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Best Artistic: Aqua Magic Mat at Amazon
"Create amazing pictures with just water and the magic pens and brush."
Best Active: Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer and Stroll Trike at Amazon
"A Radio Flyer is still a classic gift that will grow with your grandchildren."
"Comes with a space-themed play tent, a tunnel, and a ball pit."
Best Musical: B. Drumroll Toy Drum Set at Amazon
"It’s a great way to start building that love of music early."
Best for Outdoor Play: Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay at Amazon
"This set will keep kids outdoors for hours of splishing, splashing fun."
Best Educational: Teach My Toddler Learning Kit at Amazon
"Designed to teach kids ages 18 months to 3 year-olds."
Best Artistic: Aqua Magic Mat
Budding Picassos will love this magic mat that lets them create amazing pictures with just water and the magic pens and brush, which are included. You just fill them with water, and the little artist is ready to go, as surprising colors pop up as they draw. Eight drawing molds are included as well to add to the fun. After 3 to 10 minutes, the images disappear, and they can start all over again. No mess, no running out of paper (and refrigerator space)!
This one is large (34.5 x 22.5 inches), so there’s plenty of room to create, but it folds up flat, so it’s easy to store or take on the go.
Best Active: Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer and Stroll Trike
A Radio Flyer is still a classic gift that will grow with your grandchildren. This cool trike lets grandparents push their little one while your toddler will feel like they are doing all the work pushing the pedals and "steering." When your toddler gets confident enough to peddle themselves you can remove the parent handle and let them go (all in a supervised area of course!)! It also has a small storage area in the back to store snacks or let them tote their teddy bear along for the ride.
The seat on this can also be adjusted so you can ensure the right fit from the ages of 2 to 5 years. This trike has a maximum weight limit of 49 pounds which is right around when your grandchild will be ready to move onto bigger and better bikes.
Best Tent: Playz 3pc Rocket Ship Astronaut Kids Play Tent
Want to give your grandkids hours of fun? This multipurpose setup comes with a space-themed play tent, a tunnel, and a ball pit with a hoop (Note: balls are not included), all which can be connected for one big adventure or used separately. They all come in a convenient zippered carrying case that makes storage and taking it on the go easy.
Designed for kids ages 3 months and up, it’s fun for kids of all ages (though smaller kids will need parental supervision). Customers give this set high marks all around, saying it’s fun, sturdy, and kids have hours of imaginative fun in it. Some note, however, that it takes a ton of balls to fill the ball pit, so you have to be prepared to buy a large quantity if you want to fill it up.
Best Musical: B. Drumroll Toy Drum Set
Bring on the band! While pots and pans are fun too, this great toy drum set will really hit the right note with toddlers who love music. It comes with seven instruments including a whistle, shaker egg, tambourine, drumsticks, and castanets.
Whether several children play together, or one strikes up a one-man band, the music will flow. All the instruments can be stored in the drum to make clean up and taking the show on the road easy. Designed for ages 18 months to 3 years, it’s a great way to start building that love of music early.
Best for Outdoor Play: Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay
For some good beachy fun without actually going to the beach, there’s this sand and water table from Step2. The plastic base is divided into two sections, one for sand and one for water. Each comes with a separate cover, which can be combined to create a waterfall. It also comes with accessories including a shovel/rake, cup, shark scoop, spinner, water tower, and slide.
From sand castles to boat races this set will keep kids outdoors for hours of splishing, splashing fun. Most customers give this set high marks all around. Some complain that the sand gets into the water too easily, but that’s to be expected whenever the two are near each other, and there’s a toddler involved.
Best Educational: Teach My Toddler Learning Kit
For a gift that will start getting toddlers ready for school, this 68-piece set will be a hit with parents and kids alike. It comes with an array of books, posters, puzzles and flashcards. They’re all designed to teach kids ages 18 months to 3 year-olds skills such as the alphabet, shapes, colors, numbers and more. From hand-eye coordination to fine motor skills, spatial reasoning and more, the tools teach a ton while kids are just having fun.
The set also comes with a teaching guide, and it’s recommended that parents (or grandparents!) spend 20 minutes a day working with these tools to give their child a headstart in school. Customers say kids love it, and the price, makes it a great value.