This is for all my fellow planners out there. The people that can’t leave things until the last minute and want plenty of time to research and make an educated purchase for their family. My 2019 Gift Guide covers some of our tried and true favorites as well as some much-desired gifts as well!
I have split the 2019 gift guide into different sections so you can easy focus on the type of gift you’re looking to give!
2019 Gift Guide Playtime
- Button Art – great for fine motor skills, concentration, and color matching
- Lacing Beads – great for fine motor skills, as well as patterning and color and shape recognition
- Play Silks & Clips – a wonderful open-ended toy great for dancing, dress up, and fort building.
- Wooden Train Tracks – I prefer the wooden tracks as they are easier for little hands, and as they grow it becomes a bit like a puzzle they can create their own layouts
- Animal figures – Toobs are great for small world sensory bins and playdough trays. If your looking for more hand-sized animals Schleich, Safari LTD, & Mojo are all great brands
- Large Dump Truck – make sure it’s big and sturdy
- Roll-up Piano – if you have all the other basic musical instruments covered this is a great way to add some new music to your home!
- Lego Duplo – basic set – You will always end up wanting more and I like a real basic set for open-ended building
- Lego Duplo – themed set – For us its horses, for others it might be dinosaurs or Mickey Mouse, whatever inspires your little!
- Building plate – an awesome way to add a little stability to the beginnings of a build
- Magnatiles – you will always want more, but the 32 piece set is a good place to start
- Magnetic car bases – There is something about adding wheels that kids just love
- Grimms Rainbow – an great open-ended stacking and building toy that also looks beautiful
- Guidecraft Treasure Blocks – a great way to keep some of the treasures that your toddler is always finding!
- Bristle Blocks – a great block for kids that are always frustrated with creations breaking
- Dress up clothes – I like the dress-up stuff that is less size specific so it lasts for lots of years and career-based outfits spark lots of great role-play scenarios
- Cash Register – a wonderful addition to many role play setups, just make sure there are buttons to press!
- Doctor/Vet tools – fosters gentleness and caring for humans or animals
- Tool Box – a great toy for any little helpers in the house
- Play kitchen – a classic in any kids playroom
- Play Food/Kitchen Accessories – the more realistic the better! I like Learning resources for food, very real looking and comes in a wild variety. Kitchen accessories are almost as important as food. We went for the set with the olive oil and salt and pepper shakers and she never forgets to add oil to her pan before she cooks.
- Tea & Coffee set – toddlers love poring and they love to emulate you. a coffee pot and mugs hit both of these traits
- Babydoll furniture/stroller/carrier – If you have a little mommy or daddy in the house some baby doll accessories are sure to get their fair use. A high chair and a crib are the basics that we are adding to our playroom. Again toddlers love to emulate you so a stroller and even a baby doll carrier would be great for them to bring baby along.
- Dollhouse & Dolls – I prefer the open-ended dollhouses that allow for more creative play. Nothing to themed; that way if your little loves calico critters or superheroes or princesses everyone could be at home there.
2019 Gift Guide Calming Activites
- Poke a Dot – an interactive book full of snapping dots on every page. Quite a few options for the theme of the book
- Look and Find – easily tailored to your child’s interests. Encourages concentration and observation
- Lift the Flap books – any flap books would be good but we love Usborne Peep inside books; short and simple with lots to look at
- Usborne Shine a light books – We don’t have this yet but I have heard great love for all the Shine a Light books
- Good Night Good Night Construction Site – a lovely read with some fun words
- Llama Llama Red Pajama – a toddler classic
- Tap the Magic Tree – an interactive simple story about the seasons. Touch the brightest star and Plant the tiny seed both equally as good
- LMNO Peas – a fun alphabet read with others covering colors and seasons
Games & Puzzles
- Sneaky Snacky Squirrel – color and strategy table game great for toddlers
- Snug as a Bug in a Rug – a counting colors and shapes board game for toddlers
- Memory – many versions available that you could easily tailor to your child’s interests!
- Alphabet Bingo – This game could easily be adapted for your toddler with a few small changes and would be great for letter recognition!
- Floor Puzzles – great for squirmy toddlers that just need to keep moving
- Top Bright Wooden Jigsaw – With sturdy wooden pieces and a tray to work in
- Petit Collage Beginner Jigsaw – Love that this is a set but each part is separate and can be worked on one at a time
- Head to Tails Animal Puzzles – the Learning Journey has quite a few great learning puzzles!
- Beanie Boos – as a 90 child with a closet collection of Beanie Babies…this may be more of a “me” thing…but I won’t deny that we end up at these displays in the store a lot so she is at least interested in them
- Warmies – These have a great weight to them that I can see would be very comforting, and you can microwave them to make them all warm and snuggly too.
- Wild Republic – we love the wide variety of animals and we have multiple from this brand that are all holding up great!
2019 Gift Guide to Sensory Fun
- Tempera Paint Sticks – we have yet to try these but they have been on our list for a long time now
- Watercolors and watercolor brush – Go for cheap but pigmented paint and a watercolor brush eliminates the need to keep wetting the brush
- Do a Dot Markers – somewhere between a marker a stamp these are great for creative use and also with guided coloring pages to work on fine motor
- Liquid Watercolors – super concentrated and wonderful for dying and coloring various projects
- Fingerpaint – We have been using basic acrylic for a while now and I would like to play around some with classic fingerpaint
- Playdough tools – I can’t really condone buying playdough when homemade is SO much better, but some quality playdough tools are a great idea
- Magnadoodle – awesome no-mess mark-making and a great travel toy
- Aquadoodle – great for a car toy or no mess quiet time activity
Sensory Bin Stuff
- Kinetic Sand – a favorite among kids and parents alike
- Floam – very light and slightly sticky but only to its self
- Floof – Very light and molds great
- Mad Matter – a middle ground between Kinetic sand and playdough. New to us and we want some!
- Slime – Look for more jelly-like than sticky if you want to avoid some of the mess
- Aarons Thinking Putty – great for fidget play and not messy at all
- Fine Motor Tools – some must-have tools for sensory bins
- Measuring cup set – a wide variety of sizes and handle styles to continue to build fine motor is best
2019 Gift Guide to Get the Wiggles Out
- Gong Riverstones & Hilltops – These are a pretty penny and there are others on the market if you’re looking for cheaper options, I just keep ending up here… One other note the Riverstones would be easier for a young toddler, but the Hilltops would be more challenging, thus have a longer use if your thinking long term. Ideally, both sets would interchange wonderfully!
- Pikler Triangle – Opt for a taller model to extend the number of years of playtime
- Dome Climber – great if you have a large playroom or basement
- Balance board – a great toy that your kid will continue to find new ways to use
- Mini trampoline – I would opt for something the in the 60 in it will last your kiddo a lot longer than the “toddler” trampoline
- Slide – again I would opt for one that is a little taller so as to last the child a little longer
- Balance Bike
Christmas 2019 Gift Guide for Toddlers
My 2019 gift guide is something that I have been building for a while and there has been lots of talk on social media among the mom community as we gear up for the holiday season. I wanted a place that I could send them with some of our favorite gift ideas, because as a mom sometimes it’s just easier to have things handed to you instead of doing all the leg work yourself!
Let me know if you can think of any other things that you consider must-haves for your toddlers I would love to get this list rounded out even more!