NACD Gift Ideas for Ages Birth–4

NACD's Top Gift Ideas for Toddlers Ages 0 to 4

At NACD, we work with children that have every imaginable developmental issue in addition to typical and gifted children. In the process we have explored, researched and utilized many thousands of toys and products that we have found to be fun, educational, engaging and helpful. At the request of families from throughout the world, we have put together a list of items that would make great gifts. Each item has been researched and reviewed by our professional staff. All items on the list below can be found either at our NACD Store or on Amazon.

In these first years, appropriate play and toys can help build the child’s ability to understand and develop language, motor skills, self-help skills, social interaction, imagination, a joy of learning and more. The years from birth to four are incredibly important and can have a tremendous impact on a child’s future. Learning during these first wonderful years needs to be focused on fun and play. Engaging these babies, toddlers and preschoolers through appropriate play and activities can and should be fun and educational. Time spent interacting with our little ones can turn into the most significant learning and bonding experiences of their lives and build some of our greatest and fondest memories.

NACD receives a small commission if you use our Amazon referral link to buy our recommended products. The funds collected will go directly into a scholarship fund for our NACD families. NACD also receives a small commission for everything else you buy that is in your cart when you buy our recommended products. If you are going to purchase items based on our suggestions please use our referral link to help our incredible dedicated families.

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43 Great Gift Ideas for Holidays, Birthdays & Special Occasions – Ages 0–4

Cognition Coach Toddler

Watching little Toddlers and children under three years play a game for a couple of minutes and actually build their processing power is wonderful to see. Then as their processing increases we watch the resulting blossoming of their language and understanding. Every little bit of help we give these little ones has the potential to enhance the rest of their lives.—Bob

Currently Available for iPad here:


3 Wheel Recumbent Bikes

These bikes come in various size ranges. Match your child’s height to the right bike. Bikes are adjustable so you can accurately adjust the bike to properly fit your child or adult. These bikes are low to the ground, safe and provide many benefits including: improve strength and endurance, develop good leg muscle balance and development, help correct leg muscle imbalance issues, provide a fun activity that helps keep children engaged and present. —Bob

Mobo Total Tot The Roll-to-Ride Three Wheeled Cruiser, 12-Inch

Mobo Tot Disney Pixar Cars- Lightning McQueen: A Toddler’s Ergonomic Three Wheeled Cruiser Ride On, Red

Classic recumbent bike for children 2-5 years. —Bob

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Weehoo Kids Turbo Bicycle Trailer

This is great for our kids that need the pedal motion of a recumbent but can’t ride a bike independently. It hooks on to an adult bike. One of our clients uses it and loves it! —Sara

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Language Play

KidKraft Chelsea Cottage Doll Cottage with Furniture

Language based play can be of significant help in developing basic language and communication skills. With a dollhouse and dollhouse family modeling basic language becomes fun and easy. Dollhouses are also great for auditory processing and can be used in many ways to develop this critical function.—Bob

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Kidcraft Doll Family of 7

Add the family to the doll house and the dynamics and possibilities increase.—Bob

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Melissa & Doug Wooden Town Play Set with Storage Tray.

This set of little wooden building is great for language-based play and processing. You can add a whole new dynamic to processing activities with this fun set.—Bob

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Construction Site Playset

Not only is this a great tool for language based play age 3+, but it can lay a foundation for unit studies to come.  Children love learning how things are built! —Lyn

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Step 2 LifeStyle Custom Kitchen Playset

A full kitchen with all the essentials for working on language skills, sequencing and more. So many opportunities with your kids in this “kitchen”. My boys had something similar when they were young and I still remember the hours they spent playing with it. —Glenda

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Melissa & Doug Star Diner Restaurant Play Set House

Ages 3 and up – Language, sequencing and fun.  The things you can use this for are endless. —Glenda

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Big Red Barn (Farmer and 4 Animals)

