Ain’t no-one harder to buy for than a small child who doesn’t actually need anything but also has the ability to cast a toy aside after approximately 12 seconds of playtime leaving you feeling particularly fragile. We’ve put our heads together to create a list of some of our kids’ favourite and most-loved gifts (they’re almost four, two and a half, one and six months old, just FYI).
There’s some supermarkets buys, some brilliant independent finds, budget bits, splurge pieces and the rest.
And yes, there’s a handful of presents that we’d like to help them unwrap too…
For more present ideas, check out this post with our ideas for one-year-olds.
Hannah only discovered these after baby number two, but the felt flaps make them so much easier for little hands to navigate. There’s plenty of versions to choose from, including animals and job roles. We love the ‘Where’s Mrs Doctor?’ as it pushes back beautifully against traditional gender stereotypes.
Not the most exciting present to open for bigger kids but we LOVE Lindex for inexpensive cool printed clothes like leggings and sleepsuits for smaller ones. A lovely way to update their wardrobe in the next size up.
A great present for one-year-olds and two-year olds is a busy board. Which is a board crammed with lots of things like hooks and buttons and zips for little hands to explore. You can make your own if you’re feeling like a challenge (give it a Google or a search on Pinterest for plenty of inspo) or you can snap up a ready made one online – Etsy is brilliant for this.
Melissa & Doug are best known for their Montessori-style wooden toys, but we’ve found their jumbo colouring in books to be some of the best out there for toddlers and small kids who like to get their scribble on. There’s a few different styles, but the Animals one is our fave.
Personalised denim jackets? Um, YES PLEASE! These glorious pieces of artwork (which, let’s be honest, can absolutely double up as nursery decor) are currently on pre-order from Little Midnight. V cute!
Flying Tiger now officially delivers via their online shop to the UK – hurrah! Our pick? Their lovely bright wooden puzzles which make for great presents from age three onwards. The perfect thing to hand down to smaller kid mates once they’ve outgrown.
A gorgeous little present to buy a niece or nephew or a best mate’s kid is a snuggly dressing gown (our top tip is always to go a size bigger than you think you need to, that way they can grow into it). We love H&M’s gender neutral and affordable creature range.
For baby’s first dolly, we love these super soft and cuddly designs from Olli Ella. There’s a handful of styles to choose from, and other accessories like a carrycot are extra. For a traditional style doll we recommend Miniland – they’re genital accurate and come in a brilliant variety of skin tones and ethnicities.
Give bath time a glorious colourful edge with LUSH’s Rainbow bubble bar which is vegan and suitable for toddler’s skin. Crumble a bit in at a time to make it last at least the week.
What do you buy the kid who ha literally every toy in the world thanks to older siblings and their glorious hand-me-downs? WELL, you wrap up the hand-me-downs obvs, treat them to a few new books, and then there’s this, which is what Hannah’s son is getting: a stacker toy shaped like a burger.
Got a vehicle mad kid but maxed out the Hot Wheels offering? We love Candylab’s quirky van range influenced by American vintage vans and cars. From ice cream trucks and hot dog vans to iconic NYC taxis, they’re a little spendier than you’re average, but they’ll make great collectibles.
Hunting out the cutest Jellycat toys on the internet could easily be a full-time job. They’re popular for good reason: they’re incredibly soft, they come in the sweetest designs, and they’re easy enough to replace if you lose your child’s beloved rabbit whilst staying in an airbnb. Perfect for babies to grow into.
Win the bathtime battle with Green Toys’ submarine, made from 100% recycled plastic.
If you like your kids toys a little more, ahem, aesthetically pleasing, you can’t go wrong with this balance bike. It looks way more expensive than it’s £49.99 price tag, and is perfect for letting adventurous toddlers hone their balance skills and build up to riding a proper bike.
A brilliant starting point for approaching the racism conversation with small children. This colourful book is easy to understand, asks thought-provoking questions and features lift-the-flaps guaranteed to engage little minds. Find more inclusive and anti-racism books for younger kids here.
Gemma’s little boy makes a beeline for this cute ice cream cart whenever he sees it at another kid’s house. Beautifully designed, great for passing down to siblings and a brilliant way to distract them from asking for actual ice cream.
House full of toys that barely get played with? We feel ya. A subscription to toy library Whirli is the perfect solution – members can choose from over 1000 toys to rent for as long as they want. Once your done, just send them back to swap for something else or, if your child has become really attached, buy it from Whirli for less than the RRP.
The kind of toy you know you’ll regret buying but do it anyway because the look on their face on Christmas Day will be so worth it. It’s one of Aldi’s top selling toys and comes in Fire Engine and Ambulance versions too.
Gemma invested in this for her first baby and recommends it to every new parent. It’s less garish than a jumperoo and turns into a table that her toddler uses for mealtimes and crafts when her 6-month-old isn’t playing in it. It’s pricey, but you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Handknit baby wear made to order for by a grandma. The perfect outfit for baby’s Instagram debut.
Say goodbye to screen time guilt with a Yoto player. This speaker can be controlled by your little one using smart cards (sold separately) to play audio stories from authors including Julia Donaldson, Roald Dahl and Judith Kerr. There’s also music, podcasts and radio and it doubles up as a normal bluetooth speaker, nightlight and wake-up clock.
For those who don’t quite have the budget to stretch to Grimm’s cult wooden Montessori-style toys, we adore this rainbow stacker which comes in under £20 from Smyths Toys. Looks v chic in your kid’s room and can be played with plenty of ways.
Very Puzzled’s colourful puzzles are designed to educate kids on the countries of the African diaspora. You’ll both learn about monuments, famous figures and attractions as you play.
Former Topshop buyer and mum of three Ali McAleavy launched footwear brand Zig + Star out of frustration at the lack of gender neutral and sustainable kids footwear on the market. The brand’s Rockit boots feature a genius removeable midsole which helps adjust fit and, once removed, allows extra room to grow. They’re podiatrist approved, too.
Another fave buy – especially for young kids who really don’t need anything for Christmas – is a gorgeous bright, happy print for their room. Dinky Mix is a brilliant black-owned business with fun, colourful designs which are pefect for kids. We also love Eleanor Bowmer and Max Made Me Do It.