It happens in the blink of an eye. One day our babies are exactly that, a baby, and the next they are crawling, walking and starting to talk. The toddler stage comes around fast and leaves just as quickly. But it’s super fun whilst it lasts!

If you are looking for thoughtful gifts for a particularly curious toddler, you have come to the right place. In this article, we are going to share our birthday gift ideas for children 1 to 3, a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development.

Having an adventurous and daring toddler with curiosity is both exciting and nerve-wracking. With their newfound freedom (of wobbly walking), they want to explore just about everywhere. They are becoming more confident in climbing and are getting themselves into all kinds of mischief.

At this adorable age, toddlers seem to be more interested in the world around them than their toys, which means shopping for them is challenging, which is why gifts that reflect that world tend to work best.

Top Gift Ideas For Curious Toddlers

If you are looking for an amazing gift for a little girl or boy, we’ve got you covered. We are certain that the special little one in your life will adore every one of the gifts in our gift guide for curious toddlers.

child with dolls pram in garden
Dolls prams and walkers help develop balance and confidence walking

Dolls Pram

A dolls pram is an excellent gift for children at any age! But toddlers in particular love having anything with wheels to push around. Aside from helping them become more confident with their walking, a dolls pram is an amazing way to encourage development.

Role-playing is a crucial element of childhood as it allows children to develop a range of skills and qualities by mimicking their favourite people; whether that’s mum and dad, teachers, doctors or even superheroes! Roleplaying can help with emotional development, language and communication skills, physical and cognitive skills and even social skills.

A doll and dolls pram are wonderful gifts for girls and boys alike. Especially if you opt for a quality dolls pram with functioning features that mimic the real thing. It’s also a great idea if you are considering welcoming a new baby to the family in the near future.

child wearing backpack walks to school with parent

Personalised Backpack

OK, so a backpack isn’t the most exciting gift for a toddler. But it is super practical, and a perfect gift for boys and girls at nursery or pre-school. If you are the parent or guardian, then you’ll know that leaving the house involves packing a choice of fun toys and books to keep your little one occupied during your outing.

Having their very own backpack provides the perfect place to store their toys for days out. It’s ideal for carrying their snacks, drinks bottle, change of clothes and anything else they may need. And it brings consistency to any overnight stay to nanny and grandads, as well as being useful for the grandparents to know where things are for them.

And here’s the thing you will find, parent shop in the same places, which is why name labels are essential on everything. But we do that on suitcases too and people still absentmindedly take the wrong one. Opting for a personalised backpack ensures it’s never mistaken for another child’s backpack, whether at nursery, toddler groups or the park.

mother and child read interactive book together
Kids will love reading with you and it’s crucial to their learning development

Interactive Books

Books are always a great idea, and reading together really helps for later education. And they make a fun and educational gift for children of all ages. Interactive or popup books are particularly amazing as they keep even the most inquisitive toddlers engaged and help hand-eye coordination.

With fun books, they can learn new numbers, shapes, words, animals and so much more. Mini libraries, which include a selection of books especially for the toddler years, are also an excellent gift idea.

Climbing Blocks

Toddlers LOVE to climb. As they develop their gross motor skills, they will try to explore every inch of their environment. With climbing blocks, toddlers have a dedicated and safe space to climb, jump and crawl to fulfil that exploration desire away from the furniture.

Most climbing blocks are interchangeable meaning they can be moved into different shapes and heights. They are usually made from soft foam and are brightly coloured. So rather than stopping their natural instinct to explore, let kids play in safety instead.

If you are considering creating a play corner or room in your home, a set of climbing blocks will be a much-loved addition for your toddler.

toddler plays with toy kitchen
Budding chefs will spend hours in a play kitchen

Toy Kitchen

Any parent will know just how much toddlers love to be in the kitchen. After all, there’s so much to explore!

And where possible, toddlers love to get their hands on your kitchen utensils. You could give them amazing toys, but your little one will still prefer a wooden spoon and a pan.

And it’s actually great for developing fine motor skills with imaginative play, which is the small muscles working with the brain and nervous system to control movements in areas such as the hands and fingers.

Unfortunately for them, the kitchen isn’t the safest place in the home, however much they want you to copy you. However, with pretend play in a toy kitchen, the toddler toddler in your life can have hours of fun “cooking” up a storm in a safe and exciting way!

For my kids, they always preferred the toy kitchen over the dollhouse. And you can even put it in the garden for outdoor playtime and let the imagination and discovery run free. I’d always advise designated play areas visible from the house and away from any dangers.

Other ideas

There are plenty of other options for the best gifts for kids this age group, building blocks (especially the magnet style Magna-Tiles for hours of building), toy animals, a push toy, nature explorer playsets, puzzles and shape sorters. Anything that improves problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination is a winner and the perfect present, although younger kids would likely benefit more from sensory toys, while preschoolers need something more age appropriate.

We’ve covered this before but wooden toys are often better for many reasons, and educational toys really do help them learn and make going to school much easier.

And finally, please be mindful of any games or activities that makes a mess and is a genuine nightmare for parents (like playdough and kinetic sand). Arts and crafts can be structured so is a little bit different as does shape creativity. Music instruments are similar, as the noise may not be welcome.