“Baby Guru” Miss Megan, as featured in the New York Times and Good Morning America, has curated a list of best developmental gifts for children suitable for all young families for this festive period.
The holiday season is in full swing! Finding good presents that are cost-effective and give you high mileage for babies and children is always a challenge. Babies and toddlers are growing and changing fast, and it can be difficult to know what sort of gift would go down well with both parent and child.
Here, Miss Megan discusses her top, time-tested gifts for children aged 0-6+.
Age: 0-6 Months +
This sounds deceptively simple, but the 2-in-1 mirror is an enjoyable plaything for infants as well as a great tool for parenting. You can choose whether you want to attach it to the crib rail, lay it on the floor to encourage tummy-time play, or use the baby-safe mirror to entertain your little ones during the day.
Miss Megan’s Pro Tip – “great to use in the crib to help develop a sense of comfort in the sleep space and help babies get used to pushing up and laying back down – an important skill for babies once they sleep on their tummies. But – remember to remove it for sleep times!”
6-12 Months +
Miss Megan recommends this natural, multi-sensory teether rattle toy; it has lightweight wooden dowel and elastic ties that make it easy for small hands to grab, hold, and play with. It’s a great multi-purpose toy for developing and teething children.
Pro Tip – “Babies of this age love learning about cause and effect. As they pass the teether from one hand to the other or shake it with excitement, they see and hear the beads shift; an extremely gratifying experience for a baby. This is also a useful item for distracting your wiggly baby during diaper changes.”
12-18 Months +
Let your little ones play with a dozen eggs in different shapes and colours, and watch them develop important skills such as finger dexterity, colour and shape recognition, and fine motor control. Great for developing a sous-chef to help in the kitchen, too! This toy is a suitable gift for children 12-18 months and up.
Miss Megan’s Pro Tip – “If you take two bins or baskets and separate the halves, your toddler will love playing a game of 1 to 1 correspondence while matching them all back together.”
18-24 Months +
“A tot favorite!” says Miss Megan. Spark your toddlers’ curiosity and let them explore and discover the world with this innovative frustration-free shape learning toy. Made of 6 chunky and uniquely textured shapes, your little ones will have hours of fun while developing key skills like baby logic and problem-solving. Miss Megan continues, “this age is all about dumping and filling. Plus, traditional shape sorting toys can be frustrating at this age as little ones don’t yet have the dexterity to feel confident about them. You can even extend this tactile experience by adding other items inside for your toddler to reach for.”
2-3 Years +
Whether you’re using the holidays to kickstart your toddlers’ library or expanding your current book collection, this book collection includes 12 mini board books that are especially ideal for tiny hands while introducing our earliest learners to their first simple words and pictures.
Miss Megan’s Pro Tip – “Toddler’s love little items. Not only is their small size useful for bringing along in the car or diaper bag, but these are also fun to: take out, put in, and carry around in the carrying case – so don’t discard it. Nothing like a gift that motivates your child to practice cleaning up!”
Plus, for some more interactive learning, parents can download a digital version of the books on their phones and play with flashcards.
3-4 Years +
Miss Megan describes this gift as “a budding builder’s dream!” In her experience, children love putting these tiles together – perfect for sparking a sense of creativity, design, and art..!
Reveal their inner architect – let your little ones get creative beyond imagination with a fun and entertaining stackable playboard toy kit, designed to foster hand-eye coordination and problem-solving.
4-5 Years +
This Alphabet Acorn Set develops children’s understanding of the alphabet and language through active playtime.
Match uppercase and lowercase letters, discover a surprise inside each acorn that matches the letter on the front, what a fun way to learn the ABCs, practice making words, and much more! It’s great for sorting colors, letters, words, animals, sounds, and imaginative play. Miss Megan’s Pro Tip – “From personal experience, this activity has been one of the most fun for my now 6.5 and 8-year-olds.
Even after all these years they still love to include the little figurines in their magnetic building block play. Even if my 8 year old wakes early he keeps these in a soft basket beside his bed and fidgets with the items, sorting and matching them as he happily keeps himself busy until it’s time to start the day.”
5 Years +
A reusable doodle board is great for assisting children in learning to draw and bring out their creative side, particularly when they have a ‘tracing’ functionality. These boards are simple for youngsters to hold, yet tough and light enough to take anywhere should a holiday trip be on the cards! Whenever kids are finished with their playing, learning, or drawing, they can erase their drawings to start over and continue honing their artistic skills, or leave it to admire their masterpiece.
Pro Tip by Miss Megan – “A great gift for your budding artists. My 6.5-year-old uses this as a staple tool in our homeschooling efforts. Going on walks and drawing the silhouettes of flowers and items we find brings learning and connecting with nature to a whole new level.”
A ticket to Sleep School is the best gift of all, who wouldn’t love the gift of good sleep for parents and children alike? Batelle is a one-of-a-kind remote “Sleep School” for children 0-6 years old. The Method, developed entirely by Miss Megan herself over her 25+ years of experience, utilizes a delicate, non-cry-it-out approach that ensures that 1. your child will sleep through the night and 2. will have quick bedtimes – all within just 2 weeks. Batelle guarantees their results, offering a full refund if these two sleep guarantees are not met.
The program also gives ample direction on making an adaptable sleep schedule, timing of feeds, and gentle yet important changes like weaning and deliberately transitioning away from pacifiers in an incremental way.