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Christmas 2022: Our round-up of the best toddler toys, that will keep them entertained for hours

Teepees, busy books and racetracks - we’ve saved you the trouble of trapsing round the shops for toddler gifts this Christmas – simply click on an item in the gallery below, and shop from the comfort of your own sofa.

Whether you’re a lover or a hater of Christmas shopping, the time is now to get your little ones a gift that will surprise and delight them on Christmas morning (and hopefully keep them entertained for hours so you can put your feet up).

This year, we’ve scoured the internet to find you the very best gifts for your toddler this Christmas, and this is our round-up of our favourite toys so far. And the best bit is that our list not only focuses on learning and imaginative play, but we’ve also included as many small businesses and sustainable options as we possibly can. So, that means our 2022 Christmas gift guide is not only your fast-track to Christmas Day success, but there’s also no plastic or an Amazon ‘Buy It Now’ button in sight…phew.

So, make a brew, scroll, and enjoy Christmas shopping with ease this year. You got this Mama!

Gifts Under £10

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Leo Ivy Co, on Etsy, personalised play kitchen sign - £8.99+pp*

I could not be more in love with this product. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any play kitchen – whether that’s a homemade cardboard box stove or IKEA special, your little ones will love seeing their name above their mud or playroom kitchen.

This wooden sign can accessorise any play kitchen, and you can choose to personalise both the menu and the name. Made from high quality maple veneer wood and laser engraved, this sign will last a lifetime. It also includes the twine to hang, and at under £10, it’s the perfect stocking filler.

*This product is currently on offer. Normal price £9.99+pp.

Ethical Superstore, My First Sticker Book - £5.99+pp

This delightful sticker book is aimed at children aged three and upwards; and as well as being great entertainment for little hands, it also showcases the many wonders of planet Earth. 

The book includes more than 150 stickers to bring each scene to life, which will surely keep your little ones entertained this Christmas. What’s more, the book is printed in the UK and the paper is sourced from responsibly managed forests. So, that’s a triple win if you ask me.

Books and Pieces - Tales From Acorn Wood Book and Game - £9.50+pp

This is a wonderful gift for any child that loves that iconic range of Julia Donaldson books (which, let’s face it, is every child I know). This gorgeous set includes the book, Tales from Acorn Wood: Friends and is accompanied by a set of 32 beautifully illustrated cards.

First read the story, then, use the chunky cards (featuring each of the much-loved Acorn Wood characters) to play four, fun games. It’s hours of entertainment for kids big and small and helps develop key competences including observational and memory skills. It’s also perfect for children with siblings, as they can share the story and play the game together.

Gifts £25 and under

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Panda & Pip - Little Dutch Blue Wooden Race Track - £22.95+pp

This is a tried and tested recommendation as my daughter absolutely loves this racetrack and uses it daily. The track comes with four cars - which I think is very generous for the price - and little ones can put the cars at the top of the ramp and watch them race down. She’s had it for months now and still doesn’t tire of it. 

Little Dutch is a widely known brand (all of which I love) and is available from several outlets online, however I really recommend the Panda & Pip shop, not only because they have a great range of Little Dutch products, but also because the rest of their curated goods are just dreamy. (You can thank me later for directing you there). 

Mabel & Fox - Jabadabado Role Play Vet Set - £23.99+pp

Another personal favourite of mine! Made by JaBaDaBaDo, I love the Swedish design of this brand, which is complementary to a lot of my favourite nursery furniture and room decorations. While I love all the JaBaDaBaDo products, this is top of my list as it’s perfect for any toddlers who love animals, but that also love to be in charge!

The belt contains everything needed for your pets to keep healthy; including instruments to listen to their heart beats, take blood samples and take their temperature. My favourite thing about it is that it’s a role play set and a dress up in one!

Scout Store - Forest School Adventure Book - £17.00+pp

If you’re planning to take, or are already taking your little ones to a Forest School, then this is the perfect accompaniment. Younger ones will enjoy the colourful photos and drawings while older ones will be enthralled by ideas like den building, campfire lighting and bird watching. The perfect gift that will last a lifetime.

Kids Concept - Four In A Row game from Oskoe - £18.50+pp

Who doesn’t love a game of Connect Four at Christmas? We know it’s a game that’s a real hit with all ages, and this Kids Concept version is particularly good because it looks beautiful, but it’s also made from rubberwood, so that means it’s incredibly durable and importantly, kind to the environment too. It’s also smaller than other plastic ones available, so it’s perfect for little hands and great to travel with.

Gifts Under £50

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Montessori Sensory Bin ‘Scoop & Fill’ Set - £34.99+pp

Step-up your sensory game with this sensory bin set – perfect for children aged three and upwards. It’s a great gift for engaging children’s minds through play-based learning.

