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Brayden Child Summary: 5.25 Years Old

Summer flew on by and I now have a 5.25 year old. A surprising amount has changed in the last few months. It really makes me marvel at how different he must be compared to children in class who turn 6 in September while he waits until May to turn 5. Crazy.

Sleeping is currently the same as it was. About a month and a half ago, we went through a major sleeping disruption at night. He got so anxious at bedtime and would say how worried he was. We would sit and talk to him for 30 minutes or so about his concerns. He would not stay in bed. It was so strange.

We figured out that he had developed a fear of the dark again, so we put a nightlight in his room and that helped a lot. One night, my husband told him that if he stayed in his bed, Daddy would check on him two times. That seemed to be the magic ticket. So about 30 seconds after we put him to bed, Daddy goes in and checks on him. He does it quickly because Brayden will wait and fight sleep until he gets checked on. For some reason, 30 seconds does not seem weird to Brayden at all :) . Then he waits enough time that Brayden will have fallen asleep before checking on him a second time.

So, he is back to going to sleep peacefully.

He still does rest time for 30 minutes each day. He doesn't fall asleep unless he has had a late night because we were camping or something.

Eating is going well with no real adventures on the topic.

Brayden and Kaitlyn are still the best of friends. When they are together, they play all sorts of imaginary games. They laugh and giggle. They are in their own little happy world where people laugh all day long.

Brayden is doing better at being able to be helpful with McKenna without trying to take over as a third parent for McKenna. This is a challenging feat for any oldest child. I still have to fight myself from parenting my little sister.

One thing Brayden lives in fear of is McKenna ruining his creations (like things built out of Legos). This is a justifiable fear because little McKenna loves to seek out his creations and pull them apart. He is learning to keep them out of her reach and she is hopefully learning that isn't a nice thing to do.

During the summer, Brayden was involved in swimming lessons. He really loved the first week, but went back the next Monday terrified for some reason. He pushed through and ended lessons loving it again. My guess is that he spent Sunday talking himself into being afraid for whatever reason.

I wouldn't go so far as to say this is cured, but I will say it isn't enough of a problem that I would even think of it as a problem. He has his bossy moments, but they are becoming fewer and farther between.

Brayden now gets completely ready, including showering, without any direction from me. I tell him to go get ready. He leaves. He comes back ready. It is fabulous. I don't expect a girl to be able to do this at this age unless she has short hair. Brayden's hair is short enough that he can wash all of the shampoo out, plus he doesn't need to do anything to his hair to be ready to go.

I started silent reading time with him where you both sit and read something independently of your choice for 20 minutes. He loves it. He will do it longer. Of course, he isn't yet able to sit down and just read a book on his own unless it is a Bob book. He is just looking at books.

Brayden had a major growth spurt over these months. It was actually over a couple of weeks. It was so much that people he sees at church commented on how tall he was all of a sudden. It was one of those huge growth spurts.

Brayden had his Kindergarten assessment and did very well. He also had his speech assessment and everything is right on track.

It was so great to watch him complete these tasks. It was one of those payoff days. This is when you see your hard work over the years come to fruition. This is when you hear things like, "wow, what a great attention span" and "he is such a hard worker!" You watch the teacher smile with delight because he understands her jokes. This is when the Speech Therapist says, "you must read to him every day because he has an amazing vocabulary."

Yes! This is when you get some real recognition for your efforts! Not that other people haven't thanked you (like your husband) or noticed that you have worked, but this is the day that these trained and experienced people can quickly recognize and acknowledge that you have put effort into raising this child. It is just a payoff day. I love payoff days. You have to hold on to those with your best memory cells :)

This is his summer schedule. It will be changing now that school is starting. We had a more relaxed schedule for summer.

