K.C. asks from Redmond, WA on December 04, 2008
Favorite Toy Suggestions
My little girl will celebrate her first birthday next week. Since she'll be receiving gifts for her birthday and for Christmas from her very generous grandparents and aunts and uncles, I'm hoping to give them some suggestions for gifts that will carry us through the next year. We have a lot of hand-me-down clothes from cousins, but not many toys for her next phases. I'd like to have some things for her to use now and some things to put in the closet and save for her to grow into.
What have your little ones' favorite toys and games been during that 12-24 month range? What is on your can't-live-without-it list, those practical things that you use every day? If it helps you think, my daughter seems to love listening to music and looking at books. She's just starting to put smaller things into containers, know body parts, talk and walk while holding my hands.
Thanks in advance!
1 mom found this helpful
J.C. answers from Seattle on December 05, 2008
K. - what a great question: Your treasure will be imitating your daily activities - so play items that will allow her to ''sweep'' - wipe up, vacuum, wash dishes- cook- she will enjoy those for at least the next 3 to 4 years. She needs large motor activities so a rocking horse - a swing that can be hung from a sturdy beam or outside branch - BIG blocks for her to build with ( the same company that makes legos not only make duplos - but make an even bigger version)
You sound like a super mom- and you have reversed my precious grandchildren's trip - they recently moved from Seattle to Ohio ( call me lonely) - the oldest - a sophisicated 9 year old is flying alone from Indianapolis to home, I mean Seattle - after Christmas ---
M.L. answers from Seattle on December 05, 2008
My 17 month old loves to play with Fisher Price Little People. You can regularly get them at Kohl's for at least 40% off. Costco currently has a little people Noah's Ark for $20. My daughter is also a HUGE fan of books. We have some life-the-flap books that she really likes by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Karen Katz and Costco has a set of 8 of them for $15. One of her favorite books is Dooby Dooby Moo by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. If yours doesn't have a ride on toy, this might be a great time to get one. She's probably just big and strong enough to enjoy one. For my daughter's first birthday, her aunt and uncle gave her a FP bounce and spin zebra that she plays with every day. We're asking for a wagon this Christmas since we know it's something that we'll use next summer. We also got a Leapfrog fridge farm last Christmas that my daughter has been very interested in lately. It has music, but also teaches colors, matching, and fine motor skills. As annoying as it is to me sometimes, it's really a pretty great toy. My daughter also loves things that she can push or pull like lawn mowers, vacuums, strollers, etc. For my daughter's first birthday, we gave her a Corelle doll, a jelly cat bear, and a set of parents cars.
J.R. answers from Seattle on December 05, 2008
I have a boy, but at that age, I tried to buy toys that were pretty educational and not gender based. I still try, but at 1, without prompting, he became a magnet for attracting trucks, trains, cars...oh well, we can try!!!
He loved then, and STILL plays with these now (at age 3) the Little People sets - we have a pirate ship, a train station, the farm, Noah's Ark, and the circus...a Little People's world...We also used a lot of art supplies between 1-2, there are foam stickers that you peel off the paper, LOVES those, watercolor paints, stamps...
A play kitchen ( will last and be used for a while), dollhouse, toolbench, set of baby stuff (playpen, infant carrier, stroller), shopping cart with play food, mega blocks (like giant legos) and other stