This post is sponsored by buybuy BABY. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own! Thanks for supporting brands that I love and that make this little blog of mine possible.
It’s December!! So, it’s baby month over here and I have maybe 3 more family members to cross off my list and our Christmas shopping is d o n e! Woohoo! I’ve never finished this early. It actually feels good, and I’m happy to not rush around the next couple of weeks. We recently decided to do more experience based and learning gifts for the kiddos in our lives. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the mindless toy-buying thinking that your niece or nephew will absolutely love this toy or that toy. But what really happens? They love it on Christmas day and maybe for a week after and then it gets pushed aside and eventually ends up in the donation bin. Womp womp. No more mindless toy buying over here in the Melito household. Just think of what your little one or family member will enjoy doing or learning instead. For the older kids, we bought personalized ornaments and a movie ticket. For the little ones, we bought puzzles and pajamas. However, if you’re shopping for learning toys and more hands-on activities, I’ve got you covered today with this toddler gift guide! Most of these toys can be found at buybuy BABY, which has been our favorite spot to buy toys and all baby related items lately.
We have found that our daughter Layla has really enjoyed our transition to a more Montessori-type learning environment. Montessori is a method of self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. This doesn’t mean we are strict on every little detail of the Montessori lifestyle, but yet we have ditched most plastic/battery operated toys and now opt for wooden, open-ended toys and activities. We do a toy rotation, keeping half of Layla’s toys/puzzles in the closet and swapping them out every week to keep things new. Everything on this gift guide below is something we bought for Layla for Christmas or a toy she already has and loves. buybuy BABY has a great selection of wooden toys and learning toys for kids of all ages.
1. Band in a Box- Little peeps love music you guys! I did not realize how much Layla would adore instruments until we started her music class a few months ago. Her favorite time of the class is when the instruments come out and she can choose which one to play. I thought this box was great because it features a few musical staples all kids will love.
2. Kid’s Dyson– I cannot believe they sell a Dyson that looks exactly like the one we have, AND it actually suctions! Toddlers love to help out in any way they can! Having your kiddos assist in clean up sounds amazing for both toddler & parents, right?
3. EverEarth Ramp Racer– This one is a tried and true favorite of ours. Layla loves watching the cars go down the ramps and putting them back up at the top by herself.
4. Knob Puzzles– These puzzles with the larger knobs are great for kiddos up to age 2 or so. It makes it easier to grab ahold of them and encourages hand-eye coordination.
5. Dust Sweep and Mop set– Another great helping activity. This set includes a storage stand, hand brush, dust pan, duster, mop & broom! Teach them young guys!! 😉
6. Dress Up Bear Book– We will be using this for on the go, in the car seat, and just being out and about. It’s a cloth book that has laces to tie, buttons, panels to fold, and a flap to insert.
7. Latches Board– We grabbed this for Layla a few months ago and it’s one of her favorite activities. It keeps her busy for quite awhile as she unlocks and unlatches each door and sees what animal is behind it.
8. Water Wow Books- I’ve heard great things about these books for taking on the go, as well as a coloring activity at home. You fill the pen with water and color away! It’s reusable and there’s no mess.
9. Artful Skwish Toy- This toy is awesome for babies from infancy to toddlerhood. It’s a clutching rattle that encourages grasping and reaching which is great for gross motor skills.
10. Wooden Number Puzzle– Help your little one learn colors, numbers, counting, and eventually the basics of math! We have one of these in the alphabet and Layla loves it as well.
11. Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets– I grabbed these for Layla a few months back and it’s something she enjoys playing with daily. We keep them on the fridge, and it’s been a great way for her to learn animals and the sounds they make. She enjoys taking them off and on again!
12. Wooden Shape Sorter– Encourages thinking skills and also color learning! A staple toy that provides many learning opportunities.
13. Wooden Abacus– This would be for an older toddler as it encourages math skills such as sorting, counting, addition and subtraction.
14. Infant Coin Box– Perfect for the toddlers in the “dump and fill” stage. Takes a lot of concentration but is great for fine motor skills and hand -eye coordination.
15. Magnetic Block Set– Another great activity for on the go. We keep these . in the diaper bag for when we’re out to eat and Layla gets bored with coloring. They come with a cute little pouch and keep toddlers entertained for quite awhile with the magnet feature!
16. Pop Up Toy– We got this for Lay right after she turned 1. She used to just like taking the little figures out and carrying them around the house. As time has gone on, she now matches them back to the appropriate color and it’s been a great way to teach her the colors!
17. Wooden Fruit Cutting Basket– This is a great set up for the play kitchen. The food is velcro and comes with a wood knife to cut it.
18. Rock and Ride Horse– We recently got Layla a rocking horse and she loves to sit on it and says, “weeeeeee!” It took her a few days to understand what it was for, but it’s improved her balance and coordination for sure.
19. Toy Bead Maze– I remember being a kid and going to the doctor’s office where they had a huge one of these! I was always playing with it because it kept me entertained.
20. Stack and Count Cups– Endless possibilities with these cups. These can also be used in the bath tub.
21. Caterpillar Xylophone– Another musical toy that your toddler will love to play with.
22. Sort and Count Cups– These cups can be used in so many ways! Dumping and filling, learning colors, counting, sorting, the list goes on and on.
23. Learning Tower– Layla has been using her learning tower for a few months now and it’s been a life saver. She loves helping out at the counter and even stands in it some days to eat breakfast or lunch, or to do arts and crafts. It grows with your toddler to early childhood.
24. Push and Pop Toy– This toy encourages sensory exploration and cause and effect learning. They “pop” the bubbles down by poking and then they pop back up again.
25. Pikler Triangle Climbing Arch– This was something I’ve had my eye on for quite awhile. I kept going back and forth about the price and also justifying how it would fit in the playroom. Easy solution; we asked the grandparents and godparents to go in on it with us, and most of it can be folded and put away. It will keep Layla entertained during our winters here in New England. Plus, it can be used from 6 months into early childhood! This is something that will get years of use and can be used in SO many different ways. I can’t wait to have this put together in front of the tree on Christmas morning.
I really hope that this gift guide helps all you parents out there that are struggling to find just the right gift for the toddlers in your life! When all else fails, check out the Melissa and Doug brand at buybuy BABY. I have always been pleased with their toys and they encourage imagination and wonder.
till next time!