I received product samples to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.
Looking for the best gift ideas for your toddler, preschool, or elementary-age kids? If you have small children that you need to shop for, we have a variety of family-favorite ideas to share in this holiday gift guide compiled from personal experience and recommendations from friends and family. Everything from simple sensory toys to the classic board games and learning activities your children will love playing.
With three little boys of my own, I know the awe and fun the right toy can bring. While all toys may excite kids initially, only some become favorites. That is why it’s important to consider your child’s personality, age and likes when it comes to selecting that toy.
Whether you have a baby, toddler or preschooler you will find a mix of ideas to satisfy your child this Christmas holiday!
Below I’ve highlighted some of my favorite toy brands for little children – everything from holiday hot toys to classic toys that grow with your child.
Remote Control Bumper Cars
Have active little ones who love cars and racing? The Little Tikes RC Bumper Cars comes with two sets of cars, figurines and remote controls to provide just the excitement kids need. The kids can bump, crash and launch their opponent in this fun action-packed set to develop your child’s mind and imagination. When sibling rivalry starts to rise, just let them hash it out with some friendly competition with this set. There are so many ways to get creative too — build an obstacle course or race track with blocks, balls, and other toys and each player must get through.
My boys who are 3 and 5 are always fighting over who gets to play with what toy but now with this twin pack, they can both take a turn at the same time. (Sanity-saver for mommy!)
I have a feeling we’ll be using these a lot during winter break!
- Price: Listed at $39.99 but you can find it on SALE through the holidays
- Ages: 3+
- BUY: You can find this toy on Amazon.com, ToysRUs or at Little Tikes
Little builders will love to play with the Little Tikes Waffle Blocks that are an ideal gift set for toddlers and preschoolers. Kids simply stack, interlock and create whatever their little imaginations can think up. And the possibilities for ways to play are endless with the versatile gift sets which range from farm, castles to school bus and fire trucks. There’s room for every budget with these toys because you can purchase a basic set all the way to a specific play set or jumbo block options.
Construct ‘n Learn Smart Vehicle Workbench Set
The Construct ’n Learn Smart Workbench is a new addition this year! Little kids can build their own vehicle with this amazing workbench that includes a free downloadable app using wireless technology. That means they can actually learn in real-time and recreate what they see! The workbench includes three unique vehicles (a race car, monster truck and bulldozer), kids can mash up as they like, nine interactive tools (drill, hammer, pliers, level, wrench, both screwdrivers and tape measure) and 40 accessories.
With three boys 5 and under who love to play with cars, this is a perfect gift idea they all can share! Both my 3 and 5 year-old are always getting into daddy’s tool box, so this is a much-better and safer alternative. They can use their imagination as they want for creative, active play and in an ideal manner.
My oldest likes to use the app to test his knowledge with the tool trivia and watch the same vehicle on screen, while his younger brother loves to pretend he’s a mechanic fixing up cars through trial and error. He gets a kick when testing out each different tool and listening to the fun sound effects.
The workbench is an awesome entertainment set to get for Christmas, especially because it grows with your child, from little builder to big kid. And every tool has it’s place for storing and hanging in the workbench…meaning kids can clean up and know where to look next time – win-win!
- Price: MSRP $169.99
- Ages: 2-10 years old
- Buy: Currently over 65% of on Amazon.com. You can also get it at ToysRUs or Little Tikes directly.
*I received the above items from Little Tikes for review in our gift guide. However all opinions are my own.
TOMY Bath Foam Cone Factory Toy
Do your kids dread bath time? This super cute Ice Cream Cone Factory toy from the TOMY line will help make bath time less of a chore for little ones. Add bubble bath and water to the top cone and then pull the lever to create some pretend ice cream. They’ll love watching as the “ice cream” fluffs and bubbles up in the cone before their eyes and can top it off with the pretend sprinkles shaker. Such a fun way to add some simple sensory fun to bath time! Set includes 3 cones, sprinkles shaker and the factory.
- Price: $24.99
- Ages: 18 months and up
- BUY: Amazon
Lamaze Cosimo Concierto
Babies will have a blast with this plush bright zebra that doubles as a piano. Each of the musical stripes plays a different note to help baby develop early music skills. The bold colors and patterns stimulate vision and the crinkles and various textures provide an array of sensory fun, inviting baby to explore as they play. A fun toy to encourage movement and dancing in little ones.
Lamaze Stacking Starseeker
Another fun toy for a growing baby is the Lamaze stacking set. A colorful plush spaceship toy that stacks and separates into 4 pieces, including a plush figure and star-shaped teether. Let your little one develop motor skills taking apart and then putting the pieces back together. Each segment allows for fun sensory play, with crinkling and rattling sounds to help develop auditory senses. A fun age-appropriate gift idea for curious babies 6 months and up.
*I received the above items from TOMY TOYS for review in our gift guide. However all opinions are my own.
Crayola Color Erase Mat
Anyone who has toddlers knows the struggles of letting little ones explore their artistic side. Because sometimes that new burst of creativity is often accompanied by lots of cleaning up afterwards…meaning, scrubbing markers off furniture and walls.Now with this Color Erase Mat parents can worry a little less! Little artists can color away on the mat with easy clean-up to follow. Unroll the large reusable mat on the floor and kids can use the special bright-colored markers to draw away. When done simply wipe away the mess with the the eraser and cloth. The set includes an erase mat with built-in storage, 4 washable markers, erase tool and wipe cloth.
My toddler loves laying out the mat on the floor in a big open space to draw. It allows him to get creative without anything in the way. Clean-up may take a minute, but it’s a great way to get the kids involved.
Easy to store and take with you from room to room with the easy roll-up feature. A fun gift idea for little learners!
*I received the above item from Crayola for review in our gift guide. However all opinions are my own.
LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table
This is an absolute favorite toys of our for active babies! All of my boys loved the fun this Learn and Groove Musical Table provided as soon as they could pull themselves up and furniture surf. Little ones can move, sing, dance and drum with this musical toy and instruments that encourages baby to push, pull, press, slide and open, helping develop their fine motor skills. The table includes 15 activities and more than 40 songs keep children learning and grooving.
- Price: Listed at $39.99
- Ages: 3 months to 3 years
- BUY: Amazon, ToysRUs, LeapFrog
Note: Check back often, as I discover more toy favorites for kids 5 and under!
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Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported hundreds of thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a blogger and maternal health advocate at MommysBundle.com.