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We know you’re busy getting a head-start on your holiday shopping, and so are we. Just like we said before, we don’t want to take away from the spirit of Thanksgiving, but sometimes you just have to be realistic! Today’s post is a Holiday Gift Guide for Toddlers Ages 1 – 3 with some classic toys, Triad Moms on Main team member picks, and some newer popular toys. I searched various sites (Amazon, Target, and Walmart) to find out what they’re saying are the hot picks, and then I narrowed down their choices by what looked the most appealing to boys and girls in this age group. I also included tried ‘n true toddler toy picks from some of us on the TMoM team at the end of this post. Happy shopping!

Gift Guide for Toddlers that Encourage Physical Development

Melissa and Doug Blocks
Blocks should be a staple on every toddler wish list, and these were listed as a top pick 

Gift Guide for Toddlers

Lego Duplo Number Train
This toy is a great introduction to Lego’s Duplo Bricks. Kids can learn to load the DUPLO number bricks onto the train toy in the correct order and unload them again to improve their fine motor skills

These bright and cheery suction cups can be used for entertaining and for building. Perfect for home, the bathtub, the stroller, and when traveling. This is a toy that they will continue to use as they grow!

Wooden Sensory Bin and Tools

We started playing with our sensory bin around age 1 and my daughter is still playing with it and she is almost 4. You can switch out the sensory material inside of it to keep making it exciting. Some of the things we use are rice, dried peas, beans, and water beads. 

Gift Guide for Toddlers that Encourage Pretend Play

Kelly says costumes never went out of style with her toddlers no matter the season! We also agree with that in our house. My girls love to play dress up. We play dress up so much we made a little station with this toddler rack to hang them and this bookcase for accessories. The bookcase could also double as a dollhouse!

Train Tables
All kids adored wooden train sets and table. It’s a great gift that you can keep adding to.

Doctor Kits

A variation of this gift was on multiple team members’ recommendations. Doctor, Dentist, and Vet kits are big hits with the kids. Not only are they fun for them, it also helps them to be more comfortable going to the doctor learning about the different tools and what they are used for.

Garden Building Set

Another Gift enjoyed by both our girls. There are many different types of pieces. It also helps teach them the part of a flower/plant.

Anything with their Favorite Characters

TMOM team member Brooke is getting Disney Mickey Mouse Fire Engine & Friends for her son & Sarah is getting the new Bluey Video Game for her kids.

Gift Guide for Toddlers to Keep Them Active 

Classic Balance Bike
This bike (and similar versions) always makes the top gift lists year after year, and it’s been widely popular in Dani’s home too! 

Bubble Mower
This was a popular choice! We got a few of these from our daughters 2nd birthday.  Both my 2 and 3 year olds loved running around the lawn with this or pretending to mow the lawn like Dad.

This toy was always a big smile maker for both of my children. I still remember the hours of laughter & playing this as a kid!

Little Tykes Cozy Coupe
This Cozy Coupe is sturdy enough to last through the years, beginning with those who are just learning to walk. There are so many fun versions of this classic car from lady bugs to dinosaurs.

A tricycle is a must for kids this age, and this one helps take the strain off mom and dad’s back while they push their toddler around for hours. It worked great for us!

Activity Center
Activity tables are perfect for this age. This one has a ton of activities to engage your child when it’s out for play!

Playskool Sit and Spin Classic Spinner
Remember when you used to sit, spin, and giggle on this? Well, now it’s time for your little one to enjoy the spinning fun of this classic toy. 

Push Toys 

Melissa & Doug Toy Shopping Cart or Strollers are popular push toys for this age group. 

Gift Guide for Toddlers to Encourage Creativity

Crafts Kits
We always keep a variety of age-appropriate craft projects in our home. When I asked my 3 year old what she wants to do, the majority of the time the answer is arts and crafts! 

Instrument Set with Backpack

This is another gift we have had for years that both kids have kept playing with for years.

Do A Dot Art Marker Rainbow 6-pack
Dani suggests this simple (and not-so-messy) craft set for the young ones! We also love dot markers and pairing it with this activity book with over 400 pages of activities. They are great for learning letters, number, colors, shapes, etc.

Gift Guide for Toddlers to Encourage Play-Based Learning

Lovevery Play Kits

Lovevery had 12 play kits for ages 1-3 and a variety of other toys they offer not sold-in kits. They are all stage-based play essentials that encourage brain-building fun. 

The Babbler: Feature Image Transparent

Think Fun Roll and Play Game
Players roll the soft cube, and depending on the color they rolled, they have to pick up the appropriate color card. They then have to perform one of six different silly categories on the card (such as “Rub your belly,” or “Moo like a cow.”)

Montessori Screwdriver Board Set

A fun little toy with all types of tools and screws, because kids always want want what their parents have.

LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket
Ashleigh’s daughter got this gift at 1 and played with it for years. Leap frog is still making new versions of this toy 12 years later, so you know it’s a bestseller! 

Kid O A to Z Magnatab
Learning letters has never been more fun for Dani’s kids!

Wooden Puzzle Set & Storage
I love wooden puzzles. These help promote creating thinking, reasoning and problem solving at a young age.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Products
Every website I researched for top toddler toys had at least one Laugh & Learn product on it’s list. They are all cute and I’m sure any one of these would be a big hit.

Gift Guide for Toddlers for Electronics 

Yoto Player

A lot of people have heard of Tonies, but after doing a lot of research we went with a similar company Yoto. It is a little player similar to Discmans a lot of you might have had as a kid. Instead of CDs, you use little cards the size of credit cards. You can buy prerecorded or make your own cards. They end up being a lot cheaper than tonies and are much easier to transport. Not only do they have music, but they have activities such as meditation, yoga, recipes, riddles, and much more! This is a big hit with my girls. We use it at bedtime while traveling, or just at home playing. 

Play Phone

This isn’t just any ordinary play phone. It has a working camera, music, flashlight, games, stories, and more. This is have been enjoyed in our house hold from 1 to almost 4 and I don’t see them losing interest in it soon. 

Ideas that are not Toys

College Fund
Piggy bank with some coins
Gift Cards
Experiences – get them passes or memberships to local kid’s museums trampoline parks, or play gyms.
Cardboard Box Crafts – Why do kids always go for the cardboard box? Here are some ideas from Artsy Craftsy Mom on fun-to-make crafts with leftover boxes.  It’s also fun for the parent to use some of those creative talents – and did I mention this is about as inexpensive as it gets?

toddler kitchen made with cardboard boxes

Local Businesses for Toddler Gifts

Toys and Co.
Bibs & Kids

Oh Baby by 119
Wynnie’s Boutique
Play! by Cone Health
Greensboro Science Center
Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum
Nido & Mariana Qubein Children’s Museum

Once they start pulling themselves up and cruising around, your holiday shopping takes on a whole new direction. But since they’re not old enough to make a list, you still have a few years to be creative with the kinds of gifts you give.  I hope this Holiday Gift Guide for Toddlers gave you a lot of ideas for things to add to your list. What other toys can you add to this list? 

Past Posts You Might Also Want to Consider:

My Favorite Holiday Gift Personalized Gifts for Kids
Gift Ideas: Toddler Toys that Teach
Fun Learning Activities for Babies & Toddlers
Gift Ideas for Preschoolers
Gift Ideas for Ages 4-7