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I’ve been really trying to simply the girls’ toys and provide them with things that will allow them to use their imagination, and things that they will enjoy playing with for a long time. I’ve noticed that some of the gifts that they get the most excited about when they open them are the same toys that sit untouched weeks later because they quickly lose their appeal.
But the toys that I’m sharing in this post are all toys that kids enjoy for years because they the spark imagination and creativity. We have several of these toys and my girls (now 3 and 1 1/2) have been playing with them since they were babies, and they still play with them! And my niece who is 5 loves playing with all of these toys too. If your kids don’t already have these toys, be sure to add them to their Christmas list. You might also like my post where I share must-have toys + how they promote development.
–Scarves & Clips: Babies love watching scarves move reaching for scarves. As babies turn into toddlers, the scarves can be used for imaginative play like a blanket for their doll, a super hero cape, a princess dress, a fort, etc.
–Stacking Nesting Blocks: Your baby will enjoy knocking these over as you stack them, and the size of them makes it easy for young toddlers to learn how to stack. You can also play a game where you hide a toy in one of the boxes and your child has to guess where it is. These blocks have also become homes for my girls’ dolls and toy animals.
–Electronic Drawing Pad: My 18 month old, 3 year old, and my 5 year old niece all love this! It’s great for mess free drawing, and will a press of a button, the picture is cleared and ready for a new drawing. My 3 year old likes playing the “mail man” game where she draws a picture and puts it in the “mail box” (aka her dresser drawer), and then we find it and draw her a new picture and place it back in the “mail box.”
–Stacking Stones: These colorful stones are fun to stack while teaching your child colors and sizes. They also come with activity cards with designs for your child to create, which is great for older kids.
–Nugget Comfort: This furniture doubles as a toy. You child can build fort with the pieces, climb on them, or use them to create an obstacle course.
–Play Suitcases: With a child’s imagination, these suitcases can be a bed for their baby, a garage for their cars, or they can pack up their toys and go on make- believe adventures. Plus, they can be used to store toys when your child isn’t playing with them.
–Blocks & Magnet Tiles: Babies love to knock over tall buildings (believe it or not, it’s great for their development), and older toddlers/kids love to build. These will provide years of fun! We have both sets and my girls love playing with both equally.
–AirFort: How fun is this for kids?! And I love that it folds up easily so you don’t have to find a place to store a huge tent when they’re not playing with it. Kids have the best imaginations so you know when they’re in it, they’re going to feel like they are in a rocket ship or princess castle or circus ring. So fun!
–Musical Instruments: Babies and kids loves musical instruments. I keep ours in a basket in the playroom and when the girls are having a rough time and I need help shifting the mood to a more positive one, I will get our basket of musical instruments out, and set them on the floor. I won’t say a word, I’ll just turn on music and start dancing and playing the instruments. The girls join me and instantly everyone is happy. It’s like magic!
–Pretend Play Kitchen or Rake Set: These bigger pretend play items are so fun for kids! They love being able to do all the grown-up stuff they see us do. We’ve had our kitchen since Hazel was 1. She used to loved taking things in and out of the cupboards, and now at 3, she’s been making us delicious pretend meals like chicken fried apple soup. Haha!