20 Gift Ideas For Ages 1-2

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I’m at a precious point in life where I have a 2 (almost 3) year-old nephew who just so happens to be my very best friend. The holidays have been much more exciting now that he’s around. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just as thrilled as him when the catalogs come in. It’s the warm, comforting nostalgia I think everyone could use. 

So, yeah guys…I can’t help but look at all the toys for him all the time. It’s simply my duty. Like this wooden race track? He would go nuts for it. Or this train that you can take apart and rebuild would absolutely be one of his favorite things ever.

The Best Gifts For Ages 1-2

My nephew has no qualms showing us exactly which toys are catching his eye the most (which I’m realizing is probably a common sentiment with 1 and 2-year-olds). They know what they want and have zero shame in that game. I’ve taken note of all the toys he loved, although truthfully, it doesn’t take much for him to be entertained. Tupperware was a personal favorite at that age. But if you want to gift something cuter than some old Tupperware, we came up with 20 different gift ideas for ages 1-2.

Can’t believe my buddy is going to be 3 soon! Soaking it all in.

Best gifts ages 1-2

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1. Animal Tower Block Set

Amazon

How cute are these blocks? Hours (or minutes, heh) of stacking, knocking them down and stacking them again in different ways. And it’s made from eco-friendly material. Woo!


2. Baby Walker + Activity Cube

Amazon

Okay, this thing is pretty cool. It’s a walker, activity table and storage box all in one. If you have a beeb that loves figuring out how things work, or you want to give them some problem-solving activities…this is perfect. 


3. Play Tent

Best gifts ages 1-2

Amazon

My nephew has had a play tent for a good bit now. I think it’s been a great way for him to have a little moment to himself if he needs to kick back and relax (because emotions are so difficult sometimes). He’ll read his books and play with his toys, and if you’re really lucky, you get an invite too. This one in particular is so freakin’ cute. I would have loved it (and arguably would probably have a dang good time relaxing in there as an adult).


4. Pop-Up Ball Pit

Best gifts ages 1-2

Crate & Barrel

A ball pit I wouldn’t mind keeping in my living room (but there are other color options, too). The pit itself is made of soft cotton jersey, so don’t worry about heads being bumped on any rough edges. Nothing more fun than jumping into a ball pit, right? 


5. Popup Play Tunnel

Best gifts ages 1-2

Amazon

Now these play tunnels are awesome because they’re big enough for it to feel like a little treacherous journey for them, but it collapses into a small bag. You can get a few and add a homemade fort at the end. Adventures await! 


6. Balance Bike

Amazon

One of the best feelings of freedom as a kid was hopping on my bike and riding around all on my own. Get ‘em started early because a balance bike like this one doesn’t seem so scary. Bonus points for the retro vibes. 


7. Wooden Camera + Kaleidoscope Lenses

Target

How cute is this wooden camera? But it’s not just any ordinary play camera, it’s a kaleidoscope too. That vision might just be mind-blowing for a 1 or 2-year-old.


8. Wooden Train Set With Numbers + Blocks

Amazon

Is it just me or do most kids just love trains? Being able to put this one together themselves and change how it looks is a great activity that really makes it feel like their own, and hello, they built it all by themselves! How cool!


9. Tipper Truck

Amazon

Tipper trucks are so fun especially when the weather starts getting warm and they can go outside, collect all the rocks and pretty flowers and then dump it all out when they’re done. What makes this one so great in particular is the eco-friendly, recyclable material it’s made from — sugarcane.


10. Wooden Walker

Best gifts ages 1-2

Amazon

For the babies that love their babies and teddy bears, they can pop them in this walker and walk them around the house. 


11. Garden Play Set

Target

I couldn’t not include this garden play set. How adorable?!


12. Wooden Race Track + Mini Cars

Amazon

My nephew would be all. over. this. Such a fun way to play with all those cars and trucks they might have.


13. Wooden Bakery Food Play Set

Amazon

If mom and dad want some coffee and toast? Don’t worry, the little one has it covered. This food set is especially great if your kiddo loves all the adult tasks and things, but aren’t quite ready to be wielding knives. Great way to start practicing, though.


14. Magnet Building Toys

Amazon

Everyone’s kids LOVE magnet tiles. There’s one specific brand that everyone knows (Magna Tiles), but these are a bit more affordable and come in the prettiest colors.


15. Radio Flyer Wagon

Amazon

A classic Radio Flyer for all the neighborhood walks. How nostalgic?


16. Stacking Toy

Amazon

Any type of stacking toy is great, but this one in particular was a personal suggestion from the team. (The wheels slowly spin, too.)


17. Beehive Lacing Activity

Target

The cutest motor-skill activity you ever did see. They can practice lacing the strings in and out of the beehive.


18. Cubes Building Set

Etsy

As Shana said, “You can build them all up and karate chop them down.” These blocks are especially great because they’re soft, so if one or two are thrown around…no injuries here.


19. HarperIman Plush Linen Doll

Target

HarperIman is a Black-owned business that makes the cutest dolls ever. The attention to detail is amazing. They noted on their site, “We are committed to making dolls of color that represent the type of dolls that we wished we had and dolls of color that we needed growing up.”


20. Play Kitchen

Amazon

The amount of play kitchens that are nicer than my own… But how stinkin’ cute! I would have gotten allll the use out of this as a kid, and I know my nephew loves his too.


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Happy holiday shopping!

-Danielle

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Danielle — easily — wins the most helpful award in almost every category. While her background is Design & Merchandising, she has become the TME jack of all trades, working on our website design, infrastructure and graphic design, in addition to writing articles. A lover of neutrals, she manages to come up with seriously cool outfits using basic wardrobe staples, is a whiz at distilling trends, and — thanks in part to her own style — is a natural at making practical outfits more interesting.

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