The set includes an array of wooden tools, including six miniature scoops (sized just for little hands), a wooden tray, (sanded for a super smooth finish), a wooden bowl, egg cup and wooden cup. And there are just so many ways to use it - use it with dried rice or beans, coloured pasta, popcorn kernels, oats, cereal, sand or biodegradable glitter (if you dare!). Change the materials and you create a whole new learning adventure every time.

Mabel’s Playroom Child Subscription - £39.99 (or from £3.99p/m)

I cannot recommend this one enough! Mabel’s Playroom is a fantastic online resource which parents and care givers can use to get advice and materials, to support at-home learning.

With a Mabel’s Playroom subscription, you can access a seemingly endless array of play ideas to build on essential skills children need to prepare them for school. Each activity is designed to use everyday things you can find home; there are no elaborate set ups, (everything is quick and easy) and activities are detailed in a manageable step by step guide. So, even if the weather’s bad this Christmas, you’ll never be stuck for things to do!

The most cost-effective way to subscribe is via their ‘whole child option’ which means you purchase indefinite access for a child for use across their infant years. However, you can also purchase per year, at just £19.99 per annum, or monthly which is £3.99 per month, until you stop.

Zara Magic Board - £29.99

This one harks back to my own childhood! I used to love toys like this - leaving messages for my sister and creating many, many drawings on it in the back of the car. It’s nice to see this old favourite has had an upgrade though – and this time to a non-plastic option. No one can deny the aesthetics are beautiful and would look great in any toy box!

A bigger brand for sure, and I toyed with whether I should include this one from Zara however I was pleased to see the brand are working hard with suppliers, workers, unions and international organisations to develop a supply chain in which human rights are respected and promoted. It’s a step in the right direction I’m sure.

Blueberry Little Shop from Etsy, Personalised Quiet Book - £42.00+pp

This 10-page quiet book is jam-packed with educational, sensory and tactile activities featuring all the things we know toddlers love - like buttons, zips, ribbons and Velcro. Perfect for dinner table activities or travel time in the car.

The great thing about the Blueberry quiet books is that it states online that ‘all activities have been approved and are used daily by an Occupational Therapist with a special interest in Hand Therapy, so you can be assured you’re buying the very best for your child’. They also all contain the UKCA/CE mark and have been safely tested for little hands over the age of three years. Plus, if you purchase this Christmas, Blueberry is also offering a free gift-wrapping service. So, that’s another job off the list too…

Gifts Under £100

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Soren’s house - Cabana Kids Lillie Tent/Teepee - £58.99+pp

This play tent is perfect for creating both a calming hideaway in the corner of the room or outside in summer when the weather is warmer, as it's suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. My kids love a den, so this is another fantastic sibling gift as kids of all ages can enjoy playing with it.

I selected this teepee particularly because I love the detail of the design – the paned window and blind are just so sweet, and kids love peering out of it or pulling the blind down to hide themselves away. It also comes with a matching carry case so it’s easy to store and/or travel with.

Meri Meri Dress Up Sets – from £55+pp

If you’ve not heard of Meri Meri before – where have you been?! It’s the ultimate go-to place for all things party and dress up.

I’m a big fan of dress up gifts in general, not only because it really encourages that all important imaginative play, but it’s also handy to have costumes when nursery / school spring a sponsored dress up day on you at short notice. Mum win. 

It’s really hard to choose just one of the Meri Meri outfits for our guide, however, kids who love Disney will surely go mad for their Princess and the Pirate dress up.

Gifts Over £100

Love Every Play kits - from £80 per kit

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A Love Every Play Kit is my secret to parenting success. 

ALEPK is essentially a mail-order box, that arrives every few months, each containing toys and tools to delight and engage your little one. Each box is tailored to your child’s age and is designed to support them during their current development stage.

The shop has a range of boxes available – from new-born up to three years of age – beautifully crafted to build new skills and encourage natural curiosity through play. So, whether you’re a parent of a toddler or simply a gift-giver to a toddler, this present is always a massive hit for kids and parents alike.

Veloretti Balance Bike - £109+pp

There are a lot of balance bikes out there now, but no one can deny the beauty that is the Veloretti Mini.

Sure, it’s on the pricier end of balance bikes, however, this one does have a lot going for it besides it design-led exterior. At just 4.5kg, the Mini is a good weight and conveniently light when you inevitably carry it because your little one is tired. The tyres are safe and comfortable, and the solid frame is available in a selection of gorgeous colours. There are also safety bumpers on the handlebar grips for extra support too.

My favourite is the Desert Moss colourway option, but I mean, they’re all delightful. The trick will just be keeping them clean and beautiful after a trip down the park…

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