Holiday Gift Guide: Ages 0-2

By Polly Conner
October 22, 2021

With three kids apiece, we’ve been through our share of toys. The last thing we’d want is for you to waste your money and have more stuff that your kids won’t use. With the help of some mama friends, we’ve pulled together the best of the best ideas for you in this gift guide for 0-2 year olds.

Make sure to hop over and browse around our other 2021 Holiday Gift Guides!

Note: Links in this post may be sponsored or affiliates, but we pride ourselves in carefully selecting products we have personally used and/or are excited about. See full Amazon disclaimer at the bottom or here.

Kids: 0-2 Gift Guide

Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Wagon – For 6 months and up, this wagon grows along with your little one’s age and stage.

Playmobil 1.2.3 My Take Along Noah´s Ark – Designed with a handle, this set can be taken anywhere! Think sibling soccer games, road trip travel, grandma’s house. This toy has been a hit!

Baby Balance Bike – A four wheeled version of the popular balance bike designed just for tinies learning to walk and balance.

Green Toys Recycling Truck – I have never met a toddler that doesn’t obsess over this truck. It’s made from earth friendly materials (no BPA!), easy to clean, and dishwasher safe.

Crayola Washable Fingerpaint – Perfect for toddlers! This 6 pack of paints is safe, non-toxic and washable. Use them in an empty bathtub with the Fingerpaint Paper Pad for the easiest clean up ever!

Mega Blocks First Builders Table – 30 plus building pieces perfect for little hands. These blocks are a toddler staple that develop imagination and gross motor skills.

Baby Einstein Star Bright Symphony Musical Take Along – A hugely popular toy for kids. Great to throw in your purse! It’s also an entertaining toy that isn’t annoying to parents. WIN!

Manhattan Toys Links-To-Go – Flexibly, bendably versatile for moments that need it. Another great item to throw in your purse.

LeapFrog My Pal Scout – 40+ learning songs, melodies and lullabies, for active daytime fun. Lots of ways to have fun with this little guy.

. LeapFrog My Pal Scout - gift idea for 0-2 year olds

Metal Dump Truck – Out of all of the trucks we own, the dump trucks get the most action. Hint: metal trucks seem to be favored among the kids. I think it’s because the noise it makes when rocks and materials are dumped in and out.

Metal Dump Truck - gift idea for toddler boy

VTech Rhyme and Discover Book – A great car toy. Kids like all of the buttons and the loud click that happens when you turn the pages.

 VTech Rhyme and Discover Book - gift idea for 0-2 year old

Take Along Baby’s First Blocks – A classic toy for a good reason. It’s so fun to see kids begin to figure out how shapes work. Easy to store all of the pieces too.

 Take Along Baby's First Blocks - gift idea for toddler

Play Tunnel – Great for all ages, but the fun can start as soon as they can crawl. My kids had a lot of fun in these!

Play tunnel - gift idea for babies and toddlers

Sound Puzzles – Place a puzzle piece correctly in the puzzle board to hear realistic sounds. We had all three types and these were used over and over again.

Sound puzzles - gift idea for babies and toddlers

Stroller for Baby Dolls – I don’t know why kids love these but they just do! My daughter’s baby stroller went with us on SO many walks when she was little.

stroller for baby doll

Water Wow Books – We have gone though SO many variations of these. My preschooler still loves to play with them. They make a great car activity or even a, “Please do something in one place while I make dinner,” activity.

water wow books

Bath Toy – Submarine Spray Station – Water is drawn through the submarine to create a steady stream of water. No need to keep the bath faucet on!

bath toy - gift idea for babies

Play Farm – We had a variation of this for our kids and all three loved it. This is a great price point too!

play farm - gift idea for toddlers

Baby Einstein Neptune’s Ocean Discovery Jumper – A big ticket item but something you’ll be so glad you have.

baby neptune jumper - gift idea for babies

Little Tikes Junior Play Slide – Used this inside during the winter months and outside in the summer. A huge hit!

little tykes junior play slide - gift idea for toddlers

Shovels – On a last minute whim, I got these for my kids when they were youngsters and they were the Christmas morning favorite! Perfect for snow, beach or even just digging in the dirt. (Obviously for the older end of this age group.)

First Years Stack Up Cup Toys – These are a must for little ones. My kids used these over and over and over again! I love that they have little holes in the bottom for bath play too. For such a great price, you’ll get so much play out of something so simple and cheap!

