Finding the best toys for toddlers can be so tricky – they’re like teenagers. Their interests evolve and update and rock so violently it’s hard to keep track. Is she still into Doc McStuffins? No, she’s a My Little Pony girl now. Does he still want to be a little doctor? Well… in the sense that he wants to operate race cars, yes.
The safest route is the tactile…the sensory… the downright NOISY. (Especially if they’re not YOUR toddlers. Parents love that.) Anything that will occupy their teensy hands and keep their attention engaged is SUPREME.
Back at the lab, we’ve been scanning the toyverse for the perfect toddler-appropriate toys… it’s not been easy. There have been tears (mine) and naps (also mine) but I think we’ve found the best 8 toddler gifts available outside of the black market.
Got a tot to subdue? Look no further. And remember we gift wrap – so they can also enjoy the packaging.
- Nutty Squirrel
- Foam Cone Factory
- Hungry Pelican
- Hoops for the Tub
- Roll & Ring Ramp Tower
- Activity Table – Wooden Forest Theme
- Charley the Cameleon
They may not be able to balance their bodies yet, but as with any journey, the first step is mental. If you can balance a bunch of wooden acorns on a rocking wooden squirrel, who knows what more you can balance?! The brightly colored kit is fantastic for color recognition and hand-eye coordination. It also makes little noise and keeps perplexed squishies VERY concentrated. You only have to be 18 months to use it!
Another great set for the 18-monthers, this trickster makes bathtime a JOY for those inclined to stay dirty. You just suction-cup it to the tiled wall, have your tot drip a few drops of bubble bath into the cornet, add water, and pull the lever. BOOM! “Ice cream” cone. Don’t eat it, though. You’ll float to the ceiling on bubbles. (Learned that in the lab the hard way…)
You can go even younger here… 9 month olds love this hungry, plushy boy. His belly is empty and only YOU have the power to fill it! Just open his big old pelican beak and shove mini stuffed sea creatures down his gullet. You can see them through his peek-in, reach-in tummy window! Would that humans were so evolved. Encourages nurturing and a lifelong love of the aquatic.
Should be two or older to play this game. Another bathtime enhancer… I’m sensing a theme here… do kids not like bubble baths? That’s a silly question. Obviously not. Stick this hoop to the bathtub wall, and try shooting three different balls into the net! Helps with hand-eye coordination AND scoring points against siblings. Lessons that will follow any tot through life.
This is just too adorable for words. I won’t even try. Just kidding, I can’t help myself. This colorful wooden track set has four cars driven by a bear, a bunny, a doggy, and a kitty. Send the cars rolling, zooming, zipping, and flipping down the track! Perfect for development impeccable taste in cuteness as well as motor skills!
It’s not enough just to have “activities.” To entertain a toddler, one needs a whole TABLE full of them. Fortunately, this guy fits the bill. It’s got three stackable animals, a dexterity-building maze, a three wheel gear cog system for coordination, and an ABACUS?! You can practice your colors and shapes by sorting them, and you can pack this whole thing up and take it to Grandma’s house! Wonderful for babes as young as one.
This toy is for the elite end of toddlership… the four year olds. It’s criminally easy. You get 12 dice loaded with fanciful images. (That’s 72 images, if you were counting.) You roll them all, and see if you can come up with a story that connects the very first one, threads through all of them, and concludes at the last one. Maybe it starts with a footprint and ends with a light bulb… only a toddler would be able to come up with THAT story!
Your toddlers have to sleep… we swear, new parents, they really do! Things can be a little easier around bedtime if you get them a snuggly friend, and Charley is even better than that. Charley will lull your little ones to sleep with his soothing color changing LED lights and gentle melodies. He’s cute, soft, and just looking at him will… just looking will… (yawn)… zzzzzzzzzzzz…
Tiny tots get a bad reputation in the parenting community. “Terrible Twos” and “Threenagers” and so forth. The truth is, they just need a little bit more stimulation and loving to calm the beast within! Let ‘em have it with our very best toddler gifts.
And now… jokes that’ll make even a threenager laugh…
- Why did the banana go to the doctor?
- Because it wasn’t peeling well.
- How do all the oceans say hello to each other?
- They wave!
(My personal favorite – direct, to the point, merciless):
- Why do giraffes have such long necks?
- Because they have smelly feet.