7:10-7:30--wake up. Play for about 15-20 minutes. Shower and get ready.
8:15--set table for breakfast
9:00--Clean up breakfast. We then sometimes do some music time. He plays with toys in his room while I bath the girls.
10:00ish--bike ride. Brayden rides his bike while I push the girls in the stroller. We then do our chores. Then Brayden and Kaitlyn play outside. Brayden then does some learning activities. We do our SSR time in this slot. When Kaitlyn is done with Independent play, they play together until lunch. He sometimes would play with friends during this time slot, also.
12:30--lunch. Then Kaitlyn and Brayden play for a bit. 
2:00--rest time
2:30--rest time over. Independent play. 
3:30--this varies. Sometimes play with friends. Sometimes play video games. Sometimes read Bob books to me. He sometimes helps me with things. 4:30--Dad home. He usually helps his Dad in the yard or the garage.
5:30ish--dinner. Then time with family
8:00-8:30--in bed. Ideally, we want an 8 PM bedtime, but most of the summer it was closer to 8:30. 

We sometimes varied the order of these, also. It wasn't set in stone. Meals are consistent as is getting ready time. 


Parent Directed Feeding {PDF}

PDF feeding a basic point to understand when following On Becoming Babywise. So what exactly is PDF?

PDF is an acronym for Parent Directed Feeding. As Babywise puts it, "PDF is the center point between hyperscheduling on one extreme and attachment parenting at the other" (page 36).

Hyperscheduling is a feeding philosophy that basically says, "you will feed your baby every three hours." That is it. No caveats. No, "unless...." Just every three hours (or whatever time table has been set). This is done no matter what other cues are present. The clock rules the feeding schedule.

This is what many people erroneously believe Babywise to be. Babywise is not hyperscheduling. It is PDF.

Attachment Parenting is more than would fit on one post, but so far as feeding goes, you basically offer baby the breast every time baby cries, even if it has been only 10 minutes since baby finished eating. Time is of no consequence. Many attachment parents will say that they know baby isn't really eating much if it has been 10 minutes since he just ate. That isn't really the point of them offering the breast.

Back to PDF. PDF is the center point between the two. That means if falls in the middle. With PDF, parents consider both the cries of the baby and clock. That means sometimes, you will be feeding baby sooner than the "clock" says it is time. That also means you will sometimes be feeding your baby before she cries to be fed. Parents are to "use parental assessment to decide when to feed based on actual need" (page 37).

Page 39 reveals the simple equation for the PDF parent:

Hunger Cue + Clock + Parental Assessment = Feeding Time

So what does that mean in non-mathematical terms?

Parental Assessment is you. You are the parent. You analyze the situation and make an intelligent decision based on what you see and what you know. You factor in many variables. You know what? Sometimes you will be wrong. Sometimes you will think, "My baby is hungry." And when you try to feed her, she will refuse to eat. You will take that and apply it to your experience base and try to remember that the way she was acting does not mean that she is hungry. Sometimes you will think, "She isn't hungry. She is tried." And after you spend 15 minutes trying to get her back to sleep, you will come to realize she probably is hungry, so you will feed her and she will eat a full meal.

So parental assessment doesn't mean "without mistakes." You are human. You will mess up sometimes. Take it as added experience. As you get to know your individual baby better, you will get it right more often. Just correct your mistake, learn from it, and move on.

The clock is an amount of time. For a normal weight, healthy newborn, you will know she will need to eat about every 2.5-3 hours. You keep track of when she is eating and factor that in while you are making your parental assessment.

There is also the factor of hunger cues. Is she acting hungry or not? These cues include crying, waking up, and rooting. Your baby might have other cues, also.

Sometimes, you will be feeding baby sooner than the normal 2.5-3 hours. That is fine. That is 100% normal--especially during growth spurts. Sometimes you will be waking your baby up at 3 hours to eat. Again, normal for some babies. Sleepy babies might not signal for food. McKenna didn't for a long time. Other times, you will attempt to wake your baby up at 3 hours and she will refuse to wake up. Try not to stress out about it. Give her another 30 minutes and try again.

As you are assessing, keep in mind "When hunger cue is present, the clock is submissive to the cue, because the hunger cues, not the clock, determine feedings" (page 40).


