Best Gifts for Toddlers that they will love for years

It can be hard to find the best gifts for toddlers. When they turn one they still seem like babies but by the time they are two they are talking more and playing with all sorts of new things. You want to find something that they can play with and enjoy for years, not just a few months. Having the right toys can make mom’s life easier and toddler’s life more fun!

I currently have a one year old and a three year old and I have noticed that the same toys have been big hits with both of them. And of course now they insist on playing with the same thing at the same time. So much loved toys can also promote sharing…and fighting…and then sharing again.

best gifts for toddlers that they will love for years

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The toys that I have loved the most are the ones that last. The things that my one year old AND my three year old can both genuinely enjoy playing with. So many toys are so short lived in our house but these are the toys that are still going strong years later!

This list includes the toys that will ALWAYS entertain my toddler and my 3 year old too! Which is a great help when trying to get something, anything, done around the house. Many of these were much appreciated gifts from our friends and family that we would not have known about otherwise. So if you have a toddler in your life these gifts are sure to be a big hit!

My First Crayola Mess Free Touch Lights

We received this as a gift and both my kids have LOVED it. It has a big button that is easy to press which changes the light color and music. Yes it lights up AND plays music. Instant winner with all kids.

As a mom I have a deep appreciation for the fact that it has an on/off switch on the back. The genius that created this also added the option to just have the lights on and no music. Big winner for all parents with headaches!

Honestly I love to play with this too. The gel feel has a relaxing quality and it fun to make shapes and letters for the kiddos. Kinda like a mess free zen garden with small children climbing all over you!

Fisher-Price Stack and Roll Cups

This was also a gift and an immediate hit with both kids. The cups can be stacked or nested into one another and comes with the smiley shaker ball too.

Two cups closest in size can also be clicked together to form a ball too! My 3 year old loves to do this and put the shaker ball inside (or any other little toy inside). So many options for this toy to grow with your toddler!

VTech Sit to stand Alphabet Train

This seems to be a super popular toy and I can see why. It has so many options that it will last for years. It can be a push toy to learn how to walk or a ride on toy. Again, it lights up and plays music so instantly attracts kids. (Yes there is an on/off switch for the parents!)

It comes with letter blocks that your little one can push through the top of the train and slide into the car behind it. My toddler could do this FOREVER. For bigger kids they can match the letters with the pages on the side and snap them into place. It even has audio prompts to guide your child to find a letter block to match. We have had this for years and both kids still love to play with it all the time.

Fisher-Price Little People Big Helpers Home

We received this toy as a gift when my oldest was about 2.5 years old and she instantly loved it. It has surprised me how early my youngest really started to enjoy it too! Maybe because she sees her older sister playing with it so much. She loves to pass the people (or anything that fits) through the little door. And I also think that both boys AND girls can get a lot out of playing house.

Fisher-Price Little People Travel Together Airplane

Our family travels pretty often so this was a great toy for our kids. They have both been fascinated by airplanes. Making it fly all over the house and seeing how many people or things they can fit into it at once.

I also love that the people can be interchanged with the little people house that we have. Warning to parents, this one does not have an on/off button and it is pretty loud. I suggest “fixing” the speaker with a little bit of duct tape to tone it down a bit, you’re welcome!

Melissa & Doug Water Wow

These are just one of the best inventions ever. Mess-free water painting that my kids just love. They are small enough to bring anywhere and have so many different varieties. Always great gifts for toddlers!

3-in-1 Craft table, Building Brick Table and Sensory Table

One of my toddlers favorite activity right now is getting into and out of her little chairs. Seriously she just goes back and forth forever. She is just so proud that she can sit in a chair her size at a table that is her size too.

This table is amazing and can be used with a flat table top, brick table top or take the top off for storage or make it a sand/water table too! Such a great idea for kids to use as they grow.

Melissa & Doug Personalized Wooden Play Kitchen

Every kid love to play in a kitchen. I love our Melissa & Doug wood kitchen that we have and did you know that you can get it personalized??? I had no idea! Such a cute idea for a gift.

This is something that will last for many years of play so worth getting a sturdy one for sure. Also don’t forget to get some additional play food and kitchen accessories for more fun!

Melissa & Doug Nesting and Stacking Blocks

All kids love to stack things….and knock them down of course! These are great for little ones since they are lightweight and easy to hold. They can also learn their colors, shapes and numbers with these fun blocks.


These last two categories are my all time favorite gifts for toddlers. Books are great for so many reasons. Toddlers do great with board books since they are durable and easy to turn the pages. It is also great to let the little ones handle paper pages too! It will help them with their fine motor control and they will be so happy to turn the pages. Yes they will rip and that, my friend, it what tape is for!

My kids have absolutely loved these books. In this 20 book set they are smaller sized than regular Dr. Seuss so perfect for little hands. There are all the classics and a few that I don’t remember ever reading!

Any interactive books are a big hit for toddlers. Lift the flap or slide-and-see books are great and keep them interested. I also love the small size of these books for little hands.

Buttons and music in a book, doesn’t get much better than that. Anything that has buttons and makes noise is a big toddler hit. This book is very well used in our house and has a few tape repairs to keep it going strong.

Getting early reader books are fun to transition your kid to start reading when they are ready. These books are designed to have short easy words and sentences to get your reader going. They will love that they will eventually be able to read a book that they loved hearing read to them so many times!

Art Supplies

Art is always something kids love to do! And the supplies are things that run out and will need replacing so you can never have too many crayons, markers or paint. This is something that little ones will definitely enjoy as a toddler, preschooler, and school aged kid!

As a mom I have to say that I LOVE the mess-free options for art. So much less work for me after all the fun. But all kids do need to get good and messy sometimes. If you do go for some fun paints as a gift make sure they are washable and kid safe. I would also suggest maybe a smock to go with it! Makes for a happy parent!

This is an amazing mess free mat that just uses water. My kids have fun with using the paint brushes, foam stamps or even their hands to paint and draw.

You can never have too many crayons. This is a fun different set to try with little ones. Easy for a toddler to grab onto and fun to stack as well!

Color wonder is another amazing invention. Markers, paint and ink that only shows up on special paper, not on your table, floors, walls or children! We have the markers, stamps, and finger paints and they are all so fun.

I hope these gifts for toddlers have given you some ideas to help make your shopping easier. Let me know if you have any more great toddler gift ideas!

Need more help keeping your toddler busy? Check out this post about Promoting Independent Play with Toddlers. Do you have a baby and a toddler? Read this article about Surviving Life with a Baby and a Toddler!


  1. Patrice

    October 19, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Wow, these are great ideas! I wish I had known about them when my kids were toddlers, but will have to remember them for my niece and nephew. Melissa & Doug is my favorite brand and you can never go wrong with books!

    1. mommybytheminute

      October 21, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Yes! We love Melissa & Doug over here. It seems like there are new things coming out all the time it’s hard to keep up with it all!

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