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Holiday Gift Guide: Toddler Edition

Two things that I love come together during the holidays: shopping and sales. I’m that crazy person who loves the holiday crowds and doesn’t mind waiting in line as long as I have a sugar-free vanilla, nonfat, no water chai latte in my hand; preferably staying toasty warm in a red Starbucks holiday cup.

Yep, I’m essentially as Christmas-cliché as they come.

And since I prefer to have at least somewhat friendly people around me, I've even provided the links to everything in this post for any of you holiday Scrooge's out there trying to ruin my jolly attitude {all of them are also available through Amazon; I even double-checked for you!}.

This year is a little harder than year’s prior, though, because I have a very active toddler who just doesn’t have the patience for lines. Or stores in area she clearly does not take after her mama in! As such, I’m going to plan out my shopping trips a little more than usual, and at least make out lists of presents to buy and wish lists for this darling daughter of mine.

This entire process has already started {along with the snow flurries here}, as I couldn’t refrain myself from researching the best toys to get Adelyn. I’ve decided I’d like to be a little pickier this year because 1) I just don’t want to waste money on toys she’ll break, which is essentially most things plastic, and 2) I’d rather add a few high-quality toys that she’ll play with for a few years to come and will hopefully sustain even a second child in the future (the far future…don’t get any ideas here!).

So I’ve put together a somewhat short holiday gift guide if you’re looking for the same type of qualifications for a toddler (niece, nephews and friends kids included!).

One thing you’ll hopefully notice from this list is that none of the toys shown require batteries or have special effects. I’ve noticed how Adelyn is just naturally surrounded by all that stuff in this electronic world that even I can’t pull myself away from, so my hunt is really for toys that simply inspire and encourage her to learn without the added flare!

Behind the Scenes.


When I started my research for quality children’s toys, HABA really stood out against the rest. Their manufacturing platform is based off an eco-conscious approach and functional engineering, with the goal of facilitating a child’s development. Combine all of that with the quality of the company’s items and I pretty much wanted to purchase the entire toddler toy collection. Since our bank account would undoubtedly be in the red if I did that, the above items are at the top of my list for Adelyn for Christmas.


Next up on my shopping list is the B. line. It’s great because most of these items are sold at Target—we already have a handful. This line is created to inspire individuality while using all recycled materials. Not good enough for you? B. gives a portion of every sale to Free The Children, an organization with the mission to free children from poverty and exploitation. Go to their website to learn more, and check out their FAQ page to learn how to obtain replacement parts and cleaning/preservation suggestions.

Etsy TeePee

One my personal favorites on the entire list is the TeePee Play Tent. I first spotted it when I was paging through my InStyle mag and saw a picture of Kourtney Kardashian with this exact tent (in black and white) in her son’s playroom. I’m not a huge Kardashian fan or anything, but I absolutely adore this idea for a play area in Adelyn’s bedroom. Sophisticated yet fun for her, add in a plush area rug and I can easily daydream about lying on our backs reading stories in it before bedtime. Maybe this should be MY Christmas present!

Little Tikes

The Little Tikes Cook N Grow Kitchen is just a quality item. I was initially on the hunt for a nice wooden kids kitchen set, and while I found a couple in the $200 range that looked great, there were a lot of mixed reviews on the quality. Little Tikes is just known for making items that will last (heck, my parents still have a mint condition grocery cart from when my sisters and I were kids). Plus, this kitchen converts from toddler-sized to kid-sized, so I don’t have to worry about her getting frustrated about not being able to reach the counter right now.

Melissa & Doug

Melissa and Doug is the last company with a couple items on my list. While the company doesn't do anything profound or world-changing, all the items are reasonably priced and its line seriously consists of an almost ridiculous amount of award winning toys for child development. A number of the items are hand crafted too, which is something that is always positive to see.

Now for the fun part...happy shopping to us all!

Until next time.

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