10 Toys My Toddler Actually Plays With
As much as I am in pursuit of minimalist living and simplifying my home, my toddler doesn’t care. Both his body and brain are busy and no amount of neutral wooden blocks are going to occupy him all day. I started paying attention to toddler toys that get some use every day and put together a list of what they are and where they came from.
When something isn’t getting a lot of use I cycle it out. If it’s no longer age appropriate I get rid of it, and if it’s still got some life left I store it in the ‘toy closet’. This way our space stays relatively uncluttered and there are ‘new’ toddler toys to get excited about.
So, whether you are looking to purchase a gift for a toddler in your life, or need a little bit of inspiration for your own children, maybe this list will hold some winners for you.
(He’s 26 months old to provide some context, and all the links I could find for where you can purchase them are included below.)
Tegu Magnetic Racers – These were a first birthday gift that he pulled apart and put back together at first. Now, at two, they are cars, train cars, they break and need fixing. They are a definite source of imaginative play. Purchase here.
Shockproof Children’s Camera – The ages specified for this toy are 3-8 but given that we are photographers, there has been no shortage of cameras in our home. It was a Christmas gift and has been a hit. It takes actual photos and videos without the risk of breaking an expensive item. We’re excited to see how he documents his little life! Purchase here.
Bath Crayons – I will admit to being skeptical of these, especially since we just installed a beautiful new tub. They have brought so much joy to bath time and wash off so easily. Purchase here.
Wooden Blocks – I know I joked about neutral wooden blocks, but I found a huge bag of these at Value Village for $6 and now they become robots, dinosaurs, fences, cars and more on a daily basis. Since wooden blocks are all the rage and can be expensive, keep an eye out at second hand or consignment stores and you might be surprised what you find!
Chalkboard & Chalk – Every night I wipe the board so he has a clean slate to start from in the morning. Whether it be his letter practice, drawing shapes or exploring colours, it’s a current favourite. The chalkboard was purchased at Staples many years ago and the chalk you can purchase here.
Letter Puzzle – I will admit, this was appealing to me because of the beautiful colours. However, given that letters have been a developmental focus (100% child led), it has complimented his interest very well. Purchase here.
Beebeerun Kids Tool Set – We all know kids imitate their parents, and so after spending the summer landscaping our yard and building a fence, dada’s drill was a hot commodity. This was an amazing gift that has occupied many hours. Most commonly found at Walmart or Amazon.
Flashlight – Although it can be annoying turning off lights to accommodate light play, this little device has been a source of so much fun especially as we enter the world of opposites (including light and dark). Also, shadow play is a blast. We just had this one kicking around but you won’t have to look too hard to purchase your own.
Play-dough – The possibilities are endless with a ball of play-dough. Right now he uses it to make ‘pancakes’, or rolls it out to make cookies using his IKEA baking set (purchase here). I make my own play-dough but bought works as well.
Velcro Food – You can try to curate a neutral play space all you want but nothing will ever be quite as satisfying as cutting brightly coloured plastic food in two. Purchase here.
Obviously there are moments of boredom (which I don’t mind him having to figure out), but it’s been wonderful to have a handful of things that we can rely on to nurture his imagination and play.
(Not sponsored in any way.)