Friday, 3 November 2017

Great Presents for 1, 2, 3 and 4 Year Olds

If you are wondering what present to buy your child, niece, nephew or friend's children this post is full of inspiration for you. From age 1 to 4 these present ideas have been tried and tested to ensure they appeal. Most of the presents will provide entertainment for years so they are great for siblings to play with as well as toddlers and preschoolers.

Collage of 12 picture as shown below showing great present ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers


Presents For Creativity

GeoMag Magicubes (18 months plus)

I received 2 sets of GeoMag Magicubes back in September and they remain a firm favourite in our house. They are played with nearly every day so I had to include them in this gift guide. Essentially they are building blocks with magnets inside making them both easier to stack and more versatile. We use our 2 sets together, but if just buying one I would recommend the Safari Park Set (affiliate link). It has 14 magnetic cubes which younger children will enjoy building into towers and older children will have fun making the animal jigsaws. You can read my full review of Magicubes here.

A close up shot of a toddler playing with magnetic cubes with pictures on

In The Night Garden Double-sided Magnetic Play Set (2 years plus)

This double sided magnetic play set comes with 15 magnets providing 2 backdrops for making up stories with your child. You can encourage them to move Iggle Piggle, Makka Pakka and friends around while you tell a story or get them to create their own scene. You could even recreate an episode of In The Night Garden you have just watched together to help improve memory skills and develop early story telling ability.

A toddler putting Upsy Daisy on a magnetic board with a forest backdrop

Lego Duplo Cars 3 Piston Cup Race (2 years plus)

Duplo is an old favourite because it allows children to build, but is also has good chunky pieces that can be played with before they have learnt how to connect the pieces together. At nearly 2 my youngest still prefers to take Duplo apart than build things, but this great Disney Pixar Cars 3 set has provided lots of fun. It comes with Lightning McQueen, Jackson Storm and Luigi as well as a cup of course. She loves to say "ready, steady, go" and push the cars through the starting gate as well as race them around the room with her big sister.

The Piston Cup set built with Lightning McQueen and Jackson Storm underneath the starting gate

Presents To Get Them Moving


Toddlebike2 (18 months plus)

This beginner bike is great for children from when they can walk steadily (somewhere between 18 months and 2 years). It helps introduce toddlers to the skills they will need to ride a bike and gives them an alternative way to get around. It's super light weight making it ideal to take out with you. You can read my full review of the Toddlebike2 here and if you want to buy one you can currently get 10% off with the discount code BLOG17.

The Toddlebike2 in racing red

Lil' Monkey Climbing Frame (18 months plus)

My youngest loves to climb. This isn't a problem when we can go outside, but at home she is often found balancing precariously on toys or a box. To help keep her happy (and safer) I bought this Lil' Monkey climbing frame (affiliate link). The small plastic frame fits in our living room providing plenty of entertainment. It has a slide, a frame to climb on and a small platform she can stand on to look out the window safely. It has also been used as a play table and a den with a blanket over the top. It doesn't take up much space, but when we do want more room we can take the slide parts off and it folds up to fit in the cupboard.

A white, green and red climbing frame with a red slide

Cat Buildin’ Crew Roll ‘n Go™ (2 years plus)

This easy to use and fun digger from Toy State moves around and makes noises encouraging young children to chase him around. Move the wheel on Powerhouse Pete’s hat and he moves forwards, move it backwards and he reverses. His eyes move, lights flash and he makes noises too. It uses 3 AA batteries which are handily included. Haulin' Harry is also available in the same CAT Roll 'n Go range.

A yellow and black digger with a face and a red wheel on it's head

Presents To Encourage Role Play


Rocco's Big Race (18 months plus)

I love WOW toys. The chunky vehicle's move (without batteries) and they are so confident that they will survive rough toddler play that they offer a 5 year guarantee. The fun Rocco's Big Race set contains: a tow truck, trailer, race car and 2 figures. Put down the tail gate of the truck, pull out the winch then press the green button and the car will be pulled up the ramp, press the red button and watch it roll down again. You can open up the windscreens to get the characters in and out (WOW figures all have their arms out to stop them being a choking hazard) so you can role play as the mechanic or the driver of Axel the race car. 

A close up of a blue tow truck with a red car being winched up


Leap Frog Count Along Till (2 years plus)

Children love to play shops. The Count Along Till (affiliate link) sings and talks as you check out your items then tells you how much you have to pay. It's a fun interactive toy which helps teach children to count. Includes a selection of food, money and loyalty card. Requires 3 AAA batteries (included for display purposes only).
A green and blue children's till surrounded by toys and coins

Picnic Basket With Wooden Food (3 years plus)

Young children love to have pretend tea parties and I adore this picnic set from Jo Jo Maman Bebe for something slightly different. They can layout their picnic blanket, pour out tea from the wooden flask into the cups and then serve up sandwiches, cake and fruit to their guest. When it's time to pack it away it can all go into the beautiful wicker basket which I know would be carried around the house for days by my little ones.
image of a wicker basket, red gingham cloth, wooden cups and food

Presents To Improve Coordination


In The Night Garden Peg Puzzle (1 year plus)

This puzzle has some of the best loved In The Night Garden characters on 5 wooden pieces which can be placed in the correct shapes to aid fine motor skill development. The colours of the pegs match the cut outs helping with colour recognition too. This peg puzzle is a great early learning toy with bright colours and recognisable characters.

A close up of a child putting a piece in the peg puzzle

Cat Buildin’ Crew E-Z Radio Controlled Machines (2 years plus)

This CAT tipper truck from Toy State is a fun remote control truck for toddlers. You start it by pressing the light on Haulin' Harry's head and it spins around in circles until you use the remote control to drive it in a particular direction. This makes it easy to turn around when it gets to furniture or a wall and stops it going too far away. My toddler likes running round it in circles. On the rare occasions I can get her to hand over the controls we have fun by putting items in the back (e.g. a ball) and taking them for a ride around the room. Between the truck and the remote control you need 6 AAA batteries.

side view of a yellow CAT tipper truck and a child lying on the floor with a remote control

My First Scaletrix (3 years plus)

This fun scaletrix set appeals to preschoolers as much as adults who remember playing it in their youth. This version has a colour coded track which is easy to build and matching cars and controllers. If the cars are going too fast and the child keeps making it shoot off the track you can limit the speed. Read my full review of the My First Scaletrix set here.

Close up view of some track with the red and yellow scalextric cars

My First Drone (4 years plus)

Drones are hugely popular at the moment and there is no reason little ones should miss out on the fun with this easy to fly drone from Little Tikes. We have all had great fun flying it around our living room (well the cat doesn't like it) and the one touch controls make it easy to get used to. You can see our video flying My First Drone for the first time here.

You charge the drone from the handset (which uses 6 AA batteries!) and a 30 minute charge gives you 5 to 10 minutes playtime. The remote control is easy to use with a button for taking off (and going up), a button for going down (hold down for landing) and left and right buttons to change direction. We found there was a small delay after pressing the buttons so the child controlling it needs to anticipate when it’s getting too close to furniture. If all goes wrong there is a big STOP button in the middle of the control which cuts the engine immediately. Better to hit the floor than to repeatedly hit the wall with the blades. 

The drone is really light and feels fragile, but we have hit it against the wall, door and sofa at least 20 times so far with just a few scratches on the blades. For a 4 year old you will want to be on hand while they get used to flying the drone to help minimise the risk of damage.


The red, white and black drone in focus in the foreground with 2 children out of focus in the background, one holding a red and black remote control


And Finally A Present For Some Quiet Time


The Children's Meditations In My Heart Book

Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday or another occasion it can all get a bit loud and exciting. The Children's Meditations books (affiliate link) make a special present which will help calm them down again. It has four short stories to share together which form meditations to read to children. The book aims to encourage parents to teach their child the importance of self-esteem and self-love. At night the meditations enable children to drift off into a calming sleep or it can be used as a bonding session during the day. Originally published in Danish by Gitte Winter Graugaard this book makes a lovely gift that I'm sure will be appreciated by all parents.

The Children's Meditations In My Heart book on a bed


If you are still looking for inspiration then check out my previous post with more present ideas for a 1 year old.

***Disclosure: I requested most of these items to review in order to include them in my gift guide. They were all personally selected and included because based on my experience they would make great presents for toddlers and preschoolers***
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13 comments

  1. Some fantastic suggestions here. I really need to get my thinking cap on for Christmas presents for my daughter so this has given me food for thought

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  2. Oh man, I have 5 birthdays to contend with in December (my own boys & then nieces & nephews) as well as Christmas...one year I’ll be organised 🙈 Fab suggestions! x

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  3. Ah some great suggestions! My son would love the toddle bike and mini climbing frame! I should probably start thinking about christmas presents since it's just around the corner now, eek! x

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  4. Great gift suggestions. My little one is 4 months so will keep a look out for these in the coming months :) x

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  5. I love the ITNG toys, fab. Great write up on the toys x

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  6. Some really great present ideas here. My sons birthday is December too, so we are starting our shopping next week! I can't wait to start :)

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  7. Ah fab ideas! We're struggling for present ideas for our 2 year old. But I think we might get her that Leap Frog till :)

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  8. Lovely gift ideas, I have a 13 year old son who is a nightmare to buy for, a five year old daughter who wants everything and an 8 month old daughter who should be easy to buy for too xxx

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  9. That drone looks fab - and a lot more robust than the one my 9 yr old has #triedtested

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  10. That climbing frame looks amazing and the Leapfrog Count Along Till would even be loved by my 3 year old! Some great gifts there! Thanks for joining in with our #GiftGuideLinkUp

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  11. The till looks amazing. I was going to buy something like that for my 2 year old but then didn't in the end. Maybe for her birthday. I have seen the drone many times before and it looks amazing. Thanks for linking up to the #GiftGuideLinkUp

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  12. Lots of great ideas here, I don't think Duplo ever goes out of fashion. Mich x

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  13. We're big fans of Lego Duplo so glad to see them on your list! What great picks x #TriedTested x

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