Toddler Christmas Gift Guide 2016

Father Christmases feet and legs as he lays presents under a Christmas tree
I LOVE Christmas! It is my favourite day of the year (now tied with J’s birthday). I love all the build up… the lights, the shop windows, the advent calendars, the smell of roasted chestnuts, visiting Hamley’s, wondering around the garden centres Christmas sections, chocolate, advent calendars, Christingle, Christmas Carols… you get the idea! I LOVE it all! I have a lot of Christmas traditions which really help to get me in the spirit of Christmas, one of the first being looking through all the big shops Christmas Gift Guides for inspiration of the perfect present for family and friends. So as a blogger when I realised I could make my own and people (admittedly not many) would read it I got very excited! This guide is all about the little ones.

 

So what should you buy for your Toddler for Christmas?

Here are my Toddler Christmas Gift recommendations just for you…

 Toddler Christmas Ice skating Father Christmas

 

Books & Toys for toddlers

 

Message in a Bottel front cover of book with Kiki sat on the bottle in the oceanMessage in a Bottle – I love this book! The illustrations are so beautiful, the plot is fun and best of all you can personalise it!

Message in a Bottle tells the story of Kiki, a Scarlet Hawaiian Honeycreeper, who really wants to go on an adventure. She finds a bottle washed up on the beach with a message inside. Since you can personalise this book the message is addressed to your child. In a spontaneous moment of bravery, Kiki decides to deliver the message to it’s rightful owner and off she flies into the unknown. Message in a Bottle charts her adventure and the wonderful creatures she meets along the way, from the highly sprung sailfish to the cheeky monkeys. It isn’t all plain sailing for Kiki but she makes it in the end to deliver your chosen message to your loved one.

You can buy your very own personalised copy of Message in a Bottle by clicking here. The first 10 readers to purchase a copy of the book receive 15% off RRP. The code is available at the bottom of the review.

 

Ikea train set with bridge, train and 3 carriages
Wooden train set – This is one of J’s most loved toys. We have the Ikea Lillabo 20 piece train set and track which is fab as it is quite compact for our small lounge, although we are going to buy some extra track, bridges and carriages for J for Christmas as he loves it so much! We even take this on holiday with us in J’s Trunki. The set is very reasonably priced at only £8 which is even better! We bought this for J not long after he was one and he has been playing with it since about 15 months, so there is also lots of longevity with this gift.

 

 ELC Wooden Toolbench
ELC Wooden Workbench – We were lucky enough to be gifted one of these via Love the Sales and J loves it! It isn’t too big like some of the workbenches on the market meaning we have plenty of room to keep it out all of the time so that J gets lots of play time with it. The workbench includes wooden tools, a vice, 3 shapes to sort, a cog wheel, a log to practise sawing (which joins together with velcro), nuts, bolts and screws to practise with.
Since we bought it, J has also loved helping daddy with building things using his tools from the workbench and sometimes with daddies tools using the skills he has learnt.
A fun and educational toy!

 

 Duplo – J loves to construct and deconstruct anything! He loves to watch and learn how things work. Duplo allows him not only to build but also to play creatively and to develop his imaginative play. A great choice for girls and boys as there are so many sets out there thatDuplo farm set with barn, chicken, sheep, cow and 2 people all interests can be met. Duplo is great for toddler hands as it is chunkier than lego, so easier for them to put together.
J was given some Duplo for his first birthday, but he was still a bit too young for it, so we put it in the loft to wait for him to grow into it. When we went to Spain we bought him a Duplo safari set as he loves zoo animals and he really enjoyed playing with it. When we came home we got the set out of the loft and we have bought the farm set, extra blocks, some vehicles and people for Christmas. This will definitely be a big hit and once opened he won’t want to open more presents as he will be too busy playing with this.

 

Christmas Gift Box of 4 Peppa Pig jigsaws
Jigsaws – A great gift which allows some quiet time and helps children to learn lots of skills. J loves jigsaws and is moving up to larger ones now so we will be getting him some more including this Peppa Pig jigsaw. I love the box sets that have more than 1 puzzle size in as he develops the skills quickly so it saves having to have lots of different boxes in the house. As a Peppa Pig fan he will love making these pictures and they are based on the seasons too when we start learning about them.
There are so many different puzzles with a range of themes to match toddlers interests as well as block puzzles, so something for every child.

