11 Incredible Gifts Your Toddler Will Actually Use

toddler gifts

The holidays are coming and everyone is inevitably asking what your toddler wants or needs.

Family and friends usually mean well, but we all have that one family member who purposely tries to punish us with the loudest, flashiest, most obnoxious gift out there.

It’s all out of love…I’m sure. 😉

That being said, don’t pass up the opportunity if someone actually takes the time to ask for suggestions!

I know it can be overwhelming to try to think of additional gifts when you’ve probably already spent a ridiculous amount of time just trying to figure out what you’re going to give your toddler.

You’re a busy mom! You have enough on your mind!

I get it.

Let me take this one for you and give you some great ideas for gifts your toddler will actually use.  (It’s really only a bonus that most of them are great for your little one’s development also.)

*This post contains affiliate links.  See disclosure policy.

1. One Two Squeeze Building Blocks for Toddlers 

These B. Toys building blocks by Battat are one of my toddler’s favorites!  large toddler blocks

Here are a few reasons you might love them too:

  • BPA and phthalates free
  • Includes 10 soft, chewable, squeaky blocks (hand-sculpted)
  • Great for boys and girls
  • Teaching opportunities: Numbers, shapes, animals, stacking, colors, and more!
  • B. Powerful! We.Org receives a portion of sales from every B. Toy purchased

2. Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank

Made by Fisher-Price, this little piggy is another favorite in our house.

toddler toysWhy should you bring this little piggy home?

  • Includes 10 colorful coins with numbers on one side and animals on the other
  • Over 40 sing-a-long songs, tunes, and phrases
  • Great for teaching kids colors, numbers, animals, open/close, put in/take out, and more!
  • Smart Stages Technology: (2 different settings) learning content changes as your child grows
  • Great for developing motor skills

3. Wooden Building Blocks Set

We love pretty much everything made by Melissa & Doug, & this set is no exception!  toddler building blocksDon’t be scared off by how many pieces there are.  Just throw them in a bin and keep it movin!
(Note: These are smaller than the soft blocks and come in a variety of shapes.)

Here are just a few reasons we love these blocks:

  • Melissa & Doug have a reputation for making great quality toys (six months later, ours still look new!)
  • Beautiful, colorful, wooden pieces
  • Great teaching opportunities: shapes, colors, up/down, stacking (including stacking different shapes), and so much more!
  • Great for getting your kids started with stacking and developing their motor skills
  • What I really love is that your kids will be able to enjoy them for a few years.  Two of my nieces (5 & 7 years old) love to play with them just as much as my toddler!

4. Little Hands String A Farm

Try this toy from ALEX Toys if you need your child to sit still for a few minutes! 😉toddler animal toysIncludes a cotton string with a wooden “needle” at one end & a stopper at the other.  There are also 12 wooden pieces that your toddler can add to the string using the wooden needle.
(Recommended for 3 years+ but my daughter isn’t even 2 yet & plays with it all the time supervised.)

Why is this toy one of MY personal favorites?

  • Great for fine motor skill development
  • Excellent tool to teach kids concentration, sequencing, counting, push/pull (when you are threading the “needle” through the wooden animals), animals, and more!
  • Winner of the Parents’ Choice Recommended Award & the iParenting Media Award
  • YOUR CHILD WILL ACTUALLY SIT STILL WHILE THEY PLAY WITH THIS! 
    (No wonder it’s won awards!)

5. Let’s Play House Dust! Sweep! Mop! 

This sturdy 6-piece pretend play set is another fabulous Melissa & Doug find.

 

toddler toys for pretend playBefore you pass this one by, consider this:

  • My toddler is always stealing my broom to play with anyway, so this just made sense!
  • Encourages pretend play
  • Helps develop fine motor skills
  • Sturdy construction (so it can grow with your kids)
  • Realistic cleaning tools are soft enough not to damage your furniture
  • Great for older kids playing house, too!

6. The First Years Stack Up Cups

These colorful cups by The First Years are a favorite in our house anytime water is involved!toddler bath toys water toys

My daughter received these as a gift from my sister last year and she still plays with them every single day.  They’re great in the bath, water tables, pools, or anywhere you can find water!

What’s so great about these cups anyway? (I am so glad you asked!)

