We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite quality toys for your little ones to enjoy. Just remember that for the little ones the cardboard box can often be as fascinating as the toy that came inside it – so don’t feel like you have to go crazy in the spending department.
Here are our favorite toy picks for this holiday season, in order of price. Happy hunting!
Toys for Infants (0 – 18 months) ~ sorted by price
Here are some gift ideas in every price range for your infant or young toddler. Remember: they have no expectations for any of this, so keep it simple!!
Your little ones can hone their fishin’ skills in the bathtub with this adorable magnetic fishing pole. If their hand-eye coordination isn’t quite up to fishing yet, these squirting animals are also tons of bath-time fun (watch out, they spit!).
*Other bath toys that we love for babies: Skip Hop’s Stack and Pour Buckets.
For babies 0-9 months, Lamaze makes colorful toys that look and feel fascinating to tiny exploring hands. These are great for keeping babies entertained during car rides and tummy time.
Fisher-Price Sorting Cube and Stacking Rings ~ $14
Babies can learn how to match shapes and stack rings with this engaging bundle from Fisher-Price.
There’s no denying how much little kids love pretending to drive. This toy comes with over 60 songs and sounds for them to enjoy while they’re “on the road.”
Babies who have learned to sit up will enjoy exploring this activity cube, which also lights up and sings songs.
Made of natural latex, these teethers will teach your little ones about the importance of eating their veggies! See also: Best Teethers
HABA Musical Eggs ~ $19
These little eggs are fun to shake along as your little one listens to her favorite songs.
Jellycat Moose ~ $25
Jellycat makes the most adorable, softest lovies – and this sweet little moose is no exception.
Babies can rock out to some tunes as they roll the balls down the ramp of this engaging toy.
This classic musical table is hugely entertaining, especially for tots who are just learning to stand and take their first steps.
*Also available in pink
This puppy is multi-functional. It works as a push toy for early walkers, a ride-on toy, and a shape sorter. You can also “feed” the puppy, which makes a bunch of songs and sounds. This was my daughter’s favorite toy in early toddlerhood.
This playset features gears, buttons, spinners, and other fun things for babies’ hands-on exploration. Warning: it plays songs…
Toys for Toddlers (18 months – 3 years)
This remote control plays different songs and phrases about shapes, songs, numbers, and letters.
CAT Mini Machines ~ $10/5-Pack
If you have a little construction fan in your family, these tiny diggers make the perfect stocking stuffers or Hanukkah presents.
Kinetic Sand ~ $12
There’s no need to stop playing in the sand even though it’s wintertime – thanks, science! This sand magically sticks only to itself and won’t dry out.
*If you’re more of a traditionalist, playdoh is a classic that never gets old.
Melissa and Doug Water Wow Pad ~ $14/3-Pack
These books are amazing for when your kid is feeling crafty and you’re feeling like you don’t want to wash paint off your table/walls/floor/entire house. The water-filled brush colors in the pictures like magic. Perfect for travel. See also: Best Travel Stuff for Kids
VTech KidiBeats Drum Set ~ $17
This is the toy you get for other people’s kids, LOL… especially if you still owe them for last year’s Tickle Me Elmo fiasco. This highly-rated set includes drums, cymbals, and all kinds of audio (songs, numbers, letters, etc.). Don’t forget the AA batteries!
This wooden turtle from Hape (which makes high quality, child-safe wooden toys) is perfect for toddlers who are absolutely fascinated by toys they can pull along with a string.
Leap Frog Picnic Basket ~ $21
Your little one can enjoy a delicious pretend picnic as they learn about shapes and colors from this singing basket.
*Also available in yellow
This toddler-sized shopping cart lets your little one play “supermarket” at home. Yes, you will get a lot of mileage from this puppy!
Kids Accordion ~ $22
Your little ones can learn the basics of this pint-sized accordion and crank out a complex favorite such as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (a brief “basic instructions” leaflet is enclosed) after about 10 minutes out of the box.
Kids love to mimic grown-ups and play “clean up.” This wood playset includes a high-quality broom, mop, dust pan, brush, and storage stand. The broom and dust pan actually work quite well, but the mop is just for fun (i.e. it cannot get wet).
Mega Bloks are awesome for little hands that don’t have good dexterity quite yet. Your little builder can recreate Hooper’s store, Abby’s fairy garden, and even Oscar the Grouch in this Sesame Street replica.
This little trike has a two-position seat and removable pedals so your little one can use it for longer.
Some young toddlers start rejecting the stroller around 1.5 – 2, which is when this push car can step in to take its place. Step2 makes a variety of great little car kids love. Take this one on a joy ride to the playground this spring.
Yes, transportation is a big theme with this age group. Little Tikes makes classic Flintstones-style cars that kids find fascinating for years. These little cars have a working horn, a clicking ignition switch and a gas cap that opens and closes.
