Toddler Gift Guide
Thanks to Instagram stories, so many of you have been asking where I have bought most of my son’s interactive toys. I put together this toddler gift guide to help you; whether for your own kids or for a friends kids. Some of these toys we started using around 18 months and my son is now 25 months. Most of these can stimulate creative play, but can also help a parent develop more games or themes by using these toys. These are some of our staples that I incorporate on a week by week basis. If you’re buying for a friend, I but a ( * ) next to my personal top picks.
I’ll have to do a separate toddler guide on our favourite books since that list is too long!
Books + Early Learning
- ABC’s For Boys – I will tell you that we have a variety of ABC books and this one just resonates well with boys. It’s unique and thought out. When we read it, I say the letter and its sound and he will say the word for the picture. We love talking about the pictures and colours!
- Alphabet for Humanity – I like to use all types of words and descriptive words in general conversation with my son. This book (also has flash card options) allows him to hear positive words and phrases, and words that can attach an emotion and an action as opposed to always an object (B is for Ball vs. B is for Brave). This opens children’s minds and grows their vocabulary. This is a great option to use as a long-term book and revisit when they are about 5 years old to discuss the meaning of those words.
- Magnetic Foam Letters * – These are a must-have! At the toddler age, I use them in my son’s weekly sensory bins and attach different activities with it. Week by week the numbers and letters change. These are hard to break and are pretty versatile! If you watch my IG stories, you will see that we use these every week in different ways – from sensory bin activities that I create to scavenger hunts or puzzles, I incorporate these in many unique ways.
- Wooden Alphabet and Numbers * – I feel like every child has one version of these wooden puzzles during their childhood. Super toddler-friendly (aka hard to break!) and helps them physically do activities (if you have a toddler you know how short their attention span is, lol!) I love that these go in a set of 3 (alphabet, numbers and shapes). These have been a fun option for my son and general shape, letter and number recognition.
- Soft Alphabet Cards * – My son actually got these as a gift and we have been using them nearly everyday since. They are soft (again.. another great toddler-resistant toy). They show the letter on one side and a handful of things or objects that begin with that designated letter on the other side. We love to use them as flash cards or do scavenger hunts around the house. Again, another versatile learning toy you can use in different ways to promote early learning.
- Colorful Measuring Cups and Spoons – We use this in our weekly sensory bins and for practicing fine motor skills. They’re great for teaching colors, understanding different sizes and what fits in them; and for general activities.
- Matching and Sorting Bears * – Okay, we use this toy nearly every other day. I highly recommend it because during the toddler years they’re great for learning colors, developing fine motor skills, basic counting and sorting. As they become a kindergartner, you can use the bears as counters and to help them understand how to compartmentalize.
- Number and Alphabet Flash Card Set with Puzzle * – One of our FAV games to play. I use the letters in my son’s sensory bin some weeks and keep the puzzle part in a plastic bag depending which letters we are learning that week. It’s a fun way for your toddler to see the letter, actively find its place in the puzzle and see a word associated with it. This is a great gift idea for a friend with an 18 month old and up.
- Art Colouring Kit * – I personally have an artistic background. My son would much rather play outside or do a more “active” activity, but I have found ways to make arts and crafts fun for him. This kit makes it easy to clean-up and have your little own know “its spot” but also has everything they need for a basic craft! I make a daily effort with my son to do a craft because their fine motor skill development is critical at this stage (holding play scissors and cutting paper, peeling and placing stickers on paper; painting, holding a crayon; and understanding how much force to make a colour appear depending the medium they are using).
- White Easel – Such a fabulous gift idea along with the kids table and chairs I have below. It allows them to move around as opposed to being stuck in one spot by sitting (and for parents: quick and easy clean up!)
- White Table and Chairs Set – I get asked often where we got ours from, so this is the direct model! It seems to hold me up (lol!) and also erases pencil crayon and children’s markers well!
- T-Ball Set and All Sporting Goods * – We have nearly every outdoor toy you can imagine but are very frugal with our indoor toys. We love anything that promotes physical activity, coordination, agility and all those skills that children are capable of doing so well!
- Strider Bikes * – My son starting riding his 2-wheeler around 18 months where he was basically just walking with it. He began to ride before he turned 2 (the full run then feet up and glide). This is worth every penny to teach them balance and coordination.