1. Hands down, every toddler needs a doctor kit. This is the one we got Blythe for her second birthday:
|toys r us|
It was like $14. And you can get a little more gender neutral version too. There is no way a toddler can cram all that stuff back in that little container, and the clasp is hard for Blythe to do, but we just keep all the stuff in a basket and it is her favorite toy and I would even say it is the only toy that for sure gets played with every single day. I also think it's great to teach imaginative play like this, and who knows, maybe it's because she practices giving so many shots that she barely flinched when she got her flu shot? [seriously, what two year old doesn't cry when they get a shot?]
My parents still have the doctor kit my sister and I played with growing up, also a Fisher Price. And Blythe loves playing with this at their house as well.
2. A "Marble Racer" set. Brent's mom saved his, and this is a hit for kids of all ages that come to our house. I found a similar one on Toys R Us:
|toys r us|
Obviously if you have another little one crawling around, shoving things in their mouth, keep the marbles in a safe place!
3. A rotary phone. I kid you not, when other children are over playing THIS is what they fight over the most. I am sure you can find one at a thrift store…or in your closet!
4. STICKERS! Every toddler loves stickers and this would be a great stocking stuffer.
5. Tub blocks. I always had these growing up and I found a set on craigslist. They are the best! Somethings Blythe even wants to take them out of the tub and play with them in the living room.
7. Songs! Right now we cannot get in the van without listening to Wee Sing Bible Songs [I had this
A friend suggested "Slugs and Bugs: Sing the Bible" so Blythe is getting that for Christmas! Shhh.
I think the key with toddlers is to keep it simple. They typically play with the same toys over and over again, and a friend of mine [with her masters in early childhood] told me that kids that have fewer toys can actually show mastery sooner as repetition is key, especially at an early age. So don't feel like you need to buy a bunch of stuff for your kiddo-- get a few things they will really love and play with over and over.
I know I've mentioned it before, but we do four gifts: something you WANT, something you NEED, something to PLAY WITH, and something to READ. Plus a few goodies in the stockings [and we are starting a "new panties!" tradition this year in the stocking ;). I love how not overwhelmed I feel by doing it this way, and I hope in the future to teach my daughters the difference betweens their wants and their needs.
What about you? How do you do gifts for Christmas? Any traditions? Any suggestions for toddlers?