Toddler Gift Guide 2021
Now that it’s November, I’m starting to browse and get some gift ideas. I’ve never been an early shopper and always found myself in the store, waiting in line the week of Christmas, stressed out, shopping for last minute gifts. Now, as a parent, I just need to get all the shopping out of the way so that I can relax and enjoy all of the holiday festivities. The first person on our list to shop for is our toddler. I created a short gift guide for toddlers and small children.
Montessori Toddler Gift Guide
We follow the Montessori Method as closely as possible here at home. The approach aligns best with our family values, so you might find that these gift ideas are more Montessori aligned than a typical gift guide for small children, which I didn’t intend, but I think no matter what your parenting and educational approach is, you’ll find something fun for the toddler on your list. Many of these gift ideas are aimed more at “practical life” activities and open ended play, to help your toddler’s imagination soar and confidence flourish.
Yoto Audio Player – We recently got a Yoto Player for Ollie (more on this soon). We’re a screen-free family here and I love how Yoto Player has everything from stories to guided meditation for the kiddos and of course, music. Its fun to dance around the room together and it gives Ollie the opportunity to put on whatever story or song he wants to listen to, which he loves.
PicassoTiles 48 Piece Magnetic Blocks – We’re all about open ended play over here and I feel like I cant talk to a parent friend of mine without someone mentioning Magnetic Tiles. These are perfect for developing STEM skills, discussing color, shapes, number, the list goes on. Definitely adding these to the list for Ollie.
Nugget Comfort Sofa – We’ve had the Nugget sofa for over a year now and it is so worth it. Oliver has so much fun with it and the possibilities are endless. We make forts, tunnels, cars, steps, and more. Plus, its wear we all cuddle up and do story time together at night. It comes in so many vibrant and neutral colors, and the cushions unzip so you can throw them in the wash or switch out a color. There are a lot of similar multiple piece sofas out there for kids, but the best comparison I’ve seen so far is from Pottery Barn Kids, linked here.
Learning Tower – Sprout is one of our go-to shops for Montessori inspired furniture for children. They have so many functional and quality pieces for everyday learning and play to help push your children’s creative boundaries. We have the learning tower, which is great for when Ollie wants to help in the kitchen or when he brushes his teeth at night. We also have this low profile shelf and weaning table for crafts. He loves having a mini “desk”. Use code NEWDARLINGS for 10% off anything sitewide.
Henry Helps: Henry Helps Make Cookies – We are big fans of the Henry Helps books around here. I found them when researching some Montessori aligned children’s books and we all instantly fell in love with them. Each one shares Henry helping his family with a household task: making dinner together, cleaning his room, doing laundry. They are simple and sweet and Oliver has loved “helping like Henry”. What I enjoy most about these books is how they foster independence and confidence in our little one.
Monti-Kids Cook with Me Kit – We’ve spoken about Monti Kids before and used their kits a ton when Ollie was much smaller. Monti Kids does a great job at taking the educational Montessori approach and creating thoughtfully assembled boxes of curated toys and materials to foster unique growth in your children. He still revisits the past levels/kits and uses the materials in new and different ways as he develops. It’s all about learning through play. We’ve been cooking a lot together, especially baking with the holidays so I thought this Cook with Me Kit was really sweet and practical. Use code NEWDARLINGS for 10% off
Fujifilm Instax Mini 7+ Camera – Oliver is big into taking photos on his play wooden camera and sees us taking photos all the time, so I feel like it might be time to upgrade his photogrpahy equipment. We had an older Instax camera, that Ollie loved – anyone remember this video? Anyway, that camera recently bit the dust so I think this could be a great stocking stuffer with some film.
Melissa & Doug Fold & Go Wooden Dollhouse – I love the small footprint of this dollhouse and it’s not too specific, so you can buy any furniture and customize it. Oliver has recently been interested in smaller dolls and figurines, putting his animals to bed, etc, so I feel like this would be so sweet. Love how it folds up and can be tucked away in a corner or closet if you don’t want to keep it on display.
Musical Instruments – We’re big music lovers around here. You might remember Ollie’s big birthday gift was a drum set, which is still a big hit around here and complimented his Loog guitar rather nicely. We get a full on performance each evening before bedtime, which you may or may not want in your house. Ha! An accordion has caught our little one’s interest around here, after seeing a character from a book play one, so this mini toy (functioning) toddler accordion may just be the gift this year.
Pikler Triangle Ladder – I love things can be used indoors or outdoors, with endless ways to play. Our little guy loves his Pikler. I put it on many past gift guides and it’s another item that Ollie still gets a ton of use out of. We enjoy using the ramp, with different ways to slide down, use cards on, etc. If you live in a city where the winters get pretty unbearable, this is a great option for indoor play.
Schleich Farm World – Schleich animals are our go-to for toys and figurines – they are so realistic looking and the amount of matching games and imaginative play are endless. I’ve made and laminated cards with animals on them way back for Ollie to match with. Ollie has been big into farm animals, books, you name it. I know the farm theme is very specific to our child, but in my opinion Schleich is the way to go for any sort of realistic looking vehicle or animal toy set. This barn set ties into the whole farm theme well too.