The Parent Wish List
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Toddler parents can find ourselves at odds with extended family, grandparents, friends, co-workers around holiday time. The last thing we want to do is add to the chaos in their household with obnoxious gifts, or toys that just go unused and add to the clutter. So when grandma presents a perfectly wrapped package, we shudder in fear...is it ANOTHER noise-making machine? Is it a box full of permanent markers?? Is it a...box full of CANDY???
No. Just no.
I have linked some suggestions of gifts that will help mom and dad keep their little one to three year olds occupied for half a second and won't land the gift-giver in hot water with the parents.
Parents, share this list to give Grandma some great ideas, so it's a win/win this holiday season!
(Sure, your babe may get the candy and the noise-maker anyway, but at least you may get one functional gift to use on a rainy day...literally, save these gifts for those stretches of rainy days in the spring!)
And there's a HUGE list of all the baby and toddler gift ideas you could dream of here!
I kick off this list with magnetic toys. I have to admit that some days this is not the right choice for my toddler. If they are tired and grouchy, magnetic toys can be disastrous and frustrating, but if they are in the mood to let their imaginations run wild, then magnetic boards usually hit the spot.
The fishing one is also a counting game, which is a bonus for the older kiddos!
Looking for budget gift ideas for toddler boys? This gift guide from Jennifer Driskell has some great options!
Cleaning, Fixing, & Gardening Toys
Give my 3 year old a hammer, a spray bottle and rag, or a shovel, and she gets right to work. I used to get frustrated when she grabbed whatever tool or cleaning supply I was working with, and then I discovered a playset of realistic looking cleaning supplies that she jumped all over. Bingo! She has been happily redirected ever since. Many of these tools work as bath time toys as well. Or sometimes I just spread out a big blanket and give her a little bowl of water to "wash dishes" with, and she happily mimics mommy and daddy for at least 20 minutes! (Light years in toddler-universe)
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Toys
Get their minds going with some STEM activities and books. I love the idea of my little one using their imagination to be a scientist, an aeronautical engineer, a computer programmer, or a science teacher. These toys will foster that STEM imagination.
I also love the gift options that My Messy Mamahood has for creativity and learning!
Combine some common household items with a few new surprises, and let the exploring begin! I like to have one or two surprise boxes handy for those days we are cooped up in the house for whatever reason (rain, mom is sick, baby is sick, just plain old exhausted family <--- most common reason). Who doesn't love a surprise box no matter what your age is?? Just a few minutes of planning can lead to minutes, MINUTES of distraction. (With toddlers I would never go so far as to say hours, but hey, we will take minutes when we can get them).
And who doesn't love multi-functional gift ideas like these? Check out Awesome Alice's post here for some more toddler gift ideas that are also super useful!
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