Toddler Gift Guide

November 18, 2015

toddler christmas

'Tis the season to be asked by family and friends (as well as few fellow boy mamas, hey Cait and Kim!) what Gray has on his list for Santa! I typically say that he doesn't need a single thing but I know good and well that most will get him presents despite my insistence that he has more than enough. With that in mind, I thought I might put together a Gift List of items that are sentimental, will grow with him, are things that we (always) need and a few that we own and highly recommend for wild boy babies. 

Justin and I are keeping things low key (Gray is only 16 months old and will be more interested in boxes and tissue than gifts this year) and have chosen to give Gray one "big" gift (not big in price!) and to fill his stocking with mostly things that he needs and a few very small toys. All of our choices are included below!

As a heads up, I'm super into Melissa and Doug right now. I think they make high quality toys at an amazing price point and their boy/gender neutral toy game is strong. You can skip this post and just shop their website and be the favorite auntie or elf for sure. 

Melissa and Doug Puzzles: Sound, Large Knob and Chunky

The Melissa and Doug wooden puzzles are our current birthday go-to present for all of our friends who are turning two! I love the animal sounds puzzle (we own that one) and am a huge fan of the Vehicle Chunky Puzzle as a present for our best dudes. Melissa and Doug also makes wooden puzzles with large knob pieces (like the farm animal version pictured above) that are perfect for little hands and the price point is insanely reasonable (the Vehicle puzzle is $10!). P.S. puzzles are awesome but wreck a playroom - go ahead and grab one of these to save your sanity.

Schwinn Easy Steer Tricycle

We've done a bit of Tricycle research and have concluded that we are huge fans of the Schwinn Trike. Our good friends gifted their son the trike on his second birthday and we took it for a spin before giving it a thumbs up. I love how it converts from a push bike to a full tricycle as he grows. The basket on the front and bucket on the back will be perfect for filling with boy things (baby boys collect things like crazy - currently, Gray always has a sippy cup and a handful of cars where ever he goes) and I think the price point is reasonable for a piece that should grow with him for a few years. In my opinion, this is a perfect gift from Santa or the grandparents!

Hallmark Recordable Story Books

Ok, these are amazing. My mom bought one for Gray and recorded herself reading it before giving it to him. She also recorded little messages to him like "good job turning the page, Gray!" and "Mamie and Captain Ken love you so much!". The only downside: sometimes it randomly turns on and her voice scares the crap out of me.

The books come in holiday versions like "The Night Before Christmas", baby classics like the tear jerker "I'll Love You Forever" (admission: I hate that book) and tons of Grandparent themed books (clearly, Hallmark knows their audience on this one!). Gray loves to flip the pages and hear Mamie's voice and I love that he's "reading".

Melissa and Doug Wooden Fire Truck Play Set (can be personalized)

Gray has a similar version of the Melissa and Doug wooden Fire Engine and loves it so hard. This particular piece is marked for ages 3+ but I think we would rock it out. Bonus: it can be customized with a child's name, which I think would be the cutest ever. 

IKEA LATT Children's Table and Chairs

The  LATT set is perfect for a rough and tumble play room thanks to the $25 price point (which includes the two chairs). Many times you'll see this set painted to up the cute factor and I would love to spray paint the set red to match our playroom. Side Note: this would be a perfect toddler table for a kitchen as a babe is transitioning from a high chair to a big boy chair. 

In my opinion, buying from IKEA online is kinda stupid, thanks to the shipping prices, so I found a similar (but sadly more expensive) version of the set here

Boon Plates

Non slip toddler plates? Do they also prevent him from picking it up and tossing it across the room? Sold.

Seriously though, we are always in need of more plates, cups, utensils and such so I will def toss a few into his stocking. 

Nuby Sippy

Love this sippy and send it to school often - it doesn't leak and has handled the dishwasher like a champ. Adding more to my stash only means that I have to do dishes less often, so Merry Christmas to me! 

Munchkin Toddler Forks and Spoons

We're working on forks and spoons and these will be adorable peeking out of his stocking.

Nuby Monster Snack Keeper

I stash a Snack Keeper in every possible purse, diaper bag, glove compartment and stroller caddy. The more, the merrier! 

Play Tunnel

We've had a tooooon of rainy days this fall and I so wish we had a play tunnel for our playroom to burn some of that energy. At $15, I don't know why we wouldn't snag one of these in the near future to help prevent cabin fever!

Radio Flyer Off Road Beach Wagon

This little baby is the gift Justin and I are giving Gray. We can't wait to walk him around our neighborhood in it (and word on the street is Daddy may have already purchased so Gray and all of our gear have a sweet ride at this weekend's tailgate).  The off road wheels are a must for our family week at the beach and Tiger Tailgates, so the Beach Wagon is the way to go for us. P.S. it's Prime eligible!

Melissa and Doug Wooden Stacking Train 

Gray was gifted the Wooden Stacking Train by my Brother and Sister In Law when he was a ring bearer in their wedding and he loves it. He's been obsessed with wheels for quite some time and the stacking blocks add a level of boy happiness that can't be beat. If I were buying for a toddler boy, this would be my choice, and if I didn't wait until the last minute, I would go for the personalization (but chances are, I would late til the last minute).

Happy gifting! 




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5 comments

  1. Great list! I didn't know that M&D puzzle organizer existed. super helpful.
    I can also vouch for those Hallmark recordables. Daddy travels for weeks at a time, so my MIL got 2 of them for us last Christmas when babe was 3 months old. Not really a hit until now, but I would always play them so she could hear his voice. Just before the 1 year mark, she got really into them and grabs them off the shelf saying 'Dada' (cute and heartbreaking... my phone is also called 'Dada'). We have "When..." and "Goodnight, my little sleepyhead". 'Goodnight' has shorter text on pages, so for impatient little ones, its a faster page turner. You get less voice for the buck though. 'When..' has cuter animals and a sweeter message, may be better for slightly older toddlers. My daughter always wants to turn the page and press a button 2 seconds into the recording. Lots of cute choices and nothing I would have thought of before we had a kid.

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  2. The Ikea Latt table is such a great purchase! It's super inexpensive and you can customize it any way you want! I did one for our son a few years ago (http://www.colleenandkeith.com/2013/06/ikea-latt-childrens-table-hack.html) and we have used it SO much. It's looking a little worn these days from so much use, so I will probably buy another table for our boys this year. Great list!!

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  3. I love chunky puzzles. I wish Aria wasn't so good at them now.

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  4. totally pinning this for later :) xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  5. We have the radio flyer version of this push trike and N loves it! Great choice.

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