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Toddler Gift Guide

With having three children we have seen a fair few toys over the years. Some have stood test of time and have been handed down from my eldest to my youngest while others quickly faded to the bottom of the toy box.

We all know that children learn through playing so it is important to have the right toys not all the toys. The toys that you do choose where possible should be open ended and not just a single use toy. Hopefully open ended toys will be played with toddlers all the way through to preschool and beyond.

My toddler is the youngest of three so has been playing with her big sister and big brothers old toys and loves playing trains just as much as she loves playing with babies. Toys are toys and should not be gender specific.

I've compiled some of our favourite toddler toys if you need some inspiration for Christmas or upcoming birthdays.

Melissa and Doug are a fantastic quality brand and this toy has been well loved in our house. This toy contains 6 different coloured houses that have different latches for your toddler to explore. Once each latch has been opened you will find a different picture, corresponding to the number and colour, to be discovered. It's a fantastic toy or working on dexterity and fine motor skills.

This is a new addition in our house but oh my it's proven its worth already. Not only loved by my toddler but also by her older siblings this is a great addition to imaginary play. The ice cream cart comes with 8 scoops of ice cream, 3 different toppings and different activity cards to enhance learning about colours, numbers, counting and flavours. Use the magic scoop to create your own ice cream with your cart.

Mega Bloks have always been a great addition when it comes to toddler play. An open ended toy that's great for imagination, working small hands, learning counting, colours and sorting. I particularly like the table because it is a great height for toddlers. The bloks can then be stored inside the table when not in use and the legs of the table fold up which make it portable.

A dolls house is a great investment for your toddler and definitely not just for girls. One of our favorite imaginary ways to play because a dolls house is not only a dolls house it is also a hospital, a knights castle, fairy house or a fire station.

We love the Duplo Lego Truck, it's great for imagination, learning colours, learning the alphabet, building towers and for having fun. It is compatible with all other Duplo. Also great for working little hands and for coordination. 

Both boys and girls love a toy kitchen. It's such a great addition to imaginary play. Adding some plates and food is all it takes to make your little one a bustling chef.

These have been in our house for 8 years now and they are still a much loved favourite. Babies love to take the egg shells off while toddlers love to sort the eggs back into the box. Great for learning shapes and colours and for playing hide and seek.

All toddlers love playing with babies regardless if they are boys or girls. Playing with dolls allows toddlers to learn compassion, empathy, responsibility while building social skills. Choosing a doll that comes with accessories will enhance the play opportunities. 

Another long time favourite here is a wooden shape sorting cube. It's great for learning shapes and colours. The shapes are perfect for little hands to sort the shapes into the relevant holes. Lift the lid to start all over again.

Every toddler should have a train track. There are so many ways to play trains, its a fantastic open ended investment. My five year old still loves playing with trains and is really good at building tracks.

You don't need to have lots of educational toys or be showing flashcards to your toddler, they will learn the alphabet when they are ready. A wooden peg puzzle is a great way to introduce the alphabet to your toddler as they will enjoy lifting each letter out.

A toy farm is a great investment. Lots of opportunities for imaginary play. I do love wooden farms but actually prefer a plastic ones so that they can get messy. You can make a muddy pig sty using some chocolate powder.

Cars are definitely not just for boys, all toddlers love playing with cars. We found having a play mat really enhanced the play experience. Also adding your own little buildings and figures to the mat increases imaginary play.

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