Here we are again. The most wonderful time of the year [snort]. We sifted through all the cool new stuff we’ve seen this year to bring you this year’s holiday gift guide – we even peppered it with a little snark.
This year, Lucie is toothless and insists on torturing me with the song about the teeth (you know the one). I am finding joy even in that terrible song.
Toys for Infants (0 – 18 months) ~ sorted by price
Who doesn’t want to help their baby tear open a shiny package on whichever-holiday-you-celebrate? It’s fun times for everyone, but mostly for the parents 😉
Baby may not be able to stack quite yet, but these cups are loads of fun in the bath. As baby grows, he/she will be able to sort these by color, number and size. Fun for sand play, too.
*For 6 months+
Sensory Balls ~ $10
Edushape invented sensory balls and these are the highest-rated. They provide both fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination and tactile sensory development. There are many different kids of sensory balls on the market, just make sure they are the right size for your kiddo.
*For 6 months+ (despite the “Not for children under 3” warning label on Amazon — it’s a mistake).
Lamaze Clip & Go Flip Flap Dragon and Moose Mortimer ~ $12 & $14
We love Lamaze toys, which are designed in conjunction with child development experts. Babies love these things, I’m telling you. The fabrics are soft with bright colors, crinkle and squeak. These are their newest (killing me with this moose, gah!).
We love toys that grow with baby. The front panel of this walker comes off so baby can play with it on the ground (perfect for tummy time or sitting up) — or it can be used (as shown) as a walker. The wheels have two speeds: learning to stand and learning to walk; the wheels work both on carpet and hard floors.
For the baby who always wants something to sniff and slobber on, check out the highly-rated Bitta Kidda sleep sack. The attached “lovie” is always within reach with no worries about suffocation hazards. The diagonal zipper makes diaper changes easy and prevents twisting. Comes in 3 sizes.
Another grow-with-me toy, this play gym is a baby fave. It provides a variety of different play options: tummy time, lay and play (cause and effect when kicking the piano keys), seated play (piano lays flat) and mobile (piano can be carried around).
Although this push car is technically recommended for 1.5 years+, many parents have made this purchase for their older infant (make sure your kiddo has good core strength, neck control and can sit unassisted). Two cupholders for the kid and one up near the handlebar for your beer [#yourewelcome]. Endless fun in the driveway! Our reco: 8 Months+ (don’t hold me to that <– )
With more than 17 developmental activities for baby to do, this super-cute teepee play gym offers four ways to play: tummy time, overhead play, seated play and as a play mat.
My 4-year-old now wants this. Great.
Baby Care Play Mat ~ $93
Soften a large floor, such as your kitchen, with this large playmat. It’s waterproof, easy to clean and non-toxic. It rolls up for storage, can be moved from room-to-room and is reversible. *Roughly the size of a queen mattress.
Finn + Emma Wood Play Gym ~ $134
Modern in design and sustainable in creation ~ If you’re looking for beautiful toys that are non-toxic and eco-friendly, check out Finn + Emma. This simple play gym adjusts in height as your baby grows and is portable from room-to-room (see more like this in our Favorite Wood Toys Guide).
Toys for Toddlers (18 months – 3 years) ~
Cardboard Box ~ Free!
Just a friendly reminder that kids have such basic needs. Novelty, they love, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Save a large box that came with your fake Christmas tree/latest car seat/new microwave and turn it into a racecar, a space ship, a house or an airplane.
For real, though. Onto the stuff —
Nuby Octopus ~ $6
John Deere Sand Toys ~ $12
Not your typical sand toys, these trucks make scooping dirt fun. These = playground envy. For girls too! I loved these when I was little…
Play Doh Sweet Shoppe ~ $14
Add a whole new level of fun to playing with Play Doh. This bakery playset makes realistic-looking creations that your child can frost and decorate for hours of fun! Just keep Play Doh away from carpets, because, dang — so hard to clean.
Boon Bath Toys ~ $14
Another bathtime favorite, these fun pipes suction to the bathtub while your child scoops and pours water through them — can be used individually or connected to create a chain.
