When it comes time for Christmas and birthdays, I spend a lot of time planning out the toys we will get the children. I don't just buy things I think look cute or fun. My husband has often remarked that he can really see the time and effort I put into getting a good variety of toys. I think of things I want them to learn and research what types of toys contribute to skills they should be practicing for the age. I will post more about that in a later post. For now, I will list toys that my children have absolutely loved.
- LeapFrog. I have to just say that I have never purchase a LeapFrog product that my kids have not absolutely loved. I have also found them to be very educational. I love their pop-up toys, their refrigerator magnets, their puzzles, their educational videos, and more.
- LeapFrog Music Table. Specifically, the LeapFrog music table has been probably overall the #1 favorite toy of both of my children. Brayden, at 3, still loves it. My parents gave it to him for his first Christmas (he was 7 months old). There are now a lot of companies that make music tables, so you might find others to be great also. Here is a link to the one we have: LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table
- Trucks/Cars/Tractors. One of Brayden's favorite toys (and actually Kaitlyn's, too) has been trucks, cars, and tractors. He really likes John Deere tractors, but there is no shortage of possibilities out there. I don't think Brayden really cares.
- Fisher Price Little People. I know these were my some of my favorite toys growing up, and the same is true for my husband. Both children also love them. Some favorites are the fire truck, the barn, the garage, the pet shop, the airport (no longer made but can be found online), and the house. If you are interested in these toys, think of the special interests of your child and get sets that go along with that interest. Keep in mind that different sets are sold at different stores (what you find at Shopko won't necessarily be found at Target). You can find a lot of these sets on Amazon.com or ebay. My favorite place to look is the Fisher Price website. It is not extremely intuitive and the search function doesn't work well. Also, I have found that going through different options takes me to different pages on the site. If you find something you like, I suggest you bookmark it because it can be hard to find again.
- Tool Set. My husband is very handy. Brayden has always been around remodeling and building of homes, fixing of cars and ATVs, and other various projects. Brayden loves his tools and he goes around the house fixing things with his tools. Home Depot 18-piece Tool Box
- Dolls and Stuffed Animals. Kaitlyn absolutely loves her dolls and stuffed animals (her "babies"). These were favorites of mine also.
- Legos. The kids both love to play with Legos. We have the large kind right now.
- Play Kitchen. Our kids have a Little Tikes play kitchen. My parents still have the toy kitchen my sister and I played with, and my husband's parents have the same. Our kids absolutely love both. This is one of their favorite things to play with together. Little Tikes Cookin Fun Interactive Kitchen
- Thomas. Brayden really loves Thomas the Tank Engine toys.
- Stacking rings. This is a toy the kids both enjoyed from a young baby up to an older toddler. As Brayden got older, we changed the way we would play with it and focus on colors. Fisher-Price Rock-A-Stack
- Nesting/stacking cups. Both of our children enjoyed this toy, but especially Kaitlyn. Nesting Stacking Cups 5 pieces PVC-Free
- Push Along Toy. Both kids loved their toy that you push while they were learning to walk.
- Links. This toy is a great toy on its own, but it also works great to secure toys to the car seat or stroller, especially during the period where baby loves to throw the toys out. Here is the link: Baby Einstein Links
- Play phone. Brayden loved this, Kaitlyn loves it more. She is a great mimic of her mommy already :)
- Joanna said...
My son loves his toy lawn mower. I picked one up at a garage sale for 50 cents, and it is his favorite toy of all.
October 10, 2008 5:15 PM
Joanna, good call! My son loves that too. I didn't even think about outside toys! I will have to do an "outside toy" post.
October 15, 2008 1:48 PM
- Becca said...
I love reading these "favorite" posts!My son is 6 months and has absolutely loved the "Let's Play Together Chase 'n Crawl Duckies" by Playskool. The entire thing rolls as well as each individual duck. He has played with this since around 3 months. He isn't crawling yet, so I expect it to continue to hold his interest in the future. Here's the link Let's Play Together Chase 'n Crawl Duckies. Oh and the Rainforest Jumperoo is a big hit too. Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo
October 10, 2008 7:03 PM
Thanks Becca! My son loved his jumperoo too.
October 15, 2008 2:05 PM
- mommytoisabella said...
