Holiday Gift Guide for Toddlers

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Alternate title: Toys Our Little Guy Actually Plays With

Has anyone started their holiday shopping yet? I’m usually not someone who is ahead of the game, but now that I have a child, I can’t help myself. I see things that I know Quinn will love and just have to buy them. I mean, Amazon Prime… hello, stuff comes right to your house with two clicks!

Ok, so I already bought Qman this Wooden Doll House that I know he will lovvveee (like so much) as well as this Melissa & Doug Scissor Skills Activity Book because he is obsessed with all things scissors nowadays. He’s also loving gears and screws, so I was planning to buy him the Gearation Refrigerator Magnets that he fell in love with at Dave and Marie’s house a couple of weeks ago, but then I found this ridiculous Set for Building Endless Creations with Gears, Interlocking Blocks, Screws and More, which, of course, is wayyyyy cooler. Oh, boy… decisions.

Even though I want to buy Quinn a zillion new toys for Christmas, he already has a room full of them, so we’re trying to be selective with what we purchase. I figured some of you guys might be in the same boat, so I wanted to share some of the toys that Qman actually plays with to help you narrow-down the field. And I would love, love, love to hear your toddler’s favorites, too! Some of the toys mentioned below are ones that Quinn has had since his first birthday and still plays with today as a 2.5 year old, so they definitely have some longevity. I hope this toddler gift guide gives you some great ideas for the special little person in your life this holiday season! 🙂

Included below are a number of affiliate links. Thank you so much for supporting CNC! 

Dickie Toys Light and Sound Helicopter: Two words: ENDLESS FUN. This helicopter truly might be Quinn’s favorite toy, and it’s funny because it’s actually a hand-me-down from his cousin. Quinn plays with it ALL the time and it often goes in the car with us because he just loves it so much. It has sliding doors and a retractable hook, so he’s constantly putting cars/army guys/snacks inside or pulling them up and down. There’s seriously endless fun with this toy.

Power Wheels Ford Super Duty Pick-Up: Quinn has a couple of these ride-on vehicles, but this one is definitely his favorite because it has lights, realistic motor sounds, and a trunk!

VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Spinning Spiral Tower Playset: VTech toys are so great and this playset is one of Quinn’s favorites. He loves sending cars down and around the ramp.

VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Ultimate RC SpeedwayThe playset above goes especially well with this Speedway. We have it set up in our living room, and Quinn plays with it It comes with an interactive remote control and all sorts of cool locations/mechanical features for the car to pass through. It’s wicked cool. I even like watching him play with it! 🙂

Wubble Bubble Ball: Oh my gosh, this thing… Quinn thinks it’s the coolest toy ever because it looks like a huge bubble/ball, so it’s fun to throw, catch, and kick. It also comes with an air pump to blow it up, which, of course, is the best thing ever and provides hours of entertainment. He might even like the pump more than the ball itself! 🙂

Play-Doh Town Fire Truck: Just about every kid likes Play-Doh, right? Qman loves this set because you can “squirt” Play-Doh water through a cannon and push it through the fireman’s hat to make a beard. How fun is that?!

Paw Patrol, Lights and Sounds Air Patroller Plane: Similar to the helicopter mentioned above, the Paw Patrol Air Patroller Plane is another Qman favorite. He loves using his Paw Patrol figurines with it– putting them in/taking them out and flying them all around. It’s definitely a top toy in our house!

Black & Decker Tool Belt Set: Quinn is obsessed with Dada’s tools, so he’s a huge fan of having his own tool set.

Ice Cream Shooter: Plastic cone + a foam ball on a string? Apparently, it’s the best toy ever to a 2 year old. We originally bought it for our trip to Seattle last summer, and it’s been in constant rotation ever since!

Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike: I’ve mentioned this bike on CNC in the past, but it’s such a great toy, I just had to mention it again. It grows with your child, so it has 4 ways to ride: infant trike, steering trike, learn-to-ride trike, and classic trike. Quinn loves it, and we take it out almost daily when we walk Murphy.

Questions of the Day

What toy(s) do your kids play with again and again?

What’s on your toddler’s holiday list this year? I’d love some more ideas! 




  1. Hi Tina,

    Can you recommend any great gifts for guys who just started a healthy lifestyle? I am looking for a gift for my hubby and am thinking of a pull up bar. Anything else? Thanks

  2. We try to get gifts that will grow with our kids and that they won’t lose interest in quickly. So I would much rather spend more money on fewer toys. One example is Magnatiles. We were given a set for my daughter’S second birthday and they are still a hit. Highly recommend

    1. @Brynn: I had a mini trampoline growing up and it was the greatest thing ever. We’d make obstacle courses with it, hold long jump competitions (landing on an old mattress), and when I got older we even took it outside to put on our big 15′ trampoline for some physics fun. That mini trampoline along with a low-to-floor balance beam that my parents got for my brother and I were probably the most used toys throughout 15+ years.

  3. What about some books? Very simple board books are great for little hands and you could also add in some books that you read aloud to him.

    1. Books are a great gift! I bought Qman a holiday flap book that he’s going to love, but we’re actually big fans of the library lately! 🙂

  4. We just bought the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 for our Quinn! He turns 1 on the 19th so I am so happy to see this made the list 🙂 I really didn’t want to over do it with toys and since his bday is a little more than a month before Christmas I really wanted to get a fun gift we can use in the coming months as well! I am totally getting him the gear magnets too- MAYBE I can get half a meal cooked with those on the fridge!

    Great list thanks for sharing!

  5. I just came back from a trip and bought the Eeboo puzzle pairs (alphabet and numbers) for our almost 2+ year old (3 in April). He loves puzzles and we are working on identifying his letters. It has been a lot of fun playing with them already.

  6. My 2 yr. old also loves the vtech tower! We gave it to him when he was one and he still plays with it every night! I’m not sure what to get him for Christmas, I just reorganized his playroom and the idea of putting more toys in it stresses me out, lol. Plus we will be visiting family in another state for Christmas this year so I don’t want to have to lug too many gifts back and forth. If I can find one great, fun gift I’d be happy (plus some books, we LOVE books!) so I’m still on the hunt but these are great recommendations!

  7. And I just gave my son the black and decker tool belt kit yesterday (birthday gift from family) and he loves it! He wore the belt all day, haha.

  8. Tina, I know you Said your son watches Dinotrux… they do make all the characters as real trucks (sold at Target & Amazon)… my son is the same age as Quinn & LOVES them…

  9. Last year when our son was 6 months old we started the tradition of this poem: Something you need, something you want, something you need and something you read. This year he will be 19 months and carrying on the tradition. We are also going to buy him a membership to an activity either music class or a museum pass. A gift that will continue on and not just another toy.

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