Toddlers are cute, but they’re also unpredictable and intense and, well, scary. Anything can tick them off, and they throw the biggest tantrums with the most incredible force. So if there’s one person you want to please this holiday season, it is the tot in your life.
The good news is: shopping for toddlers is actually pretty fun. No more rattles or teethers — toddlerhood opens up a whole world of toys and games that will not only keep our little ones entertained, but also help them explore, create and connect with the world around them.
To help you find the perfect gift for your little tot, we asked our editors to share their picks for their very own tots. From a sleeping bag to a subscription box that teaches kids about empathy, diversity and gender equality, here are 8 toddler gifts that will bring some major holiday squeals.
Editor’s pick: Little Feminist Book Club + Activity Box, $33/month. There’s never been a more important time to teach all of our kids — boys or girls! — to be feminists! I love that each monthly box features an inspiring woman in history and is filled with art and science activities that teach about feminism and social justice.
Editor’s pick: Nailmatic Princess Story Nail Polish & Lip Gloss Trio, $28. I’m not personally one for much make-up, but my little Elsie is turning into quite the beauty junkie! This water-based set is safe for her tiny lips, fingers & toes (oh, and my carpet!), and there’s two pretty nail polish colors, which comes in handy for her signature “every other finger” manicure style.
Editor’s pick: Talkie by Toymail, $59. We wanted to add something more meaningful to our older son’s toy collection this holiday. This Toymail plush toy is not only adorable, but also a great way to keep in touch with grandma… without handing him a phone! With this screen-free voice chat device, we feel confident our son will love his new quality time with grandma and all other friends and relatives, no matter the distance. When he’s not playing pretend with the doll of course.
Charlene, Managing Editor
Editor’s pick: Melissa and Doug Fold & Go Dollhouse, $46. My oldest son makes a toy out of anything — a dried-up baby wipe turns into a helicopter, and a sock becomes a tyrannosaurus rex. There’s no doubt that his imagination lets him travel in his own beautiful world, and I want to keep it that way. That’s why I plan on getting him this dollhouse — to let his imagination run wild. This one from Melissa and Doug folds, which means I can tuck it away when it’s not played with. Major score for those who live in a small space.
Alexis, Associate Editor
Editor’s pick: Land of Nod toddler sleeping bag, $99.
Now that my six-year-old is approaching “friend sleepover age”, I’ve been eyeing this sweet How Do You Zoo Fox Sleeping Bag from The Land of Nod. I love that it’s not branded in a licensed character, yet I know the design doesn’t scream “babyish” or anything that would turn my big boy off. And how cute is it that the animal face can be used as a pillow? There are a range of other designs offered (Dino, Penguin, Dog, Zebra), and there’s an option to personalize them with your kid’s name (for a slight fee). I plan on buying the Penguin one for his three-year-old brother for sleepovers at Grandma’s and late-night brother cuddle sessions in Big Bro’s room.
Jenny, Fashion Editor
Editor’s pick: CamKing Mini 1.5 Inch Screen Children’s Camera, $42.99. Cultivating creativity is important to our family, and with Vida taking interest in my photo-taking, I’d like to give her a camera to explore her own skills without risking to break mine! This super cute style from CamKing allows for picture taking and even video-making. Plus, it’s lightweight, adorable, functional and affordable!
Natalie, Gear Editor
Editor’s pick: Kid O Shape Sorting House, $29.99. At 15 months old, my inquisitive little girl is in need of more challenging yet age appropriate toys. She’ll find this simple shape sorter from Kid O under the Christmas Tree this year! I love this one in particular for it’s modern take on a classic toy.
Roma, Fitness Editor
Editor’s pick: Joovy walker, $81.99. Like me, my son is pretty active. He already stands up with our help and loves jumping in his bouncer. So I believe that the next logical step will be to get him a walker. This one from Joovy is minimalist, which I appreciate, and it’s also quiet — a big plus, since we live in a city apartment and have to be mindful of neighbors. And who knows, maybe it will be the beginning of a happy relationship with running.