By: Kristin Orr
As the “season” of gift-giving begins in our house (Christmas followed by some birthdays) I begin to get this common question from families and friends: “What can I get the kids?” I gathered together a list of my favorite gifts for two under two. (I broke them up into categories so that you can refer directly depending on what exactly you’re looking for). These are the kinds of items that I won’t dispose of during a nightly rant or secretly sell online when no one is looking. Here’s hoping this list is a one-stop shop for you, one that you can refer back to when you get the gift-giving question of the season: “What can I get the kids?”
While I completely appreciate the kindness and affection they want to show my children through their gift-giving, it takes everything in me to not yell out in their faces, “THEY NEED NOTHING!” Now I’m not a total Grinch, but when the kids go to bed and I’m up to my elbows in toys, books, and clothes, I begin the nightly rant in my head: Where did this come from? How did we accumulate all this stuff? There’s only two of them! They’re still so little! What happens if we have more?! Will the “stuff” TRIPLE?! After calming myself down, I can look around the house and pick out some of my absolute favorite items; the kinds of things I buy for other friends and family members because of the joy these things brought to both my children and to me, too!
Best Gifts for Two under Two
Best for growing: Toys that both will enjoy for years to come!
Shapemags – If you Google “best toys” you are sure to find a million lists with these on them! Kids of all ages can manage these tiles and the creativity doesn’t stop. The great thing is that you can buy additional add-on packages so if you know a child already has the set, an additional package is a great gift idea.
Little Adventures Dress Up – My kids are still a little young, but they will soon be approaching the years where dressing up for imaginative play fills the day. Whether it be super heroes or princesses or pirates, pretending to be them all is so exciting for young ones and the stage lasts for years and years! Little Adventures are the perfect dress up gift because they have many options that any kid would enjoy. Start your (or someone else’s) child’s dress up collection this season with some Little Adventures and watch their imagination run wild! You can use code TCM15 for a 15% off Little Adventures coupon code.
Best for indoor:
Baby Shark Pop Up Play Tent – In this house we’re in the early stages of hide-and-seek being an all-time thrill, but we’re lacking on places to hide. I found this Baby Shark Pop Up Tent and it couldn’t be more perfect! First of all, it’s all Baby Shark which has been a popular YouTube in this house since my son was 6 months old, so the fact that this tent features all the characters he knows from the video makes it an automatic hit. Secondly, the tunnel is awesome for hiding and playing. It features separated structures, foot tunnels, and doors that allow even the youngest crawlers to make their way through. Lastly (and most importantly to this mama), it folds up quickly and lays flat for storage! Anything that can be put away after the kids go to sleep is a winning item in my book!
Trucks – Right now, the obsession of my son’s life are trucks and cars. And I’m sure lots of other moms would agree that there’s something about those loud, large, yellow machines in real life that make boys and girls beam with excitement! Lucky for me (and other moms) some great companies make toy trucks to fit every boys collection. Whether it’s the CAT trucks that replicate the real ones in construction sites, or the Green Toys cars and trucks that are made 100% from recycled materials; all these trucks are sure to make my son (and probably many other kids) go bananas on his birthday or Christmas morning.
Activity table – When my son was born, we put together this type of activity table and it’s been used ever since. I believe this toy is the most used item in our toy collection currently! It’s a great gift because any kid can be entertained by it, regardless of gender or age. I especially like that the one I have has removable legs, so when they are little, you can just lay it on the floor next to seated infants. Then, put the legs on and you have a great toy option as they learn to stand and move around it. Up until recently we had this activity table in our sons room and even as he’s gotten older, he’ll still walk over and play the piano or turn the pages of the little book.
Best for outdoor:
Outdoor playhouse – Like so many parents out there, I am all about my kids being outside whenever possible! It takes a very cold day to keep my kids, especially my son, inside all day. He is generally happier outside and it’s the easiest way to blow off his never-ending energy. Having a little sanctuary for kids in the yard, like a playhouse, is ideal for anyone with even the smallest backyard. These are the kinds of toys that never go out of style, are great for both boys and girls, and will continue to get use out of as they grow.
