Sometimes its hard to beat the wrapping and boxes that gifts come in for toddler entertainment but our handy gift guide highlights a few ideas that might mean the wrapping is instantly thrown to the side!
Every parent will know their child's development best but it's likely that your toddler is picky and inquisitive in equal measures. That means that it's not always easy to second guess what will grab their interest. However, we have rounded up a number of suggestions that should satisfy even the most selective of young minds!
Toddlers are at the age where they are naturally becoming increasingly interested in the world around them – they love to fiddle and reach those things you thought you had safely tucked out of reach. What better way to get them involved around the house than by getting them their first toolbox. Providing them with their own set of toy tools, nuts and bolts will go some way to keeping them busy – who knows, they might even be able to fix that leaky pipe you've been ignoring!
Along with this, gifts that encourage construction and building lead to endless variations on what can be made with the toy. Whether that is nice big Duplo bricks, wooden blocks or even a marble run. It even gives the older family members something to get involved with – just to help out the children of course! ;-)
A toddlers inquisitive mind and growing awareness of the world goes hand-in-hand with imaginative play. A dressing up outfit of their favourite character or role-play job will help them create magical worlds, as would a Wendy house or a play kitchen, complete with pretend food and pots and pans, or even a doctors set.
A toddler's coordination and improved reasoning means they have growing patience to tackle longer tasks. A simple jigsaw puzzle will further build on those skills and give them a great sense of accomplishment when they have completed it. You can get jigsaws for all size and number of pieces to cater for all different levels. Start simple with something like 6-10 piece puzzles and build up from there.
Children often love creating pictures and colouring but one thing they are bound to enjoy is the magic water colouring sets that turn blank pages into something colourful and fun when they simply apply a wet brush. The advantage of these sets are that they are often reusable once they have dried and there is virtually no mess – needing just water to create the pictures!
I'm not sure I should be recommending this (for the sanity of parents everywhere) but musical instruments can provide lots of fun for children, again linking with their imaginative side. Some simple shakers, a tambourine, or a drum for example - who knows, you might have the next Mozart sitting right there on your carpet!
Lastly for this gift guide, we would also recommend books. They can start to explore the enjoyment of reading by themselves but it's also a great excuse for a cuddle. At this age, you can start with simple board books which make it easier to turn the page without damaging the book. You might have some favourites from your childhood that you want to share with your own children.
To go along with this article we have our first guide in our new feature of dynamic gift guides. The toddler gift guide, and all the future guides we have coming, allow you to get quick inspiration for ideas and you can easily add any of the showcased items directly to your own wish lists.