25 Best Toddler Gifts & Toys They’ll Actually Love and Use! (2020)

While there are a ton of amazing toddler toys, the trick is choosing a gift they’ll actually play with – and play with more than once. Ever gifted a toddler something that you thought was adorable, then the little one only played with the box? We’ve all been there.

As a mom of three, you better believe I’ve been through that exact scenario. Or, my kids loved a toy for exactly 24 hours, and then it was forgotten about and added to the pile of things to keep organized!

Here I’m sharing 25 toddler gifts and ideas to help avoid those situations. Many of these products are things my kids (ages 1, 3 and 4) actually play with, and a few others are things I’m planning on getting them. Hope this helps the never-ending “what should I get them?” dilemma!

25 Toddler Gifts They’ll Actually Love and Use

There are two ways to use this guide. One is to simply shop using the links below. Like an idea you see? Click the link to learn more and purchase.

Want a few more details? Keep scrolling. Either way I hope this gift guide helps make gift buying a breeze for you and that the little ones on your list love what they receive.

Paisley + Sparrow is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This post may include affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you shop using the links below at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting me and this blog!

1. Rattan Shopper, Rose and Rex // 2. Primary Lacing Beads, Melissa & Doug // 3. My Pal Scout/Violet, LeapFrog // 4. Magna-Tiles // 5. First Builders Big Building Bag, Mega // 6. Wobbel Balance Board, Rose & Rex // 7. My First Learning Tablet, Leapfrog // 8. Water Bottle, Simple Modern // 9. Play-Doh, Play-Doh // 10. Play Makeup, Anthropologie // 11. cuddle+kind // 12. Block Kit, Lovevery // 13. Pattern Blocks and Boards, Melissa Doug // 14. Puffy Stickers // 15. Color Wonder // 16. Car Carrier Vehicle // 17. Wooden Binoculars Toy, Anthropologie // 18. Tulle Tutu Skirt // 19. Number Train Set, Lego // 20. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site // 21. Shakers // 22. No Spill Bubbles, Fubbles // 23. Poppie Crib, Rose and Rex // 24. Toolbox, Vtech // 25. Toy Keys, B. Toys

1. Rattan Shopper

This is truly the cutest shopping cart I’ve ever seen! Encourage pretend play with this rattan shopper which is handcrafted out rattan, an environmentally responsible, fast growing and easily renewable material. 

Rattan Shopper

  • Made of rattan, a sustainable material
  • Each shopper is handmade
  • Ages 2+ 
  • Light enough to take with you on a trip to the supermarket

2. Melissa & Doug Primary Lacing Beads

Lacing beads are so great for lots of different uses, and this Melissa & Doug Primary Lacing Beads set is my favorite. Older kids are able to practice their fine motor skills in a fun way by stringing the beads to create patterns.

If younger kids aren’t able to string beads yet, you can have them practice grouping like colors or playing with the beads in different ways.

Primary Lacing Beads

Melissa & Doug Primary Lacing Beads

  • 30 brightly colored wooden beads in a variety of shapes, two colorful laces and a wooden storage case
  • Helps children develop strong fine motor, cognitive, and visual perception skills, while promoting hand-eye coordination

3. My Pal Scout/Violet

This is a toy that has been around for years! My sister gave us one of these My Pal Scout/Violet when my oldest was a baby. It was one that all three of her kids used when they were younger. Then our kids’ grandpa sent our daughter one for her birthday last year.

They all love singing and dancing along with their puppy pal!

My Pal Scout/Violet

  • Teach Scout your child’s name and favorite things for personalized learning across more than 15 activities
  • 40+ learning songs, melodies and lullabies
  • Introduces first words, feelings and emotions, colors and counting

4. Magna-Tiles

Both my older kids love these Magna-Tiles! Older kids are able to make towers and castles, while younger ones will love to connect different pieces together.

Magna-Tiles are also a great toy option for traveling! Throw them in your carry-on for flights or put them in your car for car rides. (Traveling soon? Here are my 25 tips for traveling with a toddler!)


  • Each piece of tile is designed to look like stained glass
  • Build 2D or 3D structures
  • Great for all ages

5. First Builders Big Building Bag

You can never go wrong with a giant bag of blocks! We have these First Builders Big Building Bag, and both our kids love them. (And I love that they come with built-in storage.)

This is a great gift for girls and boys of all ages.

First Builders Big Building Bag

  • 80 classic-colored building blocks, including special shapes
  • Hands-on play for early childhood development
  • Storage bag for easy clean up

6. Wobbel Balance Board

This Wobbel board is on my kids’ wish lists! A Wobbel can truly be used as so many things: a balance board, a house, a bridge and more.

Wobbel Balance Board

  • A sturdy, beautifully crafted beechwood rocking balance board
  • Can be used as a seat, a bridge, a house, a step, a slide, a yoga aid, a fort, or a dinosaur!
  • Encourages active imaginative play
  • Builds strength and balance as well as creativity

7. LeapFrog My First Learning Tablet

Learn your letters and have fun? Oh yes, it’s possible – especially with this LeapFrog My First Learning Tablet. I bring them along for longer car rides and they are magic!

LeapFrog My First Learning Tablet

  • 25 pretend-play apps
  • Light-up touch screen
  • Three play modes
  • 20+ songs and melodies

8. Water Bottle

Practical and fun – that’s the goal of kids’ gifts, right? Get your kids to drink more water and stop having to share your water bottle with this Simple Modern Water Bottle!

My kids love their water bottles and are constantly asking for them. They’re also perfect for on-the-go since they don’t leak or spill.

Water Bottle

  • Made from BPA-free and toxin-free plastic
  • Includes a straw lid that has a spout that folds down
  • Lightweight, durable and holds 16oz of fluid
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Simple Modern donates over 10% of profits

9. Play-Doh

While we all love Play-Doh, we all hate when the colors get mixed together to blend into one glob of brown.

Every kid needs a fresh set of Play-Doh once in a while, which makes this a perfect toddler gift. Toss the old stuff and crack open a new set!


  • 10 pack of Play-Doh
  • Easy open, recyclable package
  • Ships in simple recyclable packaging that’s easy to open and frustration free

10. Play Makeup

Have a little one who loves to copy Mom? Maybe it’s carrying a purse, talking on the phone or putting on lipstick. This pretend makeup set is perfect for that!

Play Makeup

  • Made out of rubber wood
  • Comes with bag and set of makeup
  • Pretend lipstick, brush, eyeshadow, perfume, mirror and more!

11. cuddle+kind

Do good with your toddler gift! These adorable cuddle+kind dolls give 10 meals to kids in need with each purchase. We have a few of these dolls and our kids adore them!

Cuddle and Kind

Cuddle and Kind

  • Empowers talented women artisans with equitable, fair trade employment
  • For every ethically produced, hand-knit doll purchased, 10 meals are provided to children in need
  • Lovingly handcrafted in Peru using premium 100% cotton yarn

You can find even more gifts that give back here!

12. Lovevery Block Kit

There are regular block sets, and then there is the ultimate block set. This Lovevery block kit was sent to us this summer and it is one toy that keeps getting pulled out week after week. All three of my kids love it for different reasons, and there’s enough blocks to go around!

Lovevery Block Kit

  • 70 heirloom quality pieces that work with each other in more than 20 stage-based activities
  • Years of learning through play, crafted by child development experts
  • Comes with storage box and bag

13. Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards

I have a rule: when something is in my kids’ preschool classrooms, I know it’s legit. I saw my oldest son play with these pattern blocks and boards last year at preschool so I picked up a set for him at home. Success!

Pattern Blocks and Boards

  • A set of 120 wooden blocks in various shapes and colors
  • Encourages kids to enjoy a classic math manipulative and learning activity
  • Great for spatial awareness, color recognition, hand eye coordination and problem solving
  • Double sided boards to provide kids with even more creative play options

Find more toddler puzzles here!

14. Puffy Stickers

There’s something about stickers that kids just love. When my oldest was 2, he once spent an entire three-hour flight filling a notebook with stickers. (It was the best flight of my mom life!)

These Puffy Stickers are great for toddlers of all ages because they’re super easy to get off the sheet and onto paper. Pair these with a simple notebook and you’ll be shocked at how much quiet time it’ll buy you.

Puffy Stickers

Puffy Stickers

  • Each pack has 20 sheets, total more than 500 pieces stickers
  • Easy to peel from sheet and free to remove from smooth surfaces

15. Color Wonder

Our older two kids are pretty obsessed with Color Wonder! And I love them because they won’t ruin my floors, furniture or walls with them.

They are constantly pulling them out to color, so we pick up a new book of Color Wonder paper for most holidays and birthdays.

Color wonder makes perfect toddler gifts

Color Wonder

  • Features 18 Paw Patrol coloring pages and five Color Wonder markers
  • Colors appear only on special Color Wonder paper, not on skin, clothing, or carpets
  • Safe and nontoxic

16. Car Carrier Vehicle

What toddler doesn’t loves cars and trucks? This Car Carrier Vehicle is a perfect toddler gift, especially if you have multiple toddlers in your home or host play dates. Since it comes with multiple cars, everyone can play with it together!

