The holiday season is taking on a whole new feel for our family this year. Although it’s not his first Christmas, this is the first year my son will be able to participate in all the excitement of Christmas lights, Santa Clause, presents, and all the other wonderful things that come with the holidays. He was only a couple months old last year, pretty sure he slept through most of the festivities. This year, it’s been so fun watching him actually experience everything, from putting up the tree to eating all the yummy food!
Last year, most gifts I got for my son revolved around what I needed for the baby (bottle accessories, clothes, burp cloths, blankets…with the occasional toy that he had no idea what to do with). This year is different. I am trying to shop more for him based on what I think he’ll like. Gift shopping for toddlers can be tricky because they can’t communicate and tell you what they want yet, but they also have these strong little personalities with obvious likes and dislikes. On top of all that, some gifts just seem unreasonably pricey, especially at this age when they’ll probably grow out of using the toy relatively quickly. Here are five great toddler gift ideas that won’t break the bank and that are sure to be a hit with any toddler!
Interactive educational books are a great gift for babies and toddlers . If other toddlers are anything like my kiddo, it’s rare for them to sit through an entire book reading without getting distracted and wanting to do something else. However, I’ve learned that with interactive books like lift-a-flap and textured touch and feel books, my son not only sits through the whole book reading, but he also gets super excited and interested in what’s coming next! Wonderful for language and conceptual development, interactive books are a perfect, and affordable, gift idea for toddlers. Here are a few staples we have at our house:
Studies have shown that learning to play a musical instrument at a young age helps to accelerate brain development as well and prepare children for school age activities such as mathematics and reading. Pretty cool huh?! Crazy to think that hearing and playing music can make such a significant difference in the physical make-up and electrical signaling pathways of the brain. Makes me want to start learning a new instrument too! Buuuttt, that ship has sailed… Anyway, here’s a sweet musical instrument set that can get your toddler started on his/her path toward musical genius:
I especially like this set because it comes with some blowing instruments – which are surprisingly harder to find compared to other types of instruments for kids. There’s also a little bit of everything in this set, so your toddler can experiment with all types of sounds and see which they like best. You could even start a little family band 🙂 The backpack that comes with the set is a big plus too!
My kiddo is still a bit young to color in the lines, or really draw at all (ha!), but that doesn’t stop me from encouraging him to draw and color as much as I can. Coloring and drawing can improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. It’s also thought to improve handwriting skills once they’re older! The down side of drawing can be the infamous wall art – which no parent wants to deal with. But I found this Aqua Doodle that’s got you covered!
This thing is awesome you guys! You just fill up the pen with some water and your little one can doodle away for hours, mess free! There are two pages to draw on and one shows up as green and the other as orange, so your kiddo still gets to experience bright colors as they doodle. You can also pack this up and easily take it with you anywhere you go to keep your toddler occupied (great for airplanes!).
Wooden block puzzles are a fun and productive way to keep your toddler busy while also strengthening their problem solving skills and hand-eye coordination. These puzzles also provide a great opportunity to start learning shapes, colors, the alphabet, animals – just about anything! There’s a wooden puzzle out there for every theme. You can even personalize a block puzzle for your little one!
Table and Chairs
The grand finale, and the pricier of the listed gift ideas, is a cute little table and chair set! My son is weirdly obsessed with sitting in chairs. He gets this cute little look of accomplishment or pride every time he sits in a chair. It’s like it makes him feel like a big kid – it’s so adorable. So naturally, I thought it’s the right time get him his own toddler sized table and chair set that he can use to read, color, or do puzzles!
After a lot of research, this is the table and chair set we decided would be best for our family. This one only has the two chairs, which is all we need at this point with only one child. It also has a versatile removable top so you can store and build Legos underneath!
Gift shopping, especially for children that are not ours, can be tough when there are a bajillion options out there. I hope these toddler gift ideas were helpful and got you thinking about all the many fun, affordable, and educational gift options available for our growing little humans.
*I’m trying out he amazon affiliates program, so I will receive a small commission on any purchases made using the links on this post. Thanks for your support!