This toddler holiday gift guide for 2019 includes parent-tested and approved items for play, wear, and experiences that are all reasonably priced. This is not a sponsored post of any kind. We just love this stuff and want to share the love with you. Happy Holidays!
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This year’s toddler holiday gift guide is a DOOZY!
I scoured Riley’s playroom and my recent purchase history from a few of my favorite sites to pull this list of over 25 gift ideas together for you guys this year. It’s a gender neutral list of toys, clothes, and experiences that any toddler would absolutely love.
And I know this because MY toddler does!
The list is separated into the following categories in order below:
Pretend Play Toys
Art & Music Toys
Cognitive & Learning Toys
Gross Motor Toys
If you’re looking for more ideas, check out my other 2 kids gift guides from previous years:
One of the most iconic toddler toys, the Cozy Coupe remains a favorite with my toddler and has for the past year. Great for developing gross motor skills as well as fostering pretend play, this car is perfect for indoor or outdoor play and keeps my little one busy for good chunks of time.
Kids as young as 9 months old are able to start to understand how things work in a kitchen and a play kitchen is an excellent toy to help develop skills and their imaginations. Watch them cook you meals, move food from one cabinet to another, and wash dishes. Riley has been absolutely LOVING this exact kitchen over the past year and I'm always happy to play kitchen with her! This is one of the pricier gifts on this list - though prices vary greatly across different brands and models - but this is a toy that will last for many years as your kids grow.
No play kitchen would be complete without some great play food! This set of wooden play food works great in any play kitchen. Older toddlers and pre-schoolers will also love this food for playing restaurant and for pretend grocery shopping too!
This set is a great addition to a play kitchen! They're sturdy, unbreakable, and dishwasher safe - perfect families with toddlers! Toddlers who love to bang things will love that these pots and pans are LOUD when they bang them (parents? not so much!) but they're so stylish that they're hard for parents to resist.
This activity floor mat is on our list for Riley this year and we can't wait to get down on the floor and play cars and trucks with her! She loves this mat in her daycare room so I know she'll love having one at home too.
This is another gift on our list for Riley this year and it's one I'm SO excited about! I have awesome memories of my little brother and me playing with our wooden blocks for hours as kids. Riley loves building towers with whatever she can get her hands on so I know she'll love these blocks for years to come.
This easel is a parent's dream for a creative space in a play room or play area. It's double sided with a chalkboard on one side and a magnetic dry erase board on the other. The roll of paper on top pulls down for quick art projects and there are holes for paint canisters to keep things [relatively] neat. There's also a shelf on the bottom for extra art supply storage. Riley was a little short for this last Christmas but loved using it with a stool then and on her own now. Let those creative juices flow with this great gift!
A fun stocking stuffer gift, this magic painting pad uses a self-contained water brush that pops back into the package which makes it a great toy for traveling. When wet, the pictures on the pad come alive and then dry off so it can be used over and over again. Riley LOVES this magic pad!
Music is an essential element for learning and play and instruments for kids is a great way to foster their development. Yes, these types of toys make lots of noise - believe me, I GET IT - but as a kid who benefited from a school music program and played in the band from 4th - 12th grade, I'll deal with the noise knowing what my kid is learning from these instruments. Riley loves music and singing, and I know these percussion instruments will get lots of use in our house.
Riley was gifted a set of Magna-Tiles earlier this year and I can't stress enough how much she loves them! The recommended ages are 3+ but she's been playing with them since she was under 2 (there are no small pieces in this set). All of the pieces are magnatized and they hold together well, even when stacked super high. Like all block sets, these are great to foster imagaination, fine motor skills, and cognitive reasoning.
These beads were a gift to Riley last Christmas and just in the past few months has she been able to lace the beads onto the strings to make necklaces and bracelets. Obviously, this set is great for fine motor and cognitive development but it's also a great one for colors, shapes, sorting, and counting too. She loves pulling the bag out to get creative!
I had this on my toddler gift guide last year and I'm repeating here now because my little one is still playing with it often. This puzzle fosters fine motors skills, as well as learning numbers, colors, animals, and cognition in big ways. I love that she still loves it!
Admittedly, I'm a little out of the loop in the area of games for a 2 year old but I've come across a couple that look like a lot of fun and that will challenge Riley to build some skills. This Acorn Soup game is one of them. Your little one will use the items listed on a card to make "soup." The game builds counting, sorting, fine motor, picture recognition, language, and pretend play skills. I'm already looking forward to playing this one with Riley after Christmas!
