I’m eagerly anticipating this coming Christmas! My oldest, Ginny, finally understands Christmas, Santa, Jesus’s birthday, and presents. Of course, like most kids, she’s most excited about Santa and the presents she might receive.
When a toy commercial comes on TV, she will declare, “I want that! I need to ask Santa!” Recently, she and I made a trip to Toys R Us. She loved nearly everything she saw saying, “I want that and that and that,” as we walked through the aisles. After getting a couple of toy catalogs in the mail, Ginny pointed to every toy she wanted (about 80% of the catalogs).
At three and a half, she just knows that she loves toys. My job as a parent is to find a toy that she will enjoy as well as one that will help in her development. At least that is how I look at it. I know when they are young it can be a challenge finding toys that do both.
After much searching, I created this gift guide for little ones (those 4 and under) with those goals in mind. (Please keep in mind that the prices listed are original retail. I’m sure you can find better sales prices until Christmas.)
1. See & Spell ($19.95) The former teacher in me loves this toy! A great way for your little one to associate letters with words. As they get older, they will read the words, too. 4+
2. Fisher Price Classic Toy-Record Player ($40) I had this toy growing up and loved it! I used it for years (way past 4 years old). The best part is that your little one learns how to put the records on, wind it, and get the music. 18 mo — 4 years
3. My First Counting Worm Puzzle ($28) This puzzle teaches number order and association. Oh, and it looks like a lot of fun, too! 18 mo +
4. LED Twinkling Wings ($16.98) What little one doesn’t love playing dress up? These wings help their imaginations take flight (sorry for the pun, couldn’t help myself. I blame my husband). You can choose from pink or purple fairy wings or green dragonfly wings. 3+
5. Super Nerdy ABC Blocks ($50) I can’t help myself! I’m a bit of a geek. Anyhow, I admit these are pricey, but, oh so, clever! These blocks have the ABCs as well as science terms and illustrations. How cool is that? 2+
6. Tobbles Neo Tactile Stacking and Balancing Toy ($26.98) I can’t begin to express how much I love this! A fun toy for the baby in your life. I might buy this for the Sweet Pea we are expecting in June for Christmas next year. 6 mo +
7. Disney Muppet Puppets ($19.99) My oldest loves imaginative play and playing with puppets at preschool. I know she would love these puppets! How can you resist Kermit or Miss Piggy? If you really want to indulge, FAO Schwarz has Muppet Whatnots where you can create your own Muppet for $99.99! 3+
8. I Spy Preschool Game ($15) This game involves matching words with scenes in a picture. It is a great beginning reading game which has a couple of levels and five different ways to play. 3+
9. Squigz Kids’ Construction Set ($24.98 — $49.98) Your little one will be able to build whatever they want using suction cup connectors! Clever and colorful fun! I know my oldest would love this toy. 3+
10. Farm Friends Book Set ($27.50) This book set includes three board books about a little pig, a little cow, and a little sheep. Each story is in the shape of the animal the story is about. 2+