gift guide for kids

A Busy Mom's Gift Guide for: Toddlers

A Busy Mom's Gift Guide for: Toddlers | Writing Between Pauses

I'm so excited to be posting my first gift guide. Now, these gift guides are going to be absolutely no-nonsense: easy, affordable options that you can order online with minimal hassle. Nothing fancy, but with options you'll feel good about gifting others.

If you're the mother of a toddler, or someone who loves a toddler (shout out to the aunts & uncles, cousins, and friends of moms out there), these are great options: simple, easy, and with a focus on nurturing how smart and curious toddlers are. 

Here are my top picks for Christmas gifts for toddlers, age 18 months to 4 years! 

1. Kid Kraft Chalkboard Table, $99.99

Kids Kraft Chalkboard Table | Writing Between Pauses

Confession: this is actually what I'm getting Forrest for Christmas this year. We've been looking for a table for him: somewhere he could sit to have a snack, draw, or play with blocks. I originally found this at Costco (as a side note: it is available for $59.99 at Costco, so if you're local, definitely look for it there) and knew I wanted to get it for him. It comes with a handy pouch for storing art supples (where my dog cannot get to those delicious crayons), two stools, and a roll of paper underneath for easy access. 

2. Mega Bloks Build 'N Learn Math Building Set, $24.99

Mega Bloks Math Set | Writing Between Pauses

We are big fans of math, science, and reading themed toys in our house; for his birthday, Forrest got a set of baby science books that he absolutely loves. This block set combines the fun of building with math; you can put stickers on blocks to indicate numbers, add them, subtract them, and learn basic math! For older toddlers, this would be really fun for those first math lessons and for experimenting with counting. 

3. Seedling Littles Galaxy Rocket Adventure Cape Costume Kit, $25.99

Seedling Littles Galaxy Rocket Adventure Kit | Writing Between Pauses

I had never heard of this Seedling Littles brand before, but this rocket adventure kit has absolutely made me a fan. It's basically a little cape that toddlers can put together, decorate as they like, and then dress up with to pretend they are going to space, exploring the world, or just zooming. It is so much fun! They also have other great ones like this farmer's market playtime kit, this dress up headband kit, and this under the sea playtime kit. If you're into interactive and imaginative play with your kids (which, I hope you are!), these are absolutely perfect toys! 

A Sensible Gift Guide for: Toddlers

Have a friend with a toddler? (Is that friend me? I hope it's me.) It's really, really tempting to go crazy in the toddler clothing and toy aisles. Trust me, I know. 

But please, friends, I beseech you: don't load your loved ones with toddlers with toys and clothes. Guaranteed, their toddlers probably already have more than enough of both. I created this gift guide to give people without kids (or who have older kids) an idea of what to get for toddlers--besides clothes and toys! 

1. Decor items

Toddler rooms are in transition: it's no longer a nursery, everything is safety-proofed, and the crib has possibly transformed into a toddler bed. Ask parents what kind of decor the parents would like for the room and find something cool. I love this pillow from TJ Maxx and this wall art from Etsy

2. Books

Toddlers are getting right to the age where books are fun. (Forrest will sit for a long time, for him, looking at his books now, which is exciting.) If you can think of nothing else, a favorite book of yours from childhood is a perfect and thoughtful gift. And if you're totally not sure, a gift card to a (local!) bookstore is also perfect. 

3. Toy storage solutions

The toys, at a certain point, no matter how organized I am as a parent, get out of control. Cute, clever storage options are a great gift idea, especially if they can be used in the toddler's room. I love these stacking boxes from Target, but there are tons of options out there. 

4. Wooden toys

If you really, really want to buy toys, I encourage you to buy wooden toys. The less plastic, the better. These wooden stacking dinosaurs are perfect for young toddlers; they're educational, durable, and fun. 

5. Blankets

Forrest loves blankets and it feels like I'm always looking for one to give to him. When it doubt, a cute, cozy blanket is a great gift. Toddlers can use them in bed, for naps, or on the floor--or for cuddling up with their parents. It's more of a family gift, actually.