It’s easy to buy any plastic toy as a Christmas gift for a toddler, but many of those toys end up in the bottom of the toy box. Instead of the usual, give toys that toddlers have been drawn to for generations. Wooden puzzles, puppets, Play-doh and books are all toys that can be enjoyed in parent-toddler playtime or by the toddler on his own.
Wooden Puzzles for Toddler Christmas Gifts
Many toddlers would love to receive a wooden puzzle as a Christmas gift. Toddlers enjoy the challenge of a brightly colored puzzle with easy-to-handle pieces. Look for wooden puzzles that have pegs or other handles on each puzzle piece. Each piece should fit into its own, clearly marked spot on the puzzle board. Puzzles for toddlers shouldn’t be complicated. Two to ten individual pictures on the puzzle board are usually enough to be both challenging and fun for toddlers. Avoid puzzles that have interlocking pieces as they are generally too difficult for this age group.
Puppets for Toddler Christmas Gifts
Puppets make a great Christmas gift for toddlers. They are the perfect toy for engaging in interactive play between the child and the parent or other care giver. Toddlers enjoy games of peek-a-boo with a puppet, being tickled by puppets and listening to the parent talk in a silly, puppet voice. A parent can even make up silly scenes with two or more puppets, or use the puppets as a tool to help a child role play difficult social situations. Skip noisy, electronic puppets and look for soft puppets that engage a child’s imagination.
Play-doh for a Toddler’s Christmas Gift
Once a toddler has stopped putting everything in his mouth, he’s ready to discover Play-doh. Kids of all ages like to pound, smash, squish and mold this non-toxic, classic toy and will be excited to see it under the tree on Christmas morning. Age-appropriate Play-doh accessories include those that a toddler can manipulate himself. Look for Play-doh sets that come with plastic knives, cookie cutters and molds. Play-doh factories that require a bit more coordination and skill may be appropriate for an older toddler that is approaching the preschool years.
Books for a Toddler’s Christmas Gift
Books are a great Christmas gift for any child, but are especially fun in the toddler years. Most toddlers could still benefit from board books, especially those that are rough on their toys and would be likely to rip pages in a conventional book. Look for board books that have peek-a-boo flaps, baby faces and animals. Older toddlers enjoy richly detailed picture books that have a bit more of a story. Avoid overly long or complex stories. Most toddlers can’t sit for a story that is more than a few minutes long.
Toddlers are discovering their imaginations and are ready to play. Give them Christmas gifts that will help foster their developing skills. Wooden puzzles, puppets, Play-doh and books are all great Christmas gifts for toddlers. These gifts are likely to be played with again and again.