Last Updated: May 1, 2023 @ 4:17 pm.

What are the best toddler gifts? To find out, we went right to the experts: toddlers! We asked our parent readers for the toddler gifts that brought the most joy. Here are the ones that made the cut.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!


Tips & Tricks to Finding the Best Gifts For Toddlers

Before we dive into the best gifts for toddlers, let’s first ask the essential question: what is a toddler?

We define this stage as roughly ages 1 to 3, although there is no set rule. Preschoolers (aged 3 to 5, for example) are sometimes referred to as older toddlers (we do have one pick in this article for kids aged 3 and up).

When a manufacturer gives a recommended age range, this is typically for safety reasons—small parts can be a choking hazard for younger children, for example. 

Some folks mistakenly think age guidelines have to do with maturity—that is, their one year old is so well behaved they can play with toys for kids age 3 and up. That’s false. For safety’s sake, make sure you (and other gift givers) note the recommended age range before purchasing any of these gifts.

The best gifts for toddlers tend to be a mix of both fun and education—a book about a wayward bunny, a farm with finger puppets to help recognize colors and shapes, etc. 

We asked our parent readers for their all-time favorite toddler gifts with an spring twist (think carrots, rabbits). Here are the ones that came out on top:

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Best Puppets

Affordable Fun
So much fun! Our testers loved these super cute finger puppets, with numbered barns (for counting).
$12.86

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Best Game

Fine motor skill fun
If your toddler is up for a challenge, this match game is adorable, with quality that impressed us—yes, it is made of pine wood.
$12.99

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Best Book

Fun, easy read
This book is a timeless story about a restless bunny who wants to find his place in the world. So much fun! A classic that works on many levels.
$4.93

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Best Sensory Toys

Durable, affordable
For ages 3+, our older toddler testers simply adored how much fun these toys are—yes, they can be combined and stretched . . . or scrunched!
$7.97

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About the Authors

Denise & Alan Fields are consumer advocates and best-selling authors. The Fields have authored 12 books with three million copies in print, including the best-selling guide to baby gear, Baby Bargains.

The Fields have been featured and quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

As consumer products experts, the Fields have been guests on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and ABC’s 20/20.

How We Pick Products To Recommend

We often turn to our readers (3 million strong!) to find products to recommend. We ask our parent readers for their favorites and consider their real-world experiences in our recommendations.

When we test a product, we always purchase it with our own monies. We do not take free samples, as we believe that compromises our independence.

We also fact check manufacturer information with our own measurements. If a maker claims a product weighs X pounds, we will weigh it to make sure. If the battery life is supposed to be six hours, we will see how it stands up in the real world.

In some cases, we will do interviews with experts in the field to get additional feedback on products.

To get hands-on time with products, we regularly meet one-on-one with gear companies and even tour manufacturing facilities. (When we do this, we pay our own travel expenses).

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

We make our living from affiliate commissions, but we always recommend what we think are the best bets for our readers (not the ones that are the most expensive). We are always looking for products that offer the best bang for the buck.

Our independence is a key reason why we have been doing this so long. As we mentioned above, when we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported! best gifts for toddlers

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