Baby and Toddler Gift Guides

1- Activity Cube This is hands down my number 1 toy for this age range (and beyond). My girls have played with it since 6 months old and still play with it to this day. It is great for development and many ages.
2- Dimpl  This is one of the best little hand help toys for infants. It is simple and teaches cause and effect while working on fine motor skills. 
3- Pull Toy Such a classic toy that grows with your baby and their abilities.
4- Toddler Slide This is the only slide I’ve ever found that is this small! Babies LOVE it! It’s short enough that babies can crawl up and down without your fear of them falling and hurting themselves. It’s so great for helping babies learn gross motor skills. 
5- Ball Drop I first used this toy when giving speech therapy to littles and it has quickly become one of my top toy recommendations. It is SO motivational to babies. They are fascinated by it. It is great developmentally too. I love it to teach cause and effect, problem-solving and language (use words like “up” “down” “fast” “go” “more”) **I would not recommend this for babies under 9 months.
6- Pop Up Toy One of the best toys ever for your babies! Cause and effect, problem-solving, fine motor skills and lots of exclamatory words you can use during play! If your baby doesn’t have the fine motor skills yet help them (hand over hand)
7- Ring Stacking – Great for fine motor skills! The top ring is also a rattle which I love!
8- Sensory Balls I love these balls because they have different textures and shapes to stimulate your baby’s brain/development with different sensory input. More for your little one to feel and explore. 
9- Spinning Gears toy – My sister-in-law introduced me to this toy and it’s amazing! It’s similar to the ring stacking toy but they are gears that spin down. A bit more complicated so I would recommend this one for babies closer to 12 months.
10- Stacking Cups This is a must-have for all babies in my opinion. So much learning can be done with these little cups. Stacking (“up” “down”), Fitting them in each other and filling them with water in the tub (“in” “out”), Colors, Sizes. Sometimes simple toys are the best!
11- Shape Sorter This one is great for fine motor skills and learning shapes of course!
12- Tummy Time Mirror – This is one of the most under-used and best toys for infants! They learn SO much from looking at themselves in the mirror! Babies LOVE faces and are quickly engaged with a mirror. They will experiment and learn so much!
13- Activity Gym Activity gyms are such a great toy for infants in their first year. I LOVE this specific one because it gives you different ideas on how to use the mat and toys with your babies each month. 
1- Toy Musical Instruments  -You might hate me with all the noise but they love these!
2- Cozy Coupe – Such a classic! This was one of my most loved toys as a child and my girls and have loved it. So many pretend play schemes and fun driving around the house/neighborhood. 
3- Doll Stroller – We have two of these. (One for each girl). Probably the top 10 most used toys in our home. They love strapping in their babies and going on walks like mom. 
4- Play Kitchen – Pretend play really emerges during these ages and I think a play kitchen is a must. Grab some play food and pots too! Set up some play schemes like making dinner or doing to a restaurant and they’ll never stop!
5- Squipz – These little things are so addicting! I love having them in my bag for when we’re out and they need some entertainment- especially to dinner. My girls love sticking them to the tables!
6- Doll – A must-have (for both genders) at this age! So many opportunities for pretend play! Stimulate that imagination!
7- Knob puzzles – At this age, they’re old enough and have enough fine-motor skills to start with simple puzzles. So great for further developing fine-motor skills and problem-solving. 
8- Push and Ride  – This is great for younger and older babes in this age range. Younger can use it as a push toy with the back handle when learning to walk. Older toddlers love to sit on it and cruise around the house. 
9- Doll bed/highchair/rocker set – This is a great addition to the doll and stroller. Lila loves to lay her babies down for naps and feed them a meal in their highchair. 
10- Toddler cleaning set – I love this set! We keep it in our pantry near my “grown up” versions. The girls love to grab their own and “help” me clean. 
11- Shopping cart – I personally have never gotten this but it has amazing reviews! So great for encouraging pretend play.
12- Climber – If you have a climber this toy will be your best friend. Lila climbed on EVERYTHING and so I got this and put it in my family room. It was a life saver. It was the perfect size for a toddler and kept her active. 
13- Plush toys – toys like these and larger figurines start to be used in pretend play around these ages. 
14-  Little Trampoline – My parents surprised the girls with this trampoline one year and it’s amazing. Great quality! I love that it is safe with the net surrounding. They get SO much energy out here (especially in the winter).
15- Play Vacuum – Yet another pretend toy that the girls love!
16-Mess free coloring– I forgot to include this at first but this was something I LOVED at this age. They’re learning to color and stay on the page so I love that this gives them freedom without me worrying about mess. 
17-Pop-up Tent – This is an inexpensive fun option for a gift! We have it and the girls play princesses and go to their “castle”
1. Magnatiles– Endless creative possibilities with these. A top rated toy for a reason. 
2- Balance Bike– I think this a great age for a balance bike (some kids are more athletic and do earlier but my girls 3.5 is the best)
3- Water Pen books – I LOVE these for church or whenever I need the girls to sit quietly. They can be used over and over! The girls love them.
4- Pretend Baking – Lila can’t get enough of this set. 
5- Ride-on Horse – This is Lila’s dream. If you have an animal lover this will make their life. 
6- Dollhouse – I think that 3 and 4 is the perfect ages for a dollhouse. Lila loves it and it’s really expanded her pretend play with more fine-motor and detailed play schemes.
7- Necklace Making Kit – At this age I love more “activity” toys and this is a favorite. The string is silicone and stretchy. We take the beads off and make necklaces again and again. 
8- Kinetic Sand – Another great “activity” toy. I love the sensory aspect to kinetic sand.
9- Fishing – We play with this almost EVERY day. So much fun and each fish has a letter. It’s been a great alphabet learning game. 
10- Pretend Makeup – Lila tries to put on my makeup every day (often resulting in a mess) so I’m hoping this occupies her instead. 
11- Matching Game -Matching games are a great learning game for this age. Make it really fun for the by going CRAZY when they find a match. Lila loves it and lives for the thrill of finding a match 🙂
12- Doctor Kit – More complicated play schemes like “doctor” are great for this age! Especially if ypu watch Doc McStuffins haha
13- Ride on Car – This is purely FUN! I got a toy like this when I was young and it holds some of my best childhood memories. I love that this one sits two (a must in my opinion for siblings and friends). I also love that this one has a parent remote control for when they need to take over the steering!
14- Paint your own – Crafts are SO great at this age and I love letting Lila’s creativity run wild. We have done a few of these “paint your own” and they’re so fun!
15- Preschool activity book – I’m usually focus on doing all learning through play at this age but if you’re looking for an activity book for learning this is the best one I’ve found! If you’re going to use it make it fun and keep sessions short!
16- Board Games – This age is great to start introducing simple board games. It helps them learn following rules, turn taking and they’re fun. 
17- Sticker Activity Books – We LOVE these. I’ve ordered so many!
18- Name Puzzles– This is a great way to help your toddler learn their name!

Remember that all kids are individual and a lot of these toys can be used at ages outside of where I grouped them here. You know your child’s abilities and interests the best!I hope this has given you some great ideas! And avoid toys with batteries if you can! They usually don’t support learning as much as those without!

1 Comment

  1. Ashley Ziegler on November 23, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    These are all so great! Thank you!

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