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It wouldn’t be much of a gift guide series if it didn’t have at least one post about toys! My kids are 3.5 and 1.5 so I know all about baby and toddler toys. Below are our family’s favorites! If you missed the others in the series, be sure to check out my gift guides for newlyweds, coffee lovers, and little readers.
Teething books: These soft, crinkly books are fun for little explorers. Look for a variety of textures, shapes, and fun additions like mirrors and sparkles to catch baby’s attention.
Baby Einstein Octoplush: I seriously love this thing. I received it as a baby shower gift for my first son and it quickly became his first and favorite friend. It plays three songs and each tentacle teaches the name of a color. Now my littlest one has discovered it and loves it almost as much as my oldest.
Ring Stacker: You just can’t go wrong with a classic toy like a ring stacker!
Shape Sorter: Another classic toy that every baby should have!
Blocks: I love these blocks by B. because they are soft and colorful. They were perfect for when my little one was teething, but now they’re great as he’s learning how to build towers.
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy’s Remote: I’m generally not a fan of noisy, blinky toys, but this thing has been a godsend for both of my squirmy boys. I give them this when it’s changing time or time to get in the carseat and it distracts them long enough for me to get the job done! Totally worth its weight in gold!
Kidoozie Peek n Peep Eggs: I don’t know what it is about this toy but both of my boys LOVE them. They’re bright and colorful and teach shape-matching. They’re good for hand-eye coordination and tactile engagement. Never in a million years would I imagine my kids fighting over who gets to play with a half dozen eggs!
Crayola Color Spinout: This has been a favorite of my toddler’s. He loves making his own creations. He had no trouble setting it up and running it himself from the age of 2.
Kinetic Sand: My kid has probably spent hours playing with his kinetic sand. I even like to play with it! We give him a tray and a few cookie cutters and he goes to town with it!
Magna Doodle: Another classic toy from my childhood that I’ve enjoyed sharing with my kids. Now that my big one is learning letters, it’s great for practice!
Learning Resources Gears: My eldest received this as a gift and it was a quick favorite, for both him and my engineer-husband! My son loves creating things with his gears and it’s great daddy-son time. Now my littlest one is getting in on the building time too! I would definitely recommend these for curious minds and hands.
Wood Construction Toys: I love that these ones from Makit are wooden. Many of the wooden construction toys that I was familiar with from childhood are now made out of plastic. The creations are endless with toys like this!
Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game: This is a great beginner board game. It teaches kids about taking turns, colors, and counting. I even enjoy it, even after playing five games in a row!
Learning Resources Pretend and Play Camp Set: My little campers love this camp set from Learning Resources, and it’s great fun to watch them pretend to camp.
Peg Board Puzzles: Puzzles are great for hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and problem-solving, and Melissa & Doug make great ones for toddlers.
Bonus! Stocking Stuffers
Stocking stuffers can be tough for little ones. Here are some of my go-to options for my little guys:
- Toothbrushes (does that make me a bad mom??)
- Sidewalk chalk
- Crayola bath dropz
- Silly putty
- Finger paint
If you have little ones on your list, I hope this helped spark some ideas. All are toys that my kids have really had a lot of fun with over the years. What else would you include on this list? Drop a line in the comment field below!