Toddler Time: Engaging activities for little ones

Top 10 Gifts For Your Toddler (12-24 Months)

In babies, Children, parenting, Uncategorized by Compleo Physical Therapy1 Comment

Scotty turns one on December 28th so this is pretty much a carbon copy of the list we gave our parents/grandparents. Once our babies start to get close to the year mark, toys start getting bigger and playroom explosions start to happen.  Decide how you are going to organize your playspace (we talk about this in Little Crawlers and Little Walkers!) and what your priorities are. Don’t worry if your little one is not quite ready to use all their gifts, they change so fast! If they don’t love it Christmas Morning, it may be their favorites in no time. 

I didn’t list any books as one of the top 10 items, but it should go without saying that books, books, and more books are a great present! We will be giving Scotty a book every Christmas Eve alongside his Christmas Pajamas. As you start to explore what traditions you will start in your family, try to include meaningful gifts along the way. 

Drumroll Please…..Our Top 10!

A Learning Tower to bring your little one into kitchen fun. At this age curiosity is starting to explode and we want to involve our toddlers in our daily tasks. A learning tower is a great way to start to incorporate them into daily kitchen routines (and provide entertainment while you try to cook!)

2. A more interactive way to enjoy the outdoors. We chose a little tykes car that has the removable foot plate so Scotty can go for a ride or propel himself as he advances his gross motor skills in the next few months. A wagon is another great option, they can see more of their environment than a stroller and can take stuffed animal friends and toys with them to enjoy their walk! 

3.This goes for all baby and toddler ages (so a repeat from 6-12 month list): If you have space a climbing set is wonderful! Couch cushions on the floor work great but if you have the room a Nugget Comfort or, foam climbing set are great options. We chose the Nugget Comfort because I felt it had more long term potential for open ended play. Many families also look into a pikler triangle at this age which can also provide great climbing fun. Be wary of the baby playscapes as they outgrow them quickly! 

4. A rody horse is another favorite! They can perform pretend play riding a horse while working on core, balance, and bouncing skills. 

5. Sensory Bins or a Water Table are great options that will grow with your little one. Make sure to choose a sensory bin that has a lid if you plan on doing items like sand. Water Tables have fun mazes and water play options and you can easily use the water holding portion as a sensory bin (it just won’t have the lid option). This wooden picnic table has a built in bin option and umbrella if you are looking for a multipurpose use table! I am all about spending a little more to get something that will grow with your toddler and have multiple purposes. These tables will last you through preschool years! 

6. Balance Bikes are all the rage (what happened to tricycles?). Both have their pros and cons but for under two I would start with a balance bike. They can work on safely stopping/starting, changing directions, and pushing off with their feet. The Strider Balance Bikes have become a popular favorite and work really well. If you are giving this gift to a one year old who is less than 18 months old, we have this Baby Balance Bike that is a little more stable.

7. Clearly I am a physical therapist because everything up until this point has been pretty big and gross motor based! Don’t forget about smaller items that promote fine motor skills such as their first puzzles! Chunky Puzzles like this one from Melissa and Doug or knob puzzles are great for this age. 

8. Continuing with the more fine motor skills, A latch box or barn like this one to start working on figuring out utilizing both hands to unlock/unbuckle ect are great options.

9. I love items that they can explore and have multiple fine motor tasks like this Jungle Activity Table or This Wooden Activity Cube

10. This is a great year to start introducing things like toy cars so your little one can start to understand things that go! Always try to pair the action word with the toy. This Toddler Racer Ramp is a fun way to understand things that go and physics! 


If you want more ideas some of my favorite toy brands are: Melissa and Doug, Lovevery, Fat Brain, and Haba. 

This has been a hard year! Christmas is still a month away and you have time to shop around. Above are great Amazon Links but many of these items are in your local toy shops. I encourage you to try to find some of them locally to support small business (Shameless plug from a fellow small business owner). Happy Shopping! What do you think we missed?? 

**Kelsey Baas  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to



  1. Hi Dr. Baas,
    The pictures are not showing up for your gift idea post for toddlers. My sweet girl is in this range and I was wondering if you have the pics somewhere else. Thank you! I always love your ideas!

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