Gift Guide for Toddlers: Toys That Inspire Dramatic Play

A gift guide of toys for toddlers that will inspire creative and dramatic play! All gender neutral and sure to please little ones. These are the perfect gifts for friends, nieces, nephews, cousins...

Do your kids love to play pretend? I always feel like the 2-3 range is kind of a tough age to buy gifts for. They are quickly outgrowing the baby toys and are not quite big enough for some of the smaller piece toys or those that are catered for a more mature attention span. Whenever anyone asks my opinion on what toys to buy for this age, I always have a few that I default to. So I thought I would share them with you here! You will notice that some of my favorite brands are Melissa & Doug, Hape, and KidKraft, so you will see a lot of those here 🙂 If you have read any of this blog, you know that I am a big proponent of learning through play. I have written before about the importance of unstructured play and my affinity for wooden toys. While my kids do enjoy (and have more than enough of) the push-button, make music type toys, I tend to prefer the toys that really inspire creativity, imagination and dramatic play. So this gift guide is just that. Toys that I love for the 2-3 age range (gender neutral) and that inspire this type of play! Most of these can extend down to 1 year old and for kids up to 4-5. So here we go!

Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience. I receive a small portion of the sale if you choose to purchase through this link.

A gift guide of toys for toddlers that will inspire creative and dramatic play! All gender neutral and sure to please little ones. These are the perfect gifts for friends, nieces, nephews, cousins...

  1. Learning Resources Pretend and Play Doctor Kit
  2. Melissa & Doug Stamp and Sort Mailbox
  3. Aeromax My 1st Career Assortment A Costume
  4. Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House! Dust, Sweep and Mop
  5. Melissa & Doug Cutting Food
  6. Melissa & Doug Felt Food Sandwich Set
  7. Battat B. Parum Pum Pum Drum Toy
  8. Schleich Portable Barn with Accessories  (see my review here)
  9. Hape Pound and Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone
  10. Hape Coffee Maker Playset (they also have an awesome toaster and mixer that I love!)
  11. Exciting Shimmering Water, Rainbow, Sound, and Sand Wooden Blocks
  12. Green Toys Tea Set
  13. KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen (46% off!!)
  14. Plush Happy Kids Hand Puppets Set – 8 pc – Multi Ethnical Collection
  15. KidKraft Doll Family
  16. Hape My Handy Workshop

A gift guide of toys for toddlers that will inspire creative and dramatic play! All gender neutral and sure to please little ones. These are the perfect gifts for friends, nieces, nephews, cousins...

This post is part of the 12 Days of Blogmas series with Girl on the Move Blog and Motherhood and Merlot. Stay tuned for blog posts about the rest of these prompts!

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A gift guide of toys for toddlers that will inspire creative and dramatic play! All gender neutral and sure to please little ones. These are the perfect gifts for friends, nieces, nephews, cousins...

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Comments

  1. says

    This is a great list! When my niece was little we were sure she was destined to become a chef. She had a huge play kitchen and we got her a bunch of the Melissa and Doug food sets. They are adorable and a gift that’s really hard to break! Excellent list, Katie!

    • kchiavarone@gmail.com says

      Thanks! My kids love cooking in the pretend kitchen, it’s definitely what they get the most use out of

  2. says

    This is such a great list. My favorite thing about the holidays is buying things for my kids and seeing their excitement when they open it. I LOVE that play kitchen and wish my boys would play more with things like that instead of always trains. Maybe we’ll give it a try.

  3. says

    Love this list!! I just bought the pound and tap bench from Hape for my daycare boy. I LOVE Melissa and Dog toys. I feel they old up so well. The M&D mailbox is on my daycare bucket list. Thank you for all these wonderful ideas.

  4. says

    One of my favorite things about the holiday is the decorations and lights. Everything feels so warm and special! I love this list. Pretty much anything Melissa and Doug is great in my book!

  5. says

    Great list! My daughter would love the doctor kit. She’s obsessed! I’ve actually never tried anything from Melissa and Doug but it looks like a neat brand.

  6. says

    Sometimes I wonder if we were separated at birth. Lol. Hape, KidKraft and Melissa and Doug are some of my ABSOLUTE favourites. I think Santa will be getting my daughter a KidKraft Dollhouse (NOT the 4ft tall one from Costco though). Love this entire list and am going to have to check out some of these toys that I didn’t know these brands made.

    • kchiavarone@gmail.com says

      I feel the same! I’m planning on getting Ava the kidkraft dollhouse for her birthday 🙂 the Hape workbench is new this fall…I want it for myself! X would love it

  7. says

    What a fun list! We have a couple of these and really love letting the kids get creative with toys like the medical kit, pretend food and music!

  8. CourtneyLynne says

    Omg I’m Melissa and Doug obsessed!!!! Thankfully so is my daughter so she loves it that I buy here everything M&D I see lol

  9. says

    These are some great ideas for gifts! I personally like anything by Melissa and Doug, they really encourage pretend play and their products really helped my son in the past. He had an occupational therapist that would come to my house with the wooden fruit set and it would really help with his fine motor skills. I’ll pin this post to pinterest holiday gift guide board. 🙂

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