5 Birthday Gifts for the Toddler Who Has Everything » VSB

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5 Birthday Gifts for the Toddler Who Has Everything



I have three kids. One is 8 (I have no idea what you call the 8-year-old phase of life) and the other two are toddlers. This means that I have some experience – and expertise – in the art of what toddlers like. Which is important because one of the most frequent questions I’ve received in life is “what should I get for your kid for his/her birthday?” I’m fortunate.

If you’re like me and mines, though you will publicly declare on the social medias your  plan to NOT have a birthday party celebrating each year of your kid’s life (often stating things like, “they’ll never remember anyway” and “that’s too expensive”) you absolutely will find ways to have celebrations where you invite all of the adults you know with chirrens. Some of these events will have liquor because any party with 20 children under 10, no matter the age distribution, variance, or standard deviation, will be an absolute madhouse and a drink or twelve wouldn’t even be frowned upon by child services.

To accompany any toddler’s birthday party is usually a plethora of gifts the parents already own (we all shop at the exact same places AND people buy gifts from the same places we shop) and gift cards. Gift cards are awesome because they can be used to buy things we don’t already have, typically the things we need. But here’s the real question: What do the kids want? It’s the question every kid wants to let you know the answer to, but when you can only say that you’re “this many” when somebody asks your age, there’s a good chance articulating your wants is difficult.

Well, because I’m feeling generous today and because I have so much experience in the Child Arts, here are the things that I’ve noticed that my kids and other people’s kids that I’ve been around seem to enjoy the most (and thus want), assuming you’re looking to get things for them and not just come drink my fine liquors at the birthday party.

1. Bubbles

You can go spend $75 on that plastic builder set that I’ll open, spend two hours assembling that’s missing a few screws for some odd reason, that my kids will kinda sorta maybe play with by coloring on it and putting stickers all over turning it into a living art installation that will likely NEVER get used for its intended purpose OR you can go spend $10 bucks and get, like, 5 bubble wands or some sort of bubble maker and make these children happier than they ever knew was possible. I don’t know what it is about bubbles, but to kids, bubbles are THE SHIT. Take some kids outside and blow some damn bubbles and you’ll see pure, unmitigated joy, love, and happiness that even Al Green couldn’t articulate. Bubbles is where it’s at, fam.

2. Outside

Say heffa, say what?  Outside? Yaaaaaaaaaasss. Outside. Listen, there is nothing more alluring to a kid who says “no” “mine” and “bubbles” than outside. True story, my one-year-old pitches a pure fit EVERY.TIME. somebody walks out the door at my home and he doesn’t get to go. It’s like outside is the world’s greatest club and he can’t get in. He cannot get into the outside. Word to Home. Outside is the gift that keeps on giving. To kids, the outdoors is an amazing array of possibilities, even if you literally only go into the backyard or  to the sidewalk. Nigga, if you take a kid outside with bubbles? Bruh. You might as well be Black Jesus.

3. Blocks

I’m loathe to say blocks because it’s the one thing that I’m guessing most  homes from the least well-off to the most financially stable have in abundance. Kids love them some blocks. Even big kids can find something to do with a buffet of colorful blocks laying on the floor. The thing about blocks is that they get lost, misplaced, and thrown away very easily. A set that starts out at 100 on Monday is probably down to 37 on Friday. More blocks. I can just put them bitches in a closet and pull them out when needed. I took my two-year-old son to Toys ‘R Us the other day to let him pick out anything he wanted (under $20 bucks but he ain’t need to know all of that) and sure as shootin’, he picked out some more blocks. Blocks for the win.

4. Water

I know. This one also makes no sense. But listen, kids love water. It’s like “outside” to them. They just want to be part of it and play with it and splash it and throw it. They don’t care if it’s a bathtub or outside with bubbles in a plastic kiddie pool. Water is always the win. You show up with a gallon of water and my kid will be dumbfounded. You pour said water in the bathtub and put them in there and Black Jesus again. Dog, the sprinkler? All the giggles.

5. Boxes

Have you ever watched kids at Christmas open gifts? The boxes get all the run from tiny kids. Get you a pack of boxes and you might ascend to auntie or uncle status. Put some blocks in that box? And bubbles? Bruh.

