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How to Shop for Christmas Gifts for Toddlers

Updated on December 6, 2012
How do you shop for toddlers for Christmas gifts?
How do you shop for toddlers for Christmas gifts? | Source

Shopping for toddlers can be lots of fun, but with so many options out there, it can also be overwhelming. Which should you choose? How will you know if he/she will like it? Which gifts are age appropriate for toddlers?

Toddlers are full of energy and easily excited. The toddlers years are a time of exploration and discovery. More often than not, the simple, classic gifts tend to make the best ones for toddlers. For example, my daughter has a fancy roll-and-crawl ball that plays music, has ribbons and lights, and rolls on it's own. Though it keeps my daughter occupied for a little bit, we find that a regular ball is much more entertaining.

What kind of gifts do toddlers enjoy?
What kind of gifts do toddlers enjoy? | Source

Things to Consider When Shopping for a Toddler

  • Keep it simple. More likely than not, the tot your shopping for has lots of plastic toys with a bunch of gadgets and doodads. Truth be told, the simple, classic gifts usually make the best gifts for toddlers.
  • Though many toddlers are beginning to grow out of the, put-everything-in-my-mouth, phase, you still want to be cautious of small parts and pieces that may be choking hazards.
  • Toddlers love to touch and feel and they learn so much by doing this. Think about getting something that he or she can manipulate with his or her hands or something that has different shapes and textures.
  • Toddlers adore imitating anything they see around them. This means toys where the kids can imitate things that adults do, such as toolkits or tea cup sets, are always fun gifts.

Crayon Rocks 16 Colors in a Red Velvet Bag
Crayon Rocks 16 Colors in a Red Velvet Bag

These rock crayons, or crayons that are unique and fun shapes, stimulate creativity and boost imagination.


Types of Gifts that Toddlers Love

Here are some simple things that all toddlers love:

  • Animals
  • Bubbles
  • Finger Paints
  • Crayons
  • Stickers

Toddler Gifts for Learning and Discovery

Push and Pull Toys: Toddlers love toys that they can push or pull and there are plenty of these types of toys to choose from. One that my daughter loves is a pull toy duck that quacks as you pull it. Toddlers also enjoy driving mini-cars and/or trains all over furniture and walls.

Touch and Feel Books: Books that have different textures and colors are always an excellent gift option. Toddlers are usually very tactile and love to explore the world through touch. These books start the kids off learning to enjoy and appreciate books at a young age.

MEGA Bloks Fill & Dump Wagon
MEGA Bloks Fill & Dump Wagon

2-in-1, blocks and a wagon make for endless fun!


Duplo Blocks: These blocks are Legos but bigger and easier for younger kids to work with. Pictured to the left is a Mega Blocks Fill and Dump Wagon. This toy is a hoot for kids to build their towers on and then to pull it around.

Musical Instruments: A kazoo, if you can stand it, makes for a very entertaining gift for a toddler as it is simple to play. Other musical instruments that are fun for toddlers are shakers, bells, xylophones and drums.

Nesting Blocks: Toddlers love to build towers as tall as themselves and then knock them down. It's also a wonderful learning opportunity for the toddler to figure out how to stack the blocks in order. Nesting blocks are definitely a classic.

Twist and Drill Set: Toddlers are learning more about cause and effect all the time. The love to imitate the things that adults or older siblings do. This is why gifts like the Twist and Drill set, pictured left, make excellent gifts.

Shape Sorters: Shape sorters will challenge your toddler's problem solving skills. They'll be so proud of themselves when they get it all figured out!

My First Book: Books such as My First Book by LeapFrog will introduce your toddler to new words and help them explore their meaning.

WaterWheel Play Table: This is a fancy version of the kitchen sink, but it can be convenient because it's the child's size and you can move it to wherever it fits best. Kids love to play in and explore water.

Gifts for Active Toddlers

Toddlers love to bounce, climb, run and jump.
Toddlers love to bounce, climb, run and jump. | Source

Toddlers are very active. These next ideas will encourage active play and a place for the little buggers to drain some energy.

Bouncy Toys: This might be a springy horse, a ball with a handle that the kids can bounce on, or a bouncy animal like the bouncy cow pictured to the left.

Slide: My daughter could spend an hour going down a little slide. Something that doesn't take up too much space but where the kids can climb up and slide down is a sure toddler pleaser.

Riding Toys: The Radio Flyer Scoot-About bike is more stable than a tricycle and makes for a great learning bike for younger kids. All kids love riding around and "going so fast!"

Balls: Roll 'em, toss 'em, pass 'em and catch 'em. Balls are fun toys for any age. For toddlers, be sure you get soft ones because you'll definitely have a ball or two throw at you.

Playhouses and Tunnels: Fabric playhouses and tunnels that fold up are easy to store and set-up are easy for the caregivers and a blast for the kids.

Monkey Business E-Z Bat:

Monkey Business Sports EZ Bat+2Extraball
Monkey Business Sports EZ Bat+2Extraball

Toddlers can swing the bat and watch the ball fly! They will have a blast sending the balls off bat and then chasing them down. Plus, they are soft which means injury-free!


Keepsake Gifts

Toddlerhood is such a fun age and it's always fun for both growing children and parents to have keepsakes from the toddler years.

Toddlers love looking at pictures of themselves so a gift such as a photo book of the toddler will be enjoyed by the entire family. You can either print out pictures and put them in a photo album or you can create a photo book online where the pictures are printed directly onto the pages of the book.

Recruiting the toddler to create a keepsake clay frame is fun for the toddler and special for the parents.

Practical Gifts Parents will Appreciate

Sometimes the toddler's parents will appreciate the gift more than the toddler. Gifts such as socks and clothing are always appreciated, given how fast the little monsters grow out of their clothes. You may also consider giving:

My Own Leaptop: The kid friendly laptop will give little ones their own buttons to push while mommy or daddy is working on the computer. Mom or dad can plug the Leaptop into their computer and send their little ones personal emails.

Night Lights:

Cloud b Twilight Constellation Night Light, Turtle
Cloud b Twilight Constellation Night Light, Turtle

My daughter loves this turtle night light. It casts stars over the entire room and you can change it to three different colors.


Good luck shopping for your toddler, it'll surely prove to be lots of fun for you both! Don't hesitate to leave me any questions or comments you might have, I love hearing from you!

Have a Wonderful Holiday!



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    • landocheese profile image

      landocheese 5 years ago

      There are some good ideas here. I especially like building toys like Duplo or blocks for toddlers. They can be creative and won't need batteries.

    • Jenna Estefan profile image

      Jenna Estefan 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Thanks for you comments! It helps a lot to know what to get toddlers when you have one of your own!

    • accordingtomomma profile image

      Jen Eggleston 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great list - a lot of great ideas!

    • starbright profile image

      Lucy Jones 5 years ago from Scandinavia

      Brilliant ideas for toddler gifts - very useful. Voted up.