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Help a Reader Out: Pre-Toddler Hitting

Lisa said...

I was happy to see this post because this is something I'm dealing with right now. The only difference, however, is that my son is hitting adults, not kids (at least not yet). So far, he has hit me and my husband as well as my mom (the dog too). He seems to do it when he is frustrated, but sometimes I don't have a clue why he hits.

As far as understanding why he hits and trying to eliminate the reason, I don't know what to do. One example of a time he may hit is when I try to hand him over to daddy. He loves his daddy, but he is on a real mommy kick right now an sometimes will snub daddy. A few times, he has taken it as far as swatting at daddy's face. How can I stop that? I can't just let him have his way and not give him to daddy.

Sometimes he hits for seemingly no reason at all. If I'm holding him and I look at his face and make eye contact for too long, he swats.

Here is the scenario: Right after he hits, our innate reaction is to gently grab his hand away from our face. But, he doesn't always just swat once...he will continually swat and with both hands. So you are trying to protect your face, tell him No and isolate him in the playpen all while he is swatting at your face. In addition, our "reaction" of trying to get him to stop sometimes makes him laugh. He is the kind of baby that loves to get any reaction out of you he can. The more you tell him no, the more he laughs and does things again. That's bad enough when he is pulling on the curtains, but it's really awful with the hitting.

So by the time you get him in the playpen, it feels like so much just happened and you aren't even sure he heard you saying "No we don't hit" let alone understood what you meant and the "hitting" was the action he had just taken. Once in the playpen, he does cry because he doesn't want to be isolated, but I really don't think he realizes that it is because of what he just did. (By the way, he is 16 months old, so the talking to and reasoning with you mention in your post, really won't work here).

I am basically at the end of my rope. This has been going on for a while. We've also tried to teach him "gentle" as well (rubbing his arm or face softly while saying the word.) He just hasn't gotten it.

I would really love some suggestions. Everything you mention in your post sounds good, but none are really relevant to my exact situation. You were able to tell Kaitlyn that as a result of hitting, she no longer was able to play with Brayden. How can I apply such punishment in our situation?

D & H said...

Lisa, when I worked in a daycare I had a problem with a one-year-old little boy who was hitting another child. You said your boy "is the kind of baby that loves to get any reaction out of you he can." It was the same for this boy. What worked with for him was to watch him when he was playing and give lots of positive attention when he was doing well so he wouldn't need to hit to receive attention from me. I would minimize the attention he gets when he hits as much as possible.

thesprian said...

My son sounds exactly like yours and we have dealt with it in a similar manner. I always noticed that it was worse if he was over tired or overstimulated. Avoiding the triggers helps but you can't always and they need the opportunity to learn. I would say a firm No, grab his arms and gently rub them on my cheeks (or whoever he was hitting as he sometimes hit his baby brother too) and say gentle several times. He sometimes thought was a fun alternative to hitting but if he didn't comply, he went right to time out. We always used the word time out firmly several times when he was in time out so that he would begin to make that connection and before he got out of time out I would grab his hands and rub them on my face again and say gentle again. I'd also say "are you going to obey?" He's two now and still has some offenses but he immediately shows me gentle and says "Obey". It may take time of consistency.
The problem I am having now is what to do with bedtime discipline issues. Jumping up and down instead of laying down to sleep. He only does this for his naps but I can't put him in timeout before nap, that will only delay naptime!

Lisa said...

Thanks for the comments. I'm working hard to be consistent and I've taken the advice about the repetition of the words "time out" and also asking "are you going to obey?" when taking him out. I guess time will tell.

Plowmanators said...

Hi Lisa,

A few ideas:

when you give him to Daddy and he hits Daddy, I would take him back and say, "That is a no. You do not hit." I would then go put him in a playpen to have a time out. Use a timer so if he cries, he sees that the timer, not his crying, gets him out.

Be sure to keep your emotions even. Don't act hurt, mad, or happy. Just be firm but without emotions.

