21 Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers (Ages 0-3)

With the holidays coming up, many of you have been asking for gift ideas for kids under 3. So I've put together a list of 21 toys that your babies and toddlers will love, and that you will love as well, because they all promote development. You can click on the pictures to learn more about the toys.

Smart Max My First Safari Animals are 3 piece puzzles that easily snap together to create animal characters. While playing, kids practice bilateral coordination (using both hands together), fine motor coordination, color recognition, and problem-solving. SmartMax My First Safari Animals are recommended for ages 1-5.

Bristle Blocks by Battat are a perfect first construction toy for toddlers and two year olds. Playing with Bristle Blocks encourages imagination, motor skills, bilateral coordination (using two hands together), and color and shape recognition. Recommended for ages 2 and up.

Clementoni Blocks are made out of a soft rubbery material, engaging the muscles of the hands during play. They also don't fall apart so easily. Playing with Clemy Blocks encourages creativity, sustained attention, and coordination. They are recommended for 18-36 months.

This Pop Block Vehicle set by Melissa and Doug comes with 8 linkable pieces for kids to pop together and pull apart to design and redesign their very own emergency vehicles. Playing with pop blocks promotes coordination, motor skills, and imagination. 12 months and up.

I love that this wooden Stacking Ring Toy by Grimms comes with 10 rings to stack instead of the usual 4 or 5, providing kids with more opportunity to work on size comparisons, color recognition, fine motor skills and bilateral coordination (one hand holds, while the other stacks the rings).

The Tobbles Neo stacking pieces stack, topple, spin, balance, wobble, tilt, wiggle, and roll. Playing with Tobbles Neo promotes eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills, color and size recognition, sustained attention, and more. 6 months-2 years.

Pip Squigz are one of my favorite baby toys!  They rattle (keep baby engaged), promote eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills (suction to each other and most flat surfaces), and are textured for baby to feel and explore. Ages 6 months and up.

Here is a classic toy with a twist. Rainbow Soft Ball rattles when shaken and thrown making learning to catch and throw that much more rewarding. This ball encourages movement, gross motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and attention. 6 months and up.

This adorable elephant sings "Do your ears hang low?" and flaps his ears to the music when you press on his foot. Besides being so cute, he teaches cause and effect, encourages attention, and promotes interactive play. Ages 0 and up.

Building with Giant Blocks is a fun way to promote gross motor skills, bilateral and eye-hand coordination, motor planning, logical reasoning, and imagination. Nice toy to have if you have space around the house.

The Musical Rainbow Railway includes a metal xylophone bridge, a tambourine set, a shape puzzle, a bead maze, and a train set, but is still clear and simple enough not to be too overstimulating for baby. It encourages fine motor coordination, eye-hand coordination, visual perception (matching shapes), problem-solving (bead maze), and sustained attention. 18 months and up.

I don't typically post many electronic toys, but I really like this Piggy Bank. It comes with 40+ sing-along songs, and 10 coins with numbers on one side and animals on the other. Picking up coins and placing them in a piggy bank works on fine motor skills, and watching them fall out teaches cause and effect. 6 months-3 years old.

This is a cute activity set that introduces young kids to different types of art. It includes 6 activities that you can do with your child to promote creativity, imagination, motor skills, attention, and self-esteem. 18 months and up.

Caterpillar Stacking promotes fine motor skills, teaches visual perception and sequencing (when copying designs), and encourages eye-hand coordination and attention. 

Make bath time a little more fun with water play. Drip Drip teaches sensory exploration, visual-spatial skills, eye-hand coordination, sustained attention, and cause and effect.

Encourage a love of music. Teach about a variety of musical instruments and introduce the different sounds they make while enhancing motor skills, coordination, and attention.

Strike the drumhead in different places and hear different sounds. Encourages motor skills, coordination, and auditory processing. 

Seek-a-Boo is an innovative game that helps build vocabulary and visual memory while encouraging gross motor skills. Spread the cards face down on the floor, and have a child flip one over, name the object and attempt to locate a matching card. This also comes with a parent guide for more game ideas.

Here, Fishy Fishy is a first turn-taking board game where kids practice matching colors, following directions, eye-hand coordination, and staying focused.

This Clatter makes a Click-Clack sound that varies with speed as you move your hands up and down, teaching cause and effect, rhythm, bilateral coordination, auditory processing, and attention.

Teddy's First Colors and Shapes is a board game for 2-year olds, that teaches turn-taking, following directions, color and shape recognition, and attention.

helen sadovsky