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Toy and Book Gift Guide 2023

Toy & Book Gift Guide 2023

Looking for gifts to give this holiday season? Or simply want to give a present as a kind gesture to a child you know? 

We often get questions in Youth Services about where we get our play area toys. Here are some of our favorites along with books to pair with them!

Construction Vehicles

Construction Vehicles

Construction vehicles, which are always a favorite, are among our newest toys. With bright colors and a variety of vehicle types, this set has been a hit. You can find them on Amazon here: Set of 4 and Set of 3

Pair with Crane Jane! by Andrea Zimmerman with pictures by Dan Yaccarino, Mixed-Up Construction Vehicles: a mix-and-match board book illustrated by Spencer Wilson, or Big Stuff Dozer, Excavator, Mixer & More! by Joan Holub.

Rainbow Pebbles

rainbow pebbles

These pebbles have been a lot of fun to feature at our light table in the play area. You can stack, sort, and create using these pebbles on any type of surface. You can find them here.

Pair with Baby Animals First: Colors Book by Alexandra Claire, No Own Owns the Colors by Gianna Davy, or The Kindest Red: A Story of Hijab and Friendship by Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Farm Animal Puppets

Farm Animal Puppets

Melissa & Doug is one of our favorite toy brands. You can get these puppets, and many others that you’ve seen here in Youth Services, on the company’s website.

Pair with Amara’s Farm by JaNay Brown-Wood, Who’s Hiding on the Farm?: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Amelia Hepworth, or Mr. Waton’s Chickens by Jarrett Dapier and illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi. If you joined us for our big Haunted Library celebration, you may have met the author Jarrett Dapier during our storytime!

Sensory Ball for Babies

sensory ball for babies

Manhattan Toy is another favorite brand of ours, particularly for baby-specific toys. This sensory toy rattle is perfect for all babies, particularly those who are very young with eyesight still developing. You can find it here.

Pair with See, Touch, Feel Tummy Time by Roger Priddy, The Night is Deep and Wide by Gillian Sze and Sue Todd, or My First Animals by Clever Publishing.

Doughnut Stacking Rings

Doughnut Stacking Rings

Learning Resources toys provide really great opportunities for, well, learning. This is a sweet treat-inspired toy that helps teach colors, counting, and motor skills.

Pair with We are Little Feminists: How We Eat by Shuli de la Fuente-Lau, No Fair by Jacob Grant, or Cake vs. Pie! By Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen



This little birdhouse with plush birds is another great gift for babies. You can discuss the different colors and shapes of the birds. You can even use positional and directional words like above, in, out, and besides as the child places the birds around and inside the birdhouse. You can get it here.

Pair with Whose Nest is Best?: a list-the-flap book by Heidi E.Y. Stemple and illustrated by Gareth Lucas, A Beautiful House for Birds by Grace Lin, or Birds by Ruth A. Musgrave.

Laundry and Cleaning Pretend Play

Laundry toys

Kids love to help and to mimic the adults in their lives, and doing chores like laundry is no exception! You can get the laundry play set here and the cleaning set here.

Pair with Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess by Luvvie Ajaui Jones and illustrated by Joey Spiotto, I Help at Home! by Saniyyah Khalilallah with photographs by Jared Leeds, or No is All I Know! written by Chris Grabenstein and illustrated by Leo Espinosa.

Bubble Machine

I’m sorry to say our bubble machine is no longer available online. We’ve checked! However, any bubble machine is going to be a blast, no matter what you choose.

Pair with: Circle! Sphere!  by Grace Lin, Bubbles… up! by Jacqueline Davies and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez, or Nat the Cat Takes a Bath by Jarrett Lerner. 

You can buy these books anywhere books are sold. You also can support your independent bookstore of choice at!

Do you already have a gift picked out but need help choosing a book to go with it? You can fill out a Personalized Pick and ask us for help today!

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