First years stacking ups - a gift idea for toddlers and babies

36 Bath Letters and Numbers – I got a set of these when my children were in this stage and they are STILL around. It’s one of those toys that grows with the kids!

bath letters - gift idea for babies and toddlers

Dimple – Little hands love these! Features 5 vibrant Silicone Bubbles built into a plastic frame that they can push, pop, poke, and grab. Perfect sensory delight!

dimpl - gift idea for babies

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone – Award Winning Durable Wooden Musical Pounding Toy. Sorry, parents. Kids this age love stuff like this! Their little brains love a big cause-effect toy!

Hape Sound and Tap Bench  - gift idea for 0-2 year olds

Push Around Buggy – All three of my kids LOVED this little buggy. It’s a great alternative to the stroller for little ones, and also comes in red!

Toddler Swing – We had one of these hanging under our deck for YEARS. Kids love them! My kids, who are way too old for it now, still ask about it!

Inflatable Bounce Toy – I got this for my youngest son when he was about 1.5 years old and it was a huge it. I thought for sure it’d pop quickly but was so surprised by it’s durability! It even survived older kids bouncing and boinging around the house with it.

More Ideas:

  • Stocking Stuffer: 15 Animals!
  • Stacking Toy from Melissa and Doug – Great for eye/hand coordination.
  • This push toy has been a hit kids!
  • Looking for some book ideas? Check out our Top 10 Toddler Books.

Check out all of our Holiday Gift Guides:

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301 replies
  1. Samantha H. says:

    The water wow books are a favorite in our house! They’re great for car rides and my almost 4 year old still plays with hers all the time!!

  2. Angie J says:

    I haven’t had a kid this young for quite awhile (my youngest is almost 14). I would choose the swing as a favorite because it gets everyone outdoors to play. I also like the stacking cups…had them for all three of my kids..lets them use their imagination and no electronics involved!

  3. JoAnn says:

    At first I thought the Dimpl seemed like a ridiculous toy, but my daughter loves it! Definitely keeps her occupied in the car. whether she’s trying to eat it or using her hands, it’s a great sensory toy!

  4. Morgan says:

    Ooo the metal dump truck seems like it’s be a big hit with my boy, and the wooden pounding bench with the xylophone looks awesome too!!

  5. Cheryl Sydenstricker Lowe says:

    #1 was a huge bit with our first. I’m interested in #18 this time around (possibly because I want to pop them..)

  6. Julie says:

    I bought the Melissa & Doug portable shape sorted for my newest nephew and the water wow book for my grandson. Can’t wait for them to see them

  7. Sara B says:

    Baby Einstein Music Toy! We were given this toy by a friend who said her kids loved it and it was a must have! I didn’t think much of it when it was first given to our first bay, but it has been one that each of our 4 kids have loved! It has lasted all 4 of my rough and tumble boys and my kids still enjoy playing it in the car! It has been a life saver too on many car rides. This would be a great gift for even the youngest ones on your list! I highly recommend it.

  8. Debbie says:

    The kids loved the play tunnel, whether crawling through with someone trying to catch them or just hiding inside. I did like the submarine play station, they like to play while bathing.

  9. Dale M says:

    WOW I found several that looked cool but i would still pick the old classic …. the metal dump truck since i enjoyed playing with one as a kid !!!!!

  10. Corinne says:

    We have several of those items – your list is awesome! I would say our top toys are the metal dump truck & the tunnel! Fun for all ages!

  11. Hillary says:

    The play farm is such a classic, but has great benefits! The imagination young children can experience is perfect for free play!

  12. Paige T. says:

    We enjoy lots of these but #1 – the musical take along toy – has been a great distraction and simple toy for all our kids.

  13. Marsha says:

    The Tonka metal dump truck was a favorite of my boys and now their sons. Tonka trucks last FOREVER through all kids of rough play inside the house or outside in the dirt and rocks.

  14. Teresa McBee says:

    My granddaughters have worn out the stroller, they love it. I hope the Water Wow is good, I bought one for my grandson earlier today.

  15. Wendi Shipe says:

    My kiddos are all teens now, but I am beginning to buy gifts for friends whose kids are having babies! I love the dump truck that you linked to…my boys loved to fill the back with stuff and dump it out, over and over and over….

  16. Alicia says:

    We love your recommendations! This year we are going to get our 18 month old son the Tonka truck. Sooo excited for him to get it!

