I struggle to strike a balance during the holidays between giving my little kids a magical, gift-filled season and not contributing to the clutter of toys that already fills up their playroom. Of course, there’s more to making the holidays magical than gifts, but there’s no denying that so much of the childhood thrill is ripping into beautifully wrapped presents from Santa and family. That’s why I’m focusing on fewer, big-ticket holiday gifts for my 1-year-old and 3-year-old this year—ones that won’t find themselves carelessly tossed aside when a newer, shinier object enters their world. We believe in investing in quality pieces that can be used for multiple seasons. If you’re also into the less-is-more approach, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite big-ticket items to consider for holiday gifts for your little kids this year.
Fresh Mart Grocery Store
If your little one loves a play kitchen, they’re going to love this play grocery store. They can crank the conveyor belt, scan items in the beeping scanner, bag groceries, swipe their “credit card,” or use the cash drawer. Another great option for sibling play, with one side dedicated to shopping and the other for checking out. Use code EVERYMO20 for 20% off your Melissa & Doug purchase!
Deluxe Bouncy Castle
A bounce house is guaranteed to keep kids entertained and playing for hours—and this one is extra-special because it includes a slide and a ball pit. How fun is that?! We also love that it can be used outdoors during warm weather or inside in the basement during the colder months.
If your kids like climbing all over and/or deconstructing your furniture the way mine do, the colorful Nugget play couches are a great solution to that. Available in tons of fun colors and neutrals, this is a gift your kids will love that you definitely won’t mind adding to any living space or playroom.
Star Diner Play Restaurant
How fun is this play diner?! A great gift for preschoolers, this wooden play space features a diner kitchen on one side and a booth with seating for two on the other—plus, all the accessories little ones need for imaginative, screen-free pretend play. Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!
Easy to construct and bound to inspire hours of exciting, imaginative play, this canvas playhouse has four windows and an open front door. We love its simplistic and neutral design that’ll fit seamlessly in any space. More colors available, too!
Pikler Climber Triangle Set
A kid-favorite, big-ticket Montessori gift recommended for littles ages 6 months to 6 years, this Pikler triangle provides a safe space for children to climb and practice their balance, coordination, strength, and independence.
Light Sensory Activity Table
This multi-functional light and sensory sand activity table is unlike any I’ve seen before. It includes a backlit panel with 20 color options, glows in the dark, and can be used with sand, water, and more for sensory activities that will enthrall your kids.
Mademoiselle Pink Scooter Balance Bike
Balance bikes for kids continue to be super popular—but have you ever seen a retro scooter balance bike that’s as cute as this one? This is a great holiday gift for little kids that they’ll use all year long. Also available in a pretty mint color, too!
AirFort Play Tent
This is a big wow item for kids that thankfully stores in an itty bitty bag. Just make sure you have or purchase a box fan or 18″ tabletop fan separately so they can use it right away.
Chef’s Play Kitchen
This classic play kitchen from editor-favorite toy brand Melissa & Doug will blend into any home decor and has everything your little one needs for plenty of interactive, imaginative play—even a working ice cube dispenser! Plus, it includes a fridge and storage shelf for all their kitchen accessories.