December 3, 2012

What to Buy the Toddler in Your Life

I've had several people ask me what I'm getting Kendall this year {because they need ideas for their own child} or what to get Kendall this year and so I thought it might be helpful to post a few ideas for the toddler in your life.  Realize that this guide is geared more for the girl but some of the gifts are unisex and/or there is a boy version out there too.  Some of these are things that we already have and love for her and others are things she will be getting this year. There is something for every price point too and nothing is un-affordable, because that's how we roll.  And you'll notice that there aren't any clothes, PJs, or outerwear on this list {all of which Kendall is sure to receive too} because I wanted to keep this geared towards things they'd actually love {and I'm still haunted by the year I got ALL CLOTHES for Christmas}.

1.  LeapFrog LeapPad2.  I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to give Kendall this for Christmas.  I've had it for a few months now because I was afraid it'd be "the big ticket item" and I wouldn't be able to find one.  It's taken all I have in me to not give it to her early.  She is going to love it. She already loves playing games on our iPhones and an iPad is out of the question so this is a great option for us.  And we can finally have our phones back.

2.  Craft & Collage Caddies. I don't know how many times I've gone to make a Pinterest craft project only to realize I have nothing, not even glue, to make anything. I like that this comes with a little bit of everything and it's all stowed away in a convenient caddie for easy storage.  Watch out Pinterest, we will be crafting fools before you know it.

3.  My Busy Books.  I've talked about these before, maybe even 3 times, and I still stand by them.  They are my go-to gift item and still one of Kendall's favorites.  We have the Dora & Disney Princess versions at our house and my mom has the Mickey one at hers.  My mother-in-law got the Hello Kitty one for Christmas and I think we'll be all Busy Booked out.  Kendall just loves the figurines and these come with 12 for a whopping $8 which is a heck of a lot cheaper than buying them individually from The Disney Store.

4.  24-Piece Real Wood Puzzles.   Kendall LOVES puzzles and we have quite a few in our collection already, these are the best ones {for her} so far.  There are 4 different puzzles inside a sturdy, wooden container that also doubles as storage.  There is a divider inside so you can keep each puzzles pieces in it's own compartment.  The pieces are nice, strong, wood not like some of those flexible cardboard pieces that tear easy and don't lay flat.  Again, my mom has a Minnie's Bowtique version at her house and we love them.

5.  Hands-On Early Math Kit.  Kendall loves sorting things.  She loves to organize things by theme, color, size, whatever and she loves to line things up that are "the same".  This is basically that in a toy.  You can organize the elephants according to size and color and then count and form a pattern.  I think this is going to be a toy she is going to love and learn without even realizing that she's learning.

6.  Dress Up Trunk.  What toddler girl doesn't love dressing up?  I know mine doesn't go anywhere without a tutu or "Halloween dress" these days.  It's fun.  This kit is already made for you with sashes, skirts, a wand, etc.  My mom has actually been scouring stores for great post-Halloween deals and is making Kendall her own trunk this year.  I have a feeling this may be her favorite gift.

7.  Camping Out Sleeping Bag.  Jimmy can't wait for the day we can go on our first family camping trip and I knew he'd love the idea of getting Kendall her very own sleeping bag.  We got the puppy dog {Kendall loves dogs, she'll tell you herself} and until we go on that trip how fun will this be for a movie night?  I've seen some stores ::cough::cough:: Pottery Barn ::cough::cough:: selling these for upwards of $100 but this one is just right at $20.

8.  Sleepytime Stories DVD.  Relaxing and watching one show before bedtime has been a part of our nightly routine long as I can remember.  This DVD has 6 of Nickelodeon's top shows and they are all mellow, yes even the episode of Yo Gabba Gabba.  The songs are "quiet" and the stories are meant to gear the child to sleep.  Some even send a good message about putting on your pajamas and not being afraid of the dark.

**And, a reminder, when you are shopping for these great gifts don't forget to use Ebates!  I've already earned over $300 this holiday season just by shopping through Ebates.  I can't wait for the Big Fat Check!**

So there you have it!  Some of my personally recommended suggestions for The Toddler in your life.  Anything I am missing that we need to add {for Kendall, of course}?  I'd love to hear what some of your go-to items are this year.  And would anyone be interested in me doing a guide like this for guys?  girls?  parents?  Let me know!


  1. Things with lots of pieces give me anxiety! That shit gets all over the house. I actually told people not to buy her stuff with little pieces and blamed it on the baby. I slowly throw pieces away from her play kitchen, a random apple here a salt shaker there. Oh what a bad not fun mom I am. I do think I'm going to get her a busy book though, I do think she would like it.

  2. We are getting E some dress ups too! She has the leappad2 and honestly, never even uses it, she only wants the ipad.

  3. We bought our kids the camoflauge sleeping bags from Walmart for about $20 each. They're super warm and comfortable and will last a long time! We took our kids (tent!) camping last summer quite a few times - our son turned 2 in July and our daughter turned 1 in July and they had a blast! It's so fun with kids! Walmart also sells little fold-up cots that our son does well in - our daughter was too young, so she slept on padding on the floor of the tent and did just fine. (

  4. OOOH I love the sleepy time DVD set. My kids always want to watch something before bed, which is fine but they want to put in a long freakin movie when really I would just like them to put something on for 20 minutes or so to get settled down! ha

  5. Great picks S!! I really hope these kids like their leap pad 2's! What things have you gotten for hers? I ended up buying the crayola bundle at TRU - and then Amazon had a "Letter Factory" game for $12.50 so I picked that up too! I don't know if you saw on IG but another mama told me that there is a specific rechargeable pack for it - it's $34 on amazon so I went ahead and got it - I'm so bad about having enough batteries!
    I love those craft cubbies - I might have to order some - our craft stuff gives me stress because I haven't found a good way to organize it yet!
    And please someone SMACK me if I leave Barnes and Noble without one of those busy books - EVERY-TIME I go to the mall I say I'm going to pick one up and forget!
    Awesome list!!!!

  6. Absolutely brilliant post Shannon!! My MIL got the girls the leappad2 also and I am excited to see their faces Christmas night when they open it!! Soo awesome!! These are fabulous ideas!