26 Must-Have Toddler Essentials on Amazon

Little Ones

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They’ve got little hands and big dreams, imagination for days and a favorite song they want to listen to again, and again, and again. Help your little one develop fine motor skills, master the basics, and get preschool ready with these indispensable play time goodies.

Burn off excess energy with this 3’ Little Tykes trampoline. The crossbar means extra stability for young jumpers but the 60lb weight limit means they can keep hopping well past their preschool years.

Teach fine muscle coordination, colors, counting, and more with this bead lacing kit. You’ll share hours of fun with your toddler as they gain new confidence in their skills.

Explore shapes and colors with this nesting 3D rainbow puzzle. Perfect for families looking to transition away from plastic toys and towards natural materials, the solid wood construction and non-toxic, water based paints means parents of teething toddlers will have one less thing to worry about.

Make storytime more engaging with these real stories about trailblazers who changed the world, told in a child-friendly way with emphasis on developing the skills and attributes that made these ordinary people extraordinary.

Add adventure and exploration to inside play with these comfortably sized stacking blocks. These American made wooden blocks by Uncle Goose come in every interest, from Dinosaurs, to nursery rhymes, to standard letter print. They’re great for decorating but hold up to rough play, with painted designs instead of easy to destroy stickers.

While they’re saying go go go, remember to slow down and rehydrate with this no-spill CamelBak. Discourage sharing drinks, and germs, with cute individually patterned bottles, perfect for sending to daycare or grandma’s house.

Make art, messes, and memories with this washable paint set by Crayola; non toxic with a sturdy texture it makes great fingerpaint, but also holds well on brushes sized for small hands.

Stay safe all summer long with an adjustable, Coast Guard approved life jacket in a kid friendly design. The adjustable buckle extends wearability, and the behind the back clasp means kids can’t remove it themselves.

Great for beginners, this wooden peg puzzle has matching puzzle piece images in each slot, so children can match by size and shape or by sight. Teaches all the sounds of large vehicles like planes, trains, and boats.

Sort, stack, and topple with this Mega Blocks 80 piece set. Kids can build towers as tall as they are, and the zip up carrying bag means they’re perfect for taking on playdates. Lightweight and easy to grasp, they’re great for teaching siblings to share and play together, as their large size makes them much more baby-safe than smaller building block sets.

Enjoy outside play with this Little Tykes height adjustable basketball set. It grows easily along with your child from 2 to 4 feet high with six adjustable increments. Great for group play, kids can pick up hand eye coordination with this exciting, endlessly reusable toy.

Toddlerhood is a time full of transitions, and whether that means a new room, new bed, or introducing a new schedule, a cuddly friend can make all the difference in a bedtime routine. This soothing sing and glow seahorse makes a great last step on the way to independent sleep.

Toddlers craving constant motion can set their own pace on this Sit ‘N Spin by Playskool. Spin fast or slow with this classic childhood toy, guaranteed for hours of entertainment for any child who enjoys getting a little dizzy.

Lite Brite

Lite Brite

amazon $14.97

Explore patterns and colors with another vintage toy. Lite Brite helps develop important pincer grip skills that make it easier for young children to hold pens and pencils, or do important life skills like zippers and buttons, all while exploring colors and patterns in a fun, artistic toy.

Lace, snap, zip,buckle and button with this travelling dressing board set. Perfect for entertaining kids in carseats, toddlers can learn these important skills with this fun set up, and easily translate them to every day use.

Help young kids learn the most important social skills parents can teach with the “Monster Knows” book series. Explore polite behaviour and kindness with “Monster Knows Please and Thank You.”

Add comfort and familiarity to naptime routines with an easy to carry nap mat. Perfect for preschool, daycare, or reluctant living room naps disguised as quietly watching a movie.

Get dancing, hopping, and moving with a colorful swirling rainbow ribbon. Perfect for playing tag, towing imaginary kites, or making waves with dazzling colors, this 6ft ribbon provides hours of fast moving play.

No assembly and no batteries are two big pluses for toddler toys; this wooden racecar ramp checks these boxes and many more. A great toy for learning cause and effect, the clacking impact sounds as cars fall between levels inspires hours of experimenting with different vehicles and speeds.

Practice sounding out and spelling beginner words with this five piece set of spinning spelling blocks. A standard part of Montessori and Waldorf style classrooms, these easy to operate toys add learning opportunities to every day.

A classic favorite we all remember, Play Doh continues to offer imaginative play opportunities to every kid’s age group, and the variety of beginner tools included in this starter set make it easy to dice, shape, and cut the modeling clay into any shape.

Dress-Up doesn’t always have to involve expensive replicas of Disney movie costumes. Melissa and Doug offer a range of role play dress up costumes, from Doctors, to firefighters, to magicians, and more.

Disguise learning as play with sorting and stacking toys. Build tall towers, learn colors, and practice with the relationships of shapes with a multi-level stackable peg board. Frequently used by preschools and therapists, the grasping motion necessary to interlock the pegs is useful for developing muscles for gripping a pencil or paintbrush, making it a great way to practice preschool skills early.

Explore colors, shapes, and textures with Montessori style textured number cards. Great for sensory exposure, the contrasting rough and smooth cards work as flashcards for young children as they learn counting and the order of numbers.

Messy play is an important part of the toddler years, as children test boundaries and investigate countless new experiences and opportunities. Make sure they’re ready to transition easily between play types with this clothes protecting smock from Melissa and Doug. Perfect for playing with markers or paint, using glitter, or practicing kitchen skills like measuring and pouring, there will be evidence of how much fun they’re having on their faces, rather than on their clothes.

Imagination play helps the brain grow; let your toddler pretend to shop, eat, and prepare meals with this hand painted set of wooden pretend play foods. After play they’re easy to store in the four included wooden carrying caddies.


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