Pottery Barn Kids Baby Doll Cradle ~ $74 ($59 on sale)
This high-quality wooden baby doll cradle rocks from side to side, just like the real thing. You can have it monogrammed if time allows. *Don’t forget the baby doll 😉
Step2 Roller Coaster ~ $95
We love toys that encourage kids to move their bodies. Kids love this mini “roller coaster” as much as they love bubbles – and that’s sayin’ something! If you have a big enough basement (or other indoor space), you can set it up inside during the cold winter.
If you want to blow your Thomas fan’s mind, check out this awesome train (exclusive to Amazon). It has a 6 volt battery powered ride and goes up to 1 mph max. speed (on track) and up to 2 mph off the track.
Sodor, here we come!
Crate and Kids Ikat Playhouse ~ $149 ($89 on sale)
This adorable tent playhouse is made of a durable cotton canvas, has two cutout windows (peek-a-boo!), and comes with a sweet roll-up door flap.
Toys for Preschoolers (3 years+) ~ sorted by price
These spill-proof cups make art time SO much easier to clean up.
Learning Workbooks ~ $5-$6
These highly-rated workbooks are a big hit during the long winter holiday ~
Magazine Subscription to Ranger Rick or Highlights ~ $20-$30
While physical subscriptions may be declining in popularity among adults, real magazines are a great way of injecting fresh reading material into your nighttime reading repertoire. Bonus points: kids love receiving mail with their name on it!
One of the highest rated toys on Amazon ever, this Lego set includes an excavator (which your kid will inform you is not the same as a bulldozer), a dump truck, and some construction workers. Boys and girls who love construction will totally “dig” it — ha!
Mr. (or Mrs.) Potato Head ~ $19
Yep- this classic toy is just as fun as you remember.
Little Tikes T-Ball Set ~ $20
If you’ve got a budding baseball fan, start them out with this adjustable-height T-ball set that grows with them over the years.
Pretend Play Vet Clinic ~ $23
For the animal lover, this highly-rated play set comes with everything a budding veterinarian needs to fix up Fido when he isn’t feeling well.
Glow in the Dark Magna Tiles ~ $30/16 pieces
As you probably know, Magna Tiles are amazing magnetic puzzle pieces that inspire endless creativity – and these ones are extra cool because they glow in the dark!
Green Toys Playsets: Fire Station and Farm ~ $35
Green Toys makes adorable, simple toys out of recycled plastic, perfect for the kid who can’t stop talking about fire trucks or farm animals.
Both of these wood play sets receive incredibly high reviews from happy parents whose kids are spending hours immersed in imaginary play. The hardest part is going to be deciding which one to get!
Radio Flyer Balance Bike ~ $40
Balance bikes are the best way to teach kids how to ride on two wheels. They’re lightweight, easy to use, and help get kids pedaling without ever needing training wheels. Radio Flyer makes this adorable one that comes at a great price. It has an adjustable seat, a working bell, and 12″ air tires for a smooth ride.
VTech Kids Camera ~ $49
Is your kid obsessed with taking pics on your iPhone?? Now they can have their own kid-friendly camera to take pictures with. Bonus: your phone’s memory won’t fill up with 100 silly face selfies!
*Check out the less expensive original version, which doesn’t have a rear-facing built-in camera.
If you’re a “Hot Wheels” family, this track set will provide hours of indoor fun during the cold winter. This one has challenging intersections, hairpin turns, motorized boosters, and a huge crash zone.
*Matchbox peeps, check out the Matchbox Rescue Headquarters. Wheee-oww.
Novelty Gift Ideas ~
If you’re looking for a personalized ornament made of high quality materials, check out the selection from Pottery Barn. They have frames, lockets, and sleigh-shaped ornaments that hold your little one’s picture for years to come. ❤️
Wood Name Puzzle ~ $16
This beautiful wood puzzle from Fat Brain Toys can be personalized to any kid’s name that is 9 characters or less. Remember to order early, since customization takes longer than Prime shipping!
Little Feminist 0-3 Year-Old Book Club ~ $19/Month
Little Feminist is a children’s book subscription that focuses on diversity and gender equality, teaching 0-9-year-old girls and boys (yes, boys can be feminists too!) empathy and perseverance. Books-of-the-month are selected by a team of educators, librarians, and parents; as the mother of two girls, I can tell you they are awesome!!!
I See Me Personalized Books ~ varies
Give a gift that’s as unique as your little one. Beautiful stories and adorable gifts they’ll treasure for a lifetime. Truly. Everyone I know loves these books dearly and keeps them forever.
*Pottery Barn Kids also makes a great one that we love!
That’s it! Hope we’ve helped you find some awesome gift ideas for all the kiddos in your life…happy holidays!
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