Here’s another way to work on language based play – Doors to open can work on fine motor AND sequencing with the animals! 3 in 1 —Glenda

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Peekaboo Barn

Many of you ask me what kinds of things can I do for young child on program – Here’s one with an opportunity for some sequencing, fine motor and at the same time as you are having fun with your toddler playing this game! —Glenda

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Cash Register Toy

If you are looking for more fun ways to get Sequential Processing in without making it look like “therapy”, this is perfect for children ages 3+. Using the play foods, the “checker” can scan the items and hear a realistic scan sound. By giving the child specific orders of groceries, you can work on processing as you play.  This is also a great tool for Language Related Play. —Lyn

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Blocks and Building Toys

Block and building toys have been a staple forever. There are block sets that can be helpful from the youngest child to adults. Blocks and building toys can help develop motor skills, eye hand coordination, creativity as well as a sense of accomplishment and pride. As children get older and cognition advances, building moves into mathematics, mechanics, engineering, and robotics and on and on.—Bob

Mega Blocks 80-Piece Big Building Bag

These are large blocks that do not require cortical opposition, but will help build it. These large blocks are a great toy to help build motor function, attention, eye-hand coordination and a sense of accomplishment.—Bob

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Lincoln Logs 111 All-Wooden Pieces. Ages 3+

I need to write an article about the role Lincoln Logs played in my development and life, but for now these simple wooden pieces can be used to create endless masterpieces of design. Use these for fine motor development, creativity and to hel build a sense of pride and accomplishment. Fun and simple.—Bob

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Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Block Set – 100 Blocks in 4 colors and 9 shapes

These are classic wooden blocks that have entertained and have developed motor and visual skills and creativity in children for ages.—Bob

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Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks with Wooden Storage Tray.

This set of blocks is a step up, containing a variety of 60 blocks in a variety of shapes. Designed for children 3 years and up. You can also purchase wooden people, vehicles and more to go with this set. These are educational toys that children can use for years.—Bob

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Science, Technology, Engineers and Math. This is about building your child’s future through toys and play. Tough to beat.

Brackitz Inventor 170 piece Set: Educational Construction Set

This set can be used at various levels starting with children as young as six or seven, but is a great entry into the world of STEM toys. They company says this toy is suitable for those from 3 to 103. Looks like a lot of educational fun. Designed as a building set with endless possibilities it strengthens imaginary play, problem solving and creativity. One of Amazon’s top STEM toys.—Bob

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Teaching kids to code and having them understanding how coding works is becoming more and more important. Coding teaches problem solving and debugging. Debugging is the act of finding errors and fixing them. These are fantastic skills for all kids to have. Understanding and using code at an early age sets kids up success later on in life. —Laird

Primo Toys Cubetto Playset Coding Toy

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Mozart Cube

This cause and effect toy plays classical music with different instruments or full orchestra each time the child presses one of the large sides of the cube. Listed as a best toy for 2017 it was a favorite for my grandchildren as well. —Ellen

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Interactive Tiger

This tiger will interact with a child in a large variety of ways to keep the child attending for longer periods of time with 100 sounds and motions. Great for visual attention and cause and effect. My grandkids are hoping for this toy. —Ellen

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Interactive Dog

The dog responds to being patted on the head or back but also responds to movement. He’s cute and highly interactive. My grandchildren played with this toy for a year before losing interest. —Ellen

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Musical Set

With “drums”, little keyboard and xylophone. This set is very entertaining each time the child hits or touches it, they produce music. —Ellen

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Jumping Frog Game

This game requires isolating your index finger to make the frog jump toward the goal. This game states that it is for preschoolers but it’s also good for older kids as it require score keeping. —Lyn

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A fun learning system presented in video game format for ages as young as 3 years old.  Good for children whose manual skills and abilities are quite ready for video games.  Good for attention, central vision and learning. —Lyn

