32 Presents For When You Have No Idea What To Get A Toddler For The Holidays
From sensory toys to building blocks to a talking plastic poo, if you've got a toddler in your life then we've got some gift ideas for you.
We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
What a year! The holidays are finally here! And while we’re doing our best to make sure the products we feature will arrive in time, shipping times are especially tricky this year, so we suggest shopping as early as you can.
Stock and shipping times can vary depending on where you live, which product you purchase, and more. So order earlier than you think you need to and be sure to double-check the retailers’ websites for shipping information to ensure that your gift will arrive in time for when you need it.
1. A 12-sided fidget toy (aka a dodecagon) with gears, buttons, a joystick, switch, stress balls, and more for keeping fingers (and more importantly the mind operating those fingers) unstressed and focused.
2. A 12-pack of durable and sustainable all-natural pure-beeswax crayons that are nearly unbreakable and even come with a money-back guarantee. You better bee-lieve it!
3. A two-sided Learning Resources "Big Feelings Pineapple" so kids can learn emotions (as well as their opposites) and express their big feelings (and little ones too). Adult bonus to this gift? You can store all the parts inside the pineapple!
Promising review: "We love this pineapple! It’s been a great help for us when we talk about emotions as a family. I really like the feelings poster (would love if it was a bit larger!) and I love that the pineapple has two sides. Learning Resources products are impressive! I also appreciate the online resources they have (free printables) that can be used with the pineapple. Highly recommend!" —Katie Shuknecht
Get it from Amazon for $6.49.
4. A horn-honking, headlight-flashing remote-control race car with three removable driver figures for toddlers to get their first taste of simplified RC fun with forward and reverse functions.
5. A Popdarts suction cup throwing game to encourage players young and old to put down the screens and engage with some good old-fashioned family fun (and competition). There's no more satisfying sound than hearing on of these darts stick to a surface!
6. A box of 72 mini dinosaur toys because sometimes gifts aren't about the quality but the quantity, and what kid doesn't love a whole mess of thunder lizards?
For ages 3+
Also great as cake toppers and party bag favors!
Promising review: "We were quite amazed at the variety of dinosaurs included in our pack. We expected the usual three but got quite a variety of dinosaurs and we got three or more of each. The colors were fantastic. Bright vivid blues and greens and purples. The size was relatively small, which worked well as my daughter used them as homemade Valentines for her friends. Overall, we were very happy with our purchase." —H. Bowen
Get it from Amazon for $8.98.
7. An eight-pack of pop tube sensory toys for building letters, numbers, or any sorts of shapes creative little minds can come up with while acting as a stress reliever (what with that super-satisfying popping sound each tube makes).
8. A 43-piece Melissa & Doug "Fill & Fold" taco and tortilla set that can be played with on Tuesdays, or any other day of the week for that matter.
9. A Clixo "Grip and Stick" pack combining origami, magnets, building blocks, and now suction cups too (!!!) for a completely new and unique way for kids to create and play.
10. A Hape Quadrilla Super Spirals building blocks set for all the marble madness and Rube Goldberg goodness a kid could possibly enjoy.
11. A floating octopus interactive bath toy so little ones can learn all about cephalopods (take that, rubber ducky, you're not the one) while practicing some ring toss skills.
12. A light-up "Pick Up and Count" vacuum with bouncing balls, so you can teach your toddler to pick up after themself while making it seem like "fun."
13. An eight-pack of Educational Insights Playfoam that's squishy and squashy (great for tactile stimulation) and never dries out (meaning it won't become petrified in the carpet, on the couch, or all over kids' clothing).
14. A "Bug Bungalow" insect-catching kit to keep all those creepy crawlies from crawling creepily all over the house as future entomologists get a chance to truly bug out with their backyard findings.
15. An 18-piece Fisher-Price "S'more Fun" campfire play set that trades all the danger of wood chopping, roaring fires, and grizzly bear attacks for kid-friendly wood accents and soft fabric. Plus no marshmallow and chocolate stains!
