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Generally speaking, I’m a big fan of basic toys. Open-ended toys tend to get a lot of long-term use in our home. They’re the ones that will occupy your toddler in independent play for more than 15 minutes, so I treasure them. I’ve done my best to narrow it down to our most used, most favorite toys for this post, but there are plenty more that get played with in our home.
LeapFrog My Own Leaptop
Wow, the first one on this list makes noise! I know, I know. But hear me out. This thing is the most basic of electronics, and somehow holds my kid’s attention for several minutes while teaching her letters and sounds. It’s fairly small, so great to take on car trips and fits in her tiny backpack. It even comes in pink, if you’d like that.
Rainbow Counting Bears
Oh my goodness, these bears. These bears have been sorted so many times. They come with matching cups (and it looks like the updated listing includes scoop tongs – neat!) so your toddler can have the satisfaction of color sorting. They can also line the bears up in a pattern, and just use their imagination. These bears are used frequently in those fun instagram activities you see.
Melissa & Doug Solid-Wood Building Blocks
These are your standard, heavy, quality building blocks. Your toddler will need to learn how to stack and build, and while there are alllll sorts of building blocks out there (MegaBlocks, Duplos, etc.) these are the ones that will teach them to stack and balance.
Sesame Street Elmo’s On the Go Letters
Toddlers love it because it’s a puzzle and briefcase in one. I love it because we can talk about the letters while we move them around. There’s even a space on the bottom to spell out short words! Not to mention, Sesame street characters hiding behind the letters. E is for Elmo!
This is basically going to be your magnadoodle, but much smaller and thinner. It’s an LCD writing tablet, but we use it as a toy. Because it’s so small, it’s easy to pack up for a car ride or entertaining Charlotte at a restaurant. I’ve drawn so many dogs on this thing.
Spark Kitchen Sink
Even though I have this linked on amazon, I’ve heard the best place to buy this is Wal-Mart. This thing is awesome. You put water in the bottom, and a pump brings it up through the faucet, and whatever your toddler doesn’t splash out drains back down into the bottom. Have towels nearby.
Step2 Water Table
These get updated, changed, and sold out so often, I’m not going to link it. But a water table is 100% worth having during warmer weather! You will kill at minimum half an hour with this thing (for those of you without toddlers, that’s a lot). Don’t overthink it; just get a cheap one (they’re usually under $50). You can get a larger one if you have multiple kids, or you can often find one secondhand for even less!
Playskool Sit ‘n Spin
This was one of my favorite toys to play with when I was in preschool in the church gym. Yes, I remember it. Charlotte took to this toy right away and will spend several minutes just spinning herself around in circles.
Of course, there are many more toys we use frequently! You can find more and an (often updated) list of ours from Amazon here.
What are your toddler’s favorite toys?