Finding a great gift for a toddler at Christmas does not mean finding the most expensive gift, although trendy toys can be costly. Try not to focus on the price of the toy but rather the quality of the toy or the quality of the experience the child will enjoy.
Each year the Toy Industry Association chooses toys for the Toy of the Year award in a variety of categories including preschool toy of the year. You can look at the nominees and winners of past years or those that are up for the award in the current year to help pinpoint the perfect toy for your toddler. The Parents’ Choice Awards also offer an excellent starting place for finding the hottest toys of the season and allow you to separate results by age or type of toy.
Many children find themselves over stimulated by an abundance of toys during the holidays. Instead, consider purchasing tickets or yearly passes to a children’s museum, zoo, or children’s art class. This will allow the child to spend more time with you and have something to look forward to throughout the year. If you want the gift to be more tangible consider adding something that is associated with the activity such as finger paints for an art class or a stuffed animal for a zoo pass.
If you are a person who enjoys crafts there are numerous items that can be made for toddlers such as blankets, knitted clothing items, stuffed animals, thematic paintings for the child’s room, or clothing. If you are not able to make something yourself, online retailers such as Etsy, are a great resource for finding handmade items that will be unique for the child. Remember, the gift does not have to be something the toddler can play with. You can also make a keepsake that commemorates the past year such as a scrapbook or a personalized ornament.
If you do decide to purchase a toy, be sure to check the government maintained toy recall list. This will give you insight into companies that have had difficulty before and will allow you to monitor the latest information about any toys you do decide to purchase as a Christmas gift. There is a constantly updated list provided with the most recent recalls being listed at the top. It is also possible to search the database by a variety of subheadings including manufacturer, product type, and type of product.
Whether you decide to find the hottest toy of the season, make something personal, or go on an adventure with your favorite toddler remember to choose things that will speak to them and their interests. A child who loves dinosaurs would be more interested in visiting a dinosaur exhibit and a princess loving little lady would probably rather have a personalized pink princess gown.