Kids & Parenting

Personalized gifts for toddlers

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Monograms help children identify letters
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Personalized gifts for toddlers make your child the star of the show!

Sometimes, you need a gift that is more than special—for a first child, grandchild or your best friend's little one. One way to express your fond feelings is with one of several personalized gifts for toddlers—something to value now and when your special child grows older.

Why Personalize?

Developmentally, one of a toddler's first exciting accomplishments is the ability to recognize his or her name. Mommy and Daddy are supremely important, but the knowledge that he or she is an individual—treasured by mommy and daddy but also independent—is a powerful growth-step.

The infant who smiled at the sound of his or her name can now put this recognition into words. This step is so powerful that a little one may use his or her name over and over again—"Jamie go by by," "Alana want juice." Games that begin "Who's that?" are played with great joy: Who's that? "Michael!" Who is Michael? "ME!"

Gift Ideas

Clothing and Totes

Putting your toddler's initials or first name on clothing is the perfect way to help with early reading, letter identification and being responsible for personal belongings. Toddlers can learn that their blanket is the one with the letter "B" on it and pre-schoolers will take extra care of their naptime gear if it has their mark on it.

Even the youngest kids are on-the-go, and a small tote with a monogram or embroidered name helps them feel organized and an integral part of the plans. Going to the other parent's house, or to grandma's, is even more fun and less unsettling when a little one's belongings are important enough to pack with the child's name on them. Dance class, library story time and other events all call for labeled, personalized belongings.

Two kinds of personalized gifts for toddlers are designed specifically to enhance that growth-step.


The first is the personalized book—a story that incorporates the child by name as one of the characters. Sometimes the story can contain other names or favorite activities as well: the name of the family dog, playing on the jungle-gym in the yard, wearing new red sneakers. Some books are strictly imaginative stories; others may incorporate other learning, like the names of colors, shapes or numbers.

Some publishers offer a lot of choices; they realize that not every child wants to grow up to be a princess or a firefighter. Therefore, you should have an easy time tailoring your choice to your child's particular interests.


Even more exciting is a new possibility: a DVD that features your child's face and name! It's hard to imagine the expression that will greet this ultimate surprise! It's a rare adult who will not confess that, at some time during growing up, he or she dreamed of being a movie-star or a rock-star. No matter how much we say that hope was only for an instant, it was surely an exciting instant (and probably lasted longer than we are willing to admit). Little did we imagine that this instant could be so easily shared with our special child.

This will definitely be your little one's favorite DVD for a long, long time. Don't be surprised if taking-just-one-more-look lasts all the way into elementary school. You may well be able to find personalized DVDs that appeal not just to your toddler, but also to your pre-schooler and kindergartener.

The Benefits of Personalized Gifts

Since growing up involves an increasing sense of self-awareness, what a wonderful way to begin. From an extremely early age, growing involves learning how to master new ideas and activities. Books and DVDs that center on your child's active participation in the story encourage that learning, in vocabulary, actions and stimulus to the imagination.

Providing the book or the DVD is only the beginning. You will be repaid for your thoughtfulness in unexpected ways. Your child is likely to acquire new words and actions; if you suddenly find yourself living with a perpetual jumping-jack, look back at the story to find the source. A new interest in all-about frogs, trains, the moon and stars, the letters in his or her name, or wearing a blue shirt—not red, not yellow, but blue—every day may have its origins in the glimpse your child received of him- or herself as the star of the show.

Be prepared to share new experiences with your special child once he or she has heard and seen these imaginative personalized gifts for toddlers. And get ready to move forward with your child in new and unexpected ways.

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