Best Gifts for Toddlers

Apartment Therapy Gift Guide 2012

We asked and you answered: what are the best gifts for toddlers? These are some of the first toys your child will ever have and it's sort of like going back to Toys 101: the Basics. Here are ten reader ideas for toys toddlers will love:

1. Trains (like the Nuchi Oval Train Set, $29.99, YoYo.com): When my son was two I started shopping for his first train set and got lots of helpful feedback from readers. The great thing about train sets is that most brands will work together. so start with a small set and it they really fall in love you can expand with more tracks and accessories over time.

2. Play Kitchen (like the French Kitchen from WH Swiss, $116.99, Oompa): Toddlers love doing or at least imitating what mom and dad are doing and play kitchens are a fantastic venue for this instinct. Buy one or take a look at over 80 DIY ones for inspiration.

3. Blocks (like Kubix 100 Blocks, $35, Giggle): Blocks are one of the most classic toys around and for good reason. Toddlers start with simple stacking and later will integrate them with all kinds of other toys like cars, animal and people figurines, etc.

4. Books (like Animal 123 and Animal Spots and Stripes by Britta Teckentrup $12.99 each): You no doubt already make frequent trips to the library with your toddler, but a home library is important too. Toddlers are graduating from board books to picture books and there are so many wonderful ones to choose from (consider favorites from your own childhood.)

5. LEGO DUPLO (like the DUPLO Brick Box, $14.99, Ty's Toybox): DUPLO, the junior version of LEGO, was a popular reader suggestion. This inexpensive starter box is the perfect introduction to the universally loved LEGO family of toys.

6. Dress Up Clothes (like Crowns and Swords, $15.98 - 19.98, Magic Cabin): A dress up or costume box can be incredibly fun to put together. Start by pulling things from around your house (scarves, hats, for example) and keep your eyes open at the thrift shop. If you're looking for something more specific (fireman's hat, tutus, etc.), turn to your local toy shop or online.

7. Dolls (like Lola and Otto by Blabla Kids, $52 each, My Sweet Muffin): Dolls are an important part of imaginative play for toddlers and they can also become objects of comfort.

8. Ride-on Toy (like Wheely Bug Bee small, $59.99, Fao Schwarz): toddlers are on the move and if you have room for one, ride on toys are great fun for them and a good way to burn off energy indoors during the winter months.

9. Cars (like Wooden Wind Up Cars (set of 6), $24.98, Magic Cabin): Cars, especially small ones that fit in their hands, are a hit with toddlers. My son has his dad's vintage Matchbox collection, but you could also start with a greener option like these wood cars which wind up and move on their own.

10. Doll Stroller (like Baby Stella Doll Stroller, $24.55, Target): A stroller of their own is a great gift for new walkers. They gain confidence walking behind it and, for reasons I still don't understand, love hauling their stuff init from one place to another.

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Apartment Therapy Family Gift Guides 2012

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