McKenna is 16 months old, and I am positive she would understand that when she hit and went in isolation, it would be because of the hitting.

I would continue to teach him "gently." Do it when he isn't mad. So when you are playing, touch him gently and say, "gently." When he is happily petting the dog, say "gently" and demonstrate gently.

One point on the dog issue, my vet once told me to never discipline a child in front of the dog because you don't want the dog thinking it is okay to get mad at the child--you want the dog to respect the child. I haven't thought much about it, but just thought I would mention it to you. When he hits the dog, I would pick him up and carry him out of the room away from the dog immediately.

I could also post this as a "help a reader out" question if you would like. Let me know if you want me to. If so, I will run it this Saturday.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the advice. I will also pay attention to not disciplining him in front of the dog. That is actually becoming more and more of a problem everyday (him going after the dog).

It's also okay with me to post this in the "help a reader out" section.

How I Get Stuff Done With Three Children

I have had several inquiries as to how I get stuff done around the house with three kids. So here is an updated version of my previous post, which I wrote when I had two children. Many of the same principles apply, so be sure to see How I Get Stuff Done for further details.

Life with three is of course busier than life with two. I don't find three children more difficult than two children, but I do find that my brain is more stretched as I try to balance all three in my head. I also, of course, have less time each day to accomplish things that I need to.

Now, it is getting a bit better as the children get older. Brayden (5) has recently started getting ready in the morning 100% by himself. That really frees me up. Kaitlyn (3) can get dressed by herself, although she is still quite slow about it, so it doesn't free my time at all. Of course, as children get older, they do start to add things to your day. Things like sports, music lessons, school (including homework), etc. So while time can free up in some aspects, that time is typically put right back into the child in another form. That's parenthood :).

My general tips for being productive remain the same. Lists are even more of a life saver for me. It makes it more likely that I will balance things in my head. I have several types of lists. I have a white board in my office that has personal things I want done. I outline which blog posts I will be writing for each blog, I outline the cleaning I plan to do that week, I outline outside tasks that need to be done (like gardening), I outline other various things I need to do on the computer or in the office, and I also outline my craft goals (scrapbooking, sewing, etc.). This helps me not get sucked into the computer and stay productive.

I also have a little 4x6 notebook where I write my daily list of things to do. It is a running list I add to and cross off. Once a page is full, I rip it out and throw it away. 

I also have a large calendar my Mom gave me from Flylady. It has plenty of space to write down weekly appointments and places to be. I also write down significant events (like McKenna's tooth coming in). That way I don't have to remember that on top of everything else I am remembering. I am freeing up brain power :).

I still work with manageable goals. My lists provide this for me. I try to not set time deadlines unless one is necsesary. I just have a list of things I want done so that when I have time, I can do them. 

I have also had to let some things go. The most prevalent area I see this is in crafting--especially during busy summer months. Not only is the summer busy with activities, but I have a large yard and garden to care for on top of my house. At first, this lack of time for crafting was causing me stress because there are so many things I want to make. But I had to come to accept that I didn't have time for all of that. I would just have to have my list of things to make and I would make them as I have time. I have accepted that it is just too hard to get a lot of crafts completed with three children. 

Now, I love to do crafts, so I haven't given them up completely. I still do them--and make an effort to spend some time doing something crafty each day. But I just can't spend as much time on crafts as I have been able to in the past.

Another important thing is that I still do my scripture study in the morning before any children are up. If I don't do this in the morning, I don't do it at all. It leaves my mind. I am a firm believer in that if you put the Lord first, He will help you do what you need to.

I still have many of the same policies here. I still try to keep my house presentable--especially the area guest will usually see. But I want a clean home all around. So I work for a presentable state.

But I can't follow the kids around all day long--other wise that is all I will do all day. So I have some times things are cleaned up.

I do my daily cleaning task first thing in the morning. I also do any other cleaning I want done first thing in the morning. Some days this is before breakfast and some days after the kids are all ready for the day.

