30 of the Best Little Kid Gifts This Year

updated Nov 13, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Little boy opening a gift. other gifts and another child in photo
Credit: Melissa Milis Photography/Stocksy

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As toddlers grow and become little kids, they have a whole new world of toys suddenly available to them. You no longer have to worry about choking hazards, and the play options are virtually endless. From ride-on toys to artsy toys to dolls, we put together a list that spans ages and interests.

However, as fun as it is to shop for little kids, it can also be really hard because at this age, their interests start to diversify, and they can become pretty opinionated. So our biggest tip? Before buying a toy or gift for a kid in this age group, make sure you’re up to date on their current interests — what’s a hit for one kid might be a flop for another. With 30 awesome gifts to choose from below, you’ll have plenty of options to put together the perfect gift for even the pickiest little kid.

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Rather than pushing around a tea cart, little ones will enjoy pushing around an ice cream shop. It comes with ice cream, popsicles, and lollipops for kids to "sell." It also has space for them to store other toys or belongings.

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Pottery Barn Kids

No pretend sales transaction is complete without pretend money. This age group is huge on pretend play, so they'll appreciate that this toy looks realistic. Pretend money is also great for supporting early math skills.

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Fat Brain Toys

This beautiful wooden personalized name puzzle gives kids ownership in their play. What's more, it can become a beautiful room decoration once they've grown out of playing with the puzzle.

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Fat Brain Toys

A ride-on car meets a scooter meets the future! This unique car uses natural forces to move, so all they need to do is turn the wheel to get going. The weight limit goes all the way up to 220 pounds, which means the whole family can take turns going for a spin.

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was $40.95

The Baby Stella doll is a soft and cuddly toy that can be a favorite for bedtime or for pretend play. Little kids can change her clothes and put her pacifier into her mouth. If you have a new addition coming to your family soon, this is an excellent gift to help your little kid get ready for all the changes that are about to happen.

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Melissa & Doug

You don't have to take them out to the bowling alley to knock over some pins. This fun monster set comes with six plush pins and a stuffed ball so you can set up some lanes in your own home. Parents everywhere will rejoice that this soft bowling set is much less likely to do damage to your home decor than a traditional set.

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Melissa & Doug

This 100-piece block set has plenty of shapes and pieces to construct all sorts of creations. These blocks are on the small side, so they're definitely ideal for kids 3 and up who are ready to move on from chunky toddler blocks.

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Melissa & Doug

Turn the traditional doctor's play kit up a notch with this doctor activity center. It's a wooden play space that includes an exam room, a waiting room, a sink, and a reception area. For kids who are afraid to go to the doctor's office, this role-play toy can help make the experience less intimidating.

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was $15.99

Will she be an astronaut? An artist? A superhero? A doctor? Your kids get to decide when they dress Julia up using her magnetic clothes and accessories.

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Balance bikes have taken over the scene, with some parents skipping the tricycle and training wheel phase completely. This uniquely styled bike comes in six stylish and calming colors.

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If you're buying a bike or any other wheeled toy, you can't forget the helmet! For little kids who are helmet-resistant, try something fun like this dinosaur helmet, complete with spikes.

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was $89.99

A bathroom, kitchen, family room, bedroom, and even a rooftop patio: what else could a kid ask for in a dollhouse? It's tall enough to fit dolls up to 12 inches, like Barbies and Disney Princess dolls. This gift is perfect if you want to wow them with something big and exciting!

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Pottery Barn Kids

Made of wood with a cotton basket, this shopping cart will provide hours of fun without filling your home with brightly colored plastic toys. Note that play food is not included, so you might want to invest in a set if you don't already have some.

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Pottery Barn Kids

Little kids are drawn to trains, and this set is an excellent price for everything you get. It includes 19 track pieces, 4 trains, and 25 other building pieces and accessories. The track can be configured in many ways, and it's easy to store when not in use.

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Give your little kid a place to relax in style, whether it's for quiet time, reading, or just hanging out. This lightweight hammock rocks and can easily be moved indoors or outdoors. Reviewers with sensory-seeking children and children on the autism spectrum note that their kids really enjoy this product.

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Uncommon Goods

Many kids enjoy baking and getting involved in the kitchen as they get older. Encourage their interest with this unicorn baking set! It includes an apron, cookie cutters, icing bags, a recipe book, and a rolling pin. Include a cookie mix to top off the gift!

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was $229.95

Speaking of helping out in the kitchen, many little kids aren't tall enough to reach the counter yet. This Kitchen Helper is a safer alternative to pulling up a chair. I've used it since my daughter was 1, and it's still a staple in our house now that she's 2.

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Sidewalk chalk with a mission! Every sale of this fun and unique sidewalk chalk supports GLSEN: an American education organization whose mission ensures that every member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

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I have memories of sending secret messages via a string and a plastic cup between my window and my sister's growing up. This kit offers kids a more sophisticated way to transport items. It attaches to trees, tables, or posts, and can travel back and forth between two locations.

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was $22.99

Surprise toys are fun for kids this age, and they'll enjoy the anticipation as they wait for their doll to "grow." After the doll is revealed, they'll be left with her as well as ten additional surprises to play with.

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was $39.99

This little farmer's market stand is a complete play world, with a horse, cart, umbrella, people, food, and more. This is currently one of my 3-year-old's favorite toys, and she loves to mix and match it with other play figurines.

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Who says kids can't learn a little science while they play? With this kit, they'll learn about how our bodies use the food we eat. It comes with three STEAM projects, a book, and a game.

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was $26.99

There is more than meets the eye with this wooden Blues Clues & You! mailbox. Letters, postcards, stamps, puzzles, a game, and more will greet your child as they unpack this toy. They can even work on their writing skills in the reusable activity book.

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Little kids are still working on their fine motor skills that help them write, tie shoes, button their clothes, and more. This toy makes that practice fun as they thread objects onto the orchard scene. Kids can either follow pre-made patterns or create their own scenes.

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Have a young fashionista? Give them a monthly clothing subscription tailored to fit their style. They can test out new outfits, put on a fashion show, and return anything they don't like for free!

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Many child development experts agree that sitting around the table as a family is important. It can be hard to get your kids to open up, though. These Tabletalk cards provide prompts to keep the dinner conversation going and help your kids open up.

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Kid Made Modern

Kids will get to decorate these pre-made paper mache animals: a dinosaur and a unicorn. The kits come with glitter, sequins, gems, paint, and googly eyes so they can really get creative and jazz up their creation. These would be great to decorate a room or to give away as a gift when finished.

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Not only do kids get to play in this cardboard castle, but they get to decorate it, too. For any parent who needs an activity to keep their kids busy for a few minutes, this gift is a lifesaver.

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It's inevitable that our kids will be exposed to screens. Make good use of screen time with LeapLand adventures, a learning video game designed specifically for kids ages 3-8. The game doesn't require a console, additional purchases, or downloads. Simply plug the HDMI game stick into your TV, and they're ready to play.

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was $56.99

This precious pup is ready to move and groove with your little ones. With more than 50 different sounds and reactions, this dynamic electronic toy is sure to capture their attention for a long time, while also being absolutely adorable to watch. Bonus: it'll teach kids the beginner responsibilities of caring for pets, if that's something in their future!