I am so glad you did this post. I was getting ready to ask you to do one on toys. Being that we live oversees, I am thinking about Christmas gifts for Isabella and what I want to order online for her. Recently my parents came to visit and I asked them to bring a toy cell phone and Isabella loves it. I keep it in the diaper bag that when we are out and about and I am on the phone I can give her hers and she is not wanting mine. She is 14 months and loves to mimic me as well. She always puts it to her ear and says "hi."
October 11, 2008 6:24 AM
Thanks Mommytoisabella. Those cell phones are a hit.
October 15, 2008 2:05 PM
- Nicole said...
Lovely advice!! I too love this kind of interesting play toys...
October 11, 2008 6:32 AM
Thanks for those coupon codes Nicole!
October 15, 2008 2:07 PM
- Don and Denise Sullivan said...
Nate (age 2) loves all his cars, trucks, trains...basically anything with wheels. He also loves his legos and recently, a Little Tikes art board that has a magna doodle with stamps on one side and a chalkboard on the other. You can secure paper to the chalkboard so they can color. It has a handle and a case to hold the chalk/crayons so Nate can carry it with him wherever we go.
October 11, 2008 9:20 AM
Denise, Thanks! I have always wondered about those easles. They look fun.
October 15, 2008 2:08 PM
- Emily said...
so funny, I was saying "yes!" to all of your comments, my kids love all of those toys too! Leapfrog is the best! the only thing I didn't see was pretend KEYS. My kids are obsessed with my keys....Parents brand makes a set of kid keys that are metal which are more like regular keys than the toy plastic ones...they love them! Electronics Metal Keys and Cell phone Combo
October 11, 2008 12:56 PM
Today I was just thinking that a company needs to make a set of play keys that resemble real ones. I will look into ordering some. So good to know!!
October 11, 2008 1:57 PM
thanks Emily! I had actually typed keys down, but then I couldn't find a link to the ones we have anywhere. We have the little tykes keys that have keys plus buttons you push (alarm, unlock, etc.) that make noises. Thanks for mentioning Parents brand also. We have a few Parents toys and they are all hits.
October 15, 2008 2:15 PM
- Pasifik said...
Thanks for sharing the info. Keep posting,TODDLER TOY
October 13, 2008 7:46 AM
Thanks for that link Pasifik!
October 15, 2008 3:45 PM
- blessedwife_mom said...
Valerie...Thank you for the advice on toys. I have been contemplating what to buy my 5 month old for Christmas. I love the Leap Frog Learn and Groove music table idea. A good place to find toys like this, if you don't mind used toys, is ebay. I have found great things for half the price!
October 16, 2008 2:25 PM
- Rachel Stella said...
Does anyone know of a pretend cell phone that actually looks like a phone? Kids know the difference, and the plastic ones (like the key example above) just don't cut it!Thanks!
October 13, 2008 2:37 PM
Rachel, the closest I've seen is by the same brand that makes the keys, the Parents brand (at Target). It's not exact by any means, but best I know. maybe there are cell phone toys made for older kids that are closer to the real thing??? not sure how safe they would be for younger kids.
October 13, 2008 7:23 PM
Rachel Stella said...
Thanks becca, I'll take a look at target.
October 13, 2008 7:47 PM
Rachel, we have three different toy cell phones. Pretty much all toy cell phones just didn't cut it for Brayden, though now he is happy with them. Kaitlyn, however, was never allowed to play with our cell phones so she has always been happy with them. Her favorite is a fisher price cell phone that doesn't look much like a real one. We have a Parents cell phone. It isn't my favorite and is used the least of the three.We would let Brayden play with our cell phones once we were done with them (bought new ones) and that still wasn't good enough because the buttons and screen didn't work the same. So for some, even the real deal not in service isn't good enough :)
October 15, 2008 3:49 PM
- bradysmom said...
I have a question...I keep reading all of this stuff about 'activity boards' and how my 8 month old needs to have one. Problem is, I don't know what they are, and I can never find anything that's like an 'activity board'. Any thoughts or clarifications on what these are and where to find?
October 14, 2008 7:09 AM
Bradysmom, I am not sure. I haven't read anything about that. I looked it up on Amazon.com and saw some different things. You might try a search there for ideas.
October 15, 2008 3:51 PM
OK, I'll try that. Thanks!
October 17, 2008 12:41 PM