  17. Hannah says:

    So many favorites on this list! I think the tunnel has done the best not just entertaining my 18 month old but my dog loves it. They both play Togo’s well.

  18. Laura says:

    The stacking cups, I guess. 🙂 There are many of my favorites on your list! The stacking cups were always a hit with my little kids and liked that they were simple and easy to play with, easy to stack, easy to wash, and fun even for a little older kids. They would occasionally get swiped to go to the play kitchen too. 🙂

  19. Theresa Phillips says:

    I already have several of these for my granddaughters. My favorite would be the Baby Einstein jumper. It provides continued enjoyed and a safe location for baby to play from.

  20. Kate says:

    My kids LOVED the lots of links! Gets the imagination and senses going, and they are perfect to keep them busy (and quiet) for some time.

  21. Dodi says:

    Oh my! I think I bought most of these items when my kiddos were babies. Love them all but my favorite would be the metal dump truck. My son who is now 6 is still playing with it!!

  22. Angel Derby says:

    Thank you for the suggestion of metal dump trucks!! Whenever my little guy is over at his friends house who has a handful of those metal work trucks, he plays for hours on end! Definitely adding this to his Christmas wish list! 🙂

  23. Beth says:

    The Munchkin letters are great. We got some last year for Christmas. They really have helped my almost 3 year old learn his letters. Get a couple packs so you can just throw them away when they get gross from the bath.

  24. Ulani says:

    The farm is such a great open ended toy! Buying that! My daughter has also played with the Hape pounding bench for 2 years now. Love these ideas!

  25. Rebekah Korpan says:

    Number 10. The water wow books. My children always loved them and they are so great for travelling in the car or air plane.

  26. Martha Lewis says:

    I have a bouncy animal toy I can’t wait to give, and that tunnel looks like a fantastic way to burn up energy cooped up indoors in Covid times!

  27. Mary says:

    I’m most excited about the tunnel. My little one will be crawling in the next few months and I like that it can fold done, tucked away for easy storage!

  28. Penny says:

    Thank you for the giveaway and the great gift guides! The “Inflatable Bounce Toy” is my favorite! In fact, I have it on my Amazon “List” for when my youngest grandchild–age 6 weeks–is old enough. My oldest grandchildren–ages 3 & 5 years–still love their bouncy cow and bouncy horse.

  29. Jennifer H says:

    The First Years Stack Up Cups are the best toy! My kids would rediscover them all the way through preschool and even the big kids would have fun playing them with the Littles! It is amazing how much this little toy got used in our house!

  30. Lori m says:

    These are all fantastic toys, my favorite is the #12. Play Farm. My granddaughter loves animals, I can see her playing for hours.

  31. Vanessa says:

    We have and love variations on numbers 2,3, 7, 9. This year I’m thinking we’ll buy a small slide for days I’m not up to going to the park.

  32. Beth Gerson says:

    My kids were obsessed with the Baby Einstein Musical toy for YEARS. We had to get multiple to make sure we had one in the car, one in the house, one in the diaper bag!

  33. Staci Brown says:

    So many good choices. I think my two year old would love the tunnel for climbing through. I played with one as a child and it was so much fun.

  34. Margi says:

    The stacking cups were always a huge hit with my kids when the were young. We were always baffled by that. I personally like the bar yarn set best. Brings back many fond memories.

  35. Stephanie Fields says:

    My children absolutely loved the play tunnel. They could play with that for hours. At times when asked to help clean up their toys went in there. It was also a sneaky way to incorporate physical activity.

  36. Heather Barrett says:

    you can’t go wrong with baby Einstein! My girls loved all the toys and the movies when they were little. but I love the concept of dimple, small enough to pack in bags and take it with you.

  37. lois says:

    1 – we had variations of this when my son was little, and he grew to LOVE music; 2 – so many uses, often as a ‘chain’ to connect a variety of farm equipment/trucks – we used these for YEARS; 12 – every kid needs a farm set – good for imaginative play, manipulatives, learning about careers and animal care, so much….

  38. Ashley Renner says:

    We love the Dimpl Popper toy! It is perfect for a quiet time activity and entertains our 15 month old long enough to get most quick tasks done.

  39. Elisabeth says:

    My son is currently in this age and has a few of the items on this list. His favorites are the links, the stacking cups (ours have holes in the bottom so he loves playing with them in the bath) and the bounce toy. I still have my metal dump truck from when I was a kid!