  • Eight different cups, each a different size, with numbers embossed on the bottom
  • BPA and Phthalate free
  • Different cutouts on the bottom of each cup so the water streams out in different patterns depending on the cup
    (This is my daughter’s favorite part!)
  • Cups nest into one another
  • Encourages problem-solving skills
  • Great for sensory play
  • Great teaching opportunities with colors, counting, and sizes!

7. Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks

Another great product by Fisher Price that can grow with your child.
toddler shape sorter

(Ages 6 months to 3 years)

So many benefits, one little toy…

  • Obviously, this is great for sorting shapes and colors
  • For younger children/babies: practice putting the pieces into an open bucket with the lid off & then dumping the pieces out
  • For toddlers: practice shape sorting and color grouping while developing motor skills and problem-solving skills
  • Great for hand-eye coordination
  • It comes with the bucket to hold the pieces…you gotta love self-storage toys 😉
  • Above all, kids love anything with a handle.  My daughter walks around with this toy like a purse!

8. Laugh & Learn Zoo Animal Puzzle

This adorable zoo puzzle by Fisher Price is a great starter puzzle for toddlers.
toddler animal puzzle

Why this particular puzzle?

Honestly, any puzzle would be a great gift.  But here are a few reasons why I highly recommend this puzzle:

  • Super cute animals make sounds when your child puts the right animal in the right spot
  • Great for teaching your toddler which animals make which sounds
  • Large, raised pieces are easy to handle for toddlers with developing motor skills
  • Great for developing problem-solving skills
  • Great for developing motor skills
  • If that’s not enough, aren’t you curious what sound the zebra makes?  (I know I was!)

9. Collapsible play tunnels & ball pits

We bought this version from Hide N Side & it’s way more manageable than I expected.

collapsible play tunnel(This one’s a game changer!)

Here’s why everyone will be happy (even you!)

  • Surprisingly affordable
  • Multiple activities for toddlers & older kids, too
  • Great for motor skills & developing core strength
  • Great for tiring kids out on bad weather days
  • Includes 3 velcro balls that stick to the side with a target on it (Great for toddlers who love throwing things!)
  • Includes a basketball hoop that actually collapses right along with the ball pit (no assembly!)
  • Versatile: 2 tunnels & 3 play areas (so set up as many or as few as you want)
  • The whole thing collapses & stores in a small, flat bag that slides right under your couch (It actually does, I’ve done it multiple times.)
  • The balls are not included, so you can buy as many or as few as you want (the ones below come in a reusable bag with a zipper for easy storage!)

*My recommendation: When you purchase the balls for the ball pit, I would recommend this bag.  We initially bought this bag because it sounded like more than enough, but it didn’t even cover the bottom of the ball pit.  If we had bought the larger bag in the beginning, however, we would have had the perfect amount.

10. 2 in 1 Flip Open Foam Sofa

These toddler-sized sofas from Marshmallow Furniture convert from a sofa into a sweet lounger.  Toddler soft flip open sofa chair(For toddlers 18 months +)

There are also Paw Patrol & Mickey Mouse Roadsters Editions.

In case you need a reason…here are a few!

  • The cover is removable & machine washable
  • Safety-lock zipper protects your toddler
  • SUPER comfortable in the sofa position & the lounge position
  • Lightweight & easy for your toddler to move

11. Last, but certainly not least…BOOKS!

There are so many great books out there for toddlers.books for toddlers For instance, this book by Usborne touchy-feely books is one of my daughter’s favorites. 

So why do we love this book so much?

  • Each page has a different texture for your child to feel (like bumpy, scratchy, & soft)
  • Simple, repetitive text (great for toddlers)
  • Big, bold pictures & not too many words (subsequently great for keeping your toddler’s attention)
  • Great sensory experience

*If you like this book, there are others in the series also!  For instance, you can check out:

That’s not my kitten…                                                                That’s not my dragon…

That’s not my puppy…                                                               That’s not my teddy…

That’s not my unicorn…                                                            That’s not my panda…

 

To sum up…

There are so many great gifts out there for toddlers this year, but I hope this list will get you started.  These are just a few really great items that we love, so I hope your toddler enjoys them too!  Above all, I want to wish you and your family a very happy holiday season (because that’s what it’s all about!)

Before you go, don’t forget to pin this guide as a reference and comment below to let me know some of your toddler’s favorite toys!

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