Before having my toddler, I had seen one too many living rooms taken over by toys. I was determined that my own living room would never look like a play area. But, like all the other things I said I would never do, I found it difficult to avoid once I became a parent.
I have tried to curtail my toddler’s toy collection by buying only a few thoughtfully curated open-ended activity-based toys, some action-based figures and pretend play toys and few outdoor play and sport related products.
I am making this list based on seeing which toys have received the most use and love in our house over the years, and by the stream of friends who have played with them, the clear winners are the below 10 products. We love open ended toys as they foster creativity, imagination and problem-solving skills and makes little ones learn to be independent. These toys can vary from the child’s desire and age. (blocks, animal figures, dress up accessories and more).
- Ikea Play Kitchen – This kitchen by far is my son’s favorite pretend play toy, and I have seen him play with it since he was 1 year old. I love with time he has learnt to be independent by playing with it. The best part is watching all his male friends also enjoy playing in the kitchen as much they do while playing with trucks. I have added several small items in his kitchen like a coffee maker, cup and kettle set to play food and utensils. (found in ikea and amazon)
2. Augmented Reality games helps in memorizing better and is an immersive learning experience. Vir was recently gifted the Play Shifu Space card game by his aunt and he is learning a lot more about the planets and solar system
I also liked theOsmo games and had seen them at our friend’s and stores, planning to try them out too
3. Construction based Toys like Tegu wooden blocks , Picasso Tiles and Lego Duplo blocks– We like to rotate construction toys to avoid boredom. Vir loved that he can build different stories with each toy group.
4. Board Games like Three Little Piggies helps with logic and spatial insight. I love Vir is playing the expert level and this is by far one of his favorite story and game
5. Puzzles from eeboo has helped in letter and picture recognition for at early stages of development and we have recently bought the Word puzzle gameto develop reading skills
6. In Culture Toys and Learning Kits – Teaching our son about our culture and language is very important to our family and plush toys and books from Modi Toys and a Travel kit with memory cards and so many other products from Sanskar teaching has helped us make the learning process fun.
Modi toys recently launched the baby Hanuman plush toy and story book I can wait to get my hands on. Also Sanskar Teaching offers virtual and online courses in Gujrati. I highly recommend checking out these two mom owned business.
7. Car Track Play –PlayTape is perfect for building the kid’s own world of roads, highways, and racetracks. It is compatible with all match box size trucks and cars and the best part is roads can be made anywhere. Its is easy to remove and I like how my son makes these roads around his bed room
8. Balance Bike – Getting my son to balance bike since he was 18 months was one of my best decisions. We started with the Woom 1 bike and after a year of balance bike we moved toWoom 2 and now he is pedaling without any training wheels! I highly recommend their bikes we have been using the brand for over 3 years now and love it. The woom 2 bike represents the ideal link between the balance bike and a pedal bike and enables fast learning of the movement process – even without training wheels.
9. Scooter – We got the scooter when Vir turned 2 and it has been very helpful in promoting muscle strength and development. We love the Microkickboard scooter, it is one of the highest rated scooter in the market. Vir’s favorite activity after school is to hit the park on his scooter. I love the quality and that he never trips on it while turning.
10. Outdoor toys like water and sand table is a must especially with summers approaching. Vir was gifted Step2 Fiesta Cruise Sand & Water Table with Umbrella by his grandparents for his 2nd birthday. I like that it has a place for sand and water both. Most of the time my son makes it a car wash for all his cars.
Hope you find this resource useful!
I will love to hear your most recommended toys too.
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