  40. Jaime Johnson says:

    My fave are the stackable cups! My kiddos are teenagers now but they loved these cups. We put them in the bath tub and they’d play for quite awhile, dumping water from one cup to another or stacking them on the sideof the tub. I used them through 5 kids and everyone of them loved them!

  41. Amanda Anderson says:

    Scout was a favorite for my children when they were this young. While Scout is no longer played with, he is still in my home! My child (while too old to play with him) will not let him go!

  42. Nicole says:

    The bath letters and numbers are amazing!!! Fun in the tub, educational, teething, and my kids played with these for years and years!

  43. Kendra says:

    The brights starts links are so simple but were a favorite of my son at that age. I’m going to need to get some more for next baby!

  44. Melynda says:

    My kids are past this age now, but we had so many of them back when they were younger! They all 3 loved the baby Einstein musical player as infants as well as the Scout dog. My youngest hated being in snow, but once we got him a plastic snow shovel, he’d go outside and shovel snow for the longest time!

  45. Erica says:

    So many great choices! And honestly, so many great memories of fun toys my kids loved as littles (now 2 in college and 1 in high school). Love the stacking cups, the farm and the dump truck.

  46. Janette Miller says:

    My favorite item today is the baby’s first blocks. When my kids were little, they had the version you could buy from Tupperware that was shaped as a ball and LOVED it! I love that it is an educational toy (shapes and colors) as well as fun!

  47. Whitney says:

    My little mamas would LOVE the baby stroller. But, they’d also love that inflatable dinosaur or slide. . . .which might keep us from losing our stuff this winter when indoor playgrounds/museums/preschool playtimes are not an option. 😩

  48. Sarah B. says:

    Thank you so much for these gift ideas! I have a newborn and a 2.5 year old. My favorite is the baby doll stroller – this would be right up my daughter’s alley!

  49. Kristen Fields says:

    Kind of hard to chose a favorite on these as there are some great gifts, and our family had several of these items when my kids were this age. But, I’m partial to the farm set. That’s my favorite.

  50. Chrissy says:

    As a pediatric Speech Pathologist, my favorite toys for this age are ones that do not speak for the children. I love cause and effect toys and toys that make the little ones use their imagination and their own words.

  51. Cathy H. says:

    Wow! So many good ideas! I love your gift guides. I like the LeapFrog My Pal Scout because music is an important part of my life. Or the Inflatable Bounce Toy – pure fun!

  52. LINDA WINTON says:

    So many good toys! Since I have a grandson who would live in the water if he could, #11, the Submarine Spray Station would be perfect for us.

  53. Maggie Callow says:

    My girl loves her metal dump trunk! She puts all her stuff animals in it a shuttles them around. Sometimes our cat even lets her push him around. We bought two so she has her outside truck and inside truck.

  54. Tina says:

    Doll strollers are the best. Ours are used daily to cart around dolls, plushies, pillows, toys.. They can be shopping carts, cars, strollers, rocket ships…

  55. Ashley Shoener says:

    Melissa and Doug: Water WOW is my favorite gift for toddlers. We use them all the time in the car and before dinner. It’s a gift socking stuffer idea. Thanks for sharing!

  56. Kristen says:

    My 9 month old (and 6 and 8 year olds) would LOVE the xylophone. And I’m sure I wouldn’t mind too much the music they made. 🤪

  57. Anne says:

    Baby Einstein tunes was the greatest toy for my baby up to about 4 years! It played perfect music for my daughter to twirl to for many years 😊

  58. Terri says:

    There are so many of these that would be fun for them to play with. I think my favorite is the play farm. Lots of imaginative play can be done with this one.

  59. Morgan says:

    We love all of these but I’m especially excited about the travel-friendly WOW water notebooks and the snow shovel. My toddler is in full domestic mimicry mode and he will love helping outside this winter.

  60. Megan R. says:

    We love little doll strollers! My daughter is 3 and still uses her stroller to push her dolls and stuffed animals around the house. We also take it to the gym with us for an easy toy when my husband has basketball practice.

  61. Sarah Setzer says:

    You guys did a GREAT job for this age group! I have twins who are almost 5, but when they were this age we had almost all of these! My favorite is the sound puzzles!

  62. Deanna says:

    A lot of my favorites are on this list! The tunnel was a hit with my kids and my son loves his metal dump truck. You also can’t go wrong with Melissa and Doug puzzles. 😉 Great list!

  63. Tara says:

    So many of these were favorites for my girls – the Hape pound and tap bench, the push buggy, the baby Einstein musical toy, water wow books, Leap Frog my pal scout! Loved them all!

