15 Best Christmas Toys and Gifts for Kids
It is almost Christmas time and if you are anything like me, you are probably used to getting last minute presents. Here are a few of my personal favorite toys that my kids enjoy and love-tried and tested-without breaking the budget!
These blocks are amazing and are on our toy gift wish list! They might look like ordinary wooden blocks…but they stick together because they are magnetic! The magnets are placed inside the wood, an important safety feature. The manufacturer says they are appropriate for children 6 months+, but I would still be hesitant to use the smallest cubes with toddlers who still put toys in their mouth. The only bad thing about these blocks is that they are pretty pricey. They are extremely well-made, however, and would last for years to come.
This is a toddler toy that has miraculously survived all three children in our household. It has been a favorite of my children and guests alike.
Our church has a set of these Magna-Tiles and my kids love them. Technically the manufacturer only recommends these toys for 3 years and older, but I would be comfortable letting my nearly 2-year old use them as long as she was being supervised. Magnets as toys can be extremely dangerous so please use extreme caution and vigilance with children who still put things in their mouths.
GROSS MOTOR DEVELOPMENT TOYS FOR TODDLERS
This slide is currently sitting in the middle of my living room. I bought it about a month ago in anticipating of cold temperatures and it is used about a zillion times throughout the day by both of my children…despite the fact that it was purchased for the youngest. My only complaint is that it is advertising as “folding”, but really that just means you have to take it apart. It doesn’t actually fold. But it is easy enough to move to another room or even outside to slide in the leaves! 🙂
This is a great basketball goal for toddlers and perfect for indoor or outdoor use. We have had this goal for years. It is plastic (and sort of cheaply made), but it can be easily adjusted to six different heights and won’t hurt it is accidentally comes crashing down on someone (which we know from experience).
We have the cow version of the Wheely Bug and it is a favorite toy of our kids and other kids who come to our house. I love that this toy also comes in a variety of other animals (hedgehog, ladybug, pig, mouse, tiger, and bee).
BEST TOYS FOR TODDLERS THAT ENCOURAGE COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
This is currently one of my toddler’s favorite “toys” to play with. My daughter loves getting out the color paddles and matching them to items around the house. As she gets older, we can use them to illustrate how colors mix together to form new colors!
This toddler toy gets played with at our house every single day. Because of the cylinder shape, it is an activity that parents should participate in as little ones will get frustrated if it keeps rolling away while they are trying to put the shape in the correct spot. I actually consider this to be a positive aspect of this toy, as it gives me the opportunity to talk about the various shapes and colors.
BEST TODDLER TOYS FOR PRETEND PLAY
This is on our Christmas gift list for our toddler this year!
We used to have a fruit-cutting activity similar to this, but it was made with Velcro which eventually wore out. This set is made with magnets and is very durable.
This is another item on our toddler toy wish list for Little Sister. A play kitchen is a wonderful way to encourage pretend play for boys or girls!
My neighbor has this set and her boys and they both loved playing with them, especially outside in the dirt! They are small, so they are easy to take along as well.
BEST TOYS FOR TODDLERS THAT ENCOURAGE LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
In my opinion the best way to encourage language development in your child is to read for at least 20 minutes every day and talk about things you do throughout the day. Here are a few other ways.
From my personal experience, I have found that learning animal sounds as a young toddler is a huge stepping stone to language development. Once my children started saying animal sounds, they quickly began saying many other words as well. We have a farm set nearly identical to this one and it has been a favorite toy for my kids!
Music is a wonderful tool for encouraging language development with toddlers. In addition to learning important components of language such as rhythm and rhyme, music also has been proven to use many different parts of the brain. Finger plays, simple songs, and exposure to various musical instruments are all excellent ways to promote language development!
15. BOOKS, BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS!
Although technically not “toys”, I couldn’t write this post without including some of our favorite books!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin, Jr.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Toes, Ears & Nose by Marion Dane Bauer
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss
Your trainer and friend,