I try to empty the dishwasher each morning so that I can add dishes to the dishwasher after each meal. This isn't always possible because the dishwasher isn't always full enough to have ran the night before, but most days this works out.

After each meal, Brayden (5) and Kaitlyn (3) are required to clear their things off the table and help clear everything else off the table. Now, this is something that requires you to grit your teeth and brace for messes. Brayden is old enough he rarely has mishaps as he is cleaning up. Kaitlyn is getting much better, but for a while she often spilled milk and other things on the floor as she cleared the table. You have to remember that it is part of learning and that she will get better and soon be a real contribution to the clean-up process.

I include the children in a daily chore each day. They help sort and fold laundry. They help dust. They help clean the bathrooms. They wash windows, clean running boards, help unload the dishwasher, help empty garbages, etc. 

After dinner, my husband usually helps finish loading the dishwasher. We have the kitchen all clean.

Before bed each night, the whole family helps clean up the childrens' rooms and the family room area. We put everything away. With the whole family helping, it doesn't take more than 15 minutes.

These simple steps really make everything much easier to manage. Brayden is a big help, and Kaitlyn is at the point to where she is contributing in a helpful way, also. It takes some extra work for a bit, but soon your child will be able to really help.

My current daily cleaning schedule is:
  • Monday=laundry day
  • Tuesday =dust
  • Wednesday=pick up clutter in entire house
  • Thursday=clean bathrooms
  • Friday=floors (mopping)
  • Saturday=floors (vacuuming)/outside work
I also have my Deep Cleaning List I work from to clean as I have time.

I also started a Photo Cleaning room of the day in one of the online groups I am in. Each day, you take a before picture, clean the room, and take an after picture. Then you post your pictures. It motivates you to clean the room really well because you are taking a picture of it.

Something I didn't cover in my previous post was anything about cooking. My husband isn't home for breakfast or lunch, so those two meals are simple meals. They are meals that require 30 minutes or less of prep. For dinner, there are a couple of things I do to make things easier on myself.

One is that I plan out at least 7 meals before I go grocery shopping, along with two quick alternatives. I created a menu planner to help me out with this. Then I have the ingredients and the ideas.

As I plan meals, I choose some that are slowcooker meals. I love those. They make it so I can get dinner ready during nap time. I also choose some that are simple, and some that are new because I like trying new recipes. I also have some more time consuming meals that we love.

Each morning, I decide what we will have that day. I decide that based on what we are doing that evening and what I feel like doing that day. I decide in the morning so if I need to start a slowcooker meal, defrost meat, or make roll dough, I can work that into my day. It is no fun to plan on having rolls with dinner and then get to an hour before dinner time and realize you didn't make the dough (I have done that before). 

Our schedule is pretty relaxed right now due to summer. In a few months, I will have to do another post because school will require a more consistent schedule. For now, it looks like this.

