Christmas is a comin’ so it’s time to get organised! Here are a few ideas for those of you buying for toddlers this year, put together from experience of playing with my own toddler. All of these gifts are ‘main’ present type of ideas with a more natural make up, that will hopefully suit a variety of budgets.
1. Wooden Blocks
Our toddler plays with her wooden blocks every single day, endless possibilities of fun to be had! We particularly like this colourful 60 piece set of blocks by Micki, a Scandinavian toy company. This set is available from Amazon for just over £20.00.
2. Baby Stella
I believe both boys and girls benefit from having a simple soft doll to love and cuddle, especially when new babies are coming into the home. Our little one loves ‘Benedict’, her Baby Stella Boy by Manhattan Toy. Available on Amazon for under £20.00, there are also a variety of girl dolls available representing various different races, as well as a whole range of accessories.
3. Jellycat Toys
I’m a big fan of the soft toys made by Jellycat which make beautiful cuddly keepsakes for toddlers. My daughter absolutely loves her large bunny called “Boo”! I particularly like the Bashfuls and Fuddlewuddle ranges, both so sweet and cuddly with a wide variety of animals available in sizes Tiny (£7.00) to Huge (£45.00).
4. Glutting Giraffe
This toy keeps our little one occupied for ages and is a big hit amongst all the other kiddies at my mums group too. The rolling shapes are mesmerising and this is a good toy to promote turn taking. Made by I’M Toys and available on Amazon, it’s a slightly pricer toy, around £50.00 but made from sustainable rubberwood and a great quality toy that will last.
5. Rainbow Tunnel
Popular in Waldorf education this rainbow tunnel is truly beautiful. The stacking and imaginative play opportunities are endless! I’ve seen the pieces used as bridges, phones and even cradles for small dolls. Available from Myriad Toys for around £20.00, they also do an extra large and a mini version. Just make sure you check out the measurements first, as they are often smaller than people imagine.
6. Wooden Train Set
Loved by both boys and girls alike a wooden train set makes a great gift. Bigjigs Toys offer a wide range of sets including simple circle and figure of eight sets from £12.00 – £24.00 and a slightly more extravagant Town & Country (£50.00) and Mountain Railway (£80.00) set all on Amazon. And of course, Brio train sets continue to remain a firm favourite amongst families.
7. Ride on Toy
Ride on toys are often popular with toddlers. We’ve got our little one this Ride on Calf by I’M Toys from Amazon for her ‘gold’ gift this year. There is also a sheep and tiger to choose from, all for around £50.00.
8. Balance Bike
A balance bike is a great gift for the active and slightly older toddler. I love this wooden unisex one from Tidlo Toys, available on Amazon for just over £40.00.
9. Toddler Backpack
For the outdoorsy family these toddler sized backpacks by Littlelife are really fab. Our little one took hers with her to Scotland and carries it round the park, stashing the nature treasures she finds into it. The backpack comes in a range of fun animal designs, with a handy built in waterproof hood and reins. They can be found on Amazon, in Jojo Maman Bebe and also in Boots, all for around £20.00. And for those who want to spend a bit more, the bag could also be stuffed with other outdoorsy items, such as a flask or small ball.
10. Play Kitchen
Toddlers love to imitate their parents and I have yet to meet a toddler who doesn’t love a play kitchen. I’m a big fan of the DIY job when it comes to play kitchens as converting an old chest of drawers often creates a much simpler kitchen than factory bought alternatives, allowing the child’s imagination to do the work.
For those who don’t feel you have the time or skills to make a DIY play kitchen I’d recommend the Hape Gourmet Kitchen available on Amazon. It’s environmentally friendly and a much more simple in design than most.
11. Doll Accessories
Pintoys have a beautiful range of wooden dolls accessories all available on Amazon. A highchair, buggy and rocking cradle are all available for just under £30.00 each. Perfect for pretend play and encouraging your toddler’s imagination.
12 . Teepee
Who doesn’t love a teepee!? A teepee makes a perfect den and reading nook for little ones. Not on the High Street have a wide range of teepees ranging in prices from £50.00 to over £200.00 to suit all sorts of budgets, personally I like the more simple canvas teepees but there are plenty of colourful patterned ones too. A teepee would also make a great family gift for more than one child to enjoy. Years of fun to be had!