Toddler Toys

There is such thing as too many toys. As parents we want our kids to have it all.  But I’m sure we all also want our kids to grow into respectable people and not spoiled brats.  Appreciating and respecting what we have and how we get those things is integral to much of that development. I have no evidence to back up nor will I attempt.  I can only do my best to not spoil E.

I try to carefully select what we purchase for E.  I want him to have variety, but I also want to nurture his interests and development. Here are my favorites and why I love them for our adventurous car loving toddler.

Kin smart Cars and trucks

So we found these by happen stance. We were in Hawaii. Which was amazing. I would move there in a heartbeat if the opportunity would arise. But back to the Kinsmart cars we found a little VW bus that had a surf board on top. Perfect souvenir for our car loving little man. We took it to the beach at the suggestion of a friend to take a picture of it in the sunset at the beach. Said photo didn’t happen. I guess we will have to go back to Hawaii. Anyways, another dad friend checked it out and declared it was the same brand car they buy for their girls from their local grocery, think Kroger or Dillon’s or Costco something in that family. Which made me look at our local grocery, to my luck they had them!  E was with me and mesmerized. I vetoed a couple of run of the mill models, kinda of a car snob. We made it home with a ’55 Chevy pickup and a Porsche. One other  reason I like these cars is that they meet a lot of Montessori criteria.  (Read more here). However, most important to me is that E loves them.


I love puzzles. Always have. My little guy is a fan too. Puzzles are great for children’s physical, emotional and cognitive development. ( E’s pretty good at them but gets bored with them easily. I have to be on top of rotating them in and out and making sure they’re challenging enough. Currently he’s beyond the skill level of all the puzzles we currently own. Here are a few I’ve been eyeing. His birthday IS coming up soon.

Tegu blocks

Maybe I’m slightly more obsessed with these than E is. He really really likes the wheels or rather taking apart the wheels. But these are sooo cool. I know he’s going to love them a lot as he ages and I do catch him playing with them. More often when the box with the diagrams is out. I need to copy and laminate them. Sooner than later.
We got this cute Magbot from our dear friends for his first birthday. I got him a little travel pouch for Christmas that I proceed to give him just before thanksgiving because, I’m that person. His cousin got him this car that he gets very excited about when we give him the wheels back! If he takes them apart they are a choking hazard. So we take them away when he doesn’t play with them properly.  For his next birthday I’d be surprised if we don’t get him another set. I’m between these three.

Shleich animals

E discovered these at no other place than the Discovery center! It feels like every time we have gone he grabs one up and carries it all around or sits down and plays with the barn/farm set. I found them our farm store, Orschlen’s. They were having a sale and I was able to pick up quite a few for only $2 a piece. They average around $6 which isn’t bad. It’s so easy to want all of them they have, but a itty bitty handful can add up fast. I’ve seen cute little Pinterest parties that use them as decor, some have spray painted them for bedroom decor. Although, I love how detailed they are so I don’t think I could ever do that! Unless of course they were on their last leg of paint. They too meet the Montessori criteria and many Montessori mommas use them in their lessons, maybe one day I’ll be as organized. E has been eyeing the dinosaurs, when we stop and look. We currently need a pig a duckling to complete a farm. Some kiddos have quite the collections. We will probably wait on building a collection until we know that E truly plays with them.

Cute Safari Animals

Musical instruments

Music is important, not just to our family.  My hubs plays guitar and was in a few bands, as bands go. So we knew we’d want E to have instruments. He loved an old broken guitar to death, for serious. And is a little to rough on the hubs old <a href="http://Alesis Melody 61 Beginner Bundle | 61-Key Portable Keyboard with Stand, Bench, Headphones, and Microphone“>keyboard and his grandmas already beaten piano. Pardon the cliché, music is universal I once watched a super cool video of a tribe with no known western connections (if I remember correctly – of course I can’t find it)  listen to western music as an experiment and they were able to understand the underlying emotion evoked by the music.  Here is a decent article I did find ‘Music Really Is the World’s Universal language’. So my point is, if you want them to not just listen to music. Introduce them to musical instruments give them that creative outlet. E has a little guitar he got from grandma M, for christmas this year. The hubs and I got him this little accordian from a local toy store.


Play-food encourages pretend play, and modeling.  I love watching E eat the food, feed it to his animals and sometimes me. Maybe one of these days he will cook.  It’s great to have a variety of different toys so E can explore different aspects of life.  I’ve noticed he plays with EVERY kitchen set he sees at playdates.
I’m considering the idea of getting him a play kitchen but I also don’t want him to have EVERYTHING.  I really don’t want it to take away so of the specialness of getting to play with one during visits.
We do have a little food set for him. Melissa & Doug make some of the cutest little kitchen sets. I like playfood sets that he can cut because it helps him with his slicing skills.

Activity Center

Kids need to move.  And if you want them to sleep you should encourage all the movement you can.  Having a little play-set, thank you momma H!, E can climb and get some of that toddler energy out! We keep ours in the house. Do I love all the space it takes up? No. Although, its great to have inside on those crappy days (like the day I started this post) when going outside isn’t exactly a practical option.  Plus watching him race his cars down it is super adorable since he figured that out all by himself.  We’d both thought about showing him, but at the time I was trying to encourage play without cars, or at least separate from cars.


Humans can be quite in love with themselves.  Its cute when its littles who like their own image.  Having a HEALTHY body image and self-love is HIGHLY advised.  We have a mirror by chance sitting on the floor of our playroom/office, we were about to purge it.  Since I’ve had more free time I’ve gone room by room and closet by closet and purged all the things I just didn’t have time to do before.  It started with toys after reading ‘The Montessori Purge‘ from the Kavanaugh Report, and just continued on into my whole life. We aren’t a full on Montessori family per se, but we do see the value in their ways.  I should not forget to mention it helps keep our house SO much more organized and clean!


Who didn’t love Legos as a kid? Lego just found away to get your little one addicted to them earlier!  No I really don’t think legos are trying to addict your child. The duplos are neat, double the size I’m guessing.  I hadn’t heard of them until my dad got E a set for for Christmas.  He likes his little fire truck.  I had the teenagers put it together at Christmas and they seemed to have way too much of a good time with it ;). I bought one other set of town trucks and he likes them too.  He enjoys mostly taking them apart at the moment but he’s playing with them!  I made a little “house” out of some of the parts and he enjoys putting cars or little parts though the window & door. I’m super tempted to buy a lot of them off of Facebook market place but I’m not sure we need 15 more sets.  Even if its only $50.

Here are some I think he’d like

Art Supplies

This is pretty self-explanatory so I’ll save you the reading.

  1. Crayons *
  2. Stickers *
  3. Play-doh *
  4. Watercolors  *
  5. Colored Pencils *
  6. Markers *

Well theres another list from me.  I hope you liked this one I try to pick out toys for E that will last more than just a few months as far as age range goes.  I want our toys to have lasting power. I also want our toys to last for another kid and be something that translates to another personality. So we really get our monies worth out of them!

Toddler Toys