Hape Walk-A-Long Toy ~ $15
Walk-a-long toys encourage coordination, balance and PATIENCE. We like this one by Hape because it’s non-toxic.
Green Toys Train ~ $17
Kids love trains — and we love Green Toys because they are eco-friendly and can be used indoors and out.
Wonder Balls ~ $18
You’d never believe 100 balls fit in this bag (that’s what she said!). So many fun activities; fill up your kiddy pool for rolling-around-fun, have a ball-toss war in your living room (just what you’ve always wanted!) or help your kiddo learn to sort and count. Balls, y’all.
Bring this padded shape sorter along to grandma’s house or wherever else you might need a distraction for your kiddo. We’re thinking about you, mom and dad.
Skip Hop Zoo Backpack ~ $19
See your kid’s face light up when you give him/her her first backpack! For parents — this backpack easily fits diapers, wipes, toys, sunglasses, a teddy bear and some snacks. Available in many different animal prints. For kiddos on the move, also available with a safety harness. Also, their wheeled backpacks are perfect for a weekend away.
Mega Bloks ~ $19
Mega Bloks are a toddler staple. These blocks are big and easy for toddlers to grip, stack and take apart. Great for hours of limitless fun; both with family and individual play.
People, listen up, these are essential for travel, be it in the car or especially, on an airplane (nobody wants to hear Elmo singing loudly two rows up). These are volume-limited for tiny ears and lightweight. Kids love them — they get to have headphones like you!
Toddlers can create their own farm scene with these blocks and a picture book. Comes with a tray for easy storage.
Don’t underestimate this toy — it is SO. MUCH. FUN. Stack the gears and see them spin, the Spin Again is total toddler entertainment.
Another must-have are Little People play sets. You can use the little “people” interchangeably with different scenes. Perfect for imaginative play, this Home Playset has over 50 sounds, songs and phrases. You might even be able to squeeze in a Netflix ep with this one….
Fisher-Price Ride-On Toy ~ $29
Ride-on toys are the perfect bridge to tricycles or balance bikes. This one offers lots of musical songs and sounds as well as storage under the seat.
Cozy Coupe ~ $44
Every patio needs a Cozy Coupe. Comes with a floorboard for the little ones that can later be removed so your kid can graduate to scooting around with their feet like Fred Flintstone.
SoundBub by WavHello ~ $59
New this year is the SoundBub portable speaker (available in bunny, bear or owl). Press the belly to play preloaded sounds of ocean waves or gentle rain – includes 30, 60 & 90 minute timers as well as a continuous play option. The Bluetooth option lets you stream music from any device — whether it’s lullabys or Justin Bieber. We have this at home and I’m very impressed with the sound quality.
Step2 Play Ball Fun Climber ~ $103
Perfect for crawling, climbing and sliding. Older kids love putting the balls through the maze and racing down the slide. Use outdoors or bring it indoors during the cold winter.
Toys for Preschoolers (3 years+) ~
Hot Wheels Play Tape ~ $5
New from Hot Wheels, this tape makes perfectly scaled racetracks. It sticks anywhere and doesn’t leave a residue. Perfect stocking stuffer.
Kwik Stix Tempera Paint ~ $10
If your child loves painting, these Kwik Stix are solid tempera that dries in 90 seconds – no need for water, paintbrushes and a big mess! These paints are non-toxic and work on paper, wood, canvas, cardboard and other crafting mediums.
Gofindit is an outdoor scavenger card hunt game that encourages children to get outside and experience nature through their senses. It’s fun for the whole family or for a day with friends.
Lego Duplo Set ~ $40
Duplo Legos are the next in line as your child grows (after Mega Bloks). There are many different Duplo sets; this is a good starter set. Just a warning – these tend to sell out rather early in the holiday season, so don’t delay.
Most workbench toys are plastic; this one is made of wood and resembles the real thing. With over 60 pieces, there is so much to imagine! Comes with suggestions for projects to build.
