Top Picks: 5 Toddler Gifts for Christmas


by Linda Castillo

Most of us have kids on our Chistmas shopping list, be it your own children, nieces, nephews or Godchildren. When it comes to buying toys for toddlers, I try to purchase toys that incorporate playing and learning.  Going down the toy aisle is so overwhelming so I wanted to share my top five picks gifts for toddlers. And even better all of these gifts are priced under $25.

1) Fisher-Price Doodle Pro Classic Orange

This is a great gift for toddlers because it encourages creativity and imagination. My daughter loves her Doodle so much she carries it everywhere she goes and even draws on it during long road trips. This toy works great for her to play alone or with someone as they can take turns drawing. She can spend a long time drawing on the Doodle before she gets bored.

2) LEGO DUPLO Read & Build

My daughter loves playing with Legos and she loves when I read to her, so I was excited when LEGO DUPLO came up with a toy that combined both her favorite things to do. I like to read the story first and then after the story my daughter and I will put together the Lego pieces. The toy comes in three versions that work well for both boys and girls including Busy Farm, Let’s go Vroom, Grow Caterpillar Grow.

3) Simple First Words Let’s Talk Book

One key area for toddlers to focus on is language development. One of my girlfriends recommended Simple First Words book series by Priddy Books. These books are a great way for children to interact while you are reading by pressing the corresponding button that matches the picture. This makes it fun for the child and reinforces the word they are looking out.

4) Melissa & Doug Wooden Puzzles

I simply love Melissa & Doug wooden puzzles for my daughter. I have about four of their puzzles but I am sure that I will continue to add to her collection. The puzzles are great for her motor and problem solving skills, but they also teach her other things such as colors, shapes, animals, and more. I love the fact that the puzzles have extra large knobs that make it easier for my daughter to place the puzzle pieces. And bonus is that these puzzles are built to last so I know this puzzle will still be in great shape when for our next baby to play with.

5) My Violet by LeapFrog

I received this toy at my baby shower and my daughter has loved playing with it since she was 6 months old. You can customize the songs, your child’s name and favorite things. Plus, Violet also works great to put my little one to sleep because Violet can play music for up to 10 minutes. And what is nice is that Violet is soft which make her so huggable. My daughter always gives her kisses and hugs. Also, this toy comes in a boy version (Scout) and a girl version (Violet).

Note: Some of these items were provided by the respective companies for this product review.

Linda Castillo is the Founder and Executive Editor of She writes on topics that empower and inspire Latinas including art, motherhood, green living, culture, travel, and issues transforming the Latino community. Linda has earned a B.S. in Business and a M.S. in Mass Communications from San Jose State University.