain. You can stack the boats and characters up in a different orders to get a different fountain effect. The red boat spins and sprays, the blue boat twirls its propeller, the red diver sprays 360 degrees and the yellow diver sprouts hair and squirts from his mouth.
My kids gravitate towards ride on toys. We have some for inside and some for outside. Their favorite is probably Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. We’ve had the police car version since my oldest was 2. We also have the Little Tikes Go and Grow Lil’ Rollin’ Giraffe Ride-on. I like the fact that the giraffe ride on has an adjustable seat so it can grow as the kids do.
I love puzzles like this Melissa & Doug Farm Animals Jumbo Knob Wooden Puzzle. Don’t worry if your toddler can’t put together puzzles just yet. Taking them apart is part of the learning process. (Read more about the importance of destructive play here.) Just make sure you choose ones with big pieces.
We got this slide last Christmas for 2 year old Lily. Elon has been playing on it since he could climb. We use it inside. It’s perfect for dreary days when we can’t go outside.
What are your favorite gift ideas for toddlers? Leave a comment and let me know!