Step2 Art Desk ~ $66
Give your kiddo an art space of her own where all the art supplies are handy. This desk provides plenty of storage and even a light (I assure you it will never look that clean, though).
Micro Mini Scooter ~ $79
We researched the scooter market and this is our favorite. The top-rated Micro Mini is well-made, won’t rust and is perfect for beginner scooters, as the kickboard is low to the ground. The double front wheels make it easy to steer (child learns to steer by leaning) and the brake is easy to operate. We’ve had this one for several months and it gets two thumbs up. It’s perfect for covering larger distances that would take a small child a very. long. time. to. walk. (all darn day…)
Pottery Barn Kids Sleeping Bags ~ $69-$129
So cute! Similar to getting your first backpack, these sleeping bags from Pottery Barn Kids are a huge hit. Perfect for movie night, sleepover or fort-building. Personalization available (hurry!) ~
KidKraft Kitchen Set ~ $95
If you’re in the market for a play kitchen, why not get one that you don’t mind showcasing in your living room. These kitchens are a beast to put together, but once up, they are very sturdy and last a long time.
Strider Balance Bike ~ $119
Balance bikes are all the rage. They teach balance while in motion, which makes for an easy and natural transition to a two-wheeler (at quite a young age!). This model includes the mini-saddle seat designed to fit toddler sized hips (18-36 months) and a larger seatpost, which will extend the use to 36-60 months, (max 60 lbs). Assembles in 5 minutes so Santa doesn’t have to stress.
Novelty Items ~
These are some of our favorites that are more personalized and keepsakey in nature. These are the ones they’ll remember 😉
Jellycat by Peekawhoo ~ $24
Peekawhoo sells adorable monogrammed gifts. This classic Jellycat teddy bear is the perfect find! *Christmas delivery deadline December 13th.
See also red corduroy monogrammed bloomers. Stop it!!
*Get 10% off sitewide with code: CLASSIC2016
I See Me Personalized Books ~ $29+
Melissa: “We can’t say enough great things about I See Me books — especially this holiday sing-along book! My son can’t get enough of it (literally, we play the CD and read the book every single day). I See Me personalized books increase self-esteem, help teach children how to spell their name and build vocabulary.” *Christmas order deadline 12/18!
GiftLit Book Club ~ $60+
This is truly a gift that keeps on giving 😉 With this gift, you have the option to choose a 3-month ($60), 6-month ($115) or 12-month ($230) subscription. Every month, the recipient will receive their book in the mail. Though the markup is fairly substantial, it’s a no-brainer gift for those pressed for time —
Little Giraffe blankets make a beautiful gift! They are well-made and scream luxury. There are two options: Luxe (soft, faux fur) and Chenille (also available in Lovey size). Be sure to check out their other blanket/gifts here.
A wonderful gift for new moms, this storage box is a great way to safely organize all of your baby’s keepsakes and memories. Put it on display or store it away someplace safe.
*Also available for the School Years.
Gifted Custom Art ~ $99
This is a truly unique gift — they just sent me a sample and I love it. Turn a favorite photo into a paint-by-numbers style masterpiece — complete with all of the painting supplies the recipient needs to bring it to life (wine not included). A 16″ x 20″ canvas costs $99.95. *Order by December 15th to get by Christmas.
Pottery Barn Kids Monogrammed Luggage ~ $39-$129
Travel in style this season with Pottery Barn’s adorable matching luggage sets. They offer duffle bags and rolling suitcases – all of which can be monogrammed. My favorite part is that I always know which suitcases belong to us thanks to the unique prints and monogramming.
Stitched Custom Quilts ~ $139
Another awesome discovery! Design a custom quilt in 10 minutes by using Stitched’s online design tools. It’s super easy, super soft and delivers to your door in 5-7 days.
Thanks for reading everyone — and Happy Holidays!
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Also, check out:
- Holiday gift guides of yesteryear  
- Book guides of  
- Best Wooden Toys
- Holiday Gift Guide for Multiples
- Gifts for moms and dads