Toddler Holiday Gift Guide

Can you believe Thanksgiving is this week! So crazy.  Time to buckle down and start planning those Christmas presents!  I had lots of fun putting this toddler holiday gift guide together because I chose items my kids either already have and LOVE, things we plan on purchasing for them, or things I know they’d really enjoy.  This is geared towards children ages 2-4 and even though the top part is “girls” and the bottom part is “boys” my kids love playing with anything and everything and Caroline loves the trucks just as much as Jack loves kitchens, so don’t feel limited in that way.  Also, you may notice that I included some character toys…it seems like most gift guides you see these days are full of wooden toys and Instagram-worthy items…but you know what?  My kids have gotten hundreds of hours out of their Paw Patrol toys and even though they aren’t pretty I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  I hope this helps you choose some gifts for your own little ones!

Toddler Holiday Gift Guide

(If you do decide to purchase anything I’d really appreciate it if you’d do so after clicking my links!  I’ll earn a small commission through the affiliate link but it won’t cost you any extra.  You don’t even have to buy the exact thing I linked and I’ll still get “credit.”  Your support means the world and it enables me to keep producing content you enjoy here on the blog.  Thank you and happy holidays!)


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1.  Rattan Doll Crib:  This doll crib looks almost exactly like the vintage one we have that the new baby will sleep in.  It’s so cute!

2.  Electronic Writing Pad:  I’ve seen this recommended on Instagram a few times and since my kids love magnadoodles (but have broken the one we have) I think they’d both enjoy having one of these.  You just click the button and everything they’ve written wipes clean!

3.  Mini Wildbird Ring Sling:  I wore Caroline in a Wildbird ring sling for 18 months, and plan on wearing this next baby in one too.  I thought that the kids would enjoy being able to carry their dolls and stuffed animals like mom, so I’ve already bought each of them one of these mini ring slings.

4.  Toy Ice Cream Set:  The kids have this ice cream set and are OBSESSED with it.  All of the pieces are magnetic so they stack easily, and Caroline loves taking our orders by showing us the little menu that comes with it.  Totally recommend this one if your child is into ice cream.

5.  Pantone Color Flash Cards:  I bought these large Pantone flash cards when Jack was a baby because I thought they were cute, and recently pulled them out for Caroline to play with.  She loves got them out one by one and talking about the colors and the animals/foods/items that are on them and then stacking them back up in the box.  Over and over again.  She seriously played with them for an hour by herself the other day.

6.  Rainbow Abacus:  Ok this is totally Insta-worthy and a bit of a splurge, but it’s adorable for the rainbow lover in your life.

7.  Pretend Makeup:  Both kids like playing with my makeup brushes so I figured a play makeup set would be fun for them.  I’ve heard great reviews on this one.

8.  Doll Moses Basket:  We already have a wicker doll Moses basket that we received as a hand-me-down, but I think this one is super cute and comes with a blanket and a pillow.

9.  Stainless Steel Play Pots and Pans:  We have the white version of these pots and pans from 2 years ago and love them.  The kids still play with them in their toy kitchen daily.

10.  Paw Patrol Skye 2-in-1 Transforming Helicopter:  My kids love Paw Patrol, and this transforming helicopter is larger than the normal toys by a little bit and it opens up to become a little rescue area with Skye and a few critters.  Jack has the Marshall one (#16 below) and they lie down on their bellies together and pretend to type on the (sticker) computer screen that both vehicles have.  It’s cute watching them play together and use their imaginations.

11.  Plush Elephant Rocker:  We’ve had this since before Jack was born and we keep it in the living room.  Both kids ride on it multiple times throughout the day and I like that it isn’t an eyesore.

12.  Rainbow Purse:  Caroline has a purse like this from a local boutique and it’s so fun.  She’s still a little young but she’ll tote it around from time to time.

13.  Wheeled Basket:  I can imagine the kids really having fun wheeling this cute little basket around.

14.  Flower Sunglasses:  I bought these cute flower sunglasses for Caroline this spring and she loves them.  They come in a number of different colors and are under $10.  Fun stocking stuffer idea!

