Monday, 15 October 2012

Ten Christmas gift ideas for young toddlers

Christmas gift ideas for young toddlers

Young toddlers can be difficult to buy for. By the time a baby reaches their first birthday they will often be walking within the next few months, if not already, and starting to play with simple toys. But they lack the attention span to play with the same thing for very long. But babies change so much in their second year, that a gift for a 12 month old is very different to that of a 2 year old. Here I've put together some suggestions for Christmas gifts and presents that will suit a toddler between the ages of one and two. They are all things that I can recommend from personal experience.

1 - Chunky crayons and plain or coloured paper

Children of this age are just getting started with mark making, and chunky crayons in bright colours are easy for them to hold and see what they are writing. Felt tip pens are even better as it's easy for a young toddler to coax an impression out of them, but if you are buying these make sure that you go for washable felt tip pens! Team this gift with a big stack of plain or coloured paper, or some simple colouring books.

2 - PVA glue and glue sticks/spreaders

Children will get through a lot of glue, so start them off with a nice big glue bottle. A pack of glue spreaders is also a nice gift, we all had them at school but they aren't always easy to find in the shops and they are much easier to clean than brushes.

3 - Lift the Flap books

Young toddlers particularly love books with an interactive element. They don't have the attention span to follow a long story but will love being able to lift up flaps and find out what is underneath. These are some of my favourites:

4 - Plastic tableware and cutlery

At this age, parents will be starting to think about letting their toddler attempt to feed themselves. There are some lovely sets of cutlery around for small fingers, and they make a lovely gift because they will be used and treasured for years. You can either go for a simple everyday set, or something that's a little bit fancier.

5 - Simple jigsaws

Toddlers vary when it comes to jigsaws. Some will be putting simple ones together soon after their first birthday, others will simply not be interested until they are much older. You can't go wrong with some very simple two or three piece jigsaws, and even toddlers will continue to enjoy putting them together long after they have mastered them. I personally particularly like these simple two piece farmyard jigsaws.

6 - Doll or teddy and accessories

Although a doll is traditionally a girl's gift, my son has played with his sister's doll more than she has! We bought her My First Baby Annabell which is small enough that it can be carried around easily by a young toddler. There are lots of accessories available for dolls, and one of the most popular is a doll pushchair. Toddlers that are just finding their feet will love marching about the house or garden pushing a pushchair about.

7 - Textured books

Young toddlers also enjoy being read books that they can touch. Look for simple books with bright, colourful pictures and lots of different textures for the toddler to feel. Some of my favourites are:

8 - Stacking cups and pasta/rice

I love stacking cups so much that I wrote a whole post about stacking cups on my other blog. They are so versatile, can be used indoors and outdoors, in the kitchen, in the bath...the possibilities are endless! A fantastic gift is to team some stacking cups with a cheap packet of dried rice or pasta, this will keep toddlers and small children of all ages entertained for ages.

9 - Shape sorter

Between the ages of 1 and 2 a toddler will go from throwing the shapes about, to posting them into the large hole in the side of a shape sorter, to posting them through the correct shape. Shape sorters are a brilliant present and they are usually sturdy enough that they will last for a long time. I like to buy a good quality wooden shape sorter which will last for years. Ours has lasted well enough to be passed on to any future grandchildren!

10 - Ride-on or scooter

They may be only just mastering walking, but toddlers soon learn to push themselves along on a ride-on. They don't just need to be for the garden either, ours have loved whizzing about the house on them. The Scuttlebug was an enormous hit with my son, initially indoors but it wasn't long before he was scooting to the playground on it, and it folds up really easily for transport, or if you've scooted somewhere that you can't take it indoors. Toddlers also love ride-ons with a compartment so that they can transport their toys around (a little tip, if something small has gone missing from around the house, check this compartment first!)

Buying for a different age group? Try these:

Gift ideas for very young babies
Gift ideas for older toddlers
Gift ideas for pre-schoolers
Clutter free gift ideas

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