Bonus: iPad

My two-year-old knows entirely how to navigate the world of my iPad, both utilizing Netflix, pulling up his sister’s account and choosing movies to his liking. The same with YouTube Kids videos. He has favorites. For those that don’t know, videos of white people opening up toys is very popular for some reason. White people stay winning.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • DCFem

    This is so true it’s sick! One of my sons first words was “outside” and he’d act like that girl in the Exorcist if you told him he couldn’t go out because it as raining or too hot, etc. And for about $2 Toys R Us has some bubbles where you must screw off Elmo’s head to open them and that turns bubbles from Black Jesus to Black Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

  • Epsilonicus

    My kid LOVES bubbles. He can be outside for hours.playing with bubbles. The other thing he likes is water. When I am gardening, little man is like Diddy, all up and through the water.

    • Brown Rose

      Bubbles are great. I remember as a kid they occupied me for hours. You can really use your imagination with them.

    • miss t-lee

      A gallon of them for like $1.50 all week entertainment.

    • MsKeisha23

      My kid squad likes helping me garden too! So fun.

    • UrbanNortheast

      Bubbles were a staple in my babysitting arsenal. You can get them at the dollar store!

      I used to babysit for a kid who was obsessed with water and counting. You could fill a sink and tell him to coun

    • Ms.Moon

      Set up them sprinklers and the kids will be happy all afternoon. Or get out the kiddie pool and they will be jumping in that all afternoon as well, sit out with a nice drink and some juice boxes or water for when they get thirsty and you’re set.

  • You know what else toddlers love on youtube? Those stupid daddy finger, daddy finger where are you videos?

    I swear that song plays in my head on a continuous loop because of the youngest crotch fruit. He doesn’t have his own iPad, but we let him use ours sometimes when both parents need to be engaged in something, and there have been several times we had to take it from him because some creepy video was playing. People are sick. They’ll put kiddie music onto a video of spiderman getting beheaded or something, use metatags for it to show up on kiddie pages, and then the little ones end up having that garbage burned into their brains.

    It’s hard to be a low-tech or completely nontech parent these days, but I find that my little one just wants to be engaged. He will play in the park for hours at a time and not stop unless he falls or the ice cream truck comes around. Toddlers are jerks, but they dope too lol

    • They have 2, 3, 4 hour versions of those Daddy Finger videos and my daughter will blast them any time I’m trying to watch a movie.

      • It’s crazy cus there is one where they are rolling out different colors of playdough side by side. I was baking the other day and my kid saw the rolling pin, started screaming out DADDY FINGER, DADDY FINGER GREEN! DADDY FINGER RED! I’m like really? I guess if it’s helping reinforce his color lessons lol

        • MsSula

          That is the one. My niece moved back with her parents last year. So she has been switching languages, she still knows her colors in English though because of these stupid videos lolll.

    • panamajackson

      fam…i HATE daddy fingers WHERE ARE YOU????

      • my kid calls his thumb “daddy sinder”

        hit his hand on the table and said: mommy, daddy sinder hurting.

        i wept internally

      • Yay Radley

        Try Oobi videos! Oobi is dope.

      • My 19 month old daughter loves the Blue Whale song on youtube. Because of this wanders through the house saying “whale, whale, whale, whale” …

    • Candace Harris


    • Question

      Yesssss. Why??? That and the play doh ball man who makes different colored play doh balls and then smushed them.

    • MsSula

      I just said the same thing above. Who the heII did that stupid song like Whyyyyyy? My God all the kids are hooked on them. UGH

      • And it’s on evvvvvvery video!!!

    • Kat

      So now I feel the need to go to youtube and find daddy finger cause what could it possibly be. Cause my first thought ain’t righteous at all.

      • cedriclathan

        Different finger…

        • Kat


      • MsSula

        Don’t do it to yourself. It will get stuck in your brain foreva!!!