15.  Small Plush Anna and Else Dolls:  Caroline received this Elsa doll a few weeks ago from a friend and it’s the perfect size and nice and soft.  She sleeps with it most nights.  Great option for a young toddler who likes Frozen and isn’t ready for the Barbie doll-type Frozen dolls quite yet.

16.  Paw Patrol Marshall Ride n Rescue 2-in-1 Transforming Firetruck:  Jack has this fire truck and even though it’s pretty small (larger than the regular trucks but not monstrously large) there are a number of different activities to play with on it.  Both kids love this kind!  (The Skye one above is the same kind.)

17.  Paw Patrol Learning Watch:  We bought this flip up watch for Jack for his birthday and he plays little games on in and enjoys trying to tell the time.  He does randomly set the alarm sometimes and enjoys turning it off with the press of a button.  (Just make sure it isn’t set for the middle of the night, which happened to us one time.)  Caroline really wants one for herself now too.

18.  Kiwi Co. Crate:  We got the kids each a 6 month subscription to these activity boxes.  Jack is obsessed with art projects lately and I’m terrible at coming up with anything, so after seeing these kits mentioned on Instagram over and over again we decided to try them for ourselves.  We’ve already received the first boxes in the mail and I’m excited to do them with the kids!

19.  Matchbox Marine Rescue Set:  This was another one of Jack’s birthday presents.  The big boat actually floats!  Both kids love playing with this in the pool and the bath tub.

20.  Wooden Crane:  Jack received this from the “paci fairy” when he gave up his pacifiers (see this blog for how we weaned him from his paci addiction) and it’s a great wooden toy crane that he’s loved for months.  Looks cute and is nice and sturdy.

21.  Balance Bike:  Jack received this balance bike for his 3rd birthday and he loves it (though he is very tall and will probably outgrow it soon).  It’s pretty light and affordable too.  Comes in lots of color options.  This one is an even more adorable option, complete with a wicker basket, but it’s a little more expensive.

22.  Wooden Work Bench with Tools:  Jack has always loved tools and I know he’d enjoy this wooden work bench if we had the space for it.

23.  Kids Digital Camera:  Whenever Jack sees me take photos with my DSLR camera he always asks to use it.  I think we’re going to get him this kid-friendly digital camera so he can take real photos without me having to worry about him breaking it.  It’s a fantastic price too!

24.  Loader and Backhoe:  Jack got this from Santa last year.  He loves construction vehicles and this one is pretty durable and realistic and it’s a good size too.  Plus I like that it doesn’t have tracks because those always create drama when they fall off.

25.  Water Wow Reusable Water Reveal Books:  These water reveal books are great because you can use them over and over again.  They’ve saved our sanity on planes, in cars, at restaurants and when we lived in a hotel when we first moved to Hawaii.

26.  Micro Lean-to-Steer Scooter:  Our friends got these scooters last year and they’re so great.  Really smooth ride and easy for toddlers to figure out because you lean to steer them.  I was cheap and got a radio flyer scooter and Jack has yet to figure it out and the ride isn’t nearly as smooth.  I should have just splurged on this scooter because the one we have has been a waste.  We’ll get good scooters once we move next summer and have more space to play.

27.  Play Kitchen:  This play kitchen is super cute!  We have the IKEA one that I did a little DIY makeover on, and while the kids love it it was a bit of work for me to jazz up.  This is a great similar-looking option (though more detailed than ours and it comes with accessories) and it’s on Prime!  Only $129.99.

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. Margaret
    November 28, 2019 / 3:15 am

    Love that you put realistic toys! You are right about most gift guides only having insta-worthy toys and it was making me feel bad about gifting my 16 month old plastic little people which is what she truly loves! Thanks Katie for always keeping it beautiful AND real!

    • November 29, 2019 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you for that feedback and for following along! And don’t feel bad about gifting plastic little people, she’s going to love it 🙂 It’s so easy to want to choose the things that are super cute (and there are sooooo many neat options these days) but at the end of the day a toy that isn’t played with is a waste of money. My kids are always carrying around Paw Patrol and monster trucks and all sorts of things that are so ugly, but at least they’re happy!

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