So, here's my list of suggestions for toddler Christmas gifts, or really gifts for any time of year. These are all characters that I think parents will like as much as the kids.
The Octonauts are by far one of the cutest and simultaneously coolest things I've seen in a long time. Originally from a series of books by Meomi (one was gifted to me for Zoom by coworkers), it has also become a TV show on Disney Jr, starring a set of animated animals that are ocean adventurers. There are a set of toys that recently came out as well. The show is just finished with its second season and we have already seen every episode. Admittedly, I get the closing song ("Creature Report!") stuck in my head on a regular basis.
Octonauts 8" Plush Peso Soft Plush Toy (Peso is our favorite!)
The Pigeon Books
The Pigeon was another gift; Zoom loves both "Dont Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" and "The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog." We often sing the "Hot Dog" song from The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while we read the hot dog book. It just seems like a natural fit. Zoom loves to yell "NOooo!" at the appropriate times in the stories, and often flips through the pages and reads the book to himself. And Sean and I have adopted the phrase, "Of course, enjoy." into our every day lexicon.
Chuck the Truck
Chuck is an adventurous truck who comes up with a good lesson in each episode of his TV show. He's a little boy truck, and he has truck friends and a lovely set of parents. The theme song is catchy, although don't even try to google the lyrics, as they are surprisingly hard to find. For awhile I thought they were saying "Over, round, and through, Trucks can't sing and chew." (which made no sense, but you know how lyrics get stuck in your head? for the record, it's "Over, Round, and Through, Trucks go see and do.") I like the stories in the show, and the fact that its not overly cutesy or dumbed down. It's a great show for kids who love Disney's Cars, and have already seen those movies and shorts a million times (like us).