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Creative Gift Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers

by The Artful Parent Editorial Team
November 6, 2023

Looking for creative gift ideas for the toddlers & preschoolers in your life? We have lots of recommendations for open-ended building sets, puzzles, games––and of course, art supplies too

Updated October 2023

Finding the perfect present can be hard! This year, let us help you out with the ultimate list of creative gift ideas for toddlers and preschoolers.

This is such a special age when imaginative play begins to emerge and kids learn so much about themselves and the world around them. Play is, of course, their most important “work,” and gifting is such a great opportunity to provide our kids with the best tools possible for the job.

When deciding what to gift a toddler or preschooler, we recommend focusing on toys and activities that are creative, open-ended, and encourage imaginative play.

This type of gift is most likely to grow with your child, adapting to them at different ages and phases of development.

After years of experience with our own kids and in early childhood classrooms, we’ve come up with a fantastic list of creative gift ideas that we’re sure your kids will love!

30 Creative Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers

15 Creative Gift Ideas for Toddlers

These gift ideas for toddlers are perfect for kids aged 2 and up. Of course because these toys and activities are so open-ended, they work for kids of many different ages!

1. Take along show horse stable play set

Toddlers love taking objects “in” and “out,” so this stable with horses is a great choice! We also love this unicorn stable for a magical twist.

A dozen dinosaurs ready for all kinds of adventure. These are great for imaginative play outdoors, inside, or even in a sensory bin!

2. Dinosaur Figure Set
3. Pet Vet Kit

We love that kids can use this fun set as a doctor or vet kit. Your toddler will spend many happy hours giving everyone checkups!

Play scarves are maybe the one “toy” that got the most use for the most years at our house. They can be used for blankets, costumes, forts… anything your child can imagine!

4. Play silks
5. Musical Instrument Set

A nice set of wooden instruments (complete with a storage bag) that will be enjoyed for many years.

These washable tempera paint sticks are basically magic. They are so satisfyingly vibrant and easy to use. Plus, they dry in 90 seconds and work on just about any surface!

6. Kwik Stix Tempera Paint
7. Dot-a-dot rainbow markers

There’s just something about dots! Toddlers love to “stamp” with these fun markers.

Easier to use and more vibrant than crayons, these drawing tools are so sturdy and worth the investment. We especially love to use them on windows and mirrors!

8. Stabilo 3-in-1 Duo
9. Barnyard Markers

These baby barnyard markers are just too cute! Designed to be easy to grip, we love how they double as adorable play animals. Micador has a few other varieties like this sweet puppy set or jungle edition!

This is a toy that will absolutely grow with your child! Basic wooden blocks are fantastic for open-ended play. Ours have been used as roads for cars, habitats for dinosaurs, castles for princesses… and so much more!

10. Wooden Block Set
11. Rainbow Blocks

We love these rainbow blocks as a fun addition to any basic building set. They’re especially fun to play with beside a sunny window!

Peg people allow your toddler’s imagination to take the lead in creative play. These people could be characters from their favorite stories, family members, or neighbors. We love how this rainbow set encourages sorting and pattern play as well.

12. Peg Dolls
13. Color and Shape Puzzle

A simple puzzle like this one from Hape Toys helps build color and shape recognition. Even better? Kids can use the puzzle pieces as stacking blocks too!

This tea set has it all: it’s made from durable silicone, features gender-neutral colors, and is even dishwasher safe. Perfect for sparking imaginative play with tea parties, picnics, sensory play… or even bath time!

14. Food Safe Tea Set
15. Tumbling Mat

Tumbling mats are perfect for pulling out on a rainy day and burning off some energy. They also make fantastic walls for blanket forts!

15 Creative Gift Ideas for Preschoolers

These gift ideas were specially chosen for kids aged 4-6:

1. Kids Baking Set

Preschool aged kids love to do real-world work. Why not encourage their interests with a baking set of their very own? Paired with an apron, our printable Cooking Creativity Pack, and a fun cookbook for kids, it’s a perfect gift!

This real set of tools will encourage all kinds of creative exploration for your preschooler! Consider gifting this tool set with a simple building kit as well!

2. Tool Set
3. Science Lab Set

We used and loved this science lab set in our own house for many years. It comes with everything you need for your budding scientist. Pair with a lab coat and our printable Science Creativity Pack for extra fun!

This small instrument is sometimes called a “finger piano,” and produces a beautiful sound even for true beginners. We also love this smaller version for a unique stocking stuffer idea!

4. Kalimba
5. Ukulele Starter Kit

For a music enthusiast, a ukulele is the perfect gift. This introductory book from singer/songwriter/picture book author Emily Arrow is a great way to learn!

A high-quality set from Faber-Castell, this kit will give your small artist some new tips and tricks to try. We also love Faber-Castell’s kid’s pottery wheel for a unique gift!

6. Learn to Watercolor Set
7. Art Easel

We love having a space for kids to stand and get creative! This versatile easel with a dry erase board, chalk board, and paper roll is sure to get used for many years. You can also include the accessory set for an extra special gift.

Kinetic Sand is such a fun sensory material! We especially love this beach set when we’re feeling stir crazy in the middle of winter, but you can also just get a big bag in your favorite color!

8. Kinetic Sand Beach Set
9. Neon and Metallic Oil Pastels

These vibrant oil pastels make the perfect stocking stuffer! Or pair with a black notebook and a pack of space stickers for a super fun gift.

(Find more fantastic stocking stuffers HERE!)

A basic wooden train set can truly provide hours of creative fun for your kids! Adding some extra track pieces can really expand the play as well.

10. Wooden Train Set
11. Marble Run

Once you build a track with your preschooler a few times, they’ll be ready to experiment on their own! Our marble run has truly stood the test of time and is one of the few toys that has stuck around for over a decade in our house.

These magnetic blocks are so popular for good reason: they are SO MUCH FUN! You won’t be able to resist building a few things yourself.

12. Magnatiles
13. Geo Shape Tack Board

Part-puzzle, part-building tool, this fun activity is great for kids who love to hammer (and what kid doesn’t?) The kit comes with pattern cards to follow, but your child will also have fun creating their own imaginative pictures!

Beautiful enough to leave out on your coffee table, this puzzle will have your whole family tinkering with patterns and designs!

14. Pattern Puzzle
15. Cooperative Board Games

Our family loves cooperative board games! A great way to build skills while working together, these two from Peaceable Kingdom are some of our favorites. You can find lots more fun game ideas for your family HERE!

We hope you found some helpful ideas in our list of creative gifts! Check out the links below to find more great suggestions for gifting this season.

More Creative Gift Ideas

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Creative gifts for toddlers and preschoolers
Creative Gift Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers Creative Gift Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers

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