Toddlers are one of the most exciting age groups to give presents. However, they also have really short attention spans and get easily frustrated, so finding a gift that can keep their attention can be difficult.
When buying toys for toddlers, these are some tips to keep in mind:
- Try to find gifts that encourage eye-hand coordination but won’t frustrate them.
- Look for toys that are sturdy and encourage exploration.
- Toys that teach kids about their environment are also great at this age.
The list of toys below meet the toddler-approved requirement.
These toys are also age-appropriate, sturdy enough to withstand “the toddler years,” and aren’t obscenely expensive.
10 Toys to Give to a Toddler
1. Bath toys
Bath toys are always fun, regardless of the child’s age. My elementary school son and toddler play with the same bath toys. 😉
Toddlers especially love toys that move in the bathtub, like this mermaid. Basketball sets and bath crayons are also fun.
Bath cups are also great to use in the bathtub, but we’ve had a lot of spills (and my toddler loves to drink the bath water). Although cups are fun for toddlers, they may not be the most parent-approved toys due to the mess factor.
2. Ride on vehicles
Toddlers love to ride around the house, bashing into everything. Fun, right?!
We’ve enjoyed both motorized and non-motorized ride on vehicles.
My favorite ride on vehicle is the Cozy Coupe. It has a handle on the top and a removable floor, making it the perfect vehicle to “grow with the child.” Parents can easily push younger kids around and then later remove the floor so that older kids can ride around Fred Flintstone-style.
Mega Bloks are great for toddlers. There are many different sets at all price points.
Many sets come with instructions to build a specific display, which is a great activity for parents to do with their toddlers. As the toddlers age, they can get creative and build their own scenes.
4. Shape sorters
Shape sorters may cause some frustration the first few times a toddler uses them, but they’re the perfect way to teach toddlers their shapes in a hands-on approach.
Many shape sorters will teach kids about numbers and colors in addition to shapes. Also, there are some, like this fun picnic basket, that are a little less frustrating to sort but can still be used to discuss the differences between circles, triangles, and squares.
Shape sorters are also a great way to work on eye-hand coordination.
Board books are great at this age, especially for kids who have shorter attention spans. My kids even take board books to bed with them since the pages won’t get ruined.
The First 100 book series is great to have discussions about the child’s environment, and you can also find many Dr. Seuss books in board book format.
6. Wooden puzzles
Wooden puzzles, especially the kind with pegs, are perfect for toddlers. They aren’t easily damaged, and they’re simple enough so that the child won’t get frustrated when trying to put them together.
We have animal sets and alphabet sets (although our sets don’t have pegs).
Many of these puzzles are great learning tools. As your child puts the puzzle together, have conversations like, “cows live on a farm,” “cats are pets,” “the letter T is for ‘Tori,'” etc.
7. Flash cards
Two-year olds start to learn their shapes, colors, and letters. Flash cards are a great way to introduce these items and compare the differences.
An alternative to flash cards are Brain Quest cards. Some are made specifically for toddlers.
8. Activity magnets
Activity magnets are today’s version of paper dolls. 😉 My toddler has magnetic dolls that she can dress up.
There are also “occupation” magnets and options for boys.
We’ve also used reusable stickers to learn about animal habitats and more.
9. Play house/activity centers
From wooden activity centers to plastic play houses, activity centers are fantastic toys to keep toddlers occupied and engaged for extended periods of time.
Many plastic play houses play music, teach numbers and ABCs, and provide kids a chance to learn about their environments.
Old fashioned wooden activity centers are a quieter alternative that teach kids eye-hand coordination.
Both wooden and plastic activity centers are great tools for developing toddlers.
Kids love tents, but many tents aren’t as high-quality as you would expect. Over the years, we’ve had many different types of tents and tunnel systems, but they only last for a couple years (at most).
If you’re going to buy a tent system for a toddler, look for one that has a reinforced floor, sturdy connections, and a tunnel that won’t easily collapse on the toddler.
These 10 toddler gift ideas work well for any price range. Best of all? They’re toddler tested and approved! 😉
Leave a comment below with your favorite toddler gift!