2019 Best Christmas Gifts For Toddlers – Screen Free Open Ended Play Starts With These!

Once again, Christmas is just around the corner. It’s crazy how fast it seems to sneak up, every single year!

Now is the time to start the hunt for the perfect Christmas gift for a toddler.

Being the low/no tech advocate that I am when it comes to toys for young children, you won’t find any gadgets, apps or even toys that require batteries on this list!

These toys may not be flashy, but they are packed with plenty of learning opportunities for little learners.

2019’s Best Christmas Gifts For Toddlers

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Personalized Name Puzzle

This personalized puzzle makes such a practical and fun gift.

Puzzles are a great toy for hands on learning during the toddler and preschool years!

This puzzle is perfect for toddlers to learn the letters in their name while playing!

If you have a train enthusiast, be sure to check out this personalized name train!

Personalized name puzzle

get best price buttonMy Town Block Set

How adorable is this block set?

Blocks are a wonderful educational toy!

This set is quite different from most as it is also a puzzle which then transforms into a play mat.

The blocks can then be set up on the assembled puzzle for even more creative play opportunities!

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Magnetic Creation Station

The magnetic creation station is perfect for little learners on the go!  It packs up easily so it will come in handy while traveling!

This set comes with an instruction booklet that teaches children how to make tangram creations such as a rocket ship, funny faces, trains, etc.

This toy will help your little one practice fine motor skills, visual-spatial skills, imagination, shapes and colors!

Magnetic creation station fat brain toys

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My Fixer Upper Tool Bus

This is a great multipurpose toy!

It’s a walker, bus and tool-bench all in one.

The My Fixer Upper Tool Bus is ideal for imaginative open ended play.

Your toddler will be able to practice fine and gross motor skills, spatial reasoning and pretend play!

My fixer upper tool bus fat brain toys

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Pull Along Happy Dolphin

I love traditional toys like this!

They are so simple but can lead to long periods of play for a toddler.

The Pull Along Happy Dolphin will mesmerize young minds as they fit the sea creatures (dolphin, turtle, fish) into their correct openings and then watch them all spin around inside the big wheel.

This toy is great for encouraging fine and gross motor development, matching, color recognition, cause and effect learning and imaginative play!

pull along happy dolphin fat brain toys

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Timber Tots Tree House

This is another wonderful portable toy great for taking along while out and about.

The top of the tree pops up to reveal a full house!

There is even an elevator built into the tree trunk.

This tree house comes with 2 characters (Chipmunk and Bear), a car, swing, 2 beds, a table, 4 chairs, a bench, an armchair and stickers.

Watch as your child practices fine motor skills, creative play, story telling and vocabulary building.

Timer tots tree house fat brain toys

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ALEX Toys Little Hands String A Farm

Farm animals often make up a large portion of child’s first words.

While the manufacturer’s recommended age for this toy is 3, I have comfortably used it with children 18 months and older.

The reason the age is 3+ is because there are a few smallish parts that a child could technically choke on if left unsupervised.  So it is up to you to decide if your child can use it under the age of 3.

The String a Farm set is ideal for practicing the names of animals along with the sounds they make, fine motor skills, sequencing and counting.

ALEX toys string a farm activity set

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Melissa & Doug Service Station Parking Garage

This Service Station and Parking Garage play set encourages open ended pretend play.

And while playing toddlers can practice fine motor skills, problem solving, language and hand eye coordination.

This set includes a working wooden elevator, 2 wooden cars, a parking booth gate that moves up and down and a car wash that has a platform for cars to slide through on.

Melissa & Doug Service Station Parking Garage

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Learning Resources New Sprouts Deluxe Market Set Play Food

Pretend play food is so simple but packed with numerous hands on learning opportunities.

From categorization to pretend play, there is so much a child can learn with play food!

This set contains common food items so it is a must have for learning new vocabulary.

It comes with 30 food items which are made of crush resistant plastic, one shopping basket and one bushel basket.

A play kitchen is not needed, but having one will definitely extend the play time and learning!

Learning Resources New Sprouts Deluxe Market Set Play Foodget best price button

 

Melissa & Doug Take-Along Railroad

Another great toy from Melissa & Doug.

The Take-Along Railroad, as the name suggests, is another wonderful toy for traveling!

But it is also great for pretend play and imagination.  And it’s simplicity can help to promote independent play just about anywhere!

This 17 piece set includes 3 trains, a park ranger vehicle, gondala, train station, bridge, mountain tunnel, a cabin, trees and a railroad sign.

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Melissa & Doug Freestanding Wooden Fresh Mart Grocery Store

This is the one splurge gift on this list as the rest are all under $50.

If you have the space, then this Wooden Fresh Mart Grocery Store from Melissa & Doug is sure to delight your toddler!

And it’s a toy they can grow into.

The possibilities are endless with they one.

One day it can be a grocery store and the next maybe it’s a restaurant, bakery or perhaps a jewelry store!

This set is great for dramatic play, creativity, language building, problem solving, social skills and so much more.

Unfortunately it does not come with any food items to put on the shelf.  But it does come with 2 credit cards!

