The 10 Best Toddler Gifts

Updated November 30, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you have, or know of, a little person with a birthday coming up who has just started to find his or her legs, check out our selection of imaginative and inspirational toddler gifts. We've included things to pique the interests of most youngsters, as well as some educational options, so you can feel good about letting the kids have fun, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best toddler gift on Amazon.

10. Kids Destiny Engines & Train

The 12-piece Kids Destiny Engines & Train cars collection is compatible with Thomas, Brio, and Chuggington train tracks or it can simply be played with on the floor or a table. When not in use, all of the carriages store in the handsome wooden display frame.
  • stands up to rough play
  • easy to grab with little hands
  • connecting magnets are weak
Brand Kids Destiny
Model pending
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

9. VTech Record and Learn KidiStudio

If your little one aspires to be the next big pop sensation or music producer, give him or her the gift of the VTech Record and Learn KidiStudio. Its keyboard is capable of lighting up to teach your kids to follow along with jazz, techno, and even rock and roll music.
  • working microphone and voice changer
  • karaoke mode for teaching melodies
  • not very durable
Brand VTech
Model 80-154500
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Banana Bike Balance

The Banana Bike Balance is a great way to prompt your toddler to use up some of that excess energy while also getting him or her ready to transition to a real bike. You can choose from blue, green, or pink to suit your child's taste.
  • never flat eva foam tires
  • height-adjustable seat
  • greatly improves a toddler's balance
Brand Banana Bike
Model BBLT
Weight 9.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. LeapFrog My Pal

The LeapFrog My Pal comes in violet or green, and is designed to be used with a smartphone or tablet, so you can customize the 15 learning activities with your child’s favorite animal, food and color. It can also sing over 40 songs, including lullabies.
  • teaches counting words and phrases
  • prompts kids to interact
  • soft and cuddly
Brand LeapFrog
Model 80-19157E
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Playskool Explore N' Grow

The Playskool Explore N' Grow is a busy ball popper that features upbeat music, bright colors, and comes with five balls. It keeps kids as young as nine months entertained as they load the balls and watch them fly through the air.
  • provides a sensory experience
  • has a nine-song library
  • cannot adjust the volume
Brand Playskool
Model 39070F01
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Melissa & Doug Dump Truck

The Melissa & Doug Dump Truck is a shape sorting toy that comes with nine colored blocks and two figurines. After all of the blocks have been inserted into the correct holes, the rear of the dump truck can be lifted up to dump them back out again.
  • very sturdy construction
  • teaches shape and color recognition
  • rolls around smoothly
Brand Melissa & Doug
Model 9397
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

4. Lego Duplo My First Deluxe

Provide your kid with hours of stimulating entertainment with the Lego Duplo My First Deluxe box of fun. This set delivers a huge variety of classic and special-style bricks that are designed to both teach your child the rules of counting and to inspire their creativity.
  • pieces snap together firmly
  • comes in a durable storage container
  • animal and children figures
Brand LEGO
Model 6062469
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Wonderworld Work Bench-N-Box

The Wonderworld Work Bench-N-Box comes with a hammer, a wrench and a screwdriver, and hardware that your toddler can use the tools on to be just like mommy or daddy. It helps improve a child's dexterity and motor skills, and is made with nontoxic paints and dyes.
  • bench doubles as a toolbox
  • made from eco-friendly rubberwood
  • promotes imaginative play
Brand Wonderworld
Model WW-4519
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Crayola My First Fingerpaint Kit

There are two things all toddlers love to do -- get messy and paint -- so why not get them the Crayola My First Fingerpaint Kit, which offers them the opportunity to do both of these things. The set includes three different primary colors: blue, red, and yellow.
  • lets kids express themselves
  • tubes of paint are easy to squeeze
  • comes with 10 large sheets of paper
Brand Crayola
Model 81-1368
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Pewi Ybike

Designed to promote enhanced body and spatial awareness in your toddler, the Pewi Ybike is both a walking and ride-on toy. Its smooth, multidirectional casters give your child freedom of movement, while also helping to develop motor and balancing skills.
  • helps to develop trunk muscles
  • available in three different colors
  • good for kids as young as 9 months
Model YPIW4
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

How To Choose A Toy For A Toddler

From birth to the age of three, the cells in a child's brain are creating rapid connections called synapses. These connections are how a child learns, however, they only occur if a child uses their brain a lot, and is provided with an engaging environment. During this phase of life, toddlers develop primal abilities like spatial awareness and motor skills. Giving a toddler gifts that nurture these skills is incredibly important.

Building blocks and Legos are wonderful toys for toddlers because they require them to use their muscles when they pick these items up and stack them on top of each other. These kinds of toys also appeal to a toddler's love of taking things apart (a telltale sign of the terrible twos). Providing them with a LEGO robot to dismantle rather than having them take out their curiosity on piece of furniture is beneficial for both you house, and the toddler. Toddlers are full of energy, and any gift that can help them expel some of it is also a gift to their parents. Low trampolines with a handlebar provide a fun and safe way to tire a little toddler out.

Parents can also give their toddler a small electric car or pedal car that they can drive around the house. Navigating around furniture and other obstacles will help them develop spatial awareness. Most parents recognize that toddlers have very short attention spans. That's why, regardless of the gift one gets for their child, they should look for features that will captivate them like bright colors, fun shapes, flashing lights and sounds.

How To Create A Safe And Fun Playroom

Toddlers are brave enough to climb anything if the item they want is at the top of it. That is why parents should just keep their little one's toys in bins on the floor, or at least on a low shelf, so their toddler doesn't injure themselves trying to get to them. On that note, make sure that any bins that have lids are strong enough to support the full weight of a toddler because children love sitting and standing on these. Keep in mind that toddlers crawl around at eye-height of electrical outlets, so it's important to put safety covers over these.

If one is going to go out of their way to create a safe playroom for their toddler, they may as well ensure that their child stays in there. Parents should invest in an expanding gate so they can keep their child in a room, without needing to close the door entirely, allowing for easier supervision. Expanding gates also help parents create a play area in almost any room with a door frame. When it comes to furniture, parents should get pieces that don't have any sharp edges and are made from soft materials like toddler chairs.

While children love colorful items, parents should take caution not to pick any furniture or decorative pieces with toxic paint on them. Glass items have no place in a toddler's playroom since a child can easily break these, and cut themselves on or try to eat the pieces. The best materials for furniture in a playroom are unbreakable wood and plastic.

The Importance Of Music For Toddlers

Many of the best toddler gifts incorporate music in some way. Whether they are toddler-safe instruments like plastic keyboards, or they are problem-solving games that play a song as a reward when a child gets a correct answer, these toys come with several benefits for a toddler. Studies on the mental benefits from music training have found that learning to play music helps a child develop executive functions like planning and organizing actions. The benefits are greater in people who begin playing music at a young age, and toddlerhood is a wonderful time to start.

Simply listening to, or singing along to, music can also help a toddler's language development. Focusing on the rhyming lyrics of songs, and staying with the rhythm, helps children focus on the way certain words sound and can help them increase their vocabulary. The music in some games can also encourage a child to focus. When they know they'll hear a new, exciting sound if they solve a problem, they feel more encouraged to work on it.

Singing along to music also helps toddlers develop social-emotional skills. The nature of sing-alongs teaches children to work with others. Because children learn as infants to associate music from their lullabies with soothing sensations, music time can be wonderful for calming down a group of toddlers.

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Last updated on November 30, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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