I have a spunky little 2-year-old granddaughter. Fortunately, I just got to spend some time with her at Christmas, and I gotta tell you … I was a little nervous about picking out her gifts. I even thought about giving my daughter some money and asking her to pick something out, but then I decided that I really wanted it to be from me personally. I thought it might be a cop-out if I didn’t do it myself.
So, I spent a lot of time searching for the right gift. Would I be able to find something she would like? Would she play with what I found, or would she just play with the box?
I understand clearly what 2-year olds are like. When mine were 2, they were so bored at Christmas, they really just wanted the whole thing over because it was just too much. They got overwhelmed by the sheer number of gifts they got and just wanted to play with the first one or two and ignored the rest.
I decided for my granddaughter, I would get 2 things, so I knew they had to be good. I volunteer in the kid’s ministry at church, so I’ve spent many hours with the kids there and also with the setup of weekly activities. This has given me a good opportunity to see what gets played with the most. I also get to talk with the moms about their kiddos. I’ve come up with some really popular options, some things that can be played with over and over. Most of these we had in our home when our kids were younger.
Gifts for Preschoolers
Toddlers and preschoolers are at an amazing age of discovery. They are figuring out how things work in their world. They are realizing that they have their own identity and that they are capable of doing great things. They want to test things out and try to do everything on their own. Does that sound familiar?
They like to play pretend a lot and use their imaginations with toys. One toy can represent multiple different things, so it’s great to let them have things that can use that imagination. The right toys engage their creativity and can be played with in many ways, allowing them to role-play and copy adults.
If you’re looking for ways to play with your little ones without buying more toys, read here about 19 Simple Toy-Free Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers.
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Great Preschool Toys
You can’t go wrong with this list of toys, and they are all very reasonably priced, too.
1. Lauri Tall Stackers Smart Shapes – There are so many different ways to use these stacking pegs. They also reinforce lots of skills like counting, colors, shapes and hand-eye coordination. Your little ones will love putting them in and out of the little holes in the grids and completing the puzzles.
2. Kids Instrument Set – All kids love to make music. Ours were constantly creating rock-n-roll performances (until we tucked everything inside the drum and up on the top shelf for another day).
4. Melissa & Doug Take-Along Tool Set – This little tool set can be carried around to help Dad with all his home improvement projects.
5. Washable Baby Doll – A baby doll can help your preschooler or toddler with learning to accept their new sibling, or just how to have compassion. They frequently become a favorite lovey. Don’t forget to pick up some accessories for some good pretend play.
6. Geometric Stacker – Learning to stack and sort and recognize colors will provide hours of repeated playtime.
7. Little Tikes First Slide – We had a slide like this for a couple years in our house and it was so much fun! This is really reasonably priced and works perfectly inside. It is a perfect way to get a little exercise indoors on a rainy day. It even folds up to store when needed.
8. Hurricane Bubble Machine – You will be amazed at all the giggles and dancing when you start up this bubble machine. Instantly your kids will turn from grumpy boredom to happy little monsters.
9. Little Tikes Splish Splash Sink – This is what I recently bought for my 2-year-old granddaughter and it turned out to be the best gift ever! It’s much safer than standing on a chair at the kitchen sink, more independent, and she has played with it for hours.
I gotta tell you, I nailed it with her Christmas gift. And, you know what? She didn’t care one bit about the box. She was all over that Splish Splash Sink! Your little one is sure to be happy, too if you choose one of the toys on this list.
I’d love to hear what your favorite toys have been. What toys does your little one play with over and over and over? Share with us below about your preschooler’s favorite toys.
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