Having is like having my own personal toy-testing focus group. With access to both genders and three very different personality types, I know when a toy is loved by all it’s a winner. All of these toys earned their place on this list of Awesome Gifts for 2 to 3 year olds by appealing to all three of my children.
With three toddlers, I try to be selective about the toys that we bring into our home to avoid drowning in kid-clutter. (Check out this post for more on how we keep a tidy home with three two-year-olds, or you can check out our home tour.)
I’ve found that the simpler the toy, the more it seems to engage the kids and the longer it keeps them occupied (which gives mom a nice break). You’ll also notice that none of the toys have batteries. This is a personal preference of mine. Our house is lively enough without a hundred toys chattering, chirping, and singing at the same time.
Enjoy! I hope you find some inspiration on this list of gifts for 2 to 3 year olds.
Budget Friendly Gifts (Under $25)
I was first introduced to Melissa and Doug Puppets by my cousin. She came to visit and brought a puppet for each of the kids. They quickly became a household favorite. These adorable, quirky puppets have provided us hours of fun.
The EverEarth Jr. Size Ramp Race is absolutely mesmerizing. Put a car at the top of the ramp and watch it flip over on each end as it makes its way down. I’m not sure if it’s more fascinating for the kids or the parents. (The Lewo Wooden Creative Big Ramp Race is another similar option.)
The Learning Resources Smart Counting Cookies are the perfect toy for your toddler. They help to promote number recognition and visually connect the concept of quantity with numbers. They are also a great addition to any play kitchen. Not to mention, they satiate a toddler’s need for dumping things on the floor.
The Hape e-Copter Bamboo Toy Helicopter is not only super cool to look at, it also has a tiny environmental footprint. Hape toys are not only attractive, but also durable. Fun fact: the bamboo for this helicopter comes from Hape’s very own bamboo forest. A toy company with a forest! How cool is that? You should also check out the equally stylish Hape Bamboo e-Dozer and Bamboo e-Plane.
The Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet Floral Arrangement Playset is my secret weapon. When nothing else seems to be entertaining them, I pull out this 44-piece playset and earn 10-15 minutes of blissful contentment for my children. Green Toys are made in the USA from 100% recycled milk jugs. I had the pleasure of talking with the CEO of Green Toys about their use of recycled materials, sustainable practices, and local sourcing for an MBA project and was super impressed. This conscientious company puts incredible thought into the design and manufacture of each of their toys. The packaging is simple and recyclable, the products are shockingly durable, and they’re dishwasher safe. I always feel good about giving any Green Toys products to my kids.
Gifts Between $25 and $50
If you want your kids to get a little exercise while they’re stuck inside this winter, Rody the Inflatable Horse by Gymnic is perfect. Rody is made from soft, super-strong, latex-free, BPA-free and phthalate-free vinyl for years of worry-free enjoyment. Not to mention, Rody’s goofy face and stubby legs are pretty adorable.
I have fond memories of playing with blocks just like these in the church nursery when I was a little girl. My kids love their Giant Building Blocks and they have brought so much laughter into our home. But, make sure you have plenty of storage space before you purchase these. They can take up a lot of room! (For a smaller, less expensive stacking option, try the Melissa and Doug Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks.)
My kids adore playing with stacking pegs at preschool. Violet likes to make the tallest tower possible. This toy is great for little hands. The Lauri Tall-Stacker Pegs Building Set comes with multiple foam boards for making 3D creations.
We’ve had the Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set for quite some time and it is one of my favorite toys. It’s absolutely darling and allows them to learn colors as well as the names of several fruits and vegetables. The pieces are nice and soft as well as realistic and the baskets are sturdy enough to withstand toddlers.
Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Sets can be spendy, but boy are they fun. With this 14-piece set, the building possibilities are endless. Because the blocks are magnetic, you can put them together any way that you choose. Naturally safe and sustainably sourced, this set of blocks is worth the price.
Splurges (Over $50)
Balance bikes are great. And this lightweight, adjustable ZUM-CX Wooden Balance Bike won’t break the bank. If you’ve never heard of a balance bike, or you’re not sure what all the fuss is about, check out this post: Five Reasons Why Balance Bikes are Worth the Hype.
I am just swooning over this gorgeous toy! Grimm’s Large Stepped Pyramid of Wooden Building Blocks is a 100 piece set of blocks in varying colors. Each piece is hand-sanded and dyed with non-toxic, water-based dyes. It’s touted as being in-line with both Montessori and Waldorf philosophies. While we don’t own our own set, my children have played with these and had so much fun arranging and stacking them.
This Toy Grand Piano is a favorite in our home. With 30 functional keys, you can play several simple tunes. Our children love to put a book up on music stand and play. It makes a sweet little chiming sound that is not too terribly loud or irritating.
The kitchen is easily the most played with item in our playroom. I adore the look of the KidKraft Vintage Kitchen. We have an older KidKraft kitchen and it has withstood the test of three toddlers. In addition to cooking, the kids also love shopping for their kitchen with the Melissa and Doug Toy Shopping Cart. This little cart has taken a beating and it still works like new. Definitely worth the extra investment.
I love the American Girl Doll Bitty Twins. They are soft, durable, and can be sent to the American Girl Doll Hospital to be rejuvenated if they start to look a little rough. I also love that they have the option of a boy doll. That can be hard to find. And if you happen to be a mom of triplets, I called customer service and found out that you can buy a separate bitty twin if you are willing to go pick them up in an American Girl Doll store. You can get Bitty Triplets!
If you enjoyed this post, you might like these as well:
10 Tips for a Simplified Christmas: Peacefully enjoying the holiday season without the hustle and stress.
Skipping the Christmas Tree: Why we decided to pass on the tradition of a Christmas tree for a while.
Family Christmas Photo FAIL: Perfect plans go awry at the family photo shoot when the triplets were 18 months old.
Hello there! I’m Krysta. If you’re new to The Thoughtful Mom, welcome! And thank you for stopping by.
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