One thing I am going to do this Christmas is be more calculated with the toys we buy our kids. We have had many one and done toys in the past (typically these are battery operated) and I am wanting to find toys that can grow with the kids as they get older!
I saw an amazing post about buying kids Christmas toys this season and one paragraph really resonated with me: Buy something they want, something they need, something they wear, and something they read! You don’t need to own EVERY toy on the market to have a child who will play well independently, but you do need to own the right toys to help make that happen.
Here are a few of my favorites, which are gender neutral! Don’t overlook a kitchen, doll house, or legos just because you think your kid won’t play with it! Boys love pretend cooking and Paisley plays with Mega Blocks daily.
Doll houses might not seem “gender neutral” but trust me – they are. A doll house is home for imaginary play – a place to rescue animals from, a place to put the babies down for a nap, and to make imaginary set ups. A doll house is gender neutral and a perfect backdrop for a whole lot of play.
One of my favorites! Kitchens are a great way for both boys and girls to “have fun” while learning how they can help around the house. Although pricey, I believe they are 100% worth it. A great tip is to look on your local Facebook Marketplace for used play kitchens – I see them on there all of the time!
Puzzles help children develop small muscle movements and dexterity in their hands and fingers. While developing fine motor skills, playing with puzzles requires children to learn to make their eyes and hands work together to find the right piece. These are Paisley’s favorite toy and Jack is really starting to get into them as well!
An oldie but a goodie! It is probably pretty obvious that Mr. Potato head is a great toy for teaching body parts. Body parts often make up first words in a child’s vocabulary and as your child is putting Mr. Potato head together or taking him apart, you can talk about his arms, hands, feet/shoes, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, stomach, etc.
Alphabet toys help kids build the basics of every day learning! This one is my favorite because you can also work on colors with your toddler.
Another chance to act out scenes! I am definitely getting this for Paisley. She is always trying to put bandages on and “take care” of her brother so this doctor kit is perfect for her dress up box.
One of the best things you can get your child, in my opinion, are wood blocks. Since we have a handful of different shaped items, I love this large wooden rainbow to work on colors and sizes!
We use our Megadoodle every. single. day! We work on writing our names, drawing numbers and shapes, and I can’t forget the daily efforts of trying to draw all the Frozen characters. It is simple but a MUST for toddlers.
Every play kitchen needs food! Some of my favorite food and accessories are below!
Legos are an absolute must for every kid! The true engineer has come out in the kids when they play with them and have so many option to create fun shapes and creatures.
Some of my others favorites include tea sets, dinosaurs, tool kits, stackable cups, and a train set!
Happy toddler shopping!