When thinking of holiday gift ideas for toddlers it is easy to jump on the bandwagon and buy the popular toys, the holiday outfits and knick knacks that won’t survive more than 24 hours. To buy a bunch of stuff so there are a ton of gifts to get excited about. In our house less is more and I try my best to always practice that in the hopes our daughter will grow up with the same appreciation.
But it is hard to compete with the media, family, friends and society when it has become normalized to gather more stuff. Stuff has become synonymous with accumulation of wealth and happiness. I know not everyone thinks this way but I feel like it is so normal to have a bunch of stuff. It is a foreign and/or revolutionary thought when talking about minimalism, downsizing or purchasing things that are multi-purpose.
I’ve been known to have my hoard of things; I am not exempt. We still have tons of stuff that I so badly want to donate, recycle, etc… but as we try to raise a good human I want to instill the importance of less is more. Our planet will be better off if we unlearn the necessary accumulation of things to make us happy.
What Do We Look For When Purchasing an Item
With all that being said, we still want to celebrate the holidays and birthdays with as much flare as possible but want to do it responsibly. When putting together a wish list we do it with a couple things in mind:
- It is ethically and sustainably made?
- Is it non-toxic?
- Will it stand the test of time?
- Is it gender neutral?
- Do we need it?
We don’t hit everything on the list all the time but we weigh out what the most important factors are and make a decision. It takes time and research to ensure we are making the best decisions and there are compromises. But at the end of the day we feel good about what we are bringing into our daughter’s life.
So without further delay here is this year’s holiday gift ideas for toddlers 18 – 24 months old!
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Holiday gift ideas for toddlers aren’t complete without toys! We have a ton of toys already but know that as our daughter grows her toys will change. She is learning how to ride a tricycle but we don’t have one at home so we think now is the time to get one. She is well aware of what doctor’s visits entail now; the last time we were there the doctor suggested we get a little kit to help her get comfortable. Puppies are one of her favorite animals and taking apart and putting things together is a fun task to do all day long! The bees in the blocks may be a bit advanced but we always like to push the boundary a bit to to start exercising the brain. And if she is not ready there will be a time when it becomes appropriate.
We chose this Angeles tricycle because of it’s durability. It is built to last the hundreds, if not thousands, of kids who would ride it every school year. I like the sound of that!
PlanToys is all about sustainability and they are transparent with their production cycle. Every step they take the wellness of planet Earth and the impact of materials on our little ones seems to be at the forefront of their mission.
Ahhh the never ending cycle of clothes! Luckily we do get a lot of hand-me-downs from friends so we don’t feel as wasteful going through clothes so quickly. Once our daughter has outgrown the clothes we save the gender neutral ones and some outfits that we can’t think to part with in the hopes we have another baby. The rest of the clothes we donate to charity. There tends to be gaps in the wardrobe with hand-me-downs so when we shop or have a wish list of items we always ask for gender neutral basics.
Primary is all about timeless quality that will last for generations. They are committed to reducing our exposure to over 300 chemicals and known irritants with their OEKO-Tex Standard 100 Certification and have many more sustainable initiatives in the works; read more here.
Hanna Andersson creates heirloom pieces that are meant to be worn and passed down from generation to generation. Using organic cotton and working with partners whose values align with theirs is top priority. Along with getting their GOTS certification and increasing the number of OEKO-TEX® certified products they offer; read more here.
Coming to the winter months we need a pair of kicks that can take on the cold and wet weather. Keen is 95% PFC (Perfluorinated Chemicals) free. PFCs are used to waterproof materials and are suspected carcinogens which degrade very slowly in the environment. Sounds like something we don’t need if we can avoid it! If you are not OK with leather products then this one is not for you however, Keen works with tanneries that reduce their toxic impact on watersheds. There is more to their story and you can read it here.
We love books and read at least two to three times a day. We can’t imagine not adding more books to the collection and our daughter loves them! Our collection started with books given to us by friends and family during the baby shower. That was a fun way to collect a whole bunch of books we had never heard of. As we add more books we are looking to diversify the messages and little by little add books that share who we all are.
This is more a gift for us caregivers than for kiddos but it is soo necessary! If you started out with an infant car seat like us your little one is probably ready to upgrade. We know ours is! We look forward to leveling up with the all-in-one by Nuna so we never have to buy another car seat again.
Greenguard Gold certified, machine washable quilted leg rest slip cover, Merino wool baby and head inserts and additional GOTS™ certified organic cotton fabric & dye insert, harness covers & crotch cover, flame resistant and contains no added fire retardant chemicals… etc…! Takes care of our little ones up from 5 up to 120 pounds! Count me in!
When thinking about what to put in stockings we always think about what we need that can fit. Our daughter has outgrown her beanie and never had mittens (I couldn’t find any that fit the bill last year but found EcoAble this year!); viola, stocking stuffers! Those with some holiday treats should do the trick!
I love EcoAble’s story! Starting with eco friendly cloth diapers for kids, teens and adults with special needs. Expanding to include fair trade clothing lines for kids and adults using organic wool and organic cotton. Their mission is to allow us parents to enjoy life with our kids without the worry of negatively impacting our environment. Please read more here and check out the rest of their products.
Shop Small Businesses
I can’t finish talking about holiday gift ideas for toddlers without acknowledging some small businesses that I love. Please check them out and make some room on your holiday shopping list to include some goodies from them.
2021 Update: Individual Medley is currently closed and in the process of working on a new venture. Keeping this information up while the transition takes place.
This boutique shop is owned by a dear friend of mine located in Atwater Village in Los Angeles. Her team has put together a unique, eclectic, well crafted assortment of clothes, home goods. apothecary, paper goods and accessories. I have gotten some clothes, toys and books and everything has been made so well. It is such a nice change of pace knowing that everything will be with us for a long time. I love the book selection for the little ones; they are not like anything I have seen before and our daughter enjoys them very much.
Everything we have gotten from Individual Medley has been made by artisans who care deeply about their craft. All of them making a commitment to sustainability and/or living wages and/or sourcing materials locally; and all centered around taking care of the environment. Here are a couple of my favorite picks for the kiddos:
One day I was searching for eco-friendly tableware for our daughter when she was still in utero and don’t even know how I got to Blue Brontide but I haven’t left in almost 2 years. I have become a huge fan! They are all about things made to last; when and why did that ever go “out of fashion”? They work with local artisans to provide ethically made, sustainably sourced children’s tableware, toys and home goods. Taking care of the planet is top priority; they have partnered with Ecologi to plant a tree for every order no matter how big or small in order to have a positive impact on the environment. Yay! Here are a couple of my favorite things:
More Holiday Gift Ideas
Holiday Gift Ideas for Babies 6 – 12 Months Old
Holiday Gift Ideas for Toddlers 2 – 3 Years Old
More Fun Holiday Ideas
Traditional German Horn Cookies
Pork Shoulder Chile Ancho Tamales
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