Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Top Six Toddler Toys (according to me)

Top toys for toddlers

The Muffin Man is officially three.

I know, I can't believe it either, since it feels like just yesterday that he looked like this and that I still had boobies:
best toys for toddlers


The official birthday party is happening this weekend, which you've most likely deduced already if you're following me on Pinterest.  I'm going to attempt to actually make some crafts which is truly terrifying.  Here's hoping I don't end up having to be rushed to the ER for some sort of third degree glue gun burn.

It occurred to me as I was trying to find places to stash all of the amazing new toys that Noah received, that I no longer have any actual babies in my house anymore.  Gone are my baby must haves, and in their place are blocks and trucks and plastic foodstuffs.  The good news is that toddlers and little boys (mostly) sleep through the night.  The bad news is that these toys go everywhere.  If you do not yet understand the appeal of the Lego-proof slipper then you definitely still have babies.

The choice of toys is kind of overwhelming.  If you even mention the words "Toys 'r Us" I get so anxious that I have to pop a Klonopin.  And let's not even talk about how my house is beginning to resemble a small toy store with comfortable seating.  That being said, there are certain toys that we use more often than others.

So, I present to you our current list of Top Six Toddler Toys:

The play kitchen provides hours of fun for both of my kids.  Yes, all of the plastic food ends up dumped all over the house, and my offspring have been known to try to stab each other with their play kitchen knives, but overall this is one of the most used items in our home.  Fair warning: if you go for the Kidcraft model it takes about three hours to put together, so don't start at 11pm the night before Junior's birthday and expect to get a whole lot of shuteye.

Both of my kids love tools, and the tool bench has paid for itself one hundred times over.  It comes with a few pieces of faux wood as well as a couple basic tools, but add on a tool box for each of them  and enjoy checking your social media while your children occupy themselves fixing everything in sight.

We're lucky to have a pretty sizable backyard (as well as temperate weather), but a sand and water table will fit on even a small balcony and will keep your kids entertained for at least ten minutes, usually more.   Yes, they will get wet and get sand in their shoes, but that is a small price to pay for an activity that involves you sitting still instead of having to chase your children.  Just remember to dump all the sand out of their shoes before letting them back in the house, or your living room rug will start to feel like a sandbox.

An alternative to the sand and water table that's just as entertaining but that takes up far less space, is kinetic sand.  We received some as a gift, and I can't tell you how many hours my kids have spent molding this stuff into all kinds of shapes, specifically poop shapes.  I have no idea what it's made of, and I'm sure it's probably toxic, but I really don't care because anything that captures their attention for longer than 10 minutes is a win in my book.  Pro tip: be sure and put a sheet or a splat mat down if you're playing with this stuff inside, because it gets into everything, and it doesn't vacuum out.

Baby dolls are awesome, especially when they come with a stroller that you can use to run over your parents toes.  I admit that Rose plays with the babies more than Noah does (nature people, nature!) but they both enjoy loading the stroller up with books and toys and whatever they've stolen from my purse, and running as fast as they possibly can down our long hallway.

I never had Tinker Toys as a kid, but Noah's Grandparents got him a set for his birthday, and he has played with them every single day since then.  He wants to build when he gets up in the morning, and when he comes home from school.  Even Rose gets in on the action bringing Noah the different pieces for whatever it is he's building.  So far neither of them have tried to use the sticks as a weapon, so as far as I'm concerned this is a super successful toy.

Of course, if you don't feel like spending the money on any fancy toys, just order yourself something from Amazon and give your kids the box.  Chances are they'll spend just as much, if not more, time playing with that than whatever it was you purchased off their wish list.

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