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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gift Ideas for 1-2 Year Olds

By Ashley H, VP of Mommyhood x2, CharlotteSmartyPants

I know there are only a few days left for shopping, but today's post and tomorrow's post will give you some great gift ideas for you last minute shoppers!

Let's be honest, you don't need much to make this age group happy. A few plastic bowls & wooden spoons straight from your kitchen cabinets and the little ones go on auto pilot for a while. But, it is Christmas and if you are looking for some last minute ideas or have family still looking to buy I've put some ideas together below that are tried & true loves of the toddler set! As a general rule, it's always a great idea to find what you want and then check Smart E-Place, Craigslist or hit up your mom friends that might be looking to sell outgrown toys...I buy tons used and it's a great cost saving option!

Most toddlers by now are really into books and my twins are no exception. This is a wonderful low-cost gift that just keeps giving! On the hot list in my household right now are touch-n-feel picture books (these have simple objects pictured that the twins are using to learn word association...i.e. rooster, tractor, orange, etc.), they LOVE these. Any small sized board books work great for this age group, not easy to destroy & good size for small hands. We've read so many of our books over & over that I think we'll all be happy to find a new supply of books under our tree this holiday!

Push or Ride Toys
Toddlers love to push and ride things. Pushing is especially entertaining for our tots...they push their ride toys more than ride them.

The Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon is very durable and fun for my two to fill up and push around the driveway. I bought mine used but this retails for about $60.

On my list of "must haves" for this age group is the Step 2 Push Buggy...I can't tell you how many miles I've logged doing laps in my neighborhood in these! They don't sell a double seater for twins, just buy two they are very lightweight and easy to push side-by-side. I seriously think I may run the wheels off these soon, my two LOVE these. I bought mine used and my one complaint is that you cannot hear a dang thing over the sound of the plastic wheels on the pavement...must've been a common complaint because they've come out with the Whisper Ride Buggy (the XL Silent Ride Tires have quieted the travel in this ride). This retails between $45-$60 depending on the model and can be found at most retailers (Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Babies-R-Us, etc.).

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, comes in lots of styles and will be under our tree this year. My two love playing in these at friend's houses that have them already. I am buying used from another mom, these retail between $50-$70 depending on the model.

For a great push/ride inside toy, we've really gotten our mileage out of the Fisher Price Little People School Bus Ride-On. The babes love the handle off the back and use it to push this bus around the house, or one twin uses it to push the other riding twin. They also love hiding things in the lift up seat. I've seen this at the major retailers (Target, Wal-Mart, Babies-R-Us, etc.) and retails for around $20.

An oldie goldie is the classic Corn Popper. Mine love it and something we all remember growing up with so we know it's a proven well loved classic! Great gift for $12!

Supermarket Shopping Cart is on our list this year. We grew up with one as kids and I think literally ran the wheels off of it. I've heard a lot of toddlers favor this (and they seem highly sought after on Craigslist). Retails around $28.
Hide-n-Seek Tents
I bought a used pop-up tent for Christmas a few months ago. The twins love hiding in things (big boxes, under blankets, etc.) and then popping out to "scare" us. This tent has been sitting in our bonus room and the twins discovered it a few weeks ago and have LOVED running in and out of it and letting us find them in there. So I'm adding this to my list this year as a fun gift to consider. They really range depending on style, average price around $20.

Foam Floor Chair
Wonderful gift for little ones that love to climb on and off for fun, to read, watch cartoons, etc. We prefer the monogrammed Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair (retails between $110-$130), but other less expensive versions are available such as the Jr Club Chair at Toys R Us ($70).

Enjoy finding those gifts that intrigue and entertain your little one while they continue to develop. Share your favorites for this age group in the comments below!


Amy said...

This is also a great age for wooden puzzles. My son is now seven, but age 2 is when he really got into basic puzzles. Use your Michael's or AC Moore coupon to get 40% off the Melissa & Doug puzzles!

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