Toddler Gift Guide

I thought it was about time to share some toddler gift ideas with you. My kids are now almost 6 years and 4 years old. I have both a boy and a girl and we have had plenty of boy/ girl play dates too. I picked the toys that were played with the most in our house – or that were coveted the most when visiting friends! So, without further a do, I give you ten of our favourite Toddler Toys, Toddler Gift Guide sorted.

toddler gift guide

I do have a preference for good quality toys that last a long time. Quality over quantity anytime!

Please note: this post does contain affiliate links, which helps me with the cost of running this blog. 


We were lucky enough to inherit a box of wooden bricks (UK readers here), just like these and I can only say they have been loved much (in fact my kids still play with them). They can stack them and push them over. They can build a town. They often use them to  build houses for their other toys. I find these blocks just come in handy all the time and often get mixed with other toys too.

toddler toys

Now this is an item that we have NOT had… but that has been much covetted at friends houses and at nursery. Yes, they are colour building blocks (UK Readers here), but more. The you can see the sun shining through. You can explore colour theory (what happens to the yellow and blue blocks if you hold them infront of a light?), you can look at shapes and movement (what moves, what stacks? etc). Lots of fun possibilities. Wish m kids had had some of these (or similar!) 

toddler gift ideas

A similar beautiful set are these Rainbow Sound Blocks (UK Readers). Combining the fun of the above with sound. Lovely.

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A simple but great gift for you children – large lacing beads (UK Readers). Both my children enjoy all things “beads”, they love to lace them all up. A great basic toy that also helps develop fine motor skills and give you a chance to explore colours and shapes. Particlarly like how tactile these beads are and that they are made from wood. 


We don’t have this exact set, but our is pretty much the same – these cute little wooden blocks (UK readers here) are actually lacing beads too. We had great fun with ours – they were tactile, you could lace them, you could create a little play scape.. and when ready to go home, you lace them all up onto a necklace in a handy take a long way. Such a great toy to take along when out and about. LOVED THEM.


toys for toddlersYes, this may seem like a “girl toy”, but I encourage the giving of this lovely little wooden doll family to any toddler, regardless of gender. Great for roll play and disovery, these little dolls are so cute (UK readers). We made a whole dolls house for them and they are also part of our busy bag for out and about.

toddler christmas craft ideas

Another toy that has been in constant play use is this lovely little tin tea set (UK Readers here). The key to this tea set is the “tin”. We also had a beautiful melanine one… but it has broken – yep toddlers have a tendency to drop things on the floor by accident. In contrast this tin set avoids some of the plastic tat out there and is durable. It comes in varying designs and we like this one as it has a neat suitcase too. Always handy for tidying up! Oh and yes, both boys and girls have enjoyed playing with it. It is not uncommon for me to stumble across a dinosaur tea party!

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A toy I fondly remember from my own childhood – the wooden railway track (UK readers here). What isn’t there to love about it and again a toy that has been much played with. There are many sets like this out there, so choose one to suit you and your family. I like this one, as it has a good set of additional items and comes with a storage box!Toddler toys for christmas

Duplo (UK readers here), I am sorry, no Toddler Gift Guide would not be complete without some duplo. Yes, this is when the plastic begins to sneak in. But when it is quality plastic that is great for the development of your little ones how can you resist? The benefits of duplo are many. Assembling it develops their hand muscles, you get to use your imagination when constructing and there are a 1000 blogposts out there dedicated to learning activities with duplo – ranging from using it as a measuring device, to creating your own puzzles. This is a great basic starter set to get you going.


toddler gifts for christmas

This stacking bucket set (UK readers here) is almost a bit of a “random one”… it feels like the odd one out, but I had to include it in my toddler gift guide, as we have a similar one, that we use as a bath toy. We have had it since my 6 year old was a baby and it is played with ALL the time. Playing with what and cups is just irristible. And this set has the additional sorting functio too. If like us you do use this in the bath, I recommend “storing it” upside down, so all the water runs out and doesn’t get yukky.. it will probably last you years as well!

Toy Review: Trashies Street Sweeper

Well, with Christmas around the corner how could I refuse the offer of a toy review by The Entertainer? I wasn’t too familiar with the “Trashies” Collectible range, but had seen both The Boy and The Girl play with them at a friend’s house (The Girl in particularly enjoyed putting the funny little characters in their bins – in and out, in and out…). So when The Entertainer kindly offered to send me the Trashies Street Sweeper, I thought “why not”.



The set retails at £20. And you get the orange refuse truck with a removable part at the back, and two trashies in their trash cans.

The idea, is that you sweep “over the trashies” and they get gobbled up into the back. Then you crash the  refuse truck against the wall and the back falls off and they can escape.

So our verdict? Well, The Boy loves it and was VERY excited to get it. He got may presents this Christmas (lucky boy), so this isn’t necessarily his favourite, however it has been played with a fair amount. I think he is attracted by the bright colours, the moving vehicle and the fact that his friend has it (mmh that is always an important factor, isn’t it?). The Girl has been busy playing with her own new toys, so haven’t seen her interact with it yet. However, I do know that she loves the little trash cans and that she loves “all things small”.

My thoughts? Personally, I find it difficult to brush up the little characters, it does work, but there certainly is a “technique to it”. Ditto the crashing against the wall. When I (!) crash it, the door of the cabby keeps falling off and not the back of the rubbish truck. I worry that this toy is designed to be crashed, but that all the crashing will end up breaking it… mmh. It is sturdy, so it will probably be fine, but I do “worry about these things”.

Also, as a parent, I am a little vary of “collectible” toys. There is this inherent need to want more and more and more of them (of course that is what the manufacturers want). So I can’t quite make my mind up as to whether I (!) like it or not. The kids certainly do. And I guess the collectible individual Trashies make for good little “reward chart” prizes. So long as I see my kids actually playing with them, I don’t mind the collectible element too much! And for now they do play!

VTech Switch & Go Dinos

Oh my goodness, what is there NOT to love about the new VTech Switch & Go Dinosaur range. Both my children (boy and girl!) LOVE dinosaurs and both LOVE anything that moves and says things…. So when our Mohawk Stegosaurus arrived in the post, there was a lot of excited jumping up and down and “can I have a go now, Mummy”s from both children.


Not only is the Mohawk Stegosaurus a dinosaur that moves, but it turns into a car!  Result.  Wonderful. And made to sustain a few knocks and blows of 3yrs olds playing with it (and believe me, my kids do play rough with toys… However hard I try and tell them not too).

Want to see it in action? Take a peak:

We love our dinosaur and I suspect this will be hugely popular toy this Christmas. Now we just need another so that the kids stop fighting over it.

Would you like to win one?

Simply visit the VTech website and have a look around and come back telling us which toy you would like to give your child this Christmas!


1) Entry per person. Uk residence only.

2) Winner will be selected at random

3) Competition closes on 5th October 2012, at 11pm

4) Delivery fo the price is the responsibility of VTech and not Life At The Zoo.