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20 Gifts to Spark Your Toddler's Creativity and Imagination

Toddlers are fairly easy to please when it comes to toys, especially if you don’t have cable (thank-you Netflix!), hence no commercials to contend with! All they yearn for are activities and toys that ignite and stimulate their imaginations. Or as Mister Rogers would say, the garden of their minds.

We’ve been curating Wyndham and Abby’s Xmas lists slowly, based on positive reviews and things they’re already interested in. Art and sensory activities are very popular in our home, so I decided to share some we already have and love, and some we’re planning on putting under the tree this year!

  • Thinking Outside of The Box! 1 of 21
    00-7

    Click through to check out the items that are tops on our list for our toddlers this year!

  • Ultra-Thin Portable Light Panel 2 of 21
    01-2

    This here is a big ticket item and well worth the splurge! Lightweight and portable, this would work well in small spaces — easy enough to take anywhere! I love its generous size, ample enough for big builds and creative masterpieces. 

     

    Find it on Amazon, $189.99

  • Light Table Pattern Blocks 3 of 21
    02-2

    I love these geo shapes! Abby (29 months),  and Wyndham (4) love building things, and I can't wait to see their faces when they get to put their light table into action with these jewel toned, transparent patterned blocks!

     

    Find the set on Amazon, $19.99

  • Easel 4 of 21
    04-2

    The classic Ikea Mala easel. If you don't already have one, I highly suggest this one for its thrifty price tag and well-made durability. We've had one for years since Wyndham's first Christmas (thanks G-Ma Gretzinger!), and it gets used multiple times a week. We love that it has a whiteboard, a chalkboard and a paper roll dispenser built in for painting and colouring, as well as a tray for materials. Don't forget the chalk, eraser, and paper roll! IKEA has them all at amazing prices.

     

    Find it via Ikea, $19.99

  • Washable Tempera Paint 5 of 21
    05-2

    Colourations has become our favorite brand of paint for the kids, with its smooth rich consistency and vibrant colors. This 16 oz. set of 11 is so reasonably priced, you won't need to get any for a good long while! 

     

    Find the set via Discount School Supply, $21.89

  • Tropical Colors Liquid Watercolor Paint 6 of 21
    06-2

    One of my fave bloggers for kids activities turned me onto these, and they're our new favourite thing. Check out all of the things you can do with them! Not just for painting, oh no. Hours of creative and sensory fun are made possible with these beauties. 

     

    Find the set of 8 via Discount School Supply, $28.99

  • Magformers Classic 30 Piece Set 7 of 21
    03-2

    We first came across these at Wyndham's school. They had a HUGE bucket of them, and his teacher told me they're highly favored amongst all of the kindergarteners. I myself became enchanted and played with them for a while and Abby of course loved, loved, loved them. So happy we checked this off the wish-list last week. You should too!

     

    Find the set via Amazon, $36.99

  • Table Top Paper Roll Dispenser 8 of 21
    07-2

    We were gifted this last year (again, thanks G-Ma G!), and it gets used more than the easel! I can easily pull it out every day after school for Wyndham and let him get busy with various mediums as he so wishes. We use it on the floor too!

     

    Find it via Ikea, $9.99

  • Crayola Colored Oil Pastel Sticks 9 of 21
    08-2

    Twenty-eight sticks at an unbeatable price! We love oil pastels. To us they rival crayons in that they are creamier, glide on luxuriously and are so vibrant! Messier, yes, but worth it in the eyes of a toddler. Lots of wow factor with these.

     

    Find the set via Amazon, $5.99

  • Crayola 10 Scentsations Washable Broad Line Markers 10 of 21
    09-2

    Smelly markers! We love 'em! I was tempted to get our kids the old-school Mr. Sketch ones, but their ink stains, and that's important to consider when toddlers are involved. They love to color EVERYTHING, not just paper. Themselves, you, the walls, the furniture: You name it, they like to color it. These are really popular around here. We got a set last year, and it's about time for a fresh one! Great stocking stuffer or add-on with the table top-paper dispenser and oil pastels!

