• Cheap, Simple, But Awesome Toddler Toy Ideas

    1. Little People Sets & Little People

    These are timeless! Most parents can probably remember playing with them as children. They’re still around and better than ever! There are little people doll houses with super cute furniture your kiddos can play with. My son loves opening and closing the doors and putting his little people to bed. The school bus sings the classic “Wheels on the Bus” song with some really cute sound effects as your kiddo pushes it down the hall. Little people sets are interchangeable. New people for your sets are very inexpensive and great gift ideas for boys or girls.

    2. Letter Magnets

    Sometimes I think my husband and I have as much fun with these as my son does! They make a great inexpensive present for kids of all ages. My son has fun putting them in order while we sing the ABC Song. He also loves having me spell out his favorite things like DINOSAUR and TRAIN. I love them because I love giving toys that are educational and don’t cost a fortune. Letter magnets can be plastic or wooden and can usually be found for about $5.00

    3. Paint with Water Coloring Books

    This is another oldie but goodie. These coloring books are mess free because all you need to add is water. Spreading water on the page with a paint brush creates a beautiful masterpiece magically. These things are all over our fridge. Kids love painting and making art, but it’s so messy! These special coloring books get rid of the mess completely. The worst thing that could happen is that water gets spilled on the carpet. Not a big deal at all considering the number of times you’ve probably cleaned up juice spills.  

    I know what you’re thinking. What about Color Wonder? I thought that was the answer too. Until the day my kid rubbed it in his hair. One week and tons of expensive shampoo later, all the Color Wonder paint went in the trash! I’ll stick with the water paint. Trust me; it’s the way to go.

    4. Blocks

    These are great for lots of ages and they’re not just for boys. Legos are loved by boys and girls. They’re also great for building science and math skills. Lego’s might be too small for younger kids but there are great toddler-friendly versions like Duplo blocks. If you’re not interested in plastic, wooden blocks make a great alternative. They often come in fun shapes like cylinders, prisms, and arcs. Letter blocks can be fun too. I like to leave my son cute messages with his letter blocks. I often write “I LOVE U” with letter blocks and leave it in his room for him to find. 

    5. Wagons

    Wagons can be expensive gifts if you opt for a fancy radio flyer version with an umbrella and seatbelts. There are much more affordable versions too though. My son has a cute little wagon he totes around the yard. Wagons aren’t just for boys either. Girls love toting their toys around in wagons too. Wagons are great for nature walks. We often take ours on walks around the neighborhood, filling it with acorns, pretty leaves, and dandelions we find along the way. 

    6. Giant Rubber Ball

    Nobody ever thinks to give these as gifts. I’m not sure why they get overlooked because kids love them! Usually you can find these sorts of balls in giant nets at stores like Target and Toys-R-Us. They come in lots of fun color combinations. My son asks for one every time we pass them. They are relatively inexpensive, but the size and joy kids get from them keeps them from being a “cheap” gift. They’re great for kids learning to walk and big kids too.

    7. Musical Instruments

    I love giving these to kids! I know some parents aren’t fond of noisy presents, but kids think these are so fun! Maracas and tambourines never get boring. I think they are the perfect gift for a first birthday party. Kids love exploring musical instruments and singing along. I have a feeling you’ll forget about the noise when you hear your kiddo singing “Let it go” while shaking her maracas and grinning from ear to ear. It’s just so cute! Besides, learning to play instruments helps kids develop coordination.

    So what are your favorite gifts to take to birthday parties? Are there any amazing presents your kids have received that you plan to copy in the future?

    Written by: Sara Parise

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