Christmas is just around the corner – have you made your lists yet? It can be both fun and challenging to find Christmas gifts each year, but with a little thought and time, you’ll be well-prepared. In this blog post I hope to give you some ideas to get you started and I’ll also share some of our favorite things to give as gifts.

In our home, we choose to do Christmas very simply. We usually have about three “larger” gifts under the Christmas tree and then have stockings with smaller gifts. We have done more gifts in the past and just found that it becomes overwhelming and takes away from the joy of the day. Keeping things simple has been very helpful. Some people find it helpful to do something like “something to wear”, “something to read”, and “something to play with”. I think this could be a really great way of doing things, especially if you have multiple children. It simplifies choosing gifts, while also keeping things somewhat fair. However you choose to do things, I hope you will find some ideas to get you thinking about gifts for your toddler for Christmas this year!

While the bulk of my Christmas shopping generally happens after Thanksgiving, I often start, and enjoy, picking up things here and there throughout the year, gradually increasing my purchases as we get closer to Christmas. This eases the burden of doing everything all at once and also allows me to choose more unique gifts as I see them rather than waiting until the last minute. If I am not able to make a purchase when I see something, I will make a note on my phone and add to it as I have other ideas for Christmas. This makes it easy to refer back to as we get closer to Christmas and I need to get more serious about my planning and shopping.

Let’s dive in to Christmas gifts for toddler girls!

Children at this age are growing rapidly and learning new things each and every day. I find the best gifts to be the ones that stimulate growth and encourage learning and exploring the world. Toys that encourage imaginative play will stimulate your child’s critical thinking skills and encourage verbal and social skill development. All of the things on this list are things that will invite imagination, curiosity, and wonder. 


First up is books. There are well-documented benefits to early and frequently reading aloud to children. It helps build vocabulary and verbal skills, evokes imagination and curiosity, fosters connection and bonding, teaches lessons, provides background information, and so many more things. In our home, I like to keep books sitting on coffee tables, in baskets, beside the bed – basically, I intentionally scatter books throughout the house to invite my child into the world of reading. 

A new picture books is always a special and becomes a gift that is treasured for years to come. I’ll Iist just a few of our favorite books here, but if you’re interested in other ideas for books, you can check out my blog post about favorite toddler books here or my favorite Bible story books here. 

1. A Virginia Lee Burton Treasury by Virginia Lee Burton

2. The Complete Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem

3. James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

4. Bear Snores On, Bear Can’t Sleep, and Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson

5. The Little Blue Truck Books by Alice Schertle

6. The Mitten by Jan Brett

7. A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee and Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen

8. The Lupine Lady by Barbara Cooney

9. Little Pea, Little Hoot, Little Oink by Amy Krouse

10. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

All of these books are delightful stories with beautiful illustrations that will capture your child’s imagination and stir appreciation for the world around us. While some may be be a little beyond the understanding of young toddlers, they are books that your child can grow into and read for a long time. 

Read-Aloud Books

We also have a handful of books that read the story aloud at the push of a button and these are super fun for young readers to be able to “read” the story for themselves. Books that play music or sing songs are also a fun addition to your library. Here’s a few we like:

1. Wiggle, Jiggle, Sing and Giggle

2. Around the Farm

Educational Toys

The world of educational toys is vast and there are so many possibilities for gifts depending on the interests of the child. We love Melissa & Doug toys for their high quality and creative play potential. Toys that allow children to use their imagination in play are always a favorite, especially toys that allow children to mimic what they see their parents doing in their own little world. 

Magnetic tiles are a favorite toddler toy and will provide hours of building, creating, and imaginative play for your little ones. These are a great toy to have on hand for quiet times and they are also a toy that will grow with your child. Watch for them to go on sale as they can be a bit pricey otherwise. 

Shape Sorters are a great way to encourage fine motor skills, shape and object identification, and matching. This adorable shape sorter set is a picnic basket with the food items being different shapes. Also comes with plates, forks, and cups! Your toddler will enjoy pretending she is having a picnic while also practicing sorting colors and shapes – play AND learning at the same time is the best thing!

For the child that loves anything farm-themed, this Melissa & Doug wooden barn with assorted animals would be a great shape-sorter option. Of course, you have the traditional square cube with square, circle, triangle, and star shapes to sort and these are especially great for younger children just beginning to learn their shapes. 

This hedge hog shape sorter is a fun twist on the traditional and is a great way for your kiddo to practice hand-eye coordination. 

Imaginative Play Toys

Any little girl would love to have her own toy kitchen where she can pretend play to make her own cakes, soups, and bread. There are many different kitchen- food play sets to choose from: maybe your little chef would like to bake cookies or even scoop ice cream! Be sure and grab your little girl her own apron and kitchen utensil set to go along with her kitchen. 

If you don’t have room for an indoor kitchen, consider making or buying an outdoor kitchen play set. You could easily make something simple with pallets and add a few bowls and mixing spoons from thrift stores and have your own outdoor mud kitchen that will provide hours of outside fun and play. 

1. Ice Cream Shop

2. Wooden Cookies

3. Pots and Pans

4. Mixer set

5. Apron and kitchen utensils

Outside Toys

Being outside in nature every day is one of the most wonderful things for children. The fresh air, sunshine, opportunities to explore, take risks, and learn about nature are all great things for kids, not to mention the incredible benefits of to mental and emotional health. Having some outdoor toys to encourage independent, creative outdoor play will go a long way toward making your outside time enjoyable. Here’s a list of a few gift ideas:

1. This saucer swing would be a blast for any child.

2. Balance Bike

3. Water table

4. Sand table

5. Backyard play set

7. Yard tools

Sensory Toys

Sensory toys are great for allowing your child to explore and practice creativity and problem solving skills. Kinetic sand is one of our absolute favorite things for this. Add a few simple cookie cutters or other small toys and you will have something that will provide hours of creative, sensory play.

Of course, play-dough is another great option and you can find many, many different colors and coordinating toys. 

Duplo blocks are a great toy for this age group as they provide opportunities for your child to be creative, use her imagination, and practice problem solving skills. 

Brio trains are another fun toy for this age. Start with a small set and add on track, trains, and accessories year after year. The trains are just the right size for little hands and laying track will provide great opportunities to problem solve. These make fantastic gifts to “share” with a parent too as even adults will enjoy laying out train track and organizing the rail line. 

If you have the space, consider a fun play tent or tunnel. These are novelty items that will spark imagination and wonder and provide hours of entertainment for your little ones. 

Arts and Crafts

Children of all ages love simple crafts and craft supplies: stickers, crayons, markers, coloring books, pipe cleaners, buttons. Stickers make the perfect gift to accompany something smaller, or to stuff a stocking. They are also great gifts for your child to give to her little friends. Here’s a few other craft ideas your toddler might enjoy:
1. Dot-It Sticker activity

2. Melissa & Doug wooden craft kits

3. Hand puppet craft kit

4. Paint with water book

5. Paper plate craft kit

6. Do-A-Dot Markers


Puzzles are such a great gift for toddlers as they encourage problem solving, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skill development. You can find puzzles to meet the interest and ability level of any child, from small, wooden puzzles to chunky jig-saw puzzles and beyond. 

1. Wooden Animal Puzzle

2. Alphabet puzzle

3. Number puzzle

4. Pet puzzle

5. Farm jigsaw puzzle

6. Wooden animal puzzle


​Games can be a fun way for toddlers to learn to follow rules and there are many games out there that help to reinforce color, letter, and shape recognition. Board games make for a fun family night too! A few of our favorites are:

1. The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel

2. Candy Land

3. Snug as a Bug Game

4. Dominoes

5. Stacking board game

Dress-Up clothes

Dress-up play is a fun way for kiddos to exercise their imagination and travel to stories and places they might not otherwise go. This is one reason I love reading aloud so much – it gives children food for their imagination to grown on that they can transfer to their own creative play. Does your little girl love castles and princesses? Be sure and check out this set for your own little princess. Doctor, firefighter, astronaut, construction worker – there are so many different dress- up outfits out there that your child can literally be anything she wants to be. Don’t forget to include the accessories for the job!

1. Doctor play set

2. Princess dress-up

3. Construction worker outfit

Musical Instruments

Children love music and it is wonderful to encourage early musical exposure and experience. Encouraging singing and listening to music now will help your child develop rhythm, exposure to musical principles, and an interest in music that will set her up for success later if you choose to pursue music lessons. This set of instruments would be the perfect size for your toddlers to hold and play with. 

Plush Toys

Stuffed animals and other plush toys are one of the best toys for young children. Little hands love holding a soft animal that they can cuddle and play with. Take note of your child’s favorite colors, animals, or favorite characters. A small stuffed animal paired with a small book would be the perfect simple gift for any toddler!

This stuffed lamb is a perfect first gift for any bay girl.

This penguin stuffie is soft and cuddly, yet serves a dual purpose as being able to warm up and hug when needing a little extra comfort. 

Fabric baby dolls– these would make precious first baby doll gifts.


Every little girl should have a baby doll of her very own. It is amazing the instinct that little girls have to care for their baby dolls: feeding, dressing, rocking, putting down to sleep. Allowing a little girl to practice being a mama is the way she learns valuable life skills and it is so precious to see the way little girls loves on their babies. Baby doll accessories are another great gift idea that goes along with this: crib, extra clothes, bath supplies, and so on. You could probably add more accessories than you really want to have! If you have a grandma or older lady in your life who knows how to sew, consider asking them to make a few pieces of clothing for the baby. This is a simple gift idea for those older ladies looking to give or make something and girls love having extra clothes to change their baby dolls!

Doll houses are another fun toy that encourages imagination and problem solving skills. You will find doll houses all over the spectrum, ranging from simple to intricately detailed, and at every price point imaginable. We love this one from Fisher Price for our 3-year-old girl. She actually got it for her second birthday and it has been a well-loved gift this year. 

​Things to Wear

I generally like to steer away from giving a lot of “needs” for Christmas such as basic clothing needs, but sometimes there are helpful, wanted items that can make great gifts such as rain boots or a cute rain coat. Larger items like this that you can get by without having, but are nice to have, make good gifts. These are the things that I especially like to share with grandparents. 

Play jewelry is a fun addition to any little girl’s wardrobe or dress-up play. 

Hair bows and watches are some other ideas for small “things to wear” gifts. 

Seasonal Passes

If your family loves to visit zoos and museums, nature centers, or state parks – consider giving the gift of an annual membership to one of these places. This would be a great gift idea for grandparents looking for gift ideas. Seasonal passes are fun gifts because you can enjoy them over and over again. They also make great gifts if you are looking to give one gift to multiple children as a “share” gift. 

Our Favorite Gifts to Give

We have multiple little nieces and friends we are looking to buy gifts for for either Christmas or birthdays. I like to give gifts that align with the interests of the child while also providing educational value and learning opportunities. Books are one of the first things that I think of giving as a gift and a book plus a small toy makes a great gift for any child. 

This little fabric doll and book is a favorite with toddler girls. The doll can be removed and moved from page to page to dress her up in multiple different outfits. It is super adorable and makes a great travel toy too! 

Little Hoot, Little Oink, Little Owl is my favorite book set to give to toddlers. They are super sweet stories that children love to read over and over. 

Sticker books are always a hit with small children and I love first words sticker books or coloring sticker books. 

These are simple gifts, but they are well-loved and received by the recipients every time. 

As you choose gifts this Christmas, I hope you will look for gifts that will stimulate creativity, imagination, and wonder in your child. Gifts like puzzles, games, and books are gifts that will last a long time and be used over and over again. 

I hope that this blog post has give you some ideas of where to start shopping for your toddler girl this Christmas. While it is enjoyable to shop for our little people and dream of the perfect gift, let’s remember not to overcomplicate our gift-giving and miss the joy and wonder of the holiday season. 

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