This can be a challenging age to shop for. You want to give kids in this age group gifts that are fun and stimulating but still age-appropriate, and everywhere you look, plastic beckons insidiously. Not to worry. We're rounded up some classic (and destined-to-become classic) gifts that we think will have a shelf life far beyond the toddler years.
Threading toys, such as these threading animals from Estia ($13.59) are great for little fingers to practice their fine motor skills. They're also useful if you're a sewer yourself, and your little one wants to imitate what you're doing.
Blocks are all-ages toys that never go out of style. Here are three of our favorite sets:
Great Pyramid blocks from Haba ($44.95)
Children like stuffed toys that are weird looking, but some of the choices out there can be a little too monster-y for young folks. These Boogaloo dolls from BlaBlaKids ($36) are a sweet compromise.
These long-promised wooden puzzles by Julia Rothman ($19) are finally here!
The Book Buggee from P'kolino ($44.99) would be a fun way to present a handful of giftwrapped picture books.
Sure, plastic sleds are cheaper, but the Kindersleigh ($99.95) is so well-made and well-designed that it could actually become a family heirloom. Unlike a plastic sled.
If you're looking for a gift with rock-star cachet, the Lorette trailer -- and matching Max push car (around $225 each) -- might just fit the bill.
The Scullcave ($239, including international shipping) makes an excellent lair for plotting toddler escapades. And when the escapades are over, it disassembles and rolls up for easy storage.
Be sure to check out our previous Holiday Gift Guide: Infant/Baby Roundup