If you are looking for some inspiration for the little ones in your life for Christmas, birthdays or special occasions, look no further. As a child trapped in the body of an adult, a speech and language therapist and a parent to three kids, I feel when it comes to toys, I might just know a thing or two! This is a comprehensive list of toys and activities that kids will love and have been given the seal of approval by the tiny humans in my life.
Some items are listed under a younger age bracket, but will obviously be equally loved and enjoyed by older kids, so keep this in mind! For the name and details of each toy simply click/hover on the image.
12 Months & Under
- Fluffy Fields La Millou Velvet Quilted Blanket – Great gift for a younger baby which doubles as a playmat!
- Grimm’s Rainbow Grasper – Gorgeous colourful wooden grasper which baby will love!
- Jellycat Soft Toys– For softness and cuteness, you just can’t beat Jellycat. Also, check out their books!
- Grimm’s Grasping Toy – another gorgeous wooden baby toy from Grimms
- Hape VW Trolley – A great support when baby is learning to walk, our trolley is still played with by our 3yr old!
- Wooden Building Blocks – there are various brands and varieties but you can’t beat simple wooden blocks!
- Blossom & Bear Garland – This garland is just gorgeous! Also, look out for their soother clips & rattles.
- Wheely Bugs – These gorgeous little ride ons make a fantastic gift and come in two different sizes!
- Amazon Echo Dot – This is my wild card! A fantastic gift for a new mom/baby for playing relaxing music/sounds for sleeping and when feeding. Great little gadget when you have no arms and need some help or information. Set timers, play music, ask questions, turn on/off the lights, the Echo is a gamechanger.
- Grimm’s Rainbow – A classic colourful toy that can be just about anything
- Wooden Dolls House – A great toy to support language development and small world play for boys & girls!
- Lanka Kade Deluxe Red Bus – Beautiful handcrafted wooden bus complete with two decks and lots of people.
- Duplo (Various) – a great precursor to Lego for little ones, Duplo is forever being played with in our house.
- Lanka Kade Dinosaur Set – This little set would make a great stocking filler or birthday gift!
- Melissa & Doug Alphabet Puzzle – Love the visuals and simplicity of this puzzle for younger kids.
- Melissa & Doug Play Food – A great starter set to get their imaginations going!
- Schleich Animals – although expensive, these toys are hard wearing and will provide hours of fun!
- Le Toy Van Coffee Machine – the perfect gift for the mini ‘coffee’ lover in your life!
- Lanka Kade Deluxe Natural Noah’s Ark – one of the most magnificent and beautiful toys we own!
- Melissa & Doug Sandwich Making Set – great toy for imaginary play and to practice following directions!
- Big Jigs Country Kitchen– This is the play kitchen we have, which may be slightly nicer than my actual kitchen! The boys play with this every single day without fail – a great investment!
3 year +
- Foclóiropedia – an absolutely beautiful book to introduce and support the learning of Irish.
- Orchard Toys Shopping List – a speech and language therapy favourite, always a winner with kids!
- Orchard Toys Crazy Chefs – a simple and fun game with a focus on cooking and sequencing skills
- Magnet Tiles – hours of quiet concentrated fun for my 3 year old – great for fine motor and concentration.
- This is How We Do It Book – a book embracing multiculturalism and different ways of life around the world.
- Orchard Toys Tummy Ache – another great game for problem-solving and vocabulary development.
- Disney Pixar Puzzles – fun and vibrant 42 piece puzzles in one box from some well-loved Pixar movies.
- The Farm Field – a fantastic toy for capturing little imaginations! See here for more.
- What Do Grown Ups Do All Day Book -my favourite book we own with incredible detail and gorgeous illustrations. Great for the inquisitive preschooler in your life!
Some of my favourite Irish online stores:
Where possible I like to support local Irish stores and small businesses. These are three of my faves when it comes to wooden toys, clothing, gifts and beautiful books.
If you are looking for games and toys for specifically supporting speech and language development, the post below may be of interest to you: