1. 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: "My 3-year old granddaughter absolutely loves this toy! It is a great toy to encourage imagination and small motor development." —Kathleen W. Hughston
Get it from Amazon for $7.99.
We've also got you covered with recommendations for under-$15 parenting products with five-star reviews, BTW.
2. A 14-piece, nontoxic Hape wooden tool box and accessory play set to lightly and gently hammer home the basics of building and repairing while fine-tuning those hand-to-eye skills. This prezzie will pay dividends when they're older and you need help with actual projects!
Includes: wooden tool box, hammer, screwdriver, wrench, three sets of screw and screw caps, board connector, two gears and plastic nail. It may also be one of the toys that'll make the kids put down the iPad.
Promising review: "My son got this for his 1st birthday and has loved it so much. Very durable and cute! He is now almost 3 and it's still one of his favorite toy sets. It's also now my go-to gift for kid's friends bdays." —Monica
Get it from Amazon for $20.47.
3. A Lego Duplo car wash set that'll have your kiddo squealing "ka-chow!" with delight upon discovering they can build their very own Lightning McQueen and Mater and then push the toy cars through the "car wash."
This set comes with drivable models of Disney and Pixar’s Lightning McQueen & Mater from the Cars movies, plus a brick-built car wash with a movable washing arm, and a spinning tuning table for kids to carry out repairs using the wrench.
Promising review: "My nephews love their Lightning McQueen and Mater. Hopefully they will have more characters to play with soon." —SeniorGhostlyElectrolyzer
Get it from Lego for $29.99.
4. A three-chord Loog Mini acoustic guitar so little punk kids can learn the entire Ramones catalog. Comes with flashcards of chord diagrams and full access to the Loog Guitar app. Hey! Ho! Let's go!
5. 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!
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 $11.99+ (available in multiple styles from animals to figures to a Christmas tree).
6. A super-realistic four-piece Schleich Shiba Inu playset which 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!
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+ (available in two other animal types).
7. 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 $29.99.
8. A two-sided, A-frame art easel with chalk board, magnetic dry erase board, storage, and paper feeder for aspiring artists who are still experimenting with their preferred mediums. Plus it's a great way to teach kids about writing "thank you" notes!
9. A subscription to Little Spoon "Plates" balanced and preservative-free toddler meals (with plenty of hidden veggies) starting at under $5 a plate delivered directly to their door. What better gift is there than a well-fed child you didn't have to actually cook for?
Plates will launch with over 15 different recipes — from chicken pot stickers with quinoa veggie stir fry and edamame to broccoli bites with sweet potato carrot poppers and green beans. Yum!
Promising review: "We just got our plates and I’m amazed! My toddler is EATING. Something other than PB&J... he thought it was so cool to pick an animal out by the packaging, and he helped microwave it. Raving reviews from my toddler and I!" —Danielle
10. 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!
11. A Polly Pocket unicorn party play set with over "25 surprises to discover" including a stream of confetti (so watch out). It's like the gift that keeps on giving!
Promising review: "This is a perfect birthday gift! While yes cleaning up confetti is annoying, for a kid on their birthday the confetti is so special and fun! My daughter absolutely loved this set! Perfect for a kid into unicorns! Great price for a unique gift that looks like it cost more!" —Drbananakins
Get it from Amazon for $18.99.
12. A wooden climber triangle set that'll blend in effortlessly with your farmhouse decor and entertain your budding climbing enthusiast for hours at a time. It also will make an excellent fort when they're a little older! Plus, it folds up for easy storage. Win-win-win-win!
13. A Hand2mind Numberblocks MathLink Cubes activity set based on the award-winning BBC series that actually makes learning numbers and math fun (and musical) in the best possible way (kids learn, parents enjoy it too).
"1-2-3-4-5-Numberblocks!" is a theme song that I hear multiple times a day and have still somehow not tired of. Why? Because my kid loves it and so do I. Maybe it's the catchy tunes, maybe its the British accents, but this show gives every number a personality (some of my favorites include 8, 13, and 15 but you'll have to watch to find out why). So it's no surprise that the toys based on this show are just as fun and educational. I wish I learned about numbers and math this way instead of through flash cards and times tables. Lucky kids!
Get it from Amazon for $16.99.
14. 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 $47.06+ (available in two styles).
15. 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 $57.77.