11 Great Gift Ideas for the Toddler in Your Life

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November 23, 2019

Photo By: Marc Romanelli

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Finding a balance between what kids will love and what parents are willing to tolerate is hard. Many are tempted to pick out a cute outfit for their favorite little one, but the kid is sure to throw it to the side. Meanwhile, those looking to be the cool adult figure in the child’s life will buy a cute toy, but parents can be dismayed by the noise that accompanies it. To avoid all of this, we’ve rounded up 10 gifts that parents and toddlers will both appreciate.


While you might want to clear it with Mom or Dad before making a big splurge purchase on something that takes up quite a bit of room, you will be an absolute rock star if you buy a toddler one of these.

BUY IT: West Elm, $480


It might seem too simple for modern kids who are used to more sophisticated toys, but kids will be immediately drawn to it. There’s something so satisfying about the tap, tap, tap and how easily the pegs slide through till they’re flat–then you get to turn it over and start again. Meanwhile, children are honing their hand-eye coordination and concentration.

BUY IT: Amazon, $20


Once baby can pull up and see the world from a completely different perspective, they love keeping busy while standing. This wooden activity table allows toddlers to build a puppy, duckling and bear; watch gears in action; and sort colorful shapes by pressing them into the corresponding holes. Plus, it’s so precious looking that parents likely won’t mind having it front and center in the living room.

BUY IT: Saks Fifth Avenue, $70


Tots will unknowingly develop their fine motor skills while tinkering with this toy. Your budding engineer can pull up on the pole, watch them all twist to the floor and start again.

BUY IT: Fat Brain Toys, $30


All kids love having a space of their own, and this easy-to-assemble tent has the added bonus of a fun tunnel that leads tiny explorers into their secret lair. This tent will be the perfect antidote for a rainy day. Parents can even transform the space by supplying pillows and blankets for a cozy little nap space or coloring books for an impromptu art nook.

BUY IT: Macy’s, $60


It seems counterintuitive, since they seem to make such a huge amount of mess, but kids actually embrace any chance to clean. Encourage this important life skill with this adorable trio of dirty dogs that come with their own mini washcloth. When the brown spots on the dogs are scrubbed clean with the washcloth, the brown “dirt” disappears. When that’s all done, kids can make up stories about the pups or just delight in the fact that they squirt water out of their mouths by squeezing.

BUY IT: JCPenney, $18


Adventures of the wily puppy Spot were turned into a series, and kids will enjoy learning all of the words to “Spot Goes to the Farm” and “Spot Bakes a Cake.” (Spoiler alert: Spot also makes a mess.) And if the toddler in your life is one you don’t get to see very often, curling up with this book is the perfect way to bond.

BUY IT: Target, $5


Piano toys will ingratiate you with both the kids and parents, because what parent doesn’t want to indulge in the fantasy that their child will be the next Mozart? This one is not only adorable but is particularly beloved by parents for the fact that it comes pre-loaded with batteries and it isn’t too loud.

BUY IT: Amazon, $30


This set goes back to basics with 20 colors and tools for cutting, shaping and rolling. Your favorite little one will build their imagination while building their hand-strength and fine motor skills.

BUY IT: Kohl’s, $20


Pillow Pets are like a stuffed animal but so much better because they’re actually useful. At home, they help anxious toddlers feel more comfortable about switching from a crib to a big-kid bed since they have a friend with them. On the road, they’re perfect for those snoozes that every parent wishes for and they ease kids’ minds a few years down the line when they’re ready for their first sleepovers. The pillows come in many varieties of animals and cartoon characters, so you can tailor the gift to whatever the toddler loves, including dinosaurs, woodland creatures or panda bears.

BUY IT: Bed Bath and Beyond, $22

Marcus & Marcus Baby Learning Chopsticks

This 3-pack comes complete with Ollie the Elephant, Pokey the Piglet and Willo the Whale, who are excited to help your little ones learn how to use chopsticks. The sticks are made of BPA-free, PVC-free and phthalate-free materials that are safe for kids, and parents will love that they’re easy to clean.

BUY IT: Amazon, $30

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