Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, or just because, it’s not always easy finding the best gifts for kids ages one to five. Questions like, “What size clothing should I get?” or “What if this toy is too complicated?” can make shopping for kids’ toys a headache.
Thankfully, all you need is a little early child development know-how to make shopping for toddlers a snap. By factoring in baby milestones, you can easily find engaging gifts that inspire play and creativity and boost learning.
Gifts for One-Year-Olds
In the first twelve months, newborns arrive at some major milestones. They start responding to voices and sounds, reaching for things like hair and shiny keys, and start crawling. It’s easy to be stumped in the toy section when you need to get a gift for a one-year-old, so just keep in mind that stimulation and engagement will help develop the motor skills they need now.
Some excellent gift ideas: interactive toys with interesting noises, tactile toys that are easy for little hands to grab like blocks and soft plush toys, nursery picture books or custom books where each story is unique. But you don’t have to limit yourself to just toys. Memory scrapbooks, personal posters, room decor, and art can be wonderful keepsakes for both parents and kids.
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Gifts for Two-Year-Olds
At two, it’s off to the races for toddlers. Two-year-olds are getting comfortable walking, running, and putting words together. You might have heard of the “terrible twos,” and that’s because toddlers are keen to explore their independence.
When it comes to gifts for two-year-olds, books are always an excellent option. Because two-year-olds are starting to form sentences, being read to every day will boost their language skills. Matching games, simple puzzles, and bath toys that toddlers can entertain themselves with are all great ideas. Make mealtime a blast with toys that encourage tots to play with their food and use utensils. Any toy that fosters creativity and play is sure to help with the “terrible twos.”
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Gifts for Three-Year-Olds
Get ready for the golden age of the copycat. Kids at this age love mirroring their friends, parents, and relatives. Three-year-olds can carry on simple conversations, follow directions, and zoom around on tricycles as they explore their growing world. This is also an age when kids start playing make-believe.
If you need a gift for a three-year-old, the options are endless. A rocking horse can become a champion racing steed in a snap. Toy musical instruments will encourage your little one to bring down the house with encore after encore. A stuffed animal could be the very first patient of your toddler MD-to-be. Educational blocks, playhouses, and easy board games will keep three-year-olds entertained for hours with pretend play.
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Gifts for Four-Year-Olds
If three is the age of “toddler see, toddler do,” four is when little artists bursts onto the scene. At this age, preschoolers can sing songs from memory, tell stories, use crayons, paint, draw people, and use (child-safe) scissors.
Wondering what to get a four-year-old for a gift? There’s endless hours of fun to be had with crayons, markers, construction paper, clay, stickers, putty, and chalk. This is also an age when kids want to play with their friends, so any multiplayer games, outdoor or indoor, are wonderful ideas.
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Gifts for Five-Year-Olds
Walking, talking, writing numbers and letters, hopping and skipping, playacting, and starting kindergarten are some of the big steps for five-year-olds. They’re steadily working their way into big kid territory.
If you’re wondering what to get kids at this age, think kits, projects, playhouses, and games. Color-your-own projects are an awesome option because they inspire that seemingly boundless creativity children have with some structure. Look for books and games that inspire learning. Give them a book of famously fierce role models to look up to, or a tool kit that turns any cardboard box into a fort fit for royalty.
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No matter the age or milestone, just remember that play, creativity, and learning are key. Any toy that taps into a child’s imagination is going to light them up and get them going. You don’t have to spend oodles of money or get the latest gadget. You’ll find that today’s top-rated kids’ toys are often updated takes on the timeless classics like books, dolls, puzzles, blocks, and art supplies.