 

Animals – Toy animals are perfect for imaginative play, creating small worlds (when I buy our Tuff Spot Tray) and using in sensory play. There are so many different options on the market, but we found these Peterkin soft touch animals recommended by the fabulous Becca over at Pears and Chocolate Sauce. The range includes animals in themes – under the sea, farm, safari, penguins or dinosaurs. We have chosen to buy the dinosaur set for J for Christmas and I like them so much that I have asked family to buy the under the sea set too. They are soft and friendly with features that won’t scare toddlers (J can’t watch the Paw Patrol episode with the dinosaurs as he gets too scared), so a perfect introduction I feel.
Christmas Gift - Peterkin soft touch dinosaur set for toddlers

 

Crafts

 

Osborne First Santa sticker book
Stickers – These are such a hit in our house! We love all stickers, but especially the Osbourne sticker books which have pictures so you can create your own scene by adding the stickers to the pictures. Of course, J not yet being 2 means that we have flying fish, parrots in the Arctic and upside down swimming cows… but it is so much fun! We find that there are so many stickers that the pages get full, so then J adds them to his own artwork, daddies laptop, mummies nose the creativity is endless.
We have already bought some for J’s Christmas gift and I secretly wish there were some going in my stocking too! We’ve had adult colouring books, now it is time for some adult sticker books.

 

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Play Doh – We play with Play Doh almost every day as it is great for J’s sensory requirements. He wouldn’t touch it for at least a month after we first bought it but now he loves it. We managed to use only 1 pot for almost a year, but now that he is becoming increasingly creative I have opened some different colours and bought some cutters.
Play doh is a fabulous stocking filler. I am going to buy a rolling pin for J and a few more colours so we can start making more interesting creations.

 

Tuff Spot Tray

 

Tuff Spot Tray – Okay so this isn’t one that J will get overly excited about opening unless I create a small world on it first, but he will get hours of play from it over the next year. I on the other hand am very excited about this gift as I get to play too! We do so much sensory play that it will be great to have something solid (as opposed to the flimsy seed tray that I currently use) and a good size to set up activities on. I also think that J is reaching an age where he will really start to appreciate small worlds now too and he sees them at nursery so will recognise them. I still have to decide if I want to buy the legs or just the top – any recommendations?

 

Practical

Christmas Toddler - Thomas Readybed
Thomas Readybed – When we went to Scotland in September we realised that J had outgrown the travel cot and we needed something else. After many recommendations we quickly purchased this Thomas the Tank Engine Ready Bed in time for our holiday to Spain. What a hit!
The Readybed is easy to inflate with the included pump, is easy to carry due to being lightweight and having a handle and best of all J loved it! He is not a great sleeper often ending up in our bed anytime after 11pm! However he regularly managed until 4am and even went the whole night in it! Perfect for holidays near or far, sleepovers or even on the floor in your bedroom.
There are lots of different designs. See them all here.

 

Christmas Toddler Kitchen Helper Fun Pod
Little Helper Fun Pod – I stumbled upon this gem by coincidence when a friend I visited had one in her kitchen and I knew I must buy one for J! It took a little persuasion of the other half but he came round to the benefits and we have not looked back since! We actually purchased ours from Gumtree and it is still in fabulous condition despite having been used by 2 children before J which proves how durable and long lasting it is. We use it for J to wash up in, baking and a lot of food and sensory play. J has been using it since about 9 months old, maybe younger and we actually used it instead of a highchair for months because he wouldn’t sit in one. This is one of my must have child products!
Have a look at the website to see the full range.

 

A baking set – We have started doing a lot of baking with J to help him interact with food and it helps me as I am rubbish in the kitchen and want to improve. J loves helping out and loves to weigh ingredients and mix them together giving him excellent sensory exposure as well as teaching key skills. Therefore, his own baking set would be a great gift for him to use in playtime.
 Christmas toddler - Baking set with over gloves, cookie cutters, baking tray, measuring jug, bowls, wooden spoon and a rolling pin

 

 Alternatives

Days out/membership – How about treating your loved ones to a day out where you can have some quality time together or purchase a season ticket to a local attraction where you can make lots of happy memories. Last year my mother in law gave us money to buy season passes to our local aquarium and we have loved going there at least once a month, often more. This year, we have already signed up to a local soft play centre for the winter and will do a local country park once spring arrives. There is so much choice – Farm parks, zoos, National Trust, National Heritage, museums, cinema, theme parks… whatever your family enjoy doing most.

 

Toddler Christmas - two hands holding a snowman snow globe

I hope you have been inspired and can give your little ones some great ideas for their letters to Santa this year.

 

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