By TMoM Team Member Anna Keller

‘Tis the season to be shopping for our littles!

It’s a fun time of year, full of magic and anticipation, but it’s also easy for things to get out of hand from a gift-giving standpoint. If your kiddo is anything like mine, they already have PLENTY of toys (many of which go un-played with much of the time, unfortunately), and they’ll be getting more of those from friends and relatives. We try to be mindful about the kinds of gifts we buy for our daughter, and to limit the “stuff” we bring into our home to things we think she’ll enjoy, that she’ll learn from, that can be hands-on and experiential, or that will be genuinely useful.

There are many gifts that fall into one of those categories, but for the sake of simplicity (our holiday goal, after all!) today I’m sharing five gift ideas for babies, five gift ideas for toddlers, and five gift ideas for preschoolers. I hope you find this list helpful!


  • College Fund Donation: I remember when my daughter, Maggie, was a baby, there was so little she needed when Christmas rolled around. She obviously wasn’t going to remember that holiday or have awareness of its gift-giving nature. Being able to contribute to her college fund was a perfect option to share with friends and family for that first Christmas!
  • Christmas Tradition Accessories: I’m not sure if “accessories” is the right word, but I’m thinking of things like cookie plates for Santa, special Christmas plates/cups, classic Christmas books, etc. This would be a good time to gift those things and know you and your child will enjoy them year after year! (Read this sweet blog about The Polar Express book tradition!)
  • Personalized Name Puzzle: These are so sweet, and are toys babies can continue to enjoy as they grow! They also look adorable in a playroom or bedroom. Here are some great options!
  • Sophie La Girafe: This is one toy that (in my experience) absolutely lives up to the hype. If your baby doesn’t have this teething toy yet, it would be a great one to include under the tree!
  • Stacking Toys: Help your little one develop fine motor skills and special reasoning with a good stacking toy set. This one won’t take up much room (a plus!), and can be stacked again and again – and again and again!


Image credit: Amazon



  • Personalized Book: Make the gift of a book extra special by incorporating your toddler’s name! There are lots of good options for these – including this brand – and your child is bound to be excited to have their name be front and center. Use coupon code “WKV3XRV” for 20% off.
  • Vet Pet Set: My animal-loving daughter received this as a Christmas gift when she was 2.5 years old, and it continues to be a favorite toy a year later. It fosters nurturing and imagination, and can totally double as a doctor’s kit! (It’s used on humans often at our house, too.)
  • Magazine Subscription: Your toddler will LOVE getting mail just for them, and you can enjoy the magazine together each time it arrives. Some good options include these from Cricket Media or High Five by Highlights.
  • Piggy Bank: It’s never too soon to start talking about money – including saving and giving – and this piggy bank helps those conversations start sooner than later.
  • Musical Instruments: True, this can be a noisy gift (sorry about that!), but the potential annoyance of that will be easily outweighed by the joy and development that can happen as a result of this kind of gift.


Image credit: Amazon



  • Yoga Mat: Our preschooler loves watching Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube, and now that she has her very own yoga mat (it was a birthday gift), she feels even more like a yogi!
  • Subscription Box: Your preschooler will delight in getting mail JUST for them, and you’ll love all the learning and interaction that happens as a result! (Plus, of course, this isn’t a toy that will sit in the playroom. It’s an activity that can be used and enjoyed, then you’ll move on to a new one with the next box’s arrival.) Two good options: Little Passports and Raddish Kids.
  • Dinnerware: Use the holidays as an opportunity to clean up your preschooler’s dinnerware! So many kids’ plates, bowls, and cups are made from plastic or melamine, which aren’t that great. Check out this post on curiouser & curiouser for some safer alternative recommendations.
  • Outdoor Playset: This is our daughter’s big gift this year, and it feels particularly appropriate for 2020 (although is also something we’ll enjoy for years to come – especially with a second kiddo on the way!). We chose to ask both sets of grandparents to contribute to this gift, and are excited for her to know that so many people who love her so much were behind this gift she’ll love playing on over and over.
  • Cooking/Baking Accessories: If your preschooler loves to be in the kitchen (like mine does!), some good gift ideas are things like kid-safe knives or a tiny apron. They’ll build skills and confidence, and you’ll love the time spent together in the kitchen.

Looking for other toddler/preschooler gift ideas? I have more listed in this blog post over at curiouser & curiouser!
See more gift ideas for all ages here!

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