Promising review: "My daughter is almost 4 and has recently gotten into building tents and forts out of pillows. We used my phone to 'make a fire' but I wanted to get her something cute she could play with instead of my phone. This fits the bill and is affordable. It’s cool that you can cut the firewood with the felt ax. The marshmallows are double-sided, one side is uncooked and the other is cooked. It’s also nice that the mat for the fire can double as a picnic pad too. The material seems very durable as well. The box that this comes in is cute and doubles for storage as well." —Christie
Get it from Amazon for $25.38.
16. A Plus Plus Big construction building set packed with 15 "shapes" to construct the featured animal or anything minds can imagine and little hands can, well, handle. A big bonus to this gift? All the sets work together!
First things first, there are two different sizes of Plus Plus out there and if you've got the toddler type of kid you're going to want to make sure you go with Plus Plus Big. We have one small 15-piece set of these and they are always in the rotation of toys. Plus, they're so satisfying to put together. They don't click, they just smoothly push together. Maybe it's time to buy some more!
Promising review: "I got these for my 3-year-old for a seven-hour flight and two weeks of road tripping and she absolutely loved them! She played with them all the time and never got bored with them!" —Meetmow
Get it from Amazon for $10.99 (available in multiple styles from animals to figures to a Christmas tree).
17. A lightweight but durable Ten Little recycled backpack made from (you guessed it) 100% recycled materials, with side pockets for water bottles and juice boxes and plenty of room for lunchboxes, toys, and extra clothes. Plus you can hide another present inside!
18. A super-realistic four-piece Schleich Shiba Inu playset that makes the ideal gift for the little dog lover in your life who's not quite ready for that real pup yet. Plus, think of the memes you can make with these tiny toys!
For ages 3+
Promising review: "I am a grown woman who, nonetheless, collects figurines of cute animals. I got the Shiba Inu mother and puppy set. Both figures are adorable and a great addition to my collection. I like the Schleich brand in general because their figurines are fairly realistic and whoever paints them does a competent job. I expect to keep these guys on my display shelf for a long time." —Lauren Votava
Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (a variety of animals including pigs, wolves, alpacas, lions, bears, and more).
19. A set of Learning Resources ABC puzzle cards for learning that alphabet from A to Z. Double bonus: There's only one right answer for each puzzle and the handled box makes for easy cleanup and storage.
20. A Gund "Holiday Tinsel" stuffed yeti, because look how cute and sparkly this fluffy guy is! He needs to come in from the cold and snuggle up in a new home.
21. An Educational Insights "Design & Drill" Bolt Buddies fire truck that teaches the concepts of construction and engineering with a working but still kid-safe drill. Plus the eco-friendly packaging that turns the box into a play set is a bonus gift to Mother Earth.
Note: requires three AAA batteries (not included).
Promising review: "This Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Fire Truck has many layers of fun. My daughter loved to attach the wheels with the drill, put stickers on the truck, drill the bolts and use the fire and water attachments in different ways, configure and seat the firefighters and dog, and use her imagination to 'drive' the truck and be a hero. The 'splash' drill bit is fun and I love that the firefighters' heads and hats are interchangeable and that they have different expressions. It's a nice-sized truck that can endure some heavy play. The box can be turned inside out to build a cool play set, and as a parent, I love that all the pieces can store inside the truck." —N. Min
Get it from Amazon for $31.99.
22. A durable metal Big Dig sandbox digger crane with 360-degree rotation for serious backyard, beach, or playground excavation projects. No permit needed! Just a great prezzie the kiddies will, um, totally dig!
Promising review: "I don't write reviews often but we have had this for two days and my boys (3 and 5) woke up at 6:30 a.m., ate breakfast, and got dressed and hustled outside on a gloomy rainy mid-February morning in Seattle to play with this. They normally fight over whose turn it is, but instead they have been taking turns and playing like civil humans for an hour already. Best toy ever, bought a second one already so they don't have to share because there's only so long siblings can go before someone throws down." —Rk
Get it from Amazon for $39.99.
