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Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Best Gifts for Babies

2020-11-04 by Melissa & Doug
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Looking for the best holiday gifts and top holiday toys for the babies in your life? We’ve got you covered whether you’re shopping for gifts for 6-month-olds, 12-month-olds, or 18-month-olds! The best toys and gifts for babies and toddlers are those that stimulate their senses, inspire hands-on exploration, and help them discover more of their world. Here, we have compiled 10 of our top toys for the 2020 holidays — all of our favorite skill-building toys and gifts for the under-2 set. Plus, you can find even more Gifts That Wow, Stocking Stuffers, and Seasonal Toys for all ages in our Melissa & Doug Holiday Shop!


10 Best Gift Ideas for Babies

  1. Pull-Back Vehicles Baby & Toddler Toy

    Age: 9 months+
    Why it’s a great gift for kids: The “rev up” mechanism inside each of these four cars and trucks makes it easy for babies and toddlers to get big acceleration with just a little input. Pull back one of the soft vehicles, then release to see it zoom off across the floor! The action of grasping and pulling back is great for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination; the activity of “driving” and collecting (pull, release, crawl) benefits large muscle groups and coordination, too.
    Sweet detail: The vehicles have a removable wipe-clean wheelie insert and washable fabric surface!
    Skills: Gross motor, hand-eye coordination

    HOW TO WOW: Set up some soft building block tunnels for cars to race through or obstacles to crash into!

  2. First Play Jungle Activity Table

    Age: 12 months+
    Why it’s a great gift for kids: This hands-on multi-activity table features gears to turn, a tube to roll, beads to slide, flaps to open, a wheel to spin, and easy-to-grasp pieces to flip, push, and pull! Sturdy wooden construction, paired with whimsical jungle-themed designs, make this a long-lasting and welcome addition to any playroom.
    Sweet detail: The bold colors and beautiful, original artwork will look great in any playroom or bedroom.
    Skills: Gross and fine motor, sensory development

    HOW TO WOW: No need to wrap it! Simply set it out to surprise your baby with new stimulation for their senses!

  3. First Play Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy

    Age: 12 months+
    Why it’s a great gift for kids: The three alligators click and clack as kids push this colorful wooden toy!
    Sweet detail: Three wooden buggy beads can be slid and spun for extra fun!
    Skills: Gross motor development, sensory development

    HOW TO WOW: Pair it with another reptile: this lifelike (and life-size!) plush jumbo snake!

  4. Giraffe

    Age: 3+
    Why it’s a great gift for kids: At over four feet tall, this gentle giant will make a statement in a child’s playroom or bedroom. The lifelike details and markings, along with the quality construction, mean this playful pal will inspire imaginations for years to come!
    Sweet detail: Long, lovely lashes!
    Skills: Creative thinking

    HOW TO WOW: Tie a bright red scarf around the giraffe’s neck for a festive look! Or add a baby giraffe to the menagerie!

  5. Mine to Love Dolls

    Age: 18 months+
    Why it’s a great gift for kids: These adorable twins have coordinating removable rompers and caps and eyes that open and close. Just right for kids 18 months and older, their soft, huggable bodies are lightly scented, with wipe-clean faces and limbs. Available in three different skin tones: Luke & Lucy, Tyler & Taylor, and Sebastian & Sofia. Mine to Love dolls and accessories encourage empathy and help kids express themselves as they explore grown-up roles and responsibilities
    Sweet detail: The babies suck their thumbs or included pacifiers!
    Skills: Confidence, empathy

    HOW TO WOW: Add a doll-size cradle, high chair, or bunk bed!

  6. Turtle Ball Pit

    Age: 9 months+
    Why it’s a great gift for kids: This friendly turtle comes filled with 60 squeezable, multi-colored balls that are easy to grasp, toss, and roll. It also features holes to push and pull balls through, crinkling feet, squeaking button, textured ring, mirror, silky fabric tags, and attached soft ball rattle.
    Sweet detail: When zipped up with balls inside, the turtle doubles as a pillow!
    Skills: Sensory development, gross motor development

    HOW TO WOW: Wrap and hide smaller gifts — such as these bath toys — in the ball pit for kids to sift through and find!

  7. Beep-Beep & Play Activity Toy

    Age: 9 months+
    Why it’s a great gift for kids: This sit-in play car features a clicking steering wheel, light-up dashboard, rear-view mirror, and an engine that plays music when the key is inserted.
    Sweet detail: There’s even a cup holder on the side!
    Skills: Sensory development, fine motor development

    HOW TO WOW: Set a scene by pairing it with the Round the Town Road Rug and arranging it in the living room for baby to discover!

  8. Bead Maze

    Age: 12 months+
    Why it’s a great gift for kids: Multi-shaped and brightly colored beads swoop and slide along roller-coaster wires to encourage color and shape recognition and fine motor development. With a sturdy wooden base, this eye-catching activity will keep a little one busy for a long while!
    Sweet detail: Features 18 wooden beads in a variety of shapes and sizes.
    Skills: Fine motor

    HOW TO WOW: Add a few other developmental toys that really focus on the fine motor skills (and look great together): try the Deluxe Pounding Bench and the Geometric Stacker.

  9. First Play Wooden Safari Zig-Zag Tower

    Age: 12 months+
    Why it’s a great gift for kids: Get the fun rolling with this sturdy wooden tower and four pieces that spin down the zig-zag track! Babies and toddlers will delight in matching, stacking, and rolling the smooth, solid wood pieces with friendly safari animal faces.
    Sweet detail: Pieces store in the tower when it’s turned sideways!
    Skills: Fine motor, cause-and-effect

    HOW TO WOW: Really play up the safari theme with a giant plush lion or some safari- themed wooden puzzles!

  10. Deluxe Jumbo Cardboard Blocks

    Age: 2+
    Why it’s a great gift for kids: This 40-piece set of lightweight, yet durable, cardboard building blocks features three sizes of “bricks” for constructive imaginative play. Comes with easy instructions for folding the flat pieces into blocks in a flash!
    Sweet detail: Made of premium, extra-thick cardboard (the red blocks hold up to 150 pounds!)
    Skills: Gross motor, problem solving

    HOW TO WOW: Surprise baby by assembling the blocks the night before and creating an arch or wall they can pass through (or bust through) to get to their other presents!

Looking for more of the best gift ideas for kids of all ages?
Shop the Holiday Shop >
Shop Gifts That Wow! >
Shop Stocking Stuffers >
Shop Seasonal Toys >


Melissa & Doug

Our team of play experts occasionally enjoys sharing news about our company, new product launches, and some of the #CountlessWaysToPlay with our toys, crafts, and games. At Melissa & Doug, we’re on a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through kid-powered play!

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