Have you started Christmas shopping for your toddler yet? On Instagram last week I asked if you’d rather see gift guides or reviews of our favorite toddler toys and you overwhelmingly voted for reviews of our favorite toys. So, here are my favorite toddler toys right now:
(note: Lincoln is 34 months right now and Adelaide is 17 months)
We got these for Lincoln’s second birthday and they have been a huge hit in our family this last year. I love playing with them. Lincoln loves playing with them. And while she mostly loves tearing them down, recently Adelaide has started getting them out when playing by herself. These are great for teaching patience, dexterity, and coordination. We use them for building towers, building roads, building parking garages, building barns, building mazes, and building ramps. We also use them for counting and colors. This is my favorite toy purchase we’ve made yet (and we’ll be getting another set for either Christmas or Lincoln’s birthday in January so we can build taller towers / more elaborate buildings).
Favorite Toddler Toys – Art Supplies
I love these for a few reasons. First, they’re easy to color with than regular crayons (it takes less pressure on the crayon and the paper to get the color to come off so younger and less coordinated kids can color with these easier). Second, you can draw with them and then grab a sponge paint brush and use it as a base to do watercolor-like painting. Two activities in one and they’re super easy to clean up.
**We had the Alex colors first and then I bought the Faber-Castelle at a toy store. I like coloring with the Faber Castelle ones better but the Alex creamy crayons are definitely better for painting (and come with a paint brush in the set I linked!) and when I buy another set I’ll get the Alex ones again.
It’s possible every kid is different or that mine will grow into coloring books, but between the ages of 1 and 3, they prefer big blank art books to color in than actual coloring books. We’re on our second of these big blanks book and I love that the paper is thick enough to do painting with the creamy crayons. (P.S. I did find it on Amazon here but it’s SO much cheaper at Target so grab it there instead)
I know, I know, I just said they don’t love coloring books but I picked up this pad at Ikea when I was there last month and Lincoln has really liked it so far. Maybe because it’s bigger than the other coloring books I’ve tried? But if you’re at Ikea in the next little bit this would make a great stocking stuffer.
Of all the vehicles he has ever owned, this is Lincoln’s favorite one. A friend gave it to us before we moved from Ohio (from their house, because Lincoln played with it every time we visited for a solid year) and last week I got him this similar recycling truck while we were shopping at Target (because I’m a sucker). He loves loading the back with small toys and tiny pieces of trash 😛
My parents still have huge classroom sets of Duplos from when I was younger and my kids love playing with them whenever we’re home (a couple times a month). We like using them for imaginative play, building structures for Lincoln’s vehicles, and just practicing putting together and taking apart blocks. (more tips for imaginative play and duplos in this post)
While it’s not quite as popular as the mini stroller right now, for some reason my children love pretending to do one of my dreaded chores. This is fun for imaginative play, especially coupled with the playfood I’ll talk about below.
There are two of these cars between the playground and playroom at our apartment complex and they’re my kids very favorite. They’ll push each other around, push their toys around, or just scoot themselves around. If we had more space in our actual apartment I’d get one for here two. Both of my kids love playing with this and while I can’t find the exact purple one, I think this is basically the same one.
We ordered a few different kits of food from Wayfair last month for my mom’s basement and the kids LOVE playing with them. Adelaide (at 17 months) struggles to cut the food by herself but loves to do it with my help. Lincoln can do it all on his own and spends half an hour at a time mixing salads and serving them to people at his little table.
We love the simple cutting board sets for improving coordination.
I also love the salad kit (Lincoln’s favorite) because I’d like to think it gets them interested and excited about eating vegetables.
Second to the mini car, the mini stroller is the most sought after toy on the playground, in the playroom, and in my parent’s basement. My kids push each other around, push their toys around, or just walk around with it. It was great for when Lincoln and Adelaide were just learning to walk and now it is still lots of fun as they make-believe with it.
Wooden Train Set: This is another favorite of both kids right now, but it is a little better suited for Lincoln’s age (almost 3). We use a more elaborate set in the playroom and the Ikea set at my parents and both are great. It’s good for coordination as little hands learn how to connect the rails and develop spatial awareness as they try to build larger connected tracks.
For Halloween this year we got little costume add-on pieces to go over pajamas and now we have a bin of dress ups that my kids love playing with! A couple times a week they’ll dress up as various animals and crawl around their room. Fostering imaginative play is so important at this age and I love that simple costume pieces (as opposed to full costumes) let toddlers put them on and take them off all on their own.
I ordered ours from Hanna Andersson (they have lots of options) and this pair of elephant ears on Amazon. I found a few other headbands on amazon and we also love the coat dress ups (image above) that we use in the playroom. The kids can’t quite get the coats on by themselves yet but they’re moving toward it and enjoy playing with all the little gadgets they come with.
What about you? What are your favorite toddler toys? Let me know in the comments below!