9 answers

Gift Ideas for 18 Month Old

Hi Everyone:
I'm looking for ideas for Christmas gifts for my 18 month old. He likes climbing on anything, so I was thinking about a little structure of sorts...anyone have ideas regarding this that are on the inexpensive side? Also, I'd like to get him some great educational, developmentally appropriate toys. Ideas?

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My adivce for educational gifts would be drawing supplies and anything with numbers and letters - like kitchen magnets or puzzles. At his age hands on is prime, I'd try and steer away from all in one battery operated toys - while they're flashy they don't hold attention long and tend to take up space. Drawing and holding on to letters and numbers allows him the able to free think and mimic you - the best way to learn. The best part is they came be used over and over again.

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A kangaroo climber - a must have! They can climb, slide and many other things. You can get it at Toys R Us. As far as developmental toys -- there is a great Garage toy at Costco that if my boy was close to 18months I would buy. It isn't that expensive and my 3 1/2 year old still plays with garages and ramps whenever he gets a chance i.e friends house, toy store, preschool.

I rcommend a traditional wooden pounding toy if you don't already have one. Melissa and Doug make one that's a hammer and pegs--you can pound it on one side and then flip it over and pound the pegs the other way. It's only about $10 and t's been a long-standing favorite at my house. Basic wooden bocks are also hard to beat. And tray puzzles, too.
A Plasmacar is not exactly a climbing structure, but it's also been a huge hit. My younger son uses it as a scooter, and since it's so low to the ground I don't worry about him falling off, and my oldest boy can put his feet up and zoom around on it using it's rictio power. It's also sturdy enough that my husband or I can get on it with a kid and drive around.
If you're looking for developmentally appropriate stuff, it's hard to beat wwforsmallhands.com and their sister company www.montessoriservices.com. I aso love to browse toys at www.oompa.com, www.novanaturals.com, www.rosiehippo.com, ww.gummylump.com, and www.blueberryforest.com. Mothering magazine just put out their holiday issue featuring the best toys. . . thir Web site is www.mothering.com. Some beautiful wooden toys are expensive, but in my experience they last longer and have more play value because they are so versatile. And if you Google TRUCE (Teacher Resisting Uhealthy Children's Entertainment) you can find this year's recommendations of best and worst toy trends and suggestions of "shoebox gifts." I LOVE shoebox gifts--it's like a little kit you put togther with simple iems. You could have a water play kit with a turkey baster and spray bottle and scooping cups among other things, or a gardening kit, or a cooking kit, or a PLay-doh tools kit. It's always simple and only as expensve as you want it to be.
Good luck--you will have a wonderful Christmas!

My adivce for educational gifts would be drawing supplies and anything with numbers and letters - like kitchen magnets or puzzles. At his age hands on is prime, I'd try and steer away from all in one battery operated toys - while they're flashy they don't hold attention long and tend to take up space. Drawing and holding on to letters and numbers allows him the able to free think and mimic you - the best way to learn. The best part is they came be used over and over again.

As far as climbing, try lillian vernon catalog (or online) they have these little bricks (really inexpensive and cardboard material that is very strong)that are sturdy so you can build little structures and even climb on them. I dont have them but they have great reviews and I plan to buy some. Keep in mind that the bricks are slightly smaller than they look in some of the photos but people love them.
Imaginex toys. My boys love them. When my 4 yr. old got the castle, his 18 month brother wanted to play with the little action figures and the castle. We bought the pirate ship for his 2nd birthday. there are fun little contraptions and small pieces you could put away if your son puts things in his mouth but the figures and structure are played with almost every day by my boys who are now 2 1/2 and 5 1/2. A little pricey but not bad considering how much they play and put other action figures like star wars on them. good luck

Get those fold up tunnel things they can crawl in. If you have lot's of room, go to Little Tikes.com and see all the amazing great stuff they have for kids to burn off steam.
Or even go to Fisherprice.com, they have a lot fun interactive things.
One of the best things I got when my daughter was that age, was the Little Tikes kitchen, that got played with for years and my son LOVED IT too.
That and I got a playdough play table when they were that age that still gets played with and they are 4 and 7!
Also, hint to go with a year or two above the age level. If it doesn't pose any type choking hazard, just staying with what the box says you will be wasting money. I found out very quickly that having something they can play with and like for a few years is a much better investment, all our "baby" toys went to waste very fast! :)

I don't know if they still make them, but when my son was a little guy we bought him a little play structure that was plastic, basically a cube shape. It had a platform midway up with a slide coming out. There were holes to crawl into so they could be under the platform as well, kind of a little hiding spot. It was small enough that we had it indoors during cold weather, and outdoors when it was nice. He constantly climbed, crawled and slid on this thing until he outgrew it. It was not that expensive, but I cannot recall who made it. I don't think they would be too hard to find, they were everywhere when we bought ours. You might try 'Toys R Us'. Hope you find what you're looking for!

This may be too obvious, but Legos rock around that age. And for a long time afterward. My DS1 likes any kind of building toy, actually. He's got Legos, foam blocks, a couple of different K'Nex sets, waffle blocks and a set with large magnetic pieces (that's safe also for our baby, who loves to play with whatever big brother's got!).

My DS1 will be 4 just after Christmas this year and these are far & away his favorites. More than the remote control cars, trains & tracks, everything.

Have fun shopping!

Step 2 has great things for his age to climb on. They even have a rock climbing tower. But they can get expensive. 18 months is a great age for construction. They even have magnetic blocks available for his age now. Have fun!

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