It’s Cyber Monday!  It’s a great time to snap up some deals and start checking off things from your holiday gift list.  If you’re lucky you might even be able to finish today without ever leaving home!

I know the biggest problem is always what to buy, specially for toddlers.  We’re bombarded with ads touting new and improved talking stuffed animal and cool power wheels. Somehow toy manufacturers have convinced us that our kids must have these things, otherwise we’d be somehow remiss and our kids will be disappointed if they don’t ride down the driveway in a battery powered Hummer on Christmas morning.

Yes, my husband and I are guilty of buying the grandkids ipads and power wheels for Christmas.  But recently I’ve been on a mission to give gifts that inspire their imagination, encourage physical activity, and unleash their creativity.  Not to mention I’m on a personal crusade to limit their video game, tablet, computer, and cell phone usage.  In short I’m determined to provide them with good old fashioned toys.  That means the toys I’m buying this year will not have batteries or chargers.  They will all be kid powered!

You might feel obligated to buy that shiny new ipad or that battery powered jeep or sports car with all the bells and whistles, but you might also want to tuck in a simple baby doll or a kid powered truck.  So here’s my Holiday Gift Guide to help you choose some toys for the toddlers in your life.

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Holiday gift guideMy all time favorite is a toy kitchen.  I got this Step 2 Kitchen for the twin’s birthday a couple of months ago.  They love it!

Play kitchens come in many different sizes.  They usually come complete with kitchen accessories.

Prices start at about $66.

Find your play kitchen here today! [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

Holiday Gift GuideI love all things Melissa & Doug.  The twins enjoy these wooden pots and pan set.  It comes with a checkered oven mitt and a wooden spatula and spoon.  The set’s available from Amazon for $22.77.  You can get free shipping with Amazon Prime too![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

holiday gift guideThese fruit or cookie play sets by Melissa & Doug keep the twins occupied for hours!  It’s great for developing fine motor skills and coordination.

The Slice & Bake Cookie Set is available from Amazon for $15.98.

The Cutting Fruit Set is available from Amazon for $15.26. [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

holiday gift guideAnother great idea are puzzles. Melissa & Doug have a great variety of wooden puzzles starting at $6.24 from Amazon. [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]


holiday gift guideDolls are an absolute must have!  They bring hours of pretend play.  And don’t think dolls are just for girls.  My grandson, Sadi, loves to push the doll around in the stroller and giving the baby her bottle.

This Cabbage Patch Kids Cuddler Play n’ Travel set comes with a doll, infant seat, cradle, stroller, bottle, and pacifier.  You can order it from Amazon for $69.99.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

holiday gift guideBlocks provide hours of building fun.  They really spark your child’s creativity!

Blocks range from the old school wooden ones to these foam peg blocks to Duplo and Lego.  They come in different sizes and sets.  I’m sure you’ll find a type that will suit your child’s age and ability.

I like these large lightweight peg blocks.  The handy zip bag makes storage easy.

You’ll find all kinds of foam blocks on Amazon![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

holiday gift guideKid powered ride on toys are another favorite.  Forget the motorized power wheels, kids love these just fine.

There are plenty to choose from on Amazon.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

holiday gift guideThis Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Happy Giddy Bowling Set provides hours of fun to my twin grandkids.  The love setting up the pins then knocking them down.

The set is available on Amazon for $12.24.  It’s Prime too so it ships for free to Prime members![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]


holiday gift guidePlush Rocking Animals are cute and cuddly.  The twins love riding their elephant and horse. These critters come with sound, the horse whinnies and the elephant plays a tune.  Just press the button inside the ear.

There’s a variety of plush rocking animals on Amazon!  [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

holiday gift guideChannel your child’s inner Mozart with a musical instrument.

All the grandkids love this baby grand piano by Melissa & Doug.  We got one for the twins and another one for my grandson Jett.

Piano comes with a non-tip bench and color coded songbook.

You can order this piano from Amazon for $88.79.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]


holiday gift guideOr you can channel his or her Picasso with an easel, paints, markers, and other media.

There are many types of easels.  I prefer the double sided ones.  One side has a chalk board and the other a magnetic board.  Pick one out from Amazon today![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

holiday gift guideBooks make great stocking stuffers for kids of any age.

There are many children’s books to choose from on Amazon.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]


holiday gift guideNumber one on my gift list is this Melissa & Doug Puppet Theater.   This will definitely spark the kids’ imagination.

Of course a puppet theater isn’t complete without puppets.  There are many types to choose from on Amazon.  My grandson Devon loved his Melissa & Doug Farm Animal Puppets we got him when he was 3! [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

doll houseAnother thing on this year’s list is a doll house.  I just love this Melissa & Doug Victorian Doll House!

Doll houses will provide the kids with hours of role play and unleash their creativity.

This wooden doll house has hand-painted details inside and out.  You can order one from Amazon for $103.99.

Don’t forget the furniture and family that goes in the doll house.  There are many sets to choose from on Amazon![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

638749-red-cape-cottage-house_largeAnd speaking of houses, my daughter Jaime gave me the heads up.  She’s picking up a Little Tikes playhouse for the twins.

Playhouses keep your kids entertained for hours.  Jaime’s son Jett has one in their backyard, he loves it!

You can order this playhouse for $124.33 from Amazon.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]


628566-anchors-away-pirate-ship_largeThis Pirate Ship Water Play Table from Little Tikes is a wonderful sensory activity.

We have one for the twins and one for Jett.  They love splashing around and playing with the accessories included with the table. lists this water table for $59 with free shipping for Prime members.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]


holiday gift guideLast but not least a subscription to Little Passports will give your child months of educational fun.

Kits are available for different ages.  They come with fun activities that teach children about different countries.

There are also science kits that include experiments and activities.

You can choose the length of your subscription. A monthly kit will arrive at your home for hours of learning fun!  Choose your kit and subscribe today!