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Pop-Up Pals – Cause & Effect Learning Toy for Babies

“This is a great cause and effect toy for babies. It has bright colors and fun animals that pop up when the child flips a switch or pushes a button. This is not only a good toy to teach cause and effect but also helps with fine motor development.” —Sara

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Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank

This is a fun cause and effect toy that works on numerous skills.  Fine motor, counting ,and colors in addition to getting appropriate sounds for putting the money in the pig are all provided in this toy. —Sara

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LeapFrog Learn & Groove Music Table

“Boy did my kids get a lot of use out of this table! Before your baby is walking, he/she can play with the cause and effect toys on the board without the legs.  Once your baby is pulling to a stand he/she can stand and continue to enjoy all the play on the board”. —Sara

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Fisher-Price Bright Spin & Crawl Tumble Franky Beats Ball

This is a great toy to have your beginning crawler or creeper move toward.  It has fun sounds and music and cause and effect buttons as your baby creeps to get to it. —Lyn

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Melissa & Doug Farm Wooden Peg Puzzle

A good first 8 piece peg puzzle with easy to grasp plastic pegs. Promotes hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and problem solving. You could even do some sequencing with it! —Glenda

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The Learning Journey Lift and Learn Colors & Shapes

Puzzles come in a whole range of themes.  They increase our child’s spatial awareness and an additional understanding on the topic.  Fine motor work too! —Glenda

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Number Puzzle – Wooden 1-20

Working on teaching your child numbers?  Why not add another way of inputting or outputting what they have learned! —Glenda

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Fishing Game Magnetic Wood

Eye/hand coordination and fine motor development for children ages 3+. Plus it can help you with another creative way to do processing. —Glenda

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Seek a Boo

Although this is a toddler memory game it can also work on vocabulary.  Real photos that you have to find the object, etc.  But you can be creative and use it in many ways….they even will give you the ideas! Another game to incorporate into program. Works similar to receptive cards and Where is? —Glenda

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Roll & Play

A first game that encourages creativity, active play and gross motor skills. Picture cards tell you what to do – “Roar like a lion”, “Find something red”, etc. Try having your older children read the card to the younger one. Sounds like program activity to me! —Glenda

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Where’s Bear Hide and Seek Stacking Block Game

2 years olds stack blocks and find hidden objects in a game that can work on problem solving, matching, sorting all while bonding with mom or other family members. —Glenda

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Hi Ho Cherry-O

Help your 3-6 year old work on their basic math skills, fine motor, and learning to take turns all while playing this fun board game. I remember playing it too when I was young with my cousin and loving it! —Glenda

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Chutes and Ladders

Ages 3+ – Learn the concept of up and down, counting, language play all while having a fun and my boys loved watching their brothers have to slide down! Competition began early. —Glenda

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Ages 3-6 – A great first board game that works on counting, colors, fine motor and more. All my boys loved this one! —Glenda

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Lego Duplo – My First Carousel

24 pieces for ages 1 1/2 – 3 years old.   They can be added to other LegoDuplo sets . It will give your child the chance to build and use their imagination….Oh, yes, it works on processing too! —Glenda

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Tinkertoy 30 Model Super Building Set

This has been around for as long as we parents and grandparents can remember. The good news is these snap together so they can play with them after building their model. Let their (ages 3+) imagination run wild with what they build or let them follow visual instructions for something to replicate. —Glenda

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Play-Doh Shape N Slice Set

Ages 3+ can let their imaginations go for some  creative role playing. Let’s see what they can put together for you….Yep, sequencing works here too! —Glenda

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Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Magical Oven

Age 3+ – This is a fun set to get cooking . It even makes sizzling sounds as they show you their creation. Good for fine motor and throw some sequencing in there with it! —Glenda

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Play-Doh Max The Cement Mixer

Age 3+ – Everyone loves to play with play-doh and when you can let their imagination run wild all the better. See what they can create! —Glenda

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