Bubble lawn mower – The bubble lawn mower is one of those toys that has survived decades of play, still just as popular now as it was when I was a kid! For younger ones, it provides entertainment with bubbles and can be useful for helping take those first steps. For the older ones, it’s a great way to “help” dad out on Saturday afternoon as he mows the lawn. How much would a little boy or girl love to follow dad up and down the lawn with their very own mower?
Best for moms and dads:
Sometimes finding the perfect gift for kids really means finding the perfect gift for mom and dad! Especially if gifting for really young youngs that don’t even understand the concept, you might want to think about what mom and dad of that little one would really enjoy (or really needs). After the baby shower days, those bigger items aren’t really purchased as gifts anymore but it doesn’t make them any less necessary throughout the child’s life.
A car seat is one of those kinds of items. As kids grow, or as the amount of cars in the family grows, car seats are super essential! I particularly love the Maxi Cosi car seats from birth on. Their Pria 3-in-1 is perfect for all stages, from rear-facing, to front-facing, to booster seat.
A really sturdy and versatile wagon makes for a great mom and dad gift too. While the kids get to enjoy a leisurely ride on the beach or through town, mom and dad can load up the wagon easier than squishing things into the stroller. I am loving this Veer Cruiser because of how rugged and sturdy it is. It also has the capability to click a car seat into it using adapters, so even the youngest ones can enjoy a ride! Not to mention, it’s probably the coolest looking wagon on the market.
Best clothes for both:
Winter gear- The pros are predicting a solid snow-filled winter this year so winter gear is high on my Christmas list for the kids. Everything from jackets, to snowsuits, to hats and gloves- my kids need it all! Buying winter wear for any kid is a great idea. Veyo makes some of my favorite summer accessories for kids so I’m so happy to try out their winter ones, too. Their mittens, Mittyz, are perfect for little hands. They basically act like a “paw,” meaning no need to squeeze little fingers into even smaller finger holes. They have a buckle on the wrist that keeps them from falling off while playing and they’re fleece-lined so little fingers stay warm. Not to mention, Mittyz look like tiger paws so kids are even more drawn to wearing them! They even sell matching tiger print hats (made just as warm as cozy) to complete the ensemble! These mittens actually make me want snow.
Primary clothes – Clothes are not always the most exciting things to buy for others, especially little ones, but are probably the most necessary. I am so happy to have discovered Primary.com clothes. The are the most versatile, softest, must-have-in-the-wardrobe clothes for all kids. There is nothing flashy or loud on any of their items so you focus more on the kid wearing them than what they’re actually wearing. I’m obsessed with their pajamas and literally can’t get enough of them for both my kids. I like that some of their patterns and colors are very gender neutral so I can get pairs for both my kids to wear and match. Primary is also a great spot for winter gear to ask for as a gift. They have a variety of fleece, lightweight coats and puffer coats.
Best for quiet time:
Books- As a mom (and teacher) I personally believe books are invaluable gifts! Books were given to me at my baby shower so my son was born into a sea of them! Even at 2 years old, he will bring books into his crib to entertain him in the wee hours, sit on his floor in his room and read to himself as I feed the baby, and constantly bring books over to anyone sitting in our living room to read with him. The delight books bring to him warms my heart. Books make the best gift for really any kid, even if they’re not an “avid” reader like my son. Find out what they like (trains, planes, princesses), find a book of that theme, and you have the perfect gift! Usborne books make great gifts and you can also check out this this book list for great books to give as gifts. This list “Best Books for Toddler Boys” is also a great one. The Clever Cogz books are good for 2 under 2 because they’ll grow with the kids – from “liking trucks” to learning how they work.
Shark Bite Game- Games are always favorite items to get and give as gifts, but there are few that will entertain the young ones while keeping the interest of older ones too. Shark Bite is great to begin the game collection with because it develops fine motor skills of the young while also bringing excitement and thrill to the older ones! This is definitely a game the whole family will enjoy playing together!
For more great ideas for gifts for two under two, check out our playroom must haves post here: Playroom Must Haves: Top Toys and Top Toy Storage
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