What Do You Give a Toddler Who Has Everything?

Gift ideas for the toddler who has everything.

Toys that encourage independent and creative play

Thinking about the way that children play can be a great way to help you think outside the box when it comes to buying gifts. Encouraging toddlers to get creative and play independently is vital for their development, not to mention their parent's sanity, but many toddler toys are not designed with this in mind.

These three categories can be a good place to start:

  • Open-ended toys
  • Passive toys
  • Things that encourage independence

Open-Ended toys are toys that do not have a set purpose meaning it's up to the child to decide what it's going to be today and how they are going to play with it. Play silks or stacking toys and blocks are good examples. This might not make sense to you at first but don't worry, toddlers just get it.

Passive toys are toys that don't “do” anything. There are no noises or bright flashy lights when you push a button. Think soft dolls, wooden play food or animals, balls, anything that has to be actively played with.

Items that encourage autonomy and independence could be anything from their own gardening set complete with soil and seeds to their own little table and chair, or a special little dustpan and brush sop they can help with tidying up.

Craft items and books

You can never have too many books, ok maybe that's not true and you can certainly get duplicates, but books make a wonderful gift and they don't take up too much space which can be very much appreciated by parents whose houses are already overflowing with toys.

We love choosing a book and then adding a small toy, or a few small toys that go with it to create a story sack. The wooden animals are perfect for this and we love the Big Jigs balloon-powered boat or their mini vehicles with tape.

Craft items get used up so they make a great gift even if the toddler you're buying for already has plenty of toys. Dough, colouring supplies, stickers, safety scissors and colourful paper are all popular with little ones.

Practical gifts for toddlers

If you feel like they have enough toys, or you simply wouldn't know where to start, practical gifts can be a great alternative.

You could think about giving them their own cup and a little jug to practise pouring from, a dining set, a reusable water bottle or a lunch bag.

Other practical gifts might include a little backpack or drawstring bag they can use to carry things about in, either just at home or when they go to nursery or on adventures with the family. Toddlers love to be independent so having their own bag makes them feel grown up and is likely to be loved just as much as any toy.

Great experience gifts you can give instead of toys

When kids really don't need any more “stuff” why not give them an experience instead. This could be as simple as taking them to the park or out for ice cream or as lavish as a membership to the local zoo, nature reserve, indoor play centre or something like the national trust.

These gifts will bring far more joy than a toy that just ends up at the bottom of the toy box never to be seen again or worse broken within a week and destined for the bin.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas for more unusual toddler gifts.

Up next: How many toys does a toddler really need?

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