With the holidays arriving, you may be scratching your head, wondering what to get that toddler in your family. Not to worry, Peyton’s here to help! Ever since our children arrived, our lives have been very calculated. From feeding times and changing oxygen tanks, to having the calendar marked with weekly therapy sessions, we have planned everything! So, it’s no surprise that just about every toy in our house is there for a reason. Peyton has worked hard to catch up developmentally to other toddlers her age and we know that she wouldn’t be where she is at today without her therapists. Each of these toys are available at most retail stores or easily available on Amazon.com and some cost under $10. They are all Peyton tested, therapist approved! Here are my top 5 toys to buy a toddler for Christmas (or any holiday!):
Melissa & Doug Puzzles
These are the GREATEST toys around! Peyton has been playing with her puzzles since well before she could even walk. Melissa & Doug makes wooden puzzles that are sturdy and last for years. There are simple puzzles for a 1 year old and more complex puzzles for older children. For Peyton, the puzzles started as a way to work on her motor skills and to help her weak hands. These days, we use the puzzles to work on the alphabet and colors, as well as her speech.
Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head is a classic! It’s an inexpensive gift that children love. It helps their fine motor skills as children work to put the parts into the plastic potato. It’s also a good way to teach children about the body parts and body awareness. While Mr. Potato Head’s arms may end up as his legs, it’s been a great teaching tool for Peyton.
This is on Peyton’s Christmas list this year. Miss P loves to throw and kick balls and this is a great “next step” for a toddler. The Little Tikes version will grow with the child. For Peyton, it not only will help her coordination, but it will help with her core strength. She’s weak in some areas of her body, so this will force her to reach her arms up and work on her balance. This toy can be found on sale for as low as $20-25.
This is a pricey item, but well worth it if your child likes imaginative play. Peyton is starting to get into pretend play and it’s a joy watching her bake cookies or pour me a cup of milk in her play kitchen. If you don’t want to spend the money on an expensive play kitchen, there are ways to incorporate imaginative play with other gifts. You can find pretend food and a shopping cart that kids absolutely love. Melissa & Doug also make play food that you can cut. They are wood pieces that velcro together and you use a play knife to cut it. It’s a great exercise in coordination and motor skills. Peyton loves the fruit and vegetable version!
Finally, I can’t leave out books. There are so many children’s books that it doesn’t matter which one you choose. It’s so important to get children excited about reading at a young age. Peyton is obsessed with books and oftentimes climbs up in our laps to read a book. As for which ones to buy, you can always go with the classic Dr. Seuss titles. If you’re looking for a board book, we love Sandra Boyton books. She’s hilarious and they are colorful and easy reads for toddlers. Also, “The Little Blue Truck” is a huge hit in our house.
Hope these ideas help as you check off your holiday list. Share your favorite gifts ideas with me…I’m always looking for new and unique toy ideas!
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