  • 6:30: I get up. I exercise. I read my scriptures. Then I shower. Now, I exercise before reading my scriptures because I dislike exercising, and if I read first I know I will talk myself out of exercising. I have to just get up and do it while groggy. 
  • 7:10: Brayden gets up about this time. Once I am done reading my scriptures, he and I read an article from a magazine he gets that is published by our church. All but about three of the articles each month are too old for Kaitlyn and McKenna, so that is why we read without them. Brayden then goes to his bathroom and showers and I go to mine and shower. We both get ready.
  • 8:00: I each breakfast and check my email. I eat breakfast before the other three because most of the time I am feeding McKenna still. 
  • 8:30: Children eat breakfast. After McKenna is done with me feeding her, I give her a spoon with some Cheerios in a bowl with milk and she happily eats away. I unload the dishwasher and reload breakfast dishes. I will then clean the kitchen if needed and read the newspaper.
  • 9:15ish: We will often do some music time at the piano, though not every day. We get the girls ready. We do chores. We then go for a walk/bike ride most days. 
  • 10:45 McKenna goes down for a nap. Kaitlyn has independent play. Brayden will do some learning activity things. I will make sure my post published (most days, my post doesn't publish automatically like it is supposed to), write posts, answer questions, check email, etc. Kaitlyn gets out of independent play around 12:00. Then she and Brayden play together. I am starting to implement a silent reading time where Brayden and I read our own books silently in the same room for about 20 minutes--so we often do this before Kaitlyn gets up. 
  • 12:30: McKenna gets up and we all have lunch. We then clean lunch up. The three children play for a bit. Then McKenna goes to independent play. Brayden goes to rest time. Kaitlyn goes to nap. I do crafts during this time. 
  • 2:30ish: McKenna goes to nap. By now, Brayden is usually getting up from rest time and starting his independent play time. I will then do whatever needs to be caught up on. I might have more computer time, more craft time, or more cleaning time. I also will read sometimes. After Brayden is done, he and I will often play a video game together. Then it is time to get dinner ready. 
  • 5:30ish: eat dinner. Family time.
  • 8:00-8:30: All kids are in bed. My husband and I might have some tasks to finish up. We might also just relax. We spend time together. 
  • 10:30-11:30: I go to bed.
Outside work is thrown in there somewhere, and that varies on the weather. If it is hot, I squeeze it in the morning sometime. If it is not hot, I will do it in the afternoon. I usually do a large chunk of outside work on Saturday because my husband spends most of the day outside so I can be out with him.

This schedule will definitely change quite a bit in the next few months as Brayden is in school in the mornings and as McKenna should go to one nap sometime soon. 

So there you have it. This is my rough outline of each day. More to come in a few months!


Reader Favorites: Child Toys ages 5-7

For this post, share  your favorite toys for children 5-7.

Please share the name of the toy and a brief reason why you/your child likes it. Please also include the age your child liked it since there is a large range here. You can also add a link to be sure I will be able to identify the correct toy when I move it to the main body of this post. Thanks so much! (this post contains affiliate links)

HappyMama2 said...

My 5YO son is currently loving the Leapstar, Thomas the Tank Engine wooden train set (he has just started making the tracks by himself), lego sets, mobilo, musical instruments (small drum set and guitar), swing set, trampoline and sand pit. There are many other things, but he seems to keep coming back to these.

Kristy Powers said...
My six-year-old son loves anything and everything Lego. It's an obsession. Besides Legos and other building sets like Trio Blocks Fisher-Price TRIO Building Set with storage and wooden blocks, I like having an extra-large pad of paper on hand and high-quality markers and paints. He is at the age where drawing is fun and I like to encourage that. We have the Crayola 50 ct. Washable Super Tips with Silly Scents Crayola 50ct Washable Super Tips with Silly Scents and it is fantastic. He has started to love "funny flip books." I'm not sure what to call them other than what this blogger calls them: He has a homemade one very similar to the one shown in the post.

Me said:
My kids adore Playmobil toys. They have literally everything under the sun in mini. Check out! The stuff is very strong, lasts for many many years; I grew up playing with it too. It's the kind of thing that you could collect as a family, relatives can give additional sets for birthdays/Christmas, etc. There are sets from $8 all the way up to hundreds of dollars.

Reader Favorites: Preschooler Toys

For this post, share  your favorite toys for the three and four year olds.

Please share the name of the toy and a brief reason why you/your child likes it. Please also include the age your child liked it since there is a large range here. You can also add a link to be sure I will be able to identify the correct toy when I move it to the main body of this post. Thanks so much! (This post contains affiliate links).

Aarmel said...

We really love the Tag Junior. My little guy is 3 and he uses it all the time. I love how it keeps him occupied and teaches letters, numbers, colors, shapes, etc depending on the books you buy.

sanud002 said...

My kids have been really like the Rokenbok preschool blocks. They are highly durable and are easy to fit together. I have also gotten them the Rokenbok RC Dump Truck and a basic Rokenbok starter set. They love RC toys and these toys are some of the highest quality I've ever seen. I love playing with them as well! I found these toys very useful in allowing our family to spend more time together!

