Kids up to the age of three love to learn by acting things out and using all of their senses to explore. The best toys are ones that encourage imaginative play, gently guide them through learning about letters, numbers, and colors in fun and interactive ways, and engage their senses. Books are a great gift for any age but books for toddlers should feature vibrant colors, repetitive text so they can memorize the story and begin to learn pre-reading skills, and fit their little hands so they’re just the right size for reading alone or on a lap snuggled with a loved one. Toddlers are also at the perfect age to enjoy getting mail so a subscription to an age appropriate magazine makes a great gift from grandparents who want to be remembered often even if they don’t necessarily live nearby.
AlphaZoo Spinner ($21.99)— Remember the See and Say with the lever that you could pull down and the spinner that went round and round until landing on an animal and speaking the noise the animal made? While it’s still a great toy, LeapFrog’s AlphaZoo Spinner teaches so much more. Each letter has it’s own place on the wheel for the spinner to land on and when it does, kids can listen and learn the names of the letters (Letter Mode) or names and sounds of animals when in Animal Mode.
Hobby Horse ($34.99)— I remember loving my hobby horse as a child and according to my husband, my sister-in-law had an entire collection of them. There are many different play scenarios for hobby horses that not only involve riding them around the house but also taking care of them as if they are a real horse! I happen to love the hobby horses from Great Britain’s Mamas & Papas that come in 2 fabric prints- brightly colored or cowboy print fabric. These high quality hobby horses feature a solid wood stick for riding and also handles on each side of the horse’s head. A sound chip in the right ear activates neighing sounds for a more realistic riding experience. Choose from brightly colored or cowboy print fabric.
Play-Doh Perfect Twist Ice Cream Playset ($21.99) and PlayDoh Ultimate Rainbow Pack ($10.99)— Even though my youngest is 7, he still loves sitting down with fresh Play-Doh. The PlayDoh Ultimate Rainbow Pack provides just enough of every color to make a delightful assortment of flavors when playing with the Perfect Twist Ice Cream Playset. Swirl the colors to make twist cones, create fun toppings in a rainbow of colors, and serve it up in the cups and spoon that come with the set.
Playskool Showcam 2-in-1 Digital Camera and Projector ($59.99)— If your child is always clamoring to snap a photo with your smartphone or your digital camera, perhaps it’s time to get them their own. While a hand-me-down works just fine, well meaning relatives who are dead set on giving your kids a new camera would do well with the Playskool Showcam. This durable camera allows toddlers to point, click, store up to 1000 images, and show their photos to adoring relatives via a slideshow thanks to the projection feature. Big buttons make it easy to use while a large LCD screen on the back makes it easy to view photos and toggle between photo capture and projection modes. USB ports allow parents to upload and print photos. Make sure you unwrap this gift early so your child can capture the fun of the holiday while everyone is present! Just be sure to include 4 AA batteries.
Musical Rainbow Tea Party ($21.99)— Tea parties not only teach sharing and turn taking but also good manners and while traditional tea sets are fun to set up for tea parties with parents and favorite stuffed animals, LeapFrog’s Musical Rainbow Tea party turns tea into a fun and interactive learning experience. The light-up teapot bubbles with personality while percolating tea to help kids build their motor skills and coordination through play. The Musical Rainbow Tea Party features 50+ songs, phrases and tea party sounds. Children will enjoy tipping the teapot to see it light up, for fun sounds, and see the tea pour from the pot in a realistic manner. Musical Rainbow Tea Party also teaches colors & matching, manners & greetings and counting.
Elefun Busy Ball Popper ($29.99)— It’s hard to choose just one item to feature from the darling Elefun line but you really can’t go wrong with the Elefun Busy Ball Popper who is not only darling, but encourages coordination through play. Five balls go in the ears and pop up out of the trunk for kids to catch or capture as they roll across the floor. It’s a great compact indoor activity that can keep toddlers occupied for a long period of time. If you’re giving the Busy Ball Popper as a gift, include an extra set of balls.
Age appropriate books and subscriptions for toddlers
BabyBug ($33.95/year) — Published by Cricket Magazine, this subscription features gorgeous stories and illustrations in issues that have a board-book quality feel to them. It’s a perfect first magazine to sit down and read together to foster beginning literacy.
Spot the Dot ($12.99)— This new book is a colorful adventure for toddlers where their task is to spot the dot hidden in lift-the- flaps, turn-wheels, pull-tabs, and a giant pop-up that leaps off the page. The bright, graphic illustrations and vibrant colors are sure to keep kids hunting thanks to the highly interactive pages.
Rawr! ($12.99)— This silly story features Rex, a polite, well-behaved T-Rex who discovers that being a dinosaur is tough work and even though he’s bigger than all the other kids and his teacher, his desk is too small, he’s bad at playing hide-and-seek, and tends to scare others, Rex teaches everyone why being different is great in this hilariously heartwarming story about making friends, getting along, and learning to say Rawr!
Samples were received for review purposes. Amazon Affiliate links contained in this post. All opinions are my own.