Gifts for Toddlers and Young Kids that Promote Imaginative Play

My nieces have given me a special gift: I have a legitimate excuse to play with toys again.

The twins are on the cusp of three; double trouble, double delight. It is fun to watch them play; it’s fun to join in the play. I’m glad I’m not their mom at this stage. It would be WAY too much work.

They like to play tea party, and to play with miniature cars.  They are absolutely secure and determined when they want or need anything. Credit goes to their parents, who let these girls be who they are.

Also, the fact that they are twins gives them a ready-made comfort in being together; a reinforcement, a backup, a co-conspirator. It’s amusing to hear the echo. Well, it’s amusing to me; I’m not so sure their parents would concur.

Watching them play, I got some ideas for gifts for toddlers and younger kids. Thought maybe you would appreciate the insights. Here are their favorites; some are classics you’ll recognize.

Cars, trucks, trains and “erplanes”

My brother’s family came by airplane to visit us. It wasn’t the girls’ first plane trip, but it seems to have left a big impression. Their banter about the “erplane” was hysterical. They loved playing with the wooden train set, the toy cars, and, of course, the toy erplanes.

Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage Playset

Thomas and Friends wooden train set

Paw Patrol, Lights and Sounds Air Patroller Plane

Reinforced Tea Ware

The twins hosted a tea party for a herd of stuffed animals. They enjoyed the clank of the stoneware tea set. I got a little nervous that someone would get hurt as the cups and saucers met the ultimate child testing. So, stoneware may not be the way to go.

Infant Girl’s Indigo Jamm Hearts Tea Set

Moma Design Store Jungle Tea Set


Anything small was fair game: cars, animals, people, furniture. It wasn’t so much playing dolls or house, but playing “life.”

Gnome, Sweet Gnome Sustainable Wood Play Set

PLAYMOBIL Large City Zoo

Music Makers

Toddlers love music, and musical instruments. This play guitar has been a big hit with the T-set.

B. toys Woofer, Toy Guitars and String Instruments 

The more realistic looking guitar is also a toddler favorite.

Toy Guitar Rock Star 6 Stringed Toy Guitar Musical Instrument w/ Guitar Pick Vibrant Colors Acoustic Kids Children’s Tunable Vibrant Sounds Ukulele (Light Brown)

Fisher-Price Big Bang Drumset

The Game of Life

Speaking of realistic, any toys that provide an opportunity to imitate real life are always favorites with kids.

Little Patient

Melissa & Doug Doctor Role Play Costume Dress-Up Set (7 pcs)

KidKraft Tasty Treats Chef Accessory Set – Pink

Whatever gifts you decide on, be sure to join in on the play time. Your attention is what makes any toy more fun, and that is the real gift you will give and receive!


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2 comments on “Gifts for Toddlers and Young Kids that Promote Imaginative Play”
  1. A. JoAnn says:

    Yes siree!! And my grandnephews (3 and 1) love the guitar dog ??

  2. tablefor5nyc says:

    Love all of these ideas and we already know they’ve been kid tested with a seal of approval!

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