I thought I would share a toddler gift idea just in case there is someone else out there plotting their Christmas purchases. When Brennan turned 2 we got him a Strider balance bike.
I had seen them on the Today Show a couple of years ago and thought they were neat, and my friend Kacie had seen them in her neighborhood and thought they were pretty great for this age. They are small and don't have pedals. The idea is that young children can learn to balance first, and then move to a regular bike without ever relying on training wheels. I was a little skeptical since he had only been mobile for about a year, and was still rather clumsy on his own two feet at times. He was actually asking for a bike so we went with it. Within a couple of weeks Brennan was riding pretty well, and now after seven months he zooms everywhere. They can be a little pricey, and I didn't have much luck finding a deal on this one, but it has been worth it. There are several brands out there. The Strider looked most like a big boy bike and had pretty good reviews. It seems to be good quality and has held up well. The only thing I wish it had is a kick stand. I would like for Brennan to start out taking care of his bikes, and it is a little hard when it can't easily be stood up. If you are in the market for a first bike, I would highly recommend a balance bike.
Brennan was more than happy to show his riding abilities:
(I'll have to work on my video skills. I think the Flip might work better. Hopefully you can get the idea!)