This year flew right by! I still can’t believe that it’s almost Thanksgiving, which of course means that Christmas is practically right around the corner. With a little one who is always on the move, it is pretty much impossible to get anything done. So rather than trying to battle the Holiday Shopping Rush (and the dreaded mall parking lot), I decided it would be much easier to do the bulk of my shopping online.
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Of course, shopping online means planning ahead. After years of working in retail over the holiday season, I have learned that you never want to wait until the last minute to order your gifts. The closer you get to Christmas, the more likely you are to experience stock issues and shipping delays.
Plus, who needs the added stress of wondering whether or not that perfect present is going to arrive on time?
I know I don’t!
When it comes to holiday gift giving, I like to start by shopping for the person who I think will be the easiest to buy for. I love the feeling of being able to check off my list quickly and allow the extra time needed to think about those more difficult gifts (looking at you grandma!).
So who do I find the easiest to shop for?
Well, my toddler of course!
I know that finding the perfect toddler gift isn’t always the easiest. Especially when it comes to buying for one that isn’t your child.
Which is exactly why I have prepared this Toddler Gift Giving Guide for Toddlers!
With literally millions of options out there, shopping for that perfect toddler gift can be overwhelming. What do you choose? How do you know whether the toy or item is age appropriate? Will it fit? Will the child like it? Or will the parents like it? Does the child already own it? What are the chances of someone else buying it for them too?
Before having kids, these were all questions that crossed my mind when shopping for my younger cousins. I wanted to ensure that I was purchasing something that not only the kids would love, but the parents would love too. I also wanted to make sure that whatever I bought, would get used and not just tossed in a corner.
Of course, now that I have a little one, I also want to make sure that we don’t overdo it. I am very much the type of mom who stresses about whether there is enough under the tree. Even though my son will only be a year and a half old this year and is still too young to really understand the holiday, the bearded one and I came up with a system for how much we (mom and dad) will buy for him at Christmas.
After finding something similar on Pinterest we decided to adopt the following ‘rules’ when it comes to shopping for our little one for the years to come.
***All of the gifts suggested in Toddler Gift Giving Made Easy are products that either I have purchased myself or are products that come from brands I love and trust the most.
I wanted to make sure that I was giving you the best toddler gift guide possible, so I won’t be covering all of the ‘somethings’ listed above, only because I can’t give you personal recommendations on the few that are excluded.
And without further ado
Toddler Gift Giving Made Easy
Something They Want
When it comes to toddlers, chances are they are going to want some sort of toy to play with – even if they don’t fully comprehend the holiday. I know my little one gets far more excited when we walk through the toy aisles than when we look at clothes!
Here are a few of our favorite brands, toys, and characters!
Melissa and Doug
Over here at Miles and Ellie, we LOVE Melissa and Doug. Not only do these toys remind me and the bearded one of our own childhood – but they are designed to stimulate the imagination and encourage open-ended play! Plus you can choose to shop based on the skills that each toy develops.
Now that is something I can get behind!
Here are a few of our favorite Melissa and Doug Toys!
Melissa and Doug Let’s Play House Sets
Chances are the toddler in your life is at a stage where they want to do whatever they see the adults around them doing. Whether that means helping to cook, clean, or do some home repair (anyone else with a little fix-it on their hands). These toys are perfect for the little one who loves to help!
Melissa and Doug Band in a Box
Have a budding musician on your hands? Or even just a toddler who bangs on everything like it’s a drum? These Band-in-a-Box sets are the perfect toddler gift that is sure to be played with for years to come!
Melissa and Doug Wooden Developmental Toys
If you are looking for something educational that will help the toddler in your life develop their fine motor skills, then look no further than these classic wooden developmental toys. We love our wooden latches board and any toy that you can ‘drive’!
Fisher Price is a household name and there is a reason why. With quality games, toys, and gear for kids of all ages, it is a brand that parents trust. Some of my little guy’s favorite toys are from Fisher Price. If they can handle the number of times my child has thrown them or dropped them, then I know this is a brand worth spending my money on!
Fisher Price Bright Beats
Fisher Price Bright beats are a fun way for toddlers to learn through music and bright colorful lights. Our Beatbo has been well loved (and dropped) and is still played with daily!
Fisher Price Laugh and Learn
The laugh and learn series introduces colors, shapes, numbers, animals, and letters through interactive play. Plus this series includes a Food Truck with a play kitchen that I know my little one would love to have!
FIsher Price Grow with Me and Grow to Pro
Any product that inspires physical activity is one that I am going to take a look at. The Fisher-Price Grow toys, not only encourages movement through play starting at an early age, but the toys themselves adjust to accommodate growing children. The longer it takes my little one to outgrow a toy, the better.
At one point I swore I was never going to watch Paw Patrol. All it took was one episode, to realize that I would have to embrace the Pup Pup Boogie. Don’t worry, we definitely limit the little one’s screen time!
Something to Read
Even though most Toddlers won’t sit through a full story, there are still many benefits to reading to them regularly. Early Moments published a great article on why reading is important, so rather than listing all the reasons why you should give the gift of books this year, instead I will leave you with a few of our favorites.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same (at least not in our house) without a few Christmas themed books to read. We own every book on this list, whether they were books from my childhood or ones we purchased for our little one.
Bed Time Books
Reading a book before bedtime is part of our routine every single night! The book Goodnight Moon is our most read, but Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site takes a close second!
Just for Fun Books
These are the books that I have had to read over and over and over again to my little one. My little one’s favorites are Garbage Delight and We’re Going to the Farmers’ Market, which were given to us as a toddler gift! I personally love the Cook-in-a-book Interactive Recipe books. They are SO much fun!
Something to Wear
Growing up I hated opening presents on Christmas morning only to find that they were clothes. Luckily toddlers are too young to notice. So why would you want to buy them something to wear? Because toddlers grow like weeds! At least mom and dad will thank you!
Opening Pajamas on Christmas Eve has been a long-standing tradition in my family. We spend the evening in our PJ’s, watching some of our favorite Christmas Movies, before reading T’was the Night Before Christmas and heading to bed. These are a few of the pajamas that I will be buying this year!
My little one is currently obsessed with Slippers. We literally can’t leave home without them. With colder mornings, these fun slippers are a great toddler gift that will keep those little toes warm!
So the following ‘Dress Up’ outfits is technically also Pajamas. We LOVE our firefighter set. It was a sad day when Tuna outgrew it. Looks like we will just have to pick up another set!
Something To Make
My favorite presents have always been the ones that allow you to create something! Though some of these suggestions are best suited for older toddlers (2.5-3yrs) they are presents that I am sure will be happily received.
Drawing and Coloring
Something to Do
The only thing I love more than a toddler gift that ignites imagination is one that allows me to play too! I love playing with my little one and watching his mind at work! Most of these games are suggested for ages 3-4, but I have played them with kids aged 2-3.
Something that Reminds Them of You
My grandmother used to give my little sister a Fairy Christmas Ornament every year for Christmas up until she was about 16 years old. I used to make Christmas Ornaments with my grandparents the week leading up to Christmas. Both of us still have many of these ornaments that we are now putting on our trees as adults.
They are never too young to start a tradition with.
Stay tuned for my post about our favorite Christmas Traditions and hopefully, you will find one that speaks to you!
Speaking of traditions I may have to leave Santa some of my incredible Cheesecake Brownies instead of the usual cookies!
Until then, I would love to hear what you are most excited for this Christmas! Or who you are most excited to shop for. Don’t forget to subscribe to always stay in the loop and never miss a post!
Feature image was taken by Mike Arney on Unsplash