Saturday, July 28, 2012

Toddler Toy Favorites

I have to confess something. As new parents, my husband and I went overboard with the toys we bought for J as a baby, as well as with toys that we wish-listed for his Christmas. Our favorites then were anything that sang, touted that it was educational on the packaging, and usually cost a fortune. Then we figured something out; the best toys are the ones that you don't buy. No, I'm not joking and veteran parents know this already. J's favorite "toys" are our cats' toys, pots & pans, and dog bones. Seriously, this kid will toddle all over the house waving around a giant dog bone for an hour sometimes.

Of course, it is good to have some toys for entertainment but lets not go crazy here. I thought it's be good to list some toys that I found to be great both for entertainment purposes and for skill-building.

  • push toys - these can be as simple as a toy shopping cart filled up with some heavier items to weigh it down because they make for helping a little one start toddling without just always holding your hand and builds confidence in the little one's abilities
  • blocks - there comes a point when your toddler learns that it is fun to stack up some blocks, whether they are wooden, big cardboard bricks, or plush, and then to knock them down; or in my son's case it is more fun to watch Mommy or Daddy stack the blocks for him to knock over as I make fun crashing sound effects
  • shape sorters - they teach about categorizing and logic as your little guy or gal figures out that only certain shapes go in certain places
  • stuffed animals - fun to beat up on and cuddle, and they don't run away like the real animals
  • bead chasers - basically those things with the beads attached that can loop-de-loop in all sorts of ways; great for fine motor
Did you notice that none of the above listed toys come with batteries and giant instruction manuals? Really, believe it or not, they are great toys and can entertain for a long time...well as long as your little wonder's attention span lasts with anything else. And the best part is that they don't break the bank! I wish I knew then what I know now because I wouldn't have 2 toyboxes and many shelves full of unused toys. 

Happy shopping! :)

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