I don't like toys that make lots of noise and whose sole purpose is to entertain. I like toys that require my children to be creative, use thinking skills or help them interact with another sibling. You will probably recognize many of my favorites and some may even be toys you played with as a child
Infant Toys (ages 12mo and under)
I don't think infants need a lot of toys, especially not the ones with flashing lights and lots of sounds. Discovery Toys offers several things that have been favorites here including the super yummy teether and stacking cups among others. Throw in a few multi-sensory toys, something to cuddle and a push toy to encourage walking and you really don't need much more.
(Oops. The shape sorter should be in the next group)
Some of my favorites at this age are shape sorters, peg puzzles (love Melissa & Doug products), Duplos, building blocks, beads to string, Lauri products (wonderful crepe puzzles and an incredible stacking peg set) and Fisher Price Little People sets. We have added to our Little People collection over the years and now have enough to create a small city.
These Lauri items have kept my preschoolers engaged for hours. If you loose a piece, Lauri will replace it for fifty cents.
One of the many Melissa and Doug peg puzzles we own.
Will made this creation today before I even decided to do this post. I would get rid of almost all of our toys before I would get rid of the blocks. We have a wooden set and a foam set. Many of our wooden blocks have faces drawn on them because the children would pretend they were people and then build a house for them. My 10 year old currently has a 3 story house built with the wooden blocks for her Playmobil family.
This is the first Little People set we purchased. Ashley received it for Christmas when she was two, so this set is 12 years old. We've added the garage, airport, city, castle, fire station and pirate ship.
Our Duplo bricks are also a favorite (Legos for preschoolers). The children enjoy the basic brick but seem to enjoy them more in combination with the animal, farm and people sets we've added. Emily received the people set when she was three. (4 ethnic groups each with a dad, mom, grandparents and 2 children) She lined them all up in rows, set one gentlemen in front and proceeded to have "church."
We also have a Duplo dollhouse which I like a lot. It wasn't cheap, but it was well worth the money. I plan to hang onto it for my grandchildren. When Kathryn first received it she was too young to construct the house, but her older sisters could build it and then she could play with it. The walls and floor of this house come apart and can built in many different ways. You can build a ranch or a 3-story townhouse.
So, what are your favorites?
Coming Next: Elementary suggestions