I decided to really watch what my boys played with over the past few weeks to compile a list of the things that they are drawn to and truly enjoy on a daily basis! Mind you, we have way too many things. I was just talking to my friend Ashley about trying to do a purge, but we both agreed at the ages that our older boys are at (three and two and a half) they really love all of their toys and notice when things are gone!
That being said, I think I will still do a secret purging of toys at the end of summer and donate the things that have been loved, but are not a part of our daily playtime. Ok, here we go with our list of favorites! I’ve also linked several of them if you are interested in purchasing! :)
Being a teacher, I can never have enough books in our collection. We have hand-me-downs from our older cousins, we have new books, we have library books. This clutter and large collection never bothers me because reading at a young age is SO important. If there is one gift that never fails for kids, it is a good new book! My boys look at them on their own, but we also read several times a day, so books are my number one pick!
My older son, Leo, has really gotten into jigsaw puzzles lately! We have some that are even around 50 pieces and he just loves sitting and trying to figure them out! The fun part is watching him remember how the different sections fit together, and helping him out and making it a family activity. Sometimes we have to wait until Xander is taking a nap or in bed for the evening to get into the more complex ones, but even he has taken to the more basic puzzles in our collection! Puzzles are great for those fine-motor skills and even problem solving! (Have I mentioned that I’m a teacher?)
This one is entertainment for both boys and even a bit for myself! The rings stack onto the white pole in the middle, but spin on their way down! Everything is really easy to maneuver and we use it to practice size order, colors and counting! Educational and entertaining---can you ask for anything more?
Melissa & Doug Ice Cream Counter
I am obsessed with Melissa & Doug toys because they are adorable, durable and easy to clean! One of our favorites has become the Ice Cream Counter. It comes with pretend cones, cup, ice cream scooper, ice cream scoops in different flavors, and even toppings! There is actually a list of educational ways to play with this toy, but for now, just pretending to make giant 6-scoop tall ice cream cones is fun for us!
I have come to love this brand of toy cars and trucks! They are light-weight, so no worrying about it falling on little toes while playing, durable, and all made from 100% recycled plastic! We’ve been loving the fire truck, car transporter and helicopter around here! Definitely fun and even better for a lesson on recycling!
Play Doh holds a special place in my heart. I can still remember getting the giant red tin full of the different colored Play Doh and tools at my grandma’s house. We used real rolling pins, plastic knives and even an egg slicer for our imaginary cooking with Play Doh. Leo has really taken to this activity. He can seriously play with it for an hour, which is something to be said for a 2 year old! Xander has dabbled in playing with it (and attempting to eat it) but I know this will be a household favorite for years to come!
I hope this list of our favorites helps you to reinvigorate your household activities, or has sparked some gift ideas for you! Happy Playing!