MonstorB said...
My 3 year old daughter loves her Y'all Ball. This giant bouncy ball gets the whole family outside and running around. The neighbor's 4 year old girl loves to come over and chase this behemoth around the yard too; even the adults love to play with it with or without the children in toe, ha! 

Reader Favorites: Toddler Toys

For this post, share  your favorite toys for the toddlers 18 months on through age two (this means the year the child is two, up until he/she turns three).

Please share the name of the toy and a brief reason why you/your child likes it. Please also include the age the child liked it since it is such a large range. You can also add a link to be sure I will be able to identify the correct toy when I move it to the main body of this post. Thanks so much! (This post contains affiliate links).

Jessica said...

My daughter, almost 2.5, loves the Fisher Price Tool Kit. She loves to help Daddy fix things, with her play tools and real tools. She also loves to ride her tricycle. Drawing on her chalk board is a big hit as well. Oh, and babies...anything baby...stroller, carrier, bottles, paci's, the list goes on and on. Oh, and BUBBLES!

stephanie said...

My older daughter turns three this month. In the last few months it has been dress up clothes. She is partial to the princess gear, but not any princess inparticular. She likes the heeled shoes and pull on skirts that she can put on herself and spin in. The quality of spin has been very important!

Reflectiing back over the last year and a half is a long time!! Big hits over that time was Mr. Potato Head - we have a family of them, cooking tools, Little People house, and variuos stuffed animals.

Becca said...

My son is almost 29 months. He LOVES any kind of car, whether playing on the floor, parking in homemade garages/parking lots, playing in the sandbox, bathtub, driveway,... he never gets tired of them.

Other most popular toys are Duplo Legos, train table, lawn mower, homemade water table, and large floor puzzles.

Ellyn said...
My son is 21 months. He is OCD about heavy equipment--anything that dumps. He can play for a very long time in his sandbox with his digger and bulldozer, just dumping sand. Here are his favorites. This "John Deere Backhoe" is a must if your child loves heavy equipment! John Deere 1/50 315SJ Backhoe Loader

Another great truck is the "Green Toys Recycling Truck" which allows him to dump garbage.
Green Toys Recycling Truck

Oh my god this is so darn cool! It's a DVD all about heavy duty trucks. I found the videos on youtube and then just had to go buy the full DVD. The DVD package comes with a free T-shirt. It's the coolest ever for his short TV time.

Ashley said:
I have to echo a lot of the above comments. My son LOVES vehicles of all kinds. He loves books about vehicles, like this one from Richard Scary.

My son (just turned 2, but has loved these things for months) also loves his sand box. He likes to shovel sand into buckets, dump it out, and shovel it back in. Also, sand sifters are fun 

Other outside toys he loves are sidewalk chalk, a bubble mower, and he just got a littl
e kid Big Wheel for his birthday which he loves.

Another toy he loves that he just got for his birthday is one that many of us moms will remember, the Fisher Price Record Player.

My son is very musical and likes to play the instruments we have in the house. My husband is a drummer and guitarist so our son loves to play those instruments. If you can get your hands on play/handheld instruments (like maraccas), your toddler will be tickled.

I have found that my son loves everything right now. Honestly, he will play with toy after toy after toy. He isn't too picky. But the above mentioned are his favorites.

Reader Favorites: Pre-Toddler Toys

Okay readers, what are your favorite toys for the toddlers 12-18 months old?

Please share the name of the toy and a brief reason why you/your child likes it. You can also add a link to be sure I will be able to identify the correct toy when I move it to the main body of this post. Thanks so much! (This post contains affiliate links).

Erika said...

My 16 month old DD LOVES her Playskool Busy Ball Popper. She is obsessed with balls which this has and she is obsessed with music and dancing which this also has. She plays with it during IP and FP both. I think I actually heard about the toy from someone on this site so thank you so much!!

dyhale said...