Car Carrier Vehicle

Car Carrier Vehicle

  • Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic
  • Great for indoor or outdoor play with no metal axles or external coatings
  • Encourages motor skill development and open, imaginative play

17. Wooden Binoculars Toy

Have a little one who loves to look for birds? Always pretending to be searching for something? These wooden binoculars would be a fun addition to any pretend play!

Wooden Binoculars Toy

  • Maple wood, leather
  • Wipe clean with dry cloth
  • Made in USA
  • 5″L, 4″W

18. Tulle Tutu Skirt

I’m pretty picky about my tutus for Penelope. I don’t like them to sag too low, not be full enough or fall off of her. This one is perfect! It has 10 layers of tulle, is super full and, best yet, adorable!

The best toddler tutu on Amazon!

Tulle Tutu Skirt

  • 10 layers of tulle
  • Fits babies through 3T
  • Comes in a variety of colors

19. Lego Number Train Set

I don’t think you can go wrong with any Lego set for toddlers, but we have this exact Lego Number Train Set and we love it!

It’s great for younger kids to just play with and learn how to connect different pieces together, but also for older toddlers to begin to line up the cars in the correct order. Fun and educational – the dream, right?

Lego Number Train Set

Lego Number Train Set

  • Includes two child LEGO® DUPLO® figures, plus a cat figure
  • Features a buildable locomotive and three wagons
  • Includes bricks decorated with numbers 0 to 9

20. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

As a parent it’s equally important to find books that you love as much as your kids do, especially if it becomes their favorite and they want you to read it over. And over and over and over…

This Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site book is one book that’s family friendly and parent approved – a fun read for everyone!

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

  • #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book
  • Vibrant illustrations and gentle rhyming text

21. Shakers

Shakers are a super fun way for kids to play along with music! These wooden shakers are easy for kids of all ages to hold and have a gentler sound than the plastic ones.


  • Measure 1. 5″ wide and 2. 25″ tall
  • Durable hardwood
  • Set of two

22. No Spill Bubbles

My sister introduced me to this No Spill Bubbles and it’s amazing! It’s a great way for kids to start to learn how to blow bubbles on their own without you having to worry about them dumping over the carton constantly.

No Spill Bubbles

No Spill Bubbles

  • Patented No-Spill design allows for all the bubble fun without any of the mess
  • Made in the USA
  • Includes three wands for multiple children to play at once and an easy to grasp handle perfectly sized for little kids’ hands
  • Non-toxic and safety tested

23. Poppie Crib

Does your little one love playing with dolls or stuffed animals? Constantly finding them tucked into beds or blankets? This adorable Poppie Crib will be well loved as they pretend to take care of their “baby.” This type of play also helps little ones develop empathy as they learn to tend to others’ needs.

Poppie Crib

  • Handcrafted out of rattan, an environmentally responsible, fast growing and easily renewable material
  • An heirloom piece
  • Encourages kids to explore concepts they’re naturally curious about during playtime, like family, community and roles

24. Vtech Toolbox

There are few things more exciting than when Dad pulls out his toolbox to do a project! With this fun kid’s Vtech Toolbox, our kids can do their own “projects” while helping us with ours.

Vtech Toolbox

  • Includes an electronic fix-it tray, drill, hammer, wrench, nails and screws
  • Working toy drill
  • Light-up buttons introduce tools and their functions
  • Double-sided project cards encourage role-play
  • Nine electronic tray holes trigger sounds and phrases

25. Toy Keys

I may never understand why kids think keys are so fun to play with, but they definitely do. Chances are they won’t think keys are so fun when they’re adults and constantly losing theirs…

Until then, these Toy Keys are a hit!

Toy Keys

Toy Keys

  • Four fun car sounds
  • Working flashlight
  • BPA and phthalates free
  • Recyclable packaging

You can find even more toys and gifts for toddlers over on this post or 15 toys for 3 year old boys here. Both are full of fun ideas for outside (if you live in a place that isn’t the tundra, like I do!) and so much more.

I hope this toddler gift guide helps you the next time you’re shopping for a little one in your life!

As always, thanks for reading!


About Jen

Jen is a mom of 3 who loves frozen cookie dough, plants and a generous pour of creamer in her coffee. Her biggest joy is helping others find joy in their life, style and home through tips, tutorials and encouragement. She also runs 2 additional blogs. Feel free to send Jen a message or join the fun on Instagram!

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