Monday, November 18, 2013

Dear Readers...

Hey Guys,

I need your help again.  You were awesome with the car seat ideas and I found one that I want but I don't know when we are supposed to buy it so it's on the backburner.

I'm worried someone is going to drop a kid off at my house and they won't have anything to do.  I have a few books and stuffed animals, but I was thinking more along the lines of toys.  In my wildest dreams all the toys would be soothing colors and made from wood but I know that's not going to happen.  So think back or think about what currently works for you and what toys would be good for kids ranging 0-2, especially the 1-2 range.

Do they even color?  I bought a set of crayons and now I'm thinking they would be too young for coloring.  Play doh?  I want long term toys, preferable interchangeable like when I was a kid I could play with my little people in various ways not just one thing.  So little people farmers could also fly a plane sort of thing.  I like that idea, especially in the beginning until I see what they really like.

Pretty items like stackable wood rings that can be displayed you get bonus points.  Also nostalgia toys that I remember like little people and Mr. Potato head, bonus points.

Points will be deducted for any "character toys," Sponge Bob and whatnot.

Also just for fun, favorite books if you have any.

And, go!


  1. I'm sure you already know this, but you'll want to stay away from anything with small parts. The Fischer Price toys, like stackable rings, are good. Also, my daughter loved the See and Say, she would play with that for hours. That is still a bit young for play doh-I think. My daughter also loved the little xylophone that they bang on.

  2. big lego (duplo or equiv)
    pushing type toys
    play cell phone
    activity table
    small containers for i the tub (squirty toys may get mould in them, fyi)
    things that stack (even two or three packs of ikea plastic cups are great)
    fisher price roll around balls, blocks, etc
    dollhouse (for older toddlers)
    cars that are bigger and easy to push around

  3. My son is 2.5 now, but between 1-2 his favorite toys were: (he'd sit on the floor and arrange these on the fridge when he was still learning to crawl, and he still plays with them. Note: There are some in this set that are too small for 1-2 year olds. I put those away until he got older, and there are enough big ones to entertain the mouthy type. Spend some time on the Melissa and Doug website if you haven't already. They make great stuff) (I was pissed when my parents bought him this because it seemed like cheap plastic crap, and it's big. But I'm eating my words now because he couldn't/can't get enough of it. They also gave him the safari jeep and he plays with it literally every day)

    We had this ( and he loved it in theory, but got frustrated when he couldn't slide the lid off and on. Then the grandparents delivered on the cheap plastic crap version ( and it was perfect. Aside: one advantage I found to cheap plastic toys as opposed to wooden, hand-painted, free-range organic toys - when they get nasty or after the kid has the stomach flu, you can put them in the dishwasher or wash them in hot soapy water without them getting ruined.

  4. I hear the Glowball is a winner for kids up to 5 years old -

    I like it because it can be educational as well as entertaining!


    The glowball is nice because they can play with it until they're 6 or 7 years old and it's educational!

  6. I swore I'd never fall into the character trap. I would NEVER buy clothes with cartoons on them or toys based on stupid TV shows. Then I had kids of my own.....and you see their little faces light up with excitement when they see something they recognize. Then you scour ebay for hours looking for discontinued Big Comfy Couch toys because these little people just love it SO much. AND... I painfully admit even I own some Minnie Mouse shirts now. My life is over. At 1-2 yrs old they tend to like anything that plays music or makes noise!!

  7. Any kind of balls, big chunky puzzles (Melissa and Doug make great ones), a small ride-on toy, musical instruments, "little people" or other similarly sized figures/animals.

  8. Vtech makes great toys for that age. Also, my son had a little piano with a play, counting, and song mode. - he loved it from about 8 months - 3 years.

  9. We also loved all the Sandra Boyton books.

  10. My daughter is 2, and for the past year she's played with the following: Absolutely coloring and crayons and play doh (just watch so they don't eat it). Even if they just scribble with the crayons or make balls with the play doh, it's still something to do and creative. Bigger crayons don't break as easily and make sure you get washable! I started my daughter with (washable) watercolors at a very young age. Sidewalk chalk. Soft blocks. Books (a visit to the library is always fun and free). Small musical instruments - esp shakers and little drum. Tea set. Melissa and Doug puzzles. Stacking cups. Used sparingly, the ipad has some great toddler apps, many for free. My daughter's favorite books are these:

  11. Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer! They're so cute, but only take a few minutes to read. They are somewhat family-oriented though, so maybe not the best idea for kids going through family difficulties. But some of them aren't as warm and fuzzy as others.

    1. I love reading the negative comments about these books on Amazon. There aren't many but they are priceless.

  12. This may sound crazy, but my husband and I (now 39 and 33) still remember playing with the Tupperware Shape-O toy. They still make them and they aren't character-themed! (And you can buy one online without having to go to a tupperware party!)

    1. I had no idea that toy was made by Tupperware. I remember that toy!

    2. I think everyone in our generation had one. I just spent the weekend with my best friend's two-year-old twins, and they had something called an Aquadoodle, which was awesome. I think it would be a good thing to add to the toy chest.

  13. Before my bub came to us at 19 months I was convinced I would use only amazing, pretty, educational toys. Fast forward to today, I love with Every.Single.Car from the Movie Cars.

    Can't beat:

    Cozy Coupe
    A sand/water table
    Cars and a simple race track
    Eric carle books
    Goodnight moon
    Play doh
    Fat toddler crayons
    Melissa and Doug puzzles
    Melissa and Doug lacing beads
    Any of the little people sets (though they are different than the awesome ones we had as kids)
    Toy phone
    The plastic box that has the different shapes you fit in

    Whoever said the plastic stuff is great because you can throw it in the dishwasher to de-germify was on the money!

  14. Brio trains! My husband and I love them almost as much as our two-year-old son.

    1. My nephew has these little trains and I'm so surprised that he doesn't crash them down like Godzilla. But he's so gentle with them. Totally unexpected.

  15. These are really really great suggestions. I've saved some stuff on Amazon for later and I'll definitely come back to this list when we get closer or there's a real, live kid here. Thank you so much for the help.

  16. My twins are 6 months old and they love anything that they can grasp and shove into their mouth (shocker) and particularly love Bright Starts Snuggle & Teethers, O'Ball Rattles, and any of the toys that can hang from their car seats.

  17. My twins are 6 months old and they love anything that they can grasp and shove into their mouth (shocker) and particularly love Bright Starts Snuggle & Teethers, O'Ball Rattles, and any of the toys that can hang from their car seats.