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Best Gifts for Toddlers Ages 2-5

Since Harlow's birthday and Christmas are just nine days apart, I do A LOT of shopping for kid-friendly presents this time of year. By this age we've acquired several standard toys -- large building blocks, a baby doll, a play kitchen -- all things I highly recommend getting for your toddler if you haven't already! If you're looking for some new gift ideas for your toddler that don't require a bunch of batteries and aren't branded by Marvel or Barbie, you've come to the right place!

FWIW, first I did some research on what types of toys help develop and stimulate the mind of a three-year-old. Several items appeared on just about every list -- big blocks for fine motor skills, doll houses and figurines for imaginary play, and outdoor/sports equipment to encourage physical play. I tried to find gift ideas that fall into one of those categories...but there are some on here that are just plain fun for a kid to play with!

You can click any image for item details. Scroll below to see notes on specific items or to click the text link.


A few fun notes on some of these gifts....

Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes is getting major critical acclaim, including from Queen Oprah herself! Juno loses her everyday play shoes only to discover a magical closet full of footwear that puts her in the "shoes" of famous women throughout history. Definitely adding this one to Harlow's library!

What better time to stock up on fun indoor crafts for the winter months ahead? The charm bracelet set and string art are great for independent play or play dates with friends.

The Can You Find It? book uses classic works of art as the basis for seek-and-find exercises. There are so many teaching points built into each page, we love this one.

Magni Tiles are a great alternative to standard big blocks for building original structures and honing those fine motor skills. Plus they'll love it for years so it's got a long shelf life.

For the child who adores dressing up, the Melissa and Doug Step In Style shoe set completes all sorts of make-believe outfits and provides several pairs for friend play.

Harlow loves playing kitchen, restaurant, and grocery store. This pretend grocery store with pretend scanner, conveyor belt, and card machine has all the working parts of a real grocery store that kids are mesmerized by! Melissa and Doug's various food groups and sets can stock the shelves of this tiny market.


Do you have little ones you're shopping for? What kinds of gifts do you like to give them this time of year? Are you all in on educational toys only or do you throw in some just-for-fun options, too? We're definitely a mix of both!

Thanks so very much for stopping by and sharing the gift guide with any parents, grandparents, or really fun aunts and uncles that may need some gift ideas!


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