What makes a good gift for the toddler set? Kids who are between a year and a half and three need toys that will let them be creative, imaginative, and playful. Toddlers are working hard to understand the world around them and have brains like sponges. They love engaging in early academic skills like reading books, listening to music, building, sort, and problem solving in fun ways. While they’re drawn to screens, there are plenty of screen-free ways to entertain this age group who is naturally curious and this collection of gifts is perfect for ages 18 months-3 because each and every item lets them play without a screen.
Super Spinner Swing ($59.99)— It may be chilly out now but toddlers still need to run, jump, and swing and chances are they will love being bundled up for a ride on the Super Spinner Swing. This two child swing holds up to 150 pounds and comes in blue, green, red, yellow, and purple Don’t forget to buy hardware like the Single Tree Swing Hanging Kit ($23) to ensure that your new swing can be safely installed for years of fun!
Dressy Kids Dressy Bessy or Dapper Dan ($19.99) — Toddlers craving independence and wanting to dress themselves will love the practice they get from the zipper, buckle, button, tie, and fabric fastener on the Dressy Kids Dressy Bessy or Dapper Dan who are also perfect as take-along friends. Dressy Bessy and Dapper Dan are sold independently and come with a secure clip to attach to strollers or bags to help ensure they’re never left behind.
Plymouth Rockers by Rocknoceros (starting at $8.99 from Amazon)— A long time favorite, Rocknoceros is a local band who we still adore thanks to smart lyrics and fun tunes that evoke the Beatles and other cool classic rock bands your kids should know as part of their music education. This year the band celebrated their tenth anniversary with the release of Plymouth Rockers, their fifth full length CD that includes tributes to more of the 50 states. Rocknoceros set a goal of writing a song about each state and they’re well on their way with Kansas, Florida, Louisiana, Colorado, Tennessee, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, and the Mississippi River represented on their latest release and joining Texas and Virginia from previous releases.
Radio Flyer All-Terrain Cargo Wagon ($199.99)— The red Radio Flyer wagon is a classic gift for this age group that grows with them. As toddlers, parents will find themselves giving lots of rides but as kids grow, a wagon is the perfect vehicle for preschoolers to use to haul belongings around the yard or neighborhood while elementary ages hop back in for adventurous rides pushing their friends! The All-Terrain Cargo Wagon features natural wood sides that can be removed to create a flatter hauling surface and rubber tires that can be filled with air for a smooth ride.
Mini Golf ($29.99)— Hit the green with this fun mini golf set for toddlers that comes with 2 wooden kid-sized golf clubs, 2 wooden balls, 3 different challenging tracks and 1 hole to create a course outside or around the house! I love that the PBS KIDS line of toys available from Whole Foods Market inspire creativity, are made with responsibly-sourced materials like PlanWood (high density fiber composite wood from rubber trees, organic color pigment, and rubber wood), and is a gift that gives back since the purchase of holiday products support mission of education for all children by helping to fund PBS KIDS programming and the Whole Kids Foundation.
Fisher Price SmartToy ($100)— Toddlers need a best friend who is a good listener, available for epic adventures, has a great imagination, and doesn’t resist hugs. Fisher Price Smart Toy represents a new generation of plush toys that provides interactive learning without a screen and gets to know your child. Available as a monkey or bear, Smart Toy is an interactive plush that facilitates and personalizes play for kids ages 3-5 based on their developmental level. For more information, visit my full review of the Fisher Price Smart Toy.
Pop Up Shape Sorter Toy ($12.99) — Every child needs a shape sorter to practice hand-eye coordination, shapes, and problem solving skills. Toddlers will have fun sorting the four recognizable shapes into the darling kitty base and engaging in pretend play with the smiling cat. Parents will love that the cat becomes flat for storage and can be carried thanks to the tail that flips up to become a handle.
My First Camera ($14.99)— Small aspiring shutterbugs will love pretending to take pictures with the PBS KIDS My First Camera toy that cones with a kaleidoscope lens and is designed for ages 12 months and older. Just like the Golf Set, the purchase of My First Camera gives a portion of the proceeds to Whole Kids Foundation, which helps give parents, teachers and children more tools and opportunities to eat well.
Shopping Bag Cart ($165)— Toddlers emulate what we do in order to better understand the world around them some of the best toys allow them to act out what they see through pretend play. I adore this Shopping Bag Cart because it’s the exact kind of thing that Emily would have loved at age 2. She was always collecting objects from around the house in bags pretending to grocery shop and loved the tot-sized carts at our Whole Foods that she pushed alongside my full size one. The reusable bag on the birch Shopping Bag Cart comes on and off while the bottom platform holds larger items. I only wish it had a seat to strap in favorite stuffed animals!
Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks (starting at $34.99) Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks have been a long-time favorite of our family thanks to open ended possibilities that come when playing with these natural wood blocks that can be used for building thanks to internal magnets. Starter sets come with an array of shapes in different sizes but as kids clamor for more pieces, add a 4 pack of Magnetic Wooden Wheels ($14.99) to create vehicles of your own or Skyhook ($49.99), Daredevil ($34.99), Circuit Racer ($40), or Looper ($40) for more play possibilities with pieces that can be mixed and matched making them fun for kids and parents alike.
Play Table with Mirror Top ($229)— For a true splurge of a gift that will be used for years to come, the Play Table with Mirror Top from YLiving is a beautifully designed piece of furniture that allows toddlers to enjoy challenges and adventures while they place objects on the shatterproof acrylic mirror. Little ones will not only enjoy seeing the reflection of objects but also watching themselves play. The smooth rounded corners, lip that keeps toys from falling off the surface, non-toxic, natural UV finish, and large storage area underneath makes this a wonderful addition to a family play area.
Need more ideas? Visit my past Toddler Gift Guides and other 2014 Gift Guides that will help you find the best gifts for all ages!
- 2014 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Toddlers
- 2013 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Toddlers
- 2012 Gifts for Toddlers
- 2010 Holiday Gift Guide: Toddlers
- 2009 Holiday Gift Guide: TODDLERS
- 2008 Holiday Gift Guide Toddler and Preschool Edition
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