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In this gift guide, I’ve rounded up toys that are Montessori and Waldorf inspired and lots of heirloom quality pieces. I love the idea of having less toys that are higher quality (but not always a high price tag!). Gift ideas for toddlers should be simple, so I’ve listed some of our favorites in four categories.
Repeat this with me: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read ✨
That’s it! Check those four things off your list (plus a few stocking stuffers and maybe a Santa gift for Christmastime) and you’re done! Here are some of my favorite ideas for little ones, inspired by nature and imaginative play in those categories.
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Guidelines to keep in mind:
- An open-ended toy is something that allows the child to imagine it’s use. Blocks, loose parts, playsilks, etc. These toys can be used for multiple play scenarios and have endless opportunity, BUT- you don’t need five different sets of blocks.
2. Skip toys with batteries! These toys more than likely are doing the playing for your child, instead of allowing them to use their brilliant mind.
3. Avoid toys that are overly advertised as educational or trying to teach something, like the alphabet, to babies. That comes are preschool age!
Something They Want
Grimm’s Rainbow Stacker (small) – if you’ve seen any type of Waldorf playroom these are bound to be on a shelf there! Wyatt uses these for so many things: tunnels, mountains, stables for animals, etc.
Grimm’s Rainbow Stacker (large)
Metal Shopping Cart – this one technically isn’t open ended, but my boys play with this cart literally everyday. It’s perfect for playing “market” or propping up their favorite stuffed animals in the seat. It’s also subbed as a walker for Jep when he was still a little wobbly!
Wooden Lawnmower Push Toy from HeirLoom Kids
Wooden Shape Sorter from HeirLoom Kids
First Jigsaw Puzzle from HeirLoom Kids
Chunky Shapes Puzzle
Radio Flyer Walker Wagon – definitely on our wish list! Such a classic toy.
Cassaro Balance Rocker – this is such a fun toy around here! It’s a boat, rocker, or cradle for stuffed animals.
Hape Shape Sorter Wooden Puzzle – popular favorite. The puzzle pieces are all different sizes, so they’re learning shapes along with small to large progression.
Customizable Ball Pit – probably one of the most visually appealing ball pits I’ve ever witness, and 100% cleaner than the public ones!
Wooden Toy Dishes from CatsCraftToys
Wooden Rainbow House Blocks from CatsCraftToys
Homestead Playmat, from Gathre
Travel Train Set by Melissa & Doug – we have the train set and the city set, (one for each boy). These are a solid favorite and great for travel. I’ve listed these before on my travel essentials blog!
Something They Need
Stockmar Beeswax Block Crayons– have you heard of beeswax crayons? This brand is our favorite because they’re sturdy and so well made. Plus, the smell of beeswax makes for a fun time coloring. The block crayons are great for little hands, and even bigger kids as they’re shading in more of their drawings.
Kitpas Crayons– these are buttery smooth and can be used on windows or mirrors as well as paper. They’re just so silky! This company also employs special needs employees to make their crayons in their factory in Japan.
Classic Wooden Blocks
Sensory Bin Scoop Set from CatsCraftToys
Wooden Egg Shakers – I’m including musical items under “need” for gift ideas for toddlers because I think they’re such a must for little hands! The boys love their egg shakers and they’re great for developing that grasp.
Frog Tone Block or set of three varying sizes – such a fun instrument but also super pretty on a shelfie 😉
Playsilks from Moon Mama Creations
The Regulars, from Tubby Todd- our absolute favorite baby shampoo & bath line! You can check out the travel sized kit here.
Something To Wear
Something To Read
Little Old Farm Folk, by Andrea Wisnewski (one of our current favorites)
Are any of these already on your list? I’d love to hear some of your favorite gift ideas for toddlers.
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