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  • Hila Bahari

Baby & Toddler Holiday Gift Guide 2022

As Mr. Rogers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning, but for children, play is serious learning.”

Many parents intuitively know play is important, but despite its many benefits, they rarely associate play with learning. Decades of research indicate that play builds the foundation for a lifetime of learning! The skills children learn through play in the early years set the stage for future learning and success from the preschool classroom to the workplace.

Below I will share with you some top toys by age. Some can be played with sooner and others your child will grow and play with for a very long time.Here are some things to keep in mind when picking toys:

  • The MORE the TOY does the LESS your CHILD will do, the LESS the TOY does the MORE your CHILD will do. Yes, it’s that simple. ⠀

  • Plastic, even BPA free may be harmful. When constantly exposing your child to plastic toys from a very young age you are allowing more toxins to enter the body. Toys made with PVC leak out toxic chemicals that are especially harmful when babies put toys in their mouths. A few toys may be okay but it is ultimately better to avoid these products when possible, especially with babies. ⠀

  • Toys that foster imagination and are open ended— These are the toys you want to surround your child with. You want to allow them to be their own little explorers, let their imagination lead the way rather than a toy leading. This is another reason babies will reach out for kitchen items, remotes, shoes and other items around your house. They are meant to explore! ⠀⠀

  • Rotate the toys—Research shows that less toys, at a time, is actually better for your child. It leads to more creativity and helps with your child’s focus. The best option is to keep some toys out for your child to play with, and the rest put away. Once a week or once a month do a rotation of toys in the child’s play area. You can read more about toy rotation here.

  • Choose toys that don’t dictate the play rather allow your child to lead and explore, require interaction and encourage critical thinking.

Note: Some of the link below may be affiliate links. This means I receive a small referral fee at no cost to you.


0-6 Months (precrawlers) Gift Ideas

WHAT BABY LIKES: Faces, bright colors and high contrasts. Close to 3 months baby loves grabbing and mouthing things.

6-12 Months (movers) Gift Ideas

WHAT BABY LIKES: Faces, movement play, music, exploring new places, moving more, bigger toys, getting on top of or under items.

12-24 Months (The Curious One) Gift Ideas

WHAT TODDLER LIKES: Pretend play, blocks and puzzles, hands on activities

24-36 Months (The Independent One) Gift Ideas

WHAT TODDLER LIKES: Building, pretend play, figuring out how things work, music, vehicles, pattern puzzles, "helping" around the house, coloring, colors, counting, climbing.

3-5 Years (The Explorer) Gift Ideas

WHAT Child LIKES: Problem solving, analyzing, observing and role playing. Child may also show interest in academic learning type of play such as letters and numbers.

Art Supplies


Lovevery has some of the best stage-based play essentials for ages 0–4. Designed by experts for optimal brain development. You can gift one box or do a subscription.

My Amazon shop has more toys by different categories. You can click here to check it out as well.

Thank you!

For checking out Mama Guide's Holiday Gift Guide. I hope you find this guide helpful in finding the perfect gift for your little ones this holiday season. Happy Shopping and happy holidays from my family to your!

DISCLAIMER: The items listed in this guide are recommendations only. Parents should always check the appropriate age indicated for each product. Make the decision to purchase the products at your own discretion and always supervise if a toy is not indicated for your child's age.

Some of the links shared may be affiliate links, which means Mamaguide received a small commission at no additional cost to you. When purchasing from these links you are supporting my work and allowing me to keep producing free content.





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