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    • AzucarNegra

      15 different versions of “Wheels on the bus” for hours on end. It doesn’t matter if you steer them towards ” Peppa Pig” it always ends up on “Wheels on the bus”

    • Jennifer
    • Tiff Tiff

      Have you been in my house? My son watches those daddy finger videos non-stop, making my ears bleed.

    • Chuck Spears
  • Blocks are great until you “find” one while walking in the dark or laying down in bed. My only gripe about bubbles and outside is that kids don’t know moderation. I ain’t trying to be outside for 4 hours, blowing bubbles after I get off of work.

    • We took em to the park yesterday after work, let them get in a couple of hours, and when we finally got ready to leave, who’s on the bench by the exit but his friend from the babysitter, the babysitter and her daughter. The little guy was soooo excited, fist pumping in the park and dancing when he saw his friends. We had to bribe him with youtube to get him to go lmao

      • It’s bad when you are truly begging your own children for freedom.

    • Question

      Man. Stepping on a kiddie puzzle piece with that little plastic thing that helps them pick them up is THE WORST.

    • Gibbous

      Let me step on a LEGO!! Right now my grand-dude is little, so his LEGOs are big, but I have no compunction about vacuuming teeny tiny LEGOs and Polly Pockets up, never to be seen again!

      • I have shamefully thrown away toys and prayed I don’t get asked about it. So far, so good.

        • Gibbous

          My mother said that there was a “neatness fairy” an if you didn’t put your toys away, it would come in the night and take your toys and donate them to children who didn’t have any and who would take better care of them.

          I’m positive I saw my former toys at the Goodwill!

  • cdj

    Do your toddlers like to throw the blocks? I got an alphabet set for my son when he was 2, and that’s the only thing he would do with them. I had to take them away and reintroduce them when he was 4.

    • Jae Starz

      Yes! Yes! She throws everything. And don’t stack something. She turns into Godzilla. Everything gets knocked down.

    • Otherjen

      My niece clocked me in the face with a wooden block on her first birthday. Good times.

      • cdj

        Same! Their little arms are strong!

  • ThatChicTone

    ” For those that don’t know, videos of white people opening up toys is very popular for some reason. White people stay winning.”

    Man THIS. If I have to hear one more damn episode of Bratayley or blind bags and blind boxes. And Miranda Sings. NO MO YOUTUBE IN MY HOUSE!

    • MsSula

      Seriously, how do they get those kids so mesmerized yo!!!

      • AzucarNegra

        That and the cartoon in Russian or Chinese

        • MsSula

          How do you know ma life Tam!!! That stupid Russian doll can get the axe too!!!

          • AzucarNegra


    • AzucarNegra

      I never understand those or unwrapping videos.

    • Or the ones where they’re tasting giant versions of food vs tiny versions. Kids love that nonsense.

  • miss t-lee

    I normally give books. Yeah, I’m that auntie/godparent.
    Boxes–reminds me of the time my brother went all out for my nephew’s first xmas. He ended up playing with the boxes more than the toys…lol

    • Jae Starz

      Same! I always give educational gifts. And prefer that folks do the same for my child. Always encourage learning.

      • miss t-lee


    • UrbanNortheast

      I give books too. It’s my go-to baby shower gift.

      • miss t-lee


  • Blargg

    If you got an iPad and s/he likes blocks you might as well get them Minecraft. Kids love that stuff.

  • Rewind4ThatBehind

    Is it bad that I don’t buy gifts for the kids but instead buy liquor for the parents?

    • Epsilonicus

      You are so kind.

      • Rewind4ThatBehind

        Aye we both know you were gonna sip on something extra for that party anyway.

        I’m just polite enough to pour it in your cup for you.

    • cedriclathan

      Man, you can come to my kids birthday party any time!

      • cyanic

        They’re grown. Laughs.

        • cedriclathan


          • cyanic

            They’re not babies despite being your babies.

      • Rewind4ThatBehind

        lmao I mean why does a toddler need a party anyway? Just give them paper, juice, and crayons for 3 hours and they’ll give just as much of a fuck as they would for the party.

  • Soula Powa

    Just bought this Minnie Mouse Bubble Make for my daughter’s b-day. Kinda concerned if she will love it “too much.”
    Like, take it everywhere too much.


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