These bristle blocks are another toy that my brother and I loved playing with as kids many years ago and I'm so happy to see they're still around! I first noticed Riley playing with these often in the pictures that were sent from daycare during the day. So this has been another fun one to have at home too. Kyle loves building with her so this is another great way for them to bond during play.
Riley absolutely LOVES animals and I know she'll get a kick out of these 2 piece puzzles. This type of puzzles are available in all sorts of themes but the goals are great - to build matching and picture recognition skills. This would make a great stocking stuffer for your little one or perhaps a grab bag or toy donation selection!
Riley is a REALLY active todder and the winter months in New England are tough months when you have a kid who is constantly on the move. This indoor trampoline will help her burn off some of that engery and I'm positive she'll get an absolute kick out of it. It measures around 3ft in diameter so it won't take up a giagantic amount of space in the house.
An inconspicous game this is for building gross motor skills like balance, hopping, twirling, I'm REALLY excited to play this one with Riley. She's definitely a little monkey and I know she's going to love learning how to play this "get up and move" type of game.
This is definitely a warmer weather toy but I think Riley will be ready for it come this spring. Toys like this one (and the little basketball hoops you see everywhere) are meant to build hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills in addition to learning how to play a sport. I played softball all through my school years and I hope Riley enjoys playing as much as I did!
We gave this to Riley for Christmas 2 years ago and we pulled her around the house in it for a good part of the winter, even before she could sit on her own, while propped up on pillows! She loves being pulled around in this wagon for walks up and down our driveway and we've brought it with us multiple times to the beach to pull her around on the boardwalks.
I'm a sucker for cute sweaters and cardigans for Riley and I simply can't get over this one! I don't often purchase clothes from Hanna Andersson due to the price but there are often good sales and the wait for these sales is worth it.
These slippers are absolutely perfect for the toddler who refuses to wear socks and this is the 2nd year I'm recommending them to you. They're as warm and cozy as they look and Riley will actually keep them on for a much longer period of time than she will socks, which last about 28 seconds on her feet. I bought 2 pair again this year in the next size up because I realized last year that with a dog in the house, slippers seem to vanish. These slippers run a little small. The size 5/6 from last year no longer fit Riley's size 6 foot so I had to size up to the 7/8.
These mittens are pure genius! If you're a parent in a cold weather climate, you know how insanely difficult it is to keep a matching pair of your kids mittens together. When I worked in a daycare many years ago during college, a couple of moms had laced a piece of yarn through their kids coat arms and attched the mittens to the ends of the yarn with safety pins. I thought this was such a great idea! Well, these mittens take care of the yarn and pinning for you (except without the pins)! I bought a different pattern of these mittens for Riley last year and I know they'll last for a few more years before she outgrows them.
Frozen has been a big hit in our house over the past month and we're very much looking forward to taking Riley to see Frozen 2 as her first movie theater movie this year! These PJs were a HUGE hit with her when she first saw them, complete with eyes lighting up, a big, excited smile, and a shout of "Elsa!!"
I've been an LL Bean shopper and fan for 25 years and now that I have a little one to dress, I'm thrilled to find some more cold weather items in toddler sizes for her. This is the snowsuit I ordered for her this year and while I can't yet attest to its effectiveness, the reviews were great and with a 25% off sale I shopped during recently and a gift card I had to redeem, I spent $10 on this snowsuit. I sized up 1 size so she'll likely get 2 winters out of it. Score!
This is the coziest sweatshirt I've found yet for our little one. And this is also one of the times when I found myself shopping on the boys side of the store for my little girl. All the glitter, sparkles, and pink just doesn't do it for me and when I want a neutral color, it's usually in the boys section that I find it. Anyway, this was a little bit of a splurge for a sweatshirt but it's well-made, runs large, and it will fit Riley for 2 solid years. Gap often runs 40% off sales so keep an eye out!
We recently became members of the Wildlife Conservation Society via an annual membership which allows us unlimited visits to the Bronx Zoo, 3 other zoos in the NY-metro area, and the NY Aquarium for up to 3 adults and 4 kids. We live just over an hour from the Bronx Zoo so this membership works great for us! If you live near a zoo, conservation center, wildlife center, botanical garden, or aquarium, check out their websites for membership information. This is a fantastic gift idea for family members to give to the kids in the family too!
Similar to the zoo/aquarium membership, a membership to a local science center or museum makes for a wonderful gift to the kids your life! No more boring winter weekends or school vacations stuck inside battling cabin fever when there's a world of science to explore at your local museum!
This recipe was brought to you by Smells Like Home: https://www.smells-like-home.com/2019/11/toddler-holiday-gift-guide-2019/