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I am very passionate about toys; play is the work of kids. That’s why toys should be on your list of gift ideas for toddlers around Christmas and other holidays. Great toys are the tools, it’s important to have open ended toys, toys that can grow with kids – and it is also important to have an appropriate amount of toys. Too much is never better, its overwhelming. Studies have shown kids left with 1-4 toys in a room versus 20 toys in a room, are engaged in play for far longer with less toys!
I try to stay away from one-and-done toys, toys that take batteries, light up, make sounds and essentially do the work for your child. Those types of toys don’t allow for much imagination, they won’t be played with for long. You’ll notice plenty of these toys are made from wood, I don’t know if I just have hulkster strong children but plastic toys do not last around here.
One final note before we get to these toddler gift ideas, a lot of these items are rated as 36 months or 3 and above – that is because they may include some small parts. Parents know their children best. I have one kid who never put anything but food in her mouth and the other one I still have to watch with small pieces and she is nearly 5. Toddlers should always be supervised with (and without) toys regardless of the rating on the box.
See also: 45 Unique Christmas Countdown Ideas
Table of Contents
Our Favorite Christmas Gift Ideas for Toddler Boys and Girls
Baby dolls! Anything that promotes role playing is a huge win. My kids have been playing with dolls for as long as I can remember and they show no signs of stopping anytime soon. They play family and daycare, they care for their babies the way they see me care for them. Such a sweet gift that encourages so much imagination and creativity.
Blocks, so simple but can be used for so many things. Shape and colour recognition both with this set. Building towers, knocking them over and building them again. Blocks can become a garage for toy cars, dog houses for toy pets, castles for princesses and so much more.
Balls for rolling, catching, throwing, hiding. These baby toy balls have different textures for tactile exploration and sensory development. They can be chewed on, squished, and rolled around for hours. Larger balls make a great Christmas gift for toddlers and for stocking stuffer ideas you can give smaller/textured ones.
This rack, ramp and cars are made from wood. The cars swing back and forth from ramp to ramp (which is great for visual tracking) and can be collected to do it over and over again. The cars can be driven other places besides the ramp and the ramp can be used for other types of cars as well.
Like I said, anything that encourages role play is a goldmine toy. A play kitchen will stand the test of time with regards to age, good from 1 to at least 10. Kids are always watching their parents in the kitchen. Also lends itself to restaurant play. Such a great gift, one of the few big footprint toys that I’ve allowed to live in our house – for many years too.
Continuing the theme here, regular old pots and pans will do the trick, but getting them their own set assures yours are readily available when you need them. This set is also the perfect size for that play kitchen.
Anything that can be pushed was a hit around here too, also doubles as a walker! Goes great with baby dolls, stuffies – another Christmas gift ideas for toddlers that will stretch many ages.
Another push toy, this is still one my kids fight over. They are forever playing grocery store and mom. Just like me but they tend to be dressed cuter. ha.
Love this little wagon, the rope handle is so much easier for little arms to pull, no need to account for angles. Can be used in or outdoors to pull around whatever your tiny boss desires.
Kids love ball pits!!! …parents will love this ball pit that zips back up so they aren’t finding balls in every corner of the house all day. This is seriously the perfect little size, enough room for kiddo and a reasonable amount of balls without there being too many and or losing too much floor space to a giant pit.
Such a great little gift, can be filled with family members for a kiddo heading off to daycare, pictures of distant relatives, cousins, friends, whoever. Great for facial recognition, can swap out the pictures often. Will definitely be a prized possession of the little one it is gifted to.
Busy boards and books are such a great teaching tool. They can have so many different clasps and tasks to do inside. Would make a great gift for any family who spends an excess amount of time in the car. Great alternative to screen time.
The xylophone can be pulled out and played like a regular xylophone – but the keys are also played by the balls when they are banged through the holes with the little hammer that comes with it. Cute little toy, one that might have to go missing if its gets too noisy at home – definitely something a childless aunt or uncle would buy. 😜
Doctor kits, again with the role play. This one is wooden and personalizable! Love the simplicity of it. Any imaginary play toys would make great Christmas gift ideas for toddlers.
Duplo – aka baby lego! Very similar to lego but in larger size. This set just comes with basic pieces, no complicated instructions, great for all sorts of things – just like blocks but slightly more secure due to the interlocking (or whatever you would call it).
Kids love animals, they love learning their names and the sounds they make! Animal figurines really aid in those two things, plus they can build their own farms and zoos, and role play with these for hours. Also great for throwing into a purse to keep a little one busy at a restaurant, in the car or waiting for an appointment.
I can’t even tell you how many broom handles I’ve lost to horse riding! Invest in one of these guys and save your brooms for sweeping.
Love dress-up, this set comes with 3 costumes, all sure to be loved by any little. Great open ended role play here again, lots of imagination skills at play with these costumes.
This puzzle is such a great gift! Name recognition is important, it has colour recognition potential plus the animals too. It’s great for actually puzzle-ing too. The knobs are great for little hands, spatial awareness, such cute, customised, and educational toy.
This cute wooden tea set is the sweetest, again so much potential for role play, family, restaurant etc… My eldest received a similar set the Christmas just before age 2 and she is almost 6 now and still plays with it weekly.
An invaluable tool in the life of a little person, a step stool. We have one in each bathroom, one in their room and one in the main living area. The cut outs make this one especially easy to move around – and its neutral in colour, which is so nice for overall home decor.
This play sink has a functioning faucet! I know houses also have real sinks but having this play one is so handy, just plunk on a towel at toddler height, in view and buy yourself hours of free time. Seriously, nothing holds kids’ attention like water.
This is a montessori toy, you use the little clamp to put the bees in the corresponding colour of the little hive. This is a toy on the older end of the toddler spectrum though, these are fine motor skills that aren’t ready for real little ones. Super cute, also wood.
Flashlights are always a hit. Melissa and Doug is a great brand, it has a wide grip handle for little hands, the buggy feet make it so the flashlight sits flat when put down. Great for Christmas gifts for toddlers or even stocking stuffer ideas.
These mini trampolines are a bit of an eye sore but they are a lifesaver during long winters and rainy seasons. Anything to burn off energy inside, get the bedtime zoomies out and everyone sleeps better – and sleep is priceless!
And last but not least, books!! My first library includes a set of 10 board books for little ones. Bright colours, sturdy books, and all the best subjects – ABC, Numbers, Shapes, Colours, Wild Animals, Farm Animals & Pets, Birds, Fruits, Vegetables, Transport.