Gifts for Toddlers
Berkeley Parents Network >
Gifts for Toddlers
My niece just turned two and I'm looking for the perfect gift for her. Is there any
must haves? (maybe the equivalent of the sofie for infants)
There is one resource that has been a lifesaver for me over
the years: The book ''The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio'' (you can
check out the reviews on Amazon) In the book, dozens of new
toys and classics are reviewed including advice for each age
group -- its brilliant.
Contender for most useful book
books, books, BOOKS! Favorites: ''Goodnight, Gorilla'' board
book (cute story, plus a hidden balloon on every page!)
Iona Opie's Mother Goose
or Winnie the Pooh (which is hilarious reading as an adult)
I have three nephews (ages 2-22) and I have to say that I
never purchased toys for them when they were little. On
birthdays they got many gifts from parents, grandparents,
etc. In addition, they get gifts during the year as parents
or others see interesting things that they think would be
great gifts. I got my oldest nephew savings bonds on his
birthday and for christmas every year until he was 14.
Those bonds really add up and he was very grateful when it
was time to attend college. For my younger nephews, both
their parents started college accounts and I contributed to
those. I think that they will appreciate that I was really
forward thinking and invested in their futures.
It certainly is not a sexy gift that gets oohs and ahhs but
I felt good about it.
A roll of Scotch tape and an empty cardboard box.
Our son is going to turn two in a couple of months and several
grandparents have asked what to get. I want to use their
generosity wisely and get something that he will use for more
that a couple of weeks (until he gets tired of it) or for a
couple of months (until he outgrows it). I would also rather
them not buy a bunch of little things as he has plenty of little
train engines, matchbox cars, toy trucks, puzzles, stuffed
animals, Little People sets, etcÂ We also have a tricycle and a
big wheel type thing, a play kitchen, a climbing structure with
a slide, a little play house, and a kiddy pool with a slide.
What would experienced moms and dads out there suggest for a
nice big toy/gift (They'll probably spend $75 - $100 each). Is a
water table or train table worth the investment? Would he care
about a kid sized table and chair or picnic table set? I've also
thought of a kid (read indestructible) tape/CD player and some
music of his own. Do kids use easels? I've thought about asking
for a class series but I think grandparents would rather give
stuff. I know all this depends somewhat on the kid's personality
and interests but there must be some generalities I can draw on.
Anything you can say about the above, or any other ideas or
comments would be appreciated. P.S. We also have a 4 month old
son who can use these later. Thanks
Some of the best gifts our child has received and continues
to use at age 5: Monogramed bean bag chair, full-size
monogramed bath towel, wooden table with four chairs, big
Radio Flyer wagon. Park pass, zoo or museum
memberships are also GREAT.
My ever-so-wise mother buys my son two things: an ongoing
subscription to a book-of-the-month style kids book club (the
Dr. Seuss books), and savings bonds.
We have more toys and clothes than he will ever need, but he waits
eagerly for his ''red box'' of books. And you can never have too many
The savings bonds could be a contribution to a college fund, or
something he uses to buy a car when he's old enough -- or whatever.
They are his, not ours. And right now, since he really doesn't
understand about who gave him gifts, and who didn't, they are perfect,
since they don't add to the clutter in the house.
My daughter turned 2 last September. My mother bought her an
easel with paper on one side and chalk board on the other. BIG
hit. She uses it frequently and I believe she will for years to
come. She also has a train table and water table. These two
have been very popular and are used frequently. What didn't
work was the play tent. We bought her two tents with a tube
between them. I think she enjoyed it, but it was just too big
for inside play.
I have a four year old son, so I am trying to think of the things
he's had since he was two that he still enjoys. You said
your son has trains - does he have a large, varied selection
of good quality train tracks? Duplos (Large leggos)? If you
have space for it, yes, an easel is a great investment. How
about a magazine subscription? A relative got my son a
subscription to CLICK, a nature magazine for preschoolers
(maybe a bit too advanced for your son this year, but there
are other appropriate magazines). My son loves getting a
new magazine every month - it's like getting a new present
unexpectedly - and the relatives renewed the subscription
because my son liked it so much.
What an exciting problem! Thank your generous relatives,
especially for taking your preferences into consideration.
One word: BLOCKS. High quality, unit-sized wooden ones, and a
place to store them. They will be used for years to come, in
all kinds of ways. They will become roads, buildings, toy
food, caves, tools for math exploration, and many other things.
About your other ideas - If you have room, you will appreciate
a nice small table where the kids can sit to do projects
or ''help'' while you prepare dinner. He might or might
not ''care'' about it as a gift, but I know he would get good use
out of it. But if it would make things too crowded, that might
My kids definitely used the easel - at least when I was willing
to set out the paints and supervise their use. Ours has one
chalkboard side, which is obviously less messy (as long as your
son no longer puts small things - like chalk - in his mouth).
I built it when my oldest was two, and I think we kept it out
until the youngest was 6 or 7. Through the years, they used it
to play school, practice letters, and design ''experiments'' as
well as do art.
this page was last updated: Sep 3, 2010
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network