My daughter is 13 months, and her favorite things right now are wooden puzzles, picture books, and blocks. She has a few toys with batteries that she likes, but the things without batteries by far hold her attention longer!

Elemenosqueeze by B. Toys - The set has 26 squeeze blocks, each with a letter and objects that start with that letter. The blocks are in a variety of shapes for building all kinds of fun things and then knocking them over, of course :)

First 100 Words by Bright Baby - It is a large board book with 100 pictures labeled. I like it because the photos are realistic instead of cartoon-looking.

Stack and Smile Photo Blocks - My daughter has enjoyed these for months. I filled them with photos of family members and common objects. We incorporate them into our block basket and she loves looking at the photos while we play.

Photo Book - I made my daughter a photo book at that is all about her. I included photos of her playing with various things, taking a bath, eating, napping, etc. I labeled every page with a simple sentence that describes what she is doing. She's had it for about 3 months and still looks at it multiple times a day.

the Shipe's said...

My son who is about to turn 18 months loves playing with the Parents brand Mirror Pound-a-ball toy from Target.

He loved/s playing with basic, inexpensive bounce balls from Walmart.

He also loved/s his Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. We kept the little foot protector in, so he likes to climb in & sit & play. Soon we will try taking that part out & see if he's ready to scoot.

I try to buy toys that are going to last, are somewhat unisex, & developmentally appropriate. I also prefer toys that give children the oppertunity to explore it in different ways & be creative.

stephanie said...

My younger daughter is 16 months. Honestly if I could ask her what her favorite is, it would be my keys. The mail keys, the car keys, you name it. Second to that is my phone or remote controls. So since those are not typically in her toybox, her play phone is a great substitute. She has 2 - a fisher price one with big buttons, and a cheepie flip phone. They make little sounds and she walks around talking on them. Cute!!

She also likes the cooking tools like big sister, she stirs all sorts of things up in her pots! She asks for Mr. Potato Head now because he looks so cool, but doesn't do much with him. Her other favorite requests are for books - in particular the books with pictures of animals.

amy solomon said...
I love Reader Favorites! It's how I picked a lot of our books and baby toys! So glad to be able to share some of ours now :)

My 16 month old twin boys love their Fisher Price (FP) Poppity Pop Musical Dino. It was a hit when they were younger, and they still like to feel the popper or push balls through themselves.  Fisher-Price Go Baby Go! Poppity Pop Muscial Dino

They also love the FP Laugh & Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table. This was great when they were learning to pull up and stand and they will still occasionally go back to it to dance and play. :)  Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table

Right now they love anything they can push, including their Dirt Devil Junior Reaction Vacuum Cleaner  the Schylling Color Roller, and their Step2 Push Around Buggy Car. Step2 Push Around Buggy (Red)

Also big hits that keep their little hands busy are their tool kits and shape sorters. We have two tool kits - the FP Handy Manny tool kit that dance Fisher-Price Disney's Handy Mannys, and the iPlay Cool Tools set. They like to use the tools to "mix" with their stacking cups. Their favorite shape sorter is the Educo Shake'n Match. Educo Shake'n Match Shape Sorter

Others that my boys just love are their Sassy Pop N Push Car Sassy Pop N Push CarPlayskool Busy Gears  Geomag GBaby Baby Sea - 19 pieces  Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Sing-with-Me CD Player (they love the CDs that come out), and the Intex Jump O Lene Transparent Ring Bounce Intex Jump O Lene Transparent Ring Bounce. We use it as a ball pit/play area and my boys still use it every day, even though it's been out for months.

MonstorB said...

When my daughter turned one we got her the Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube. She is now three years old and this is STILL one of her favorite toys. When she was a wee one the sounds and lights were fun to hear and watch, but now it's her orchestra for ballet shows, parades, and so much more. Plus she's learned all the instruments and can identify them in a real orchestra (when we watch them on PBS).

Chrysti Hedding said...
My son at 16 months old loves the Sassy Pop n' Push Car.

And Mega Bloks First Builders Wacky Wheels Set.