23. A kids selfie camera with 32-GB SD card, 8 megapixels, 1080p video and nearly 8,000 5-star reviews on Amazon! But the real gift here is not having to surrender your phone to future social media superstars of the world.
Promising review: "As a professional photographer and father, my children are always making arduous attempts to get ahold of my equipment or mimic my camera use...Upon receiving the cameras, I was dazzled with the overall packaging and presentation. The box includes a MicroSD card with a full-size SD adapter, a lanyard, and a camera. I was very impressed that a MicroSD card is included. A lot of products continue to ship without them, charging an additional hefty fee...The cameras are made of plastic but are very rigid and durable. I would have liked to have seen a better display image, but for the price and demographic these cameras are marketed for; it is perfectly acceptable, and the children love them...Another notable feature of this camera is the ability to record video. This is not something you usually find in a child’s toy, especially at this price point. My children are obsessed with this function and find themselves creating stories and snippets from their day-to-day activities and adventures...I would strongly recommend this camera for children looking to explore their creativity and increase their technical skills while becoming familiar with the ergonomics and functions of basic camera operation, composition and lighting...You can tell a lot of thought and engineering went into the design of this camera." —Nolen Ryan
Get it from Amazon for $47.99+ (available in four colors).
24. A built-to-last, no-lead, no-plastic, nontoxic, 14-piece magnetic wooden block set for kids to create all manner of creatures and objects that will serve as a soft introduction to all types of modern art.
25. A flower garden building activity set so budding horticulturists don't rip up flower beds or track dirt inside the house. Instead, kids will build dishwasher-safe bouquets that look as pretty as a flower no matter the season.
Promising review: "My 3-year-old loves toys that are STEM related; things she can build, organize, make new things, and things she can make her 'own.' I was worried about all the small pieces and cleaning up, but the carrying case is a neat addition and helps with keeping everything organized. There are so many pieces and so many ways to make endless different flowers. It really has kept her entertained for quite some time. The only thing that is harder for little ones is cleaning up, because you have to place the flower pieces and leaf pieces strategically in order to fit everything. So, my little one tends to get frustrated because it doesn’t fit everything unless she puts it neatly and in a certain way Really helps with organizing, colors, hand-eye coordination and building!" —Chauntel M
Get it from Amazon for $38.99+ (available in two colors).
26. A Playmobil "1.2.3 Aqua Splish Splash" water park for cranking up some indoor or outdoor aquatic action. The best part of this prezzie is that it includes three figures to float down that lazy river.
I've never been disappointed by Playmobil sets or figures! Their elegant simplicity leaves plenty of room for imagination!
Get it from Amazon for $63.99.
27. A colorful, 33-piece wooden Haba "Kullerbü Kringel" domino play set to make setting them up and knocking them down as easy as possible for little hands. Also works with other sets from the brand so as the kids get bigger, so do the courses they can build!
28. A 10-pack of Play-Doh that there was no way in hell that you'd ever be able to avoid buying. Fortunately, it's all nontoxic, nonirritating, nonallergenic, and the packaging is recyclable. But, yeah, it still smells like Play-Doh.
29. A three-pack of silicone rainbow push popper fidget toys to help relieve stress and anxiety in kids (and adults too) in a simple, colorful, and satisfying way.
30. A Fisher-Price "Sit-to-Stand" giant activity book that transforms from a sit-down storybook to an upright activity center with 120+ songs, sounds, and phrases for all the important early learning.
31. A wooden block jigsaw puzzle because your Gameboy hasn't worked in decades and this could be the most hands-on way to teach the kids how to play Tetris.
32. A Melissa & Doug My First Daily Magnetic Calendar (with 80 magnets) for little ones to learn how to keep track of the days (including holidays), special events, and even their own feelings. Probably better than any app on your phone that does the exact same things!
You acting all cool (kind of) as they open your prezzie...
Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.