  64. Gincy says:

    My favorite is #7, the tunnel! It folds flat so it’s easy to store. It can be used inside or out and it will be something you will use forever! My son is now 24-years-old. In the years since he’s outgrown using it, it’s been enjoyed by two cats and a great niece and nephew when they visit!

  65. Andrea Schrader says:

    My nephew had several of the sound puzzles when he was a little younger and loved them! They started his love of puzzles.

  66. Corinne Crockett says:

    My baby loves the Baby Einstein take along tunes and I like that the songs are not as annoying as most baby toys usually are!

  67. Catie Benbow says:

    We have the metal dump truck and my littlest boy loves it. I love it because it’s sturdy and doesn’t break in five seconds.

  68. Brandy Lutz says:

    Bright Start Lots of Links is by far my favorite. Aberle (my 9 year old) loved those little links. I took them with us everywhere we went. They are great for hanging toys from strollers and car seats. They are also good for learning colors and patterns.

  69. Michelle says:

    There are so many that I wanted to pick, but if I had to choose just one I would say the baby doll stroller. My daughter is four and still plays with it. I appreciate toys that they love for years!

  70. Christina says:

    I am becoming a Grandma for the second time with my daughter due in April 2021. I’m so glad for the suggestions – I plan to get the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy for her for Christmas because I think all babies like music (AND you promised it wasn’t annoying).

  71. Amy says:

    You did a great job with this list! My granddaughter is going to be 3 next month and we have quite a few of these toys! The dimple (#18) surprised us – it was a huge hit! She still plays with it now!
    Thank you for sponsoring a giveaway while giving us great ideas!

  72. Kristin says:

    Those Dimples, number 18, are so much fun! My youngest used to have one (until it got lost when we moved), and I think I loved playing with it as much as he did! 😂

  73. Allie says:

    Definitely want to add to our water wow collection – we have one right now and it’s a really great long car ride activity! Also love the tunnel and big dump truck – big favorites at our house!

  74. Lillian says:

    1st year stack up cups are the best, especially for bath time! Love this guide, my daughter is less than a year old and we were fumbling for ideas for her first Christmas. I want to get her the inflatable bounce toy!

  75. Morgan says:

    I added #18, the Dimple, to our 10-month old’s list. He is all about exploring items with his hands (and his mouth) and I bet this would keep him occupied!

  76. Jessica says:

    My kids are 7 now, but they LOVED those colored rings when they were little! Who knew something so easy could be so entertaining!

  77. Sylvia says:

    It’s been awhile since I had a little one, but those links were life savers! Not only did the babies chew on them but I used them to attache toys to everything! 🙂 No more picking up things up every 10 seconds!

  78. Krysta says:

    I used your gift guide to make a Christmas list for both my little girls under 2 and even saved some for birthdays next year. Six of these items made their Christmas list but I think I’m most excited to see them crawling through the pop-up tube!

  79. Lexi says:

    As an early childhood professional, I have watched children play with these types of toys. I would say that the Inflatable Bounce Toy is a hit with the children and also my favorite to watch them play on. Their faces light up and they get so excited to hop to get to another destination 🙂

  80. LaNee King says:

    I choose #2, my grandson has a sensory problem and he touches and feels everything, the rings would prove entertaining for him

  81. Carrie Nespor says:

    I like suggestion #7, the play tunnel! It can be easily compacted, allows for physical fun for kids and provides for lots of fun and giggles. 🙂

  82. Renee says:

    We have enjoyed quite a few things from this list the last couple of years (even now as a 3.5 year old!). A favorite is the Water Wow painting books. They’re so easy to do a quick art time with no mess!

  83. Lori Brock says:

    This is a GREAT list of gift ideas. I have 7 grands and have given many of these as gifts or purchased them for “Grammie & Poppie’s” play room. Currently I am loving the Dimple, as a school counselor, ANY sensory tool is valuable!

  84. Hope says:

    We love the water wows!!! My older girls loved them and I am so excited to get some for my son now that he is interested in coloring with his sisters!

  85. Laura says:

    So many good ideas here, but I would have to say the water wow books are a favorite around here! I also like taking them to families with a new baby. Keeps the other little ones busy while mama is nursing.

  86. Abby says:

    I have 3 boys and youngest is in this age group. All of these items are perfect but #17 (bath toy letters) is a favorite. So simple but always played with.