Melissa & Doug Freestanding Wooden Fresh Mart Grocery Storeget best price button

 

Fisher-Price Classics Retro Cash Register

This was one of my all time favorite toys growing up.  Luckily my parents saved mine and my kids got to enjoy it as well when they were younger!

A cash register is a must have toy as it can inspire a lot of creative and imaginative play.

This one is great for labeling colors as well as the objects that show up in the display windows.

And toddlers can also work on their color matching and counting skills all through play!

If you are looking for a more elaborate toy cash register be sure to check out some of these!

Fisher Price Retro Cash Registerget best price button

The Best Christmas Presents For Toddlers Are Simple & Fun

I hope that I have been able to help you find the perfect Christmas gift for the special toddler in your life!

As you can see simplicity is the key to learning in the early years.

While some of these toys do use batteries, they are not required for optimal functioning.

Some also have letters and numbers, but again, this isn’t the main point of the toy and this is why each of these toys were carefully chosen.

They offer so many learning opportunities in very natural ways.

16 Comments

  1. Margaret Welwood

    I find the name puzzle too pricey, but I’m seriously considering the train that spells Ellie’s name. A nice thing about this list (besides all the beautiful toys) is that it can also give crafty parents and grandparents ideas of what they could make.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Unfortunately personalized toys tend to be a bit higher priced than the generic ones. I’m glad you liked the list Margaret!

      Reply
  2. Ann

    Hi!  Aww, I love the Town Block Set. It’s creative and I already picture building towns with my children. But I also loved the Timber Tots Tree House. Cool characters, Chipmunk and Bear.

    I just can’t make up my mind for one of them, so I’ll most likely get both! I know the kids will enjoy them. And I’ll enjoy them too. Thank you very much!

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Ann,

      I’m glad that I was able to make your Christmas shopping a bit easier this year.  I’m sure your kids will love the My Town block set and the Timber Tots Tree House.  Both are great for open ended creative play!

      Reply
  3. Robert

    I love all of these Christmas Gifts for toddlers that are not some kind of kid-friendly gadget. I am a very technology oriented person, having designed and developed more than a hundred video games. But when it comes to the developing mind of a toddler I prefer the types of toys you have on this list that are physically interactive..

    My nephew just became a father for the first time and I am looking to get something practical yet educational for his newborn son this Christmas. I remember as a kid I used to love the colorful magnetic letters and numbers, as well as that Fisher Price cash register. I feel that toddlers need toys that are visually and physically stimulating.

    Other than the Fisher Price cash register I really like the My Fixer Upper Tool Bus because it offers so much interaction and it will hold all of its contents. Plus it can be useful for a toddler learning to walk. I also like the Magnetic Creation Station and it’s great that it is a portable toy that can travel well. So many really great choices here. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      You’re welcome Robert!  Thanks for your comment.  You should check out this article Best Learning Toys For Babies To Encourage Language Development as I cover toys specifically for babies.  You may find something a bit more age appropriate for your nephew’s new baby!

      Reply
  4. Lisa

    I really enjoyed your list of Christmas presents for toddlers. How unique is the personalized name puzzle. Not just a puzzle but learning to see,spell and “write” their name in order. What a perfect gift. Blocks and puzzles have always been on my go to list and this is one site I appreciate. 

    Melissa

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Lisa!  Yes the personalized name puzzle is a wonderful idea for a gift for a toddler.

      Reply
  5. Henry

    HI Tanya! I have always loved this, finding a really nice Christmas gift for toddlers in our family. It’s so emotional. I just can’t seem to resist buying just one gift. I really like the concept behind a personalized puzzle. They like to explore textures and figures, but at the same time they’ll be learning letters.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      I agree!  The personalized puzzle is a really unique gift idea and a great way for children to learn the letters in their name!

      Reply
  6. Benson

    My wife has left the Christmas gift buying for our boys to me this year and I am really at a loss as to what to get them.  Your article has really helped me!  You have given me a few good ideas and I think there are many things on this list that they would like.  I think getting the My Town Block Set would be one they can both enjoy and have fun doing. Thanks for the suggestions.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      You’re welcome Benson!  Glad I could help.  I’m sure your boys would love the block set!

      Reply
  7. Tom

    Hi,

    I am looking for gifts for my 2 year old niece and I think these are great ideas. I think that we all have too much screen time these days but I’m glad I didn’t have an iPad when I was her age. I especially like the String a Farm, she loves animals and Think this would be a perfect Christmas present for her.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      I agree Tom!  We as a society are becoming so reliant on screens, children included.  But we are also learning that children do not learn as well from screens as they do by interacting with others and playing with open ended toys.  That is why I carefully selected these Christmas gifts for toddlers to make sure that they provide children with many natural learning opportunities through play!

      Reply
  8. Rodarrick

    The My Town Block Set would be so awesome to get for my kids!  They are both developing at a rapid rate and I must help them develop their organization and planning skills more with this. Thank you so much for sharing this post here and it would surely be a good purchase and a nice gift to surprise them with for Christmas.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      That block set is so versatile yet so simple.  I love toys like the My Town Block set because the play ideas with these are endless!  I’m sure your children will love it.

      Reply

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