If you’re anything like me buying gifts for smaller children, especially those that don’t talk yet, can be really hard. You have to pay a lot of attention to the things they already play with and kind of go off of that to help you know what to get them that they’ll stay engaged with. Not only that, but you don’t want to get them the same stuff over and over again and then they end up bored. It really is harder than it sounds to find the perfect gift for kiddos.
Honestly if they’re under the age of two, clothes, clothes, and more clothes is the way to go. Or I would strongly suggest asking the parents of said child if they need anything for their kid. Chances are they have plenty of toys and there really isn’t a whole lot of exciting stuff that kids play with before they’re about 18 months old. A lot of the stuff before that is sensory play, and heavily focuses on motor skill development.
So these are going to focus on age groups 2-5 (if kids are over 15ish months old by Christmas I would say buy things that are geared toward 2 year olds). My kids are 16 months and 3, so this is the age group I look in and use my own discretion on whether I think my kids will be able to use the toy or not. That being said I like to focus on things that encourage imaginative play, reading skills, motor skill development, and add minimal clutter. We have a relatively smaller house so space is limited and I don’t want to be trying to find space for a bunch of different small toys.
I usually turn to Pinterest or Amazon to look at toy categories and find ideas through that. Pinterest is basically the google for moms, if you aren’t on there you are missing out! And Amazon usually has a section on their website for gifts for kids and then breaks it down into different categories or age groups which is super helpful!
Nicholas absolutely LOVES the Melissa Doug food toys. He currently has their pizza shop oven thing, an ice cream kit, and a set of the plastic fruit that you can “cut”. He plays with all of these things daily, has the tall standing easel and uses it very frequently. He also has the camping set I shared and plays with the utensils, fruit, and tent regularly. These are all very fun toys, can be stored easily, and I really think they spark is imagination.
Emilia has several of these toys, and really uses them often. She has recently started to love the puzzles that have been passed down to her from Nicholas. She plays with her farm and animals which is a great opportunity for imaginative play and teaching her animal sounds etc. The Blockaroo blocks are soft, clean easy, and magnetic so they’ll stick together. This is definitely something we’ll be getting Emilia this year since she gets frustrated with regular building blocks since they fall over a lot. We will also be getting her a tent for her room so she can have a cozy reading corner which I just love the idea of!