     

    Find the set of 10 via Amazon, $5.39

  • Foam Stickers 11 of 21
    10-2

    Stickers are a favorite activity for any toddler, (I have yet to meet one who doesn't love them), and these are perfect for little chubby hands that get frustrated with trying to peel regular stickers. The foam is easier to grab and manipulate. These are great to pull out at dinner prep time, or any time you need to get something done, they'll be engrossed!

     

    Find the whole tub of 500 pcs. via Amazon, $9.73

  • Melissa & Doug Deluxe Alphabet Stamp Set 12 of 21
    11-2

    Is your toddler alphabet obsessed the way mine are? I know this will go over like gang-busters at our house. This is a great companion to the table-top paper dispenser, too! So many options for word games and art creations. Fantastic value, too, with receiving both the uppercase and lowercase at such a low price!

     

    Find the set via Amazon, $9.99 (I know!)

  • Crafting Starter Set 13 of 21
    12-2

    If you're new to the toddler arts and crafts game, this is a great all-in-one gift to get them started for the new year! And notice there's no glitter involved. You're welcome. (Even though we personally love glitter.)

     

    Get the set via Discount School Supply, $23.99

  • Wood Stringing Beads Set 14 of 21
    13-2

    Last year we got a larger set for Wyndham and Abby; this year I think they're ready to move up to something a little more advanced! Letters for the alphabet hoarders and pretty shapes for my little fashionista. 

     

    Find the set via The Land of Nod, $29

  • Eric Carle Animal Lacing Cards 15 of 21
    14-2

    10 fun and educational lacing cards featuring the story and artwork from one of our favorite children's authors! Wyndham and Abby would immediately recognize these and love them, of this I'm sure. A great quiet time activity for hand eye coordination when you want a break from the drum-set. (Good gourd someone hold me, Wyndham's been asking for one for months. Steady. He'll not let it go.)

     

    Find the set of 10 via Amazon, $13.46

  • Homemade Rainbow Play-Dough! 16 of 21
    15-2

    This recipe is edible and gluten-free for those who might have gluten intolerant or celiac kids. Even if you don't, this is such a n easy, no-cook recipe it's hard to resist! I love making simple, handmade gifts for our kids that I know they'll love and come back to time and again.

     

    Get the tutorial via Fun At Home Kids

  • Model and Mold Clay Set 17 of 21
    16-3

    For those who aren't into making play-dough, or if you like the idea of an accompaniment to the dough, this is for you. Clay is another great sensory experience for toddlers and having some tools to squish, manipulate and make different impressions is essential!

     

    Get the set via The land of Nod, $19.95

  • Discovery and Sensory Table 18 of 21
    18-1

    Heavy want here. If you're thinking about getting into sensory activities with your toddler or already are into them and dream of having a place to keep things contained and easier for your toddlers to experiment with, then you'll love this! We're actually tackling a DIY project similar to this one for the kids. We're taking an extended lunch break tomorrow to go and get the materials! 

     

    Purchase this one via Discount School Supply, $229.95

  • DIY Sensory Starter Kit 19 of 21
    19-1

    A simple, cheap way to start sensory play with your toddlers, this would also accompany the table wonderfully. I followed this list a few months ago and have enjoyed hours upon hours of fun with the kids making, creating and experimenting!

     

    Get the full list via Fun At Home With Kids

  • DIY Sensory Boards 20 of 21
    17-2

    I've seen a lot of these boards selling for big bucks and as much as I love them, it's just not in our budget to get the kids several big-ticket items! I'm all about making these for Wyndham and Abby's playroom on one of the walls. Now for the time to do it!

     

    Get the tutorials via Fun At Home With Kids

  • Playskool Showcam 2-in-1 Digital Camera and Projector 21 of 21
    20-1

    A fantastic gift for older toddlers! We're getting this for Wyndham and Abby; I can't wait for them to start taking pictures of all of their creations and making their own little movies! So cute.

     

    Find it via Amazon, $54.51

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More Babbles From Selena…

Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. 

Elsewhere on the Internets …

Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve

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