We’ve given (and received) many gifts for our kids over the years. Certain gifts are just downright winners, so this is a compilation of the all-time favorites. I’ve categorized them by age, and I hope it is super helpful if you are heading to a birthday party. As always, these are tried and true and much loved by our family. Happy celebrating!
I wish we had had a wheely bug when all three of our kids were this age. My boys ride it all over our house. We bought size large. Our 15 month-old’s toes are just now reaching the ground, and my 3 year old can also ride it. Super cute.
Durable and classic, this beloved pull-along daschund has been around since 1953. My five year old loves it as much as my baby.
These tobbles are a genius stacking toy because there are so many ways a baby can play with them. They’re perfect for a one year old’s little hands.
When our little girl turned one, we gave her a band in a box, which she loved and played with nonstop.
For a first birthday, it’s best not to choose all baby toys. Kids develop so much from ages one to two, and begin to actually play (as opposed to just chewing on toys). A duplo set is great because they are safe, last forever, and are perfect for little hands beginning to build.
And of course, we love books for kids. Reading to a baby is essential to their brain and language development. We love Indestructibles, and board books like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Good Night Moon, Each Peach Pear Plum, The Little Blue Truck, and Dear Zoo.
One of our best toy investments was a play kitchen. Having had one as a child, I know we’ll keep this in our house forever. Kids are naturally drawn to it when they are at our house.
We stocked the kitchen with these play food baskets, filled with durable and realistic-looking meals.
Playdoh is never a bad gift.
It’s hard to only pick one favorite toy, but I think if I had to, it would be Schleich animals. My kids just love, love, love them.
You can’t have a party without birthday cake (and this is a really good, cute toy in person).
A wooden train set is an easy and beautiful toy to keep out for kids to play with. I like that this one has a hill, which is the best part of playing trains.
Oversized, with classic drawings, a jumbo coloring pad is such a good gift. The paper even holds up to watercolors.
A balance bike is the new way to learn to ride a bike. If you start around age 2, kids get comfortable finding their balance, and then later you add in pedaling (instead of the other way around). It has worked really well for our kids, and balance bikes are their #1 favorite outdoor toy.
As far as books go, some that are worth owning – Richard Scarry’s Favorite Storybook Ever, One Thousand Things, Stories Jesus Told, Caps for Sale, Steam Train Dream Train, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, and Busy Bunny Days.
A bike is a rite of passage. For our 5 year old, we chose a 16″ bike in gender neutral white, so it will work for all our kids. It came with training wheels, but because she has become really comfortable on the balance bike we’re just teaching her how to pedal. It’s has a water bottle and bell, and we removed all the decals, so it is just a simple white bike.
MAGNATILES! If you are on the fence about this toy (I was, about 18 months ago, because of the price tag), let me tell you that they are an incredible toy. I am amazed at how creative my kids get with them, and despite all the smashing of towers, they still look like new.
Chances are the birthday kid will be obsessed with some character or story, so it always helps if you can find out who from the parents. Our son loves Robin Hood and can probably quote the whole movie, so he literally told every person we ran into for a week about his new bow and arrow (also this is a nice sturdy one, not just a costume prop).
Tons of five-star reviews for this classic scooter.
It may not sound like a gift to give your kids cleaning supplies, but when we saw how much our kids wanted to play with their cousin’s new cleaning set – it was obvious it would make a great gift. Some kids just really like to sweep.
At this age, kids can sit still and work on a project for awhile, and we’ve found that these reusable sticker books work the best of the bunch.
Bookwise, I saved The Jolly Postman until the kids were big enough not to rip it to shreds. They love exploring Maps and stories with lessons, like The True Princess and You are Special. And we’ve also started reading aloud chapter books, like The Little House on the Prairie and The Chronicles of Narnia.
I’d love to hear your go-to birthday gifts or favorite gifts your kids have received. Isn’t it funny how they can latch on to one toy over all the others?