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.

Toddler Gift Guide

***Note: This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Any purchase made through these links are at no extra cost to you. You can see my full disclosure policy here.

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!

  1. 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!

    Wooden Tool Set / Dust! Sweep! Mop! / Kitchen Accessory Set
    Take-Along Tool Kit Wooden Toy / Let’s Play House! Dust! Sweep! Mop! / Kitchen Accessory Set
  2. 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!

    Band in a Box – Clap! Clang! Tap! / Hum! Jangle! Shake! / Drum! Click! Clack!
  3. 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’!

    Shape Sorting Cube Classic Toy / Wooden Latches Board / Stacking Train Toddler Toy

Fisher Price

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!

  1. 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!

    Bright Beats Smart Touch Play Space / Bright Beats Dance + Move BeatBo / Bright Beats Build-a-Beat Stacker
  2. 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!

    Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Home Playset / Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Scooter / Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Fun Food Truck
  3. 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.

    Grow to Pro Tee Ball / Grow with Me Trike / Grow to Pro Junior Basketball

Favorite Characters! 

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!

 

Plush Pup Pals Skye / Plush Pup Pals Rubble / Plush Pup Pals Marshall / Plush Pup Pals Zuma / Plush Pup Pals Rocky / Plush Pup Pals Chase

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.

  1. Christmas Books 

    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.

    The Night Before Christmas / Frosty the Snowman / How the Grinch Stole Christmas! / Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer / Jingle Bells
  2. 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!

    Goodnight Moon / Good Night, Gorilla / The Goodnight Train / The Going-To-Bed Book/ How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? / Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
  3. 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!

    Toddler Gift Guide - Just for Fun Books
    How to Catch a Star / Crankenstein / Garbage Delight (Picture is Newest Edition) / Pancakes!: An Interactive Recipe Book (Cook In A Book) / We’re Going to the Farmers’ Market / Tacos!: An Interactive Recipe Book (Cook in a Book)

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!

  1. Pajamas

    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!

    Toddler Gift Guide - Pajamas
    1 Piece Winter Fleece PJs / 2 Piece Slumber Jack Cotton & Fleece PJs / 1 Piece Monster Snug Fit Cotton PJs / 1 Piece Dog Fleece PJs / 2 Piece Christmas Fleece PJs / 1 Piece Reindeer Fleece PJs
  2. Slippers

    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!

    Toddler Gift Guide - Slippers
    Unicorn Slippers / Dog Slippers / Blue Monster Slippers / Green Monster Slippers / Moose Slippers / Pink Monster Slippers

Dress Up! 

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!

Toddler Gift Guide - Dress up PJs
2 Piece Cotton PJs with Tutu / 2 Piece Construction Cotton PJs / 2 Piece Firefighter Cotton PJs / 2 Piece Cowgirl Cotton PJs / 2 Piece Police Officer Cotton PJs

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.

  1. Drawing and Coloring 

    Toddler Gift Guide - Drawing and Coloring
    Crayola Paint Can / Melissa and Doug Double-Sided Magnetic Tabletop Art Easel / Crayola Ultimate Crayon Case
  2. Play-Doh 

    Toddler Gift Guide - Play-Doh Shape and Learn
    Shape and Learn Numbers and Counting / Shape and Learn Textures and Tools / Shape and Learn Colors and Shapes

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.

Toddler Gift Guide Board Games
Hungry Hungry Hippos / Candy Land / Let’s Go Fishin’

 

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

40 comments on “Your Ultimate Guide to Toddler Gift Giving”

  1. Love your suggestions. My daughter has the cleaning set (and I have to confess that sometimes I use it too!) and the paw patrol stuffed animals. She loves them. I’ll pin this post!

    • It was a total game changer when we got our little one his own broom and dustpan – it meant that I could actually get some real housework done! Does your little one have a favorite paw patrol pup?

  2. Great post. It’s so important not to over do it with younger children. In fact, that’s the best time not to over do it! As they get older, they ask for less, but the wants and gifts get more and more expensive. It’s better to keep it simple while they’re young .. and they mostly just enjoy unwrapping things more than anything lol.

    • Nothing is ever as good as the box it comes in right? I think this is a good starting point for us since I know that I will likely overdo it at some point. I really am that mom that worries about there not being enough stuff (which is totally silly). Good to know that eventually, they will ask for less – but that the price point will get higher. At least I can prepare for that.

  3. This gets me so excited for Christmas. It’s my daughter’s first Christmas and I have already been eyeing toys I know she would love. This is a great list!

  4. Since my daughters were born, all my holiday shopping has been done online! Just can’t bear being in the stores with the crowds.
    Love the Melissa and Doug toys!!

  5. Great list! I love the idea of following the gift guideline you ssuggested, it’s so easy to get carried away just getting a bunch of toys for my kiddos.
    And you inspired me for this year, my son had the green monster slippers as a baby and I loved them! He’s definitely gonna get another pair along with pjs this year

    • That is awesome! My little one is just going through a slipper phase now (seriously, he won’t leave the house without them). I think I might have to pick him up a few more pairs as well. Especially with the rate he has been going through them! How old is your little one?

  6. This is such a fun gift guide! We always do pajamas at Christmas , and although my kids are past this stage I have some cousins to buy for and will keep this handy!

  7. Online shopping is the way to go! I have already started planning too. My sons birthday is in December too, so I have to be super prepared. Great post.

  8. I use a slimier rule, “Something new, something to wear, something they need and a book” Plus their’s stockings which is fun things. I loved your list. It made me wish I had toddlers again!!

    • I love stockings! They were always my favorite as a kid (might have something to do with the amount of candy they included). I love doing small little gifts in stockings, plus adding in the necessary socks/toothbrushes/etc boring gifts! what is your favorite item to put in a stocking?

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