Holiday Gift Guide 2015: The best gifts for toddlers

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … that is, if you relish tracking every cent that’s being spent on holiday gifts for each person on your too-long list. But if you’re like most of us, finding gifts that won’t break the bank (or make you lose your mind) is a task that’s dreaded each and every holiday season.

That’s why we’ve taken some of the pain out of holiday gift-giving with our annual list. Here are gifts under $50 for toddlers, 1-3 years old.

All of them are guaranteed to produce smiles, for gift giver and receiver alike.

Gifts that make the most of this fun age.

Its like no other toy car youve ever seen, with balls that double as the wheels and the colorful passengers. The endlessly engaging toy takes its inspiration from a billiards rack, but this version is meant to be taken apart and reassembled over and over again. Find this toy locally at *play in Logan Square. $24.95, 12m+.


It might not seem like the learning-to-walk stage could get any cuter, but thats just because you havent seen this push toy yet. This pal from Down Under dances along with spinning arms and adorably oversized flip-flopping feet. GDay Mate! Find this toy locally at Galt Toys + Galt Baby in downtown, Lincoln Park and Skokie. $29.99, 12m+.

Dancing Kangaroo

This stacking toy has gone a little wonky! Tots can place discs on the corkscrew and watch them make their way down to the wobbly base. The rainbow colored discs can be arranged in all kinds of combos, making for hours of twisty, turny fun. Find this toy locally at *play in Logan Square. $29.95, 1+.


If theres anything weve learned from Buzzfeed, its that nostalgia is alive and well. Parents can relieve their own childhoods of spinning themselves silly with this revamped version of the throwback favorite. Kids can control the speed of their whirling and twirling, without any risk of injury. But dizziness is guaranteed. Find this toy locally at Galt Toys + Galt Baby in downtown, Lincoln Park and Skokie. $29.99, 18m+.

Spin Around Kids

Theyre going to put it in their mouth, anyway, so dont you want to make sure its totally safe? This natural dough is made with plant, fruit and vegetable extracts and gets its pleasant aroma from essential oils. And if it dries out, you just need to add a few drops of olive oil and it will be like brand new! Find this toy locally at Moore Toys & Gadgets in Wheaton. $19.95, 2+.


The monsters under their bed wont be quite so scary after playing this game, which uses an actual clothesline and clothespin to teach tykes about color and pattern matching. As they grow, you can upgrade to opposites or right-left, while still keeping the fun of the original. Find this toy locally Becky & Me Toys in Evanston. $19.99, 2+.

Monster Laundry

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