The other day, my brother-in-law sent us a message that he had just purchased a 150-piece block set for Grace and Ben for Christmas. ONE HUNDRED FIFTY PIECES. Any toddler parent knows that would instantly become the bane of their existence. Who wants to clean up a 150-piece block set every night until kindergarten? Not us! (And we already have a pretty robust set of blocks, too).
Thankfully, my husband called him right away and he was able to cancel. But it got me thinking -- what are some inexpensive, fun, and practical toddler gifts that parents won't hate? Without further adieu, I bring you: 10 Amazon-Primeable Toddler Gifts under $35.
1. Picasso Tiles
You may have heard of Magna-Tiles before -- Picasso Tiles essentially the same product with a different name. These are fun, colorful plastic shapes with magnets inside so young children (we're talking as young as ~18 months) can create houses, buildings, towns, rocket ships, or whatever they can imagine with ease! This 33-piece set is a perfect starter kit and at $25, it won't break the bank! (And if 33 pieces isn't enough, this 100-piece set will run you about $55...and I promise these are easier to clean up than loose blocks!)
2. Water Wow Books
I've posted about Melissa & Doug Water Wow books before. For a few months, they were my go-to when I needed to buy time to feed Ben, make dinner, etc., and now we still use them regularly. Kids can "paint" with a special brush that only contains water, so it's not messy for anyone. They are great for in the car or stroller. A set of 3 Water Wow books runs between $12-$15. This one comes with three coloring books; for an older toddler, you could try this set, which offers more educational activities!
3. Never Touch A Dinosaur (or Monster or Dragon)
We were gifted Never Touch a Dinosaur last year when Grace was 15 months old and it's still a fan favorite! This colorful, fun series of board books contain cute, rhyming text and lots of things for toddlers to touch and feel! We often give one of these books with a small stuffed to accompany it! Never Touch a Dragon or Never Touch a Monster are other great titles in this series.
4. Created by Me! kits by Melissa & Doug
We were gifted one of these kits for Grace's 2nd birthday. These are fantastic rainy-day activities for toddlers, and come with an item to create, paints, a paintbrush, and other "accessories" like glitter pens and stickers. At between $5-10 a kit, they're very affordable all-in-one kits. (If you're feeling extra generous, you can even buy a smock to make clean-up easy!) We've used the Flower Wooden Magnet Craft Kit, but you can find anything from princess wands to model airplanes!
5. Doctor kit
We bought this $10 doctor kit for Grace because a) she LOVES pretending to take her babies to the doctor and b) it doesn't have 47 pieces! There are definitely some "deluxe" kits out there, but save them for older children! She'll be perfectly happy with this 11-piece set, which will help enhance her imaginary play, too!
6. Robeez Moccasins
Someone recommended Robeez when then-baby Grace started pulling up, and we've been hooked ever since. These moccasins have the style and quality of the Freshly Picked moccasins...but they don't break the bank! At $18-25 a pair, and size by age (ie 6-12 months), they're perfect for an older baby or young toddler -- or even as a special occasion shoe for an older toddler, too. I love these gold mocs for a little girl, and found a super cute pair of casual sneakers for Ben!
7. A set of bells
Okay, so this is one that some parents may not appreciate ;) Grace got these for her first birthday and loves singing and dancing with them. They are great for kids who love music and hold up really, really well to a toddler's "heavy" hand!
8. Little People Doll House
This is the most expensive item on this list at $35, but it's a perfect starter doll house for a toddler. It comes with two Little People, a bed, a Little People dog and dog bed, and a set of chairs. Everything else is built into the doll house (aka easy to clean up)! It's got a relatively small footprint, so it won't eat up a ton of space in a playroom, and features buttons to turn lights on/off, flush the toy toilet, etc. Another big benefit for us is that all the other Little People we have can play in the doll house! I can't wait for Grace to open this on Christmas morning (thanks, Aunt Elaina!)
9. Brilliant Basics Stack and Roll Cups
We just received these a few weeks ago, and both kids love them. Grace can stack the domes into towers, and she's also able to put them together to make balls. It's just one of those simple, timeless items that helps toddlers with motor skills and problem-solving, too! They're normally $12, but currently on sale for $5.99!
10. Bath Foam!
"Make Bathtime Great Again" is an ongoing campaign in our household. Some days, it's easy to get Grace in the tub. Most days, it takes some convincing! This bath foam is one item that helps lure her into the tub. We spray some on the tub wall, and she can fingerpaint, use it to "wash her animals," and if we're lucky she'll even wash herself! It cleans off with water, and doesn't stain tile and grout!
I hope you enjoyed this "mini" toddler gift guide! Direct links to all these product are also available here!
Please note that while this post contains affiliate links, they are all products we either own or have recently purchased for Christmas, and we love them all!