Menu

9 gifts toddlers + preschoolers will play with again and again

These are the toddler gifts they’ll play with over and over.

9 gifts toddlers + preschoolers will play with again and again

Looking for a gift your toddler will actually like more than the box?


Here are the nine gifts that are virtually guaranteed to delight from the moment they’re opened.—

1. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel + Accessory Set Bundle

Craft time is about to get an upgrade. This colorful art set will inspire any budding artist, and the standing easel will make them feel just as professional as Picasso. Start clearing room on the fridge now-you’re going to nee

Pro tip: The Melissa & Doug Art Essentials Artist Smock and Drop Cloth make clean-up a breeze!

BUY

2. Rody The Horse Hop & Ride On

You know that toddler who seems to be perpetually bouncing off the walls? (So, um, every toddler?) Rody is the perfect way to harness that energy in a fun and safe way. This yellow horse promotes balance and a fun workout for little wiggle worms, and bouncing is totally encouraged.

Pro tip: Add the Rocking Base Ride On to make the horse more stable for a younger child.

BUY

3. Magna-Tiles 100 Piece Set

These colorful blocks are great for encouraging open-ended, creative play and developing math, science, spacial and fine motor skills. The magnetic sides will inspire beginning builders and help more experienced builders think “outside the box.” Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to play with them after the little ones go down for the night!

Pro tip: Stash a few in your purse for trips to a restaurant to keep wait time peaceful.

BUY

4. VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX

If your little is envious of your Apple Watch, this is the gift for them. This smart watch has everything from a camera to take pictures and videos (and they’re downloadable!), both digital and analog clock faces to teach time, and interactive games. Wait, is it too late to trade for your Apple Watch?

Pro tip: Best for ages 4-9 but we know some crafty 3 year olds that figured it out quickly!

BUY

5. GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope

This fully functional dissecting microscope allows for up-close examination of rocks, leafs, and more (with up to 8x magnification)—no slides needed!—and the two extra-large eyepieces are perfect for preschoolers. Complete your little Einstein’s collection with a Lab Coat, Science Lab Set and the Mix + Measure Set.

Pro tip: The microscope requires 3 AAA batteries so don’t forget to stock up.

BUY

6. LEGO DUPLO My First Deluxe Box of Fun

We’ve all bought our kids toys that they played with for an hour before getting bored and moving on. The LEGO DUPLO box is not that toy. The bright pieces will inspire hours of creative play, whether solo or with you playing contractor.

Pro tip: Purchase expansion packs to add on to the original set to keep the fun going long past New Year’s.

BUY

7. Strider bike

Have a super-active toddler who needs to burn off energy? (Yes?!) Teach her balance and coordination, and she’ll quickly learn to speed around on a Strider. She’ll also develop the necessary skills to eventually ride a big girl bike—all without relying on training wheels to get her going. Sit back, relax and watch that little ball of energy ride circles around you.

Pro tip: The Strider not a traditional bike, but your little one will need a helmet, too.

BUY

8. A teepee to call your own

Building forts and camping out (even in the safety of your very own living room) is a rite of passage of childhood. But why not give your children a tent that you wouldn’t mind hanging out in, too? The Land of Nod’s striped kids Teepee is chic and sturdy and makes a marvelous place for hide + seek, book reading, or good old fashioned alone time.

Pro tip: Just add some blankets, pillows, and books for a cozy corner ready on Christmas morning—decking it our with white holiday lights can also give it a magical feel.

BUY

9. GiftLit Subscription

For a child, there are few things better than getting a gift in the mail. Except maybe getting a gift in the mail every month! With a GiftLit subscription, you can send a toddler in your life a monthly read from a customized list of books expertly curated by a team of experts. Subscriptions are available in 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month increments so you can keep giving all year long.

Pro tip: After activating the subscription, create a list of books that your child is interested in to help guide the collection they receive.

Join Motherly

We only include products we’ve tested and love in MotherlyLoves. Through affiliate programs, we may receive a revenue percentage if you purchase through our website.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

Keep reading Show less
Our Partners

Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

Keep reading Show less
Life

10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

Keep reading Show less
Life