Have toddlers? Not sure what to get them for the holidays? I’ve taken great care (and probably had far too much fun), in selecting the very best, award-winning gadgets and toys in the industry. Inspired by watching my own toddlers engage in hours of imaginary and role play, I’ve thought carefully about the best ways I could set the stage for them as their interests and gross/fine motor skills develop.
It’s so amazing (in a melancholy sort of way… they are babies no more!) watching them develop at warp speed. It can also be challenging and rather expensive to keep up with keeping them entertained and stocked with age appropriate gear; toddlers are busy little people with highly active minds and imaginations. Which is why I’ve curated both affordable and splurge-worthy options… there’s sure to be something to suit every family’s budget here! You’ll be able to see what items I’ve picked that will entertain your kids for years, as well as some that will entertain and engage your kids without maxing out your credit cards. So have some fun with it!
Affordable: Anamalz Jungle Box Set 1 of 25We've been collecting these enviro- and socio-conscious critters over the years and they get lots of use in imaginary play. You can purchase them singularly or as a box set like this and save!
Get it from Anamalzna, $24.95
Splurge: Scleich Animals, Dinosaurs & Fairies 2 of 25It's all about fantasy and perfect detail with this wide and varied selection of educational toys. There are many other cheaper brands out there, but the quality and the fact that they are anatomically correct in every way captivates a child's imagination incomparably. Start with a few from each category and grow your collection over the years!
Find a large selection of animals over on Amazon, (ranging in price from $2.10 each and up)
Find a large selection of dinosaurs over on Amazon, (ranging in price from $5.71 each and up)
Find a large selection of fairies over on Amazon, (ranging in price from $7.75 each and up)
Affordable: Animators’ Collection Aurora Doll 3 of 25Behold, Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty as an adorable little girl. This darling re-imaging was created as part of an artist series by Disney, my favorite of which — being with their dolls. Adore the little owl that she is holding!
Get it from Disney, $24.50
Affordable: Buzz Lightyear 12 4 of 25I know it's not just my kids who are obsessed with all that is Toy Story. We went to a friend's house for the weekend and their little boy had this toy. Suffice to say my toddlers lost their ever-loving minds and had a hard time relinquishing said awesome-ness. Under the tree it goes.
Get it from Disney, $24.50
Splurge: Prince Lionheart Wheely 5 of 25This one is great for younger toddlers, working hard on developing their gross motor skills. Entirely non-toxic and PVC-free, The Wheely Tiger features a padded seat, multi-directional castors and a durable, easy-to-clean surface.
Get it from Franklin Goose, $79.99
Affordable: EZ-Rider Scooter by Radio Flyer 6 of 25Do you have a little toddler who looks longingly at big kids on their scooters? This is your answer. Built with extra wide wheels and a lower deck, toddlers can now get in on the scooter action.
Get it from Radio Flyer, $59.99
Splurge: Wishbone 3-in-1 Original Bike 7 of 25This sweet ride is an amazing all-in-one solution for walking/riding/balancing from babyhood to school age. Plus, it's made from sustainably-harvested birch wood, non-toxic glues and finishes, and features recycled packaging.
Get it from Amazon, $229
Splurge: Handmade Heirloom Waldorf Doll 8 of 25This is one of my favourite doll-makers. The craftsmanship is incomparable, featuring some of the most beautiful doll clothes I've ever seen!The price tag may be high, but it's sure to be a favorite for years to come.
Custom order you own (boy or girl) from Pooki Dolls on Etsy, from $189
Affordable: Solar Powered Talking Letter Puzzle 9 of 25This 26 pc. talking alphabet puzzle gets TONS of love and use in our house, so I had to include it in the round-up. I haven't met a toddler yet who isn't obsessed with numbers and letters. The talking thing? Genius and most impressive to a toddler. Never gets old.
Get it from Melissa & Doug, $19.99
Splurge: Leap Pad 10 of 25I made the mistake of buying that cheaper VTech knock-off last year and I regret it. Some things are worth the splurge. I mean, we have our iPads and what-not after all. Wait. The toddlers have those too. I wan't going to put that on this list though. That would be far too bourgeois. Realistic, (therefore slightly creepy), but we don't need to admit that here.
Get it from Target, $79 (including a free gelskin!)
Affordable: Wooden Memory Game 11 of 25This assorted picture tile game had me at hello. I mean, look at those adorable images! The set includes 24 pieces, hancrafted from solid wood and beautifully engraved. This is interactive play the old-school way.
Get it from Little Sapling Toys on Etsy, $26
Splurge(ish —Â for a plate anyways): Food Face Plates 12 of 25Anyone with a toddler knows that meal-times can be a challenge. I've recently discovered the winning solution of making faces out of food. Clearly, I'm not one of those parents who says, "Don't play with your food!"
Get one (or all), from Land of Nod, $12.95 each
Splurge: Hot Wheels All-in-one Track 13 of 25Want to see a little toddler boy (or girl) lose their mind? Set up a hot wheels wall track set, wherever you can find the room. Unrequited joy.
Get it from Amazon, $109.49
Affordable: Disney Cars 2 Die Cast Set 14 of 25My son (3 years old as of Friday!) is more than smitten with all of the Disney Cars movies —and therefore, the cars themselves. Any cars really, but these ALWAYS have to be in the mix. We got this set for him last year and they're still winning.
Get it from Disney, $59.50
Affordable: Playmobil Set 15 of 25Anything Playmobil is always a sure-fire good time. Plus, nostalgia. I love buying toys for my kiddos that I enjoyed as a child!
Choose from a large selection of playmobil sets on Amazon, from $8.99 and up
Affordable: Platinum Edition Disney Movies 16 of 25I don't need to sell you on classic, award winning movies for your little ones, do I? These two are a couple of favourites in our household, that we've been clever to add on our lists with family over the past couple of years.
Get The Jungle Book from Amazon, $22
Get The Little Mermaid from Amazon, $26.99
Affordable: Magnatabs 17 of 25My little guy gets to use these at his daycare and I've watched he and his friends drool, fawn and rhapsodize over them for long enough. I had to know the name of this awesome brand so I could pick up a couple for my kids to have at home. You should too, if you enjoy quiet, happily engaged toddlers.
Get them from Amazon, from $16.47 and up
Train Set: Affordable & Splurge Options 18 of 25
Not Just Your Average Blocks: Affordable & Splurge Options 19 of 25
Art Station: Affordable & Splurge Options 20 of 25Ohhhh art carts. It's hard to behave when purchasing an art station for your child, especially if you are an artist yourself (waves hi!). I've found two fantastic options for your budding little artists. It's up for you to decide!
Get the Melissa & Doug Standing Easel from Target, $46.99
Get the Guidecraft Art Activity Desk from Target, $257.10
Affordable: Magnetic Crazy Face Game 21 of 25Matching silly fun! Includes 76 magnetic pieces and 12 character cards — enough to keep your tot entertained for a while.
Get it from Land of Nod, $19.95
Play Tent: Affordable & Splurge Options 22 of 25Play tents and canopies are making a comeback! (How could they have ever gotten old?) Set the stage for your little ones to create their own little reading nook, imaginary play-space, or space-shuttle.
Get the affordable one from Willow Tree Yarnery on Etsy, $50
Get the splurge-worthy one from Wonder Tents on Etsy, $249
Castle: Affordable & Splurge Options 23 of 25
Play Kitchen: Affordable & Splurge Options 24 of 25
Dollhouse: Affordable & Splurge Options 25 of 25Good dollhouses are never cheap, although your toddler's first run with one doesn't have to be a three-tiered, Victorian, hand-crafted one either. Which is why I chose two different types with larger, easy-to-grasp accessories, with bells and whistles that would appeal to a younger child.
Get the Fisher Price My First Dollhouse from Amazon, $69.99
Get the Plan Toys Green Dollhouse with Furniture from Amazon, $166.62
More Babbles From Selena…
- Have Toddlers, Must Work.
- Christmas Card & Photo Gifts + Wiley Toddlers? No Problem. I’ve Got Your Back.
- Speaking About International Day of The Girl Child: 7 Ways To Empower Girls
- Fun Native Crafts For Toddlers
Elsewhere on the internets…
Via my humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve
Of guilty pleasures, geekery and badassery: on the Twitters
Connect to my hand-made personna on: Facebook