Every parent wants their child to have everything in the world. That means experiences, like going to the zoo, no problems, a good education, all the coolest toys. But what we really want is their happiness. As parents we can only do so much to give them happiness, but we sure can try our hardest. This often means that we buy toys. Some will be loved, others rarely touched. It can be a huge waste of money and space.
Now what toys will be a hit in your home, I can’t say. But I can tell you what my son has loved so far! Everything listed here is going to be something he has loved and can continue loving for a long time. Because who doesn’t love toys that can last for years?
We got my son these crayons for Christmas so he was about 18 months. He mostly likes to carry them around (he broke the box so we but them in a baggie) and take them all out, then put them all back in. But if we sit down together he will color for a few minutes. I like the shape of these because it promotes the proper way to hold a writing utensil. And if they start holding it in their fist, I understand it can sometimes be challenging to correct later.
And crayons can be used forever. This one is definitely a timeless gift. Until they are worn out, lost, or broken anyway.
We got him a few coloring books to go with them, but he, of course, just scribbles anyway so really all he needs is paper. He has also used a highlighter on my notebook and our dog food crate. But that is another situation. At least I know he likes to color now!
This is not the exact one that we have, but I really like this one. Tobias played with it when we were out once and it’s super cute. I like that it has the shapes for him to learn, plus the puzzle aspect. And it’s also a house! There are little images behind each piece which is really cool. Tobias won’t appreciate that yet, but I do! And he likes my excitement when he uncovers things so it encourages him to put the pieces in and out.
We have several puzzles with different concepts and he loves them. His favorites are the wooden ones. He brings them over to me to play with. And I like the wooden ones because they last longer and I can use them for all the kids we have. My daughter will probably like them in a few more months.
This was another Christmas gift. I knew he was a little young for this because of the whole putting things in his mouth. But I got it anyway. It is something that we only do together.
Honestly, he brings them to me constantly. He likes to tear it apart. I make shapes for him. We roll it between his hands. He loves that he can squish it. There has been some pushed into the carpet, hazards of kids. And he’s tried to eat it a few times because honestly, it kind of seems food like to a kid. But that’s why we only do it together. I redirect him and he is just fine.
And play doh is for a lot of ages. He can start it now, and the older he gets the more he can do with it. I remember having a hair salon play doh set and using it forever. You smashed the little people down and they grew play doh hair. It was great! Plus, I still love play doh!
I picked one of these up for my son because he sat in his stroller while I was at the dentist. Anyone that has tried to go to any kind of appointment with a little one knows that is a miracle. He was 14 months old and he just sat happily in the corner with his sippy cup of water while I got my teeth cleaned. It was a miracle!
And now, he will be 2 soon and still loves to push this thing around. It might have something to do with the fact that he chases the dog with it. My poor dog gets harassed often, but he’s a big 95lb lab and my son gives him snacks daily so he’s okay with. That dog will let my son do anything to him as long as he gets the food that’s in his hand!
In my house, this toy is a winner for sure, about $12 and he’s been playing with it for almost a year. Why can’t all toys be like that?
My husband picked this out for my son for Easter. So it is a recent addition in our house. But we played with it out on our deck and Tobias loved it. He didn’t quite get the idea of rolling the ball to hit the pins yet. But he thought it was awesome when his dad knocked them all done. And he enjoyed helping set them back up.
Then he threw the ball around and chased it for a while too. I think this is going to be something he looks forward to going outside for as the weather stays warmer here in the coming months
My mother in law got this for Tobias for his 1st birthday. She knew it was a little older for him but thought he’d appreciate it later. She was right.
From about 15 months he started to just go sit on it and we would push him around. He’d also climb on it and push it around himself. Starting around 18 months he started to sit on it and ride it around. He randomly moves it into different room and rides it around. He enjoys it a lot.
This is another toy I bring outside for him to use on the deck. I like it because he really can use it for a while until he is ready for a little bike or something of that sort. And the older he’s gotten, the more he’s enjoyed it.
My mom found this at a garage sale for a couple dollars and grabbed it. Tobias used it for the first time right around when he turned 1. He didn’t get it for a while. Then he realized that he could climb on it. Climbing is his favorite.
Now he drags the darn thing all over the house. He constantly takes it into his bedroom and closes the door. Then he just sits on it bouncing until I come find him. It plays music and sings. It’s a fun little toy. I think that he will still like it for a while because it also talks abut colors and things that he will like more as he gets a little older too.
This one is something Tobias was given for his first Christmas. He was about 7 months before he really started to do anything with it. But since then, he has really liked it.
I like this toy because it teaches SO many different things. It’s got shapes, colors, body parts, switches, buttons, things that you can spin and open. Just so many different skills. Tobias has used it for about every one now and I expect Temperance will be using it within a few months when she starts sitting up independently.
It can also help with standing and encourage crawling to use the different sides. Tobias likes to take the shapes in and out. And it is very interactive telling you to put a certain shape in or out or touch a certain color or body part on it. So even though it is 6m+ he still has a lot to use it for as he is coming up on 2 years.
Edited to add: We ended up getting the Step2 Elegant Edge Play Kitchen in slightly different colors than you see listed here. We got it at the Toys R Us closing sale at a HUGE discount. But it is completely awesome. Tobias has done nothing but play with it since it has been set up. And I am jealous and wish my kitchen was as nice as this. But I can honestly say that I would not have paid full price for it. Ever. So I still stand by the suggestions below for anyone that has a budget.
So this is a very recent obsession of mine. I don’t know why, but I got incredibly attached to the fact that Tobias (and all our children as they arrive and grow) needed a play kitchen. The idea came to me when I noticed that Tobias goes to the play kitchen first whenever there is one there. It happened at the library, a play area on the base Stuart works at, and at the WIC office.
I did a ridiculous amount of research. I asked in 2 different mom groups on Facebook. Read tons of reviews online. Looked at them in store. Even stalked Facebook marketplace and turned on notifications for when people listed them. We got a homemade one for free from a family not far from us and Tobias has loved it so far. But it isn’t exactly what I was looking for. However, free trumps my preferences!
This is the one that I had planned to get Tobias and Temperance as a Christmas gift this year. I had a few criteria and it fit them all the best. It has a good amount of storage space, is one sided, which we need to save space. This kitchen also has a fridge, oven, sink, cabinets, and a counter top for work space. All of which I convinced myself the kids would want for playing.
And if you want to go all out : Step2 Modern Metro Kitchen Play
Like I said, I was being a crazy, obsessive person. But I’m SO excited to have one now!
Let Them Play
So those are my favorite of the toys that we have. Of course there are others but these are what I see Tobias play with and enjoy the most. And they have a lot of good things about them that make them good for learning and fun all at once.
You might notice that most of my favorite toys don’t have sounds and lights. It comes from the fact that I don’t think that it’s necessary to have all that. I want my kids to have imaginations and learn to play like I did when I was young. Most of the toys I have burning desire to find for my kids also come from what I remember loving when I was growing up too.
I’m currently on the search for a little piano with a song book of simple songs. Because I had one and loved to bang on it. Then to play the songs when I got a bit older. And I for the life of me can’t find what I am looking for. But I am working on it.
Let me know what your family’s favorite toys are and why you love them! I’d love to try them out. And need ideas for Tobias’s birthday in a few months!
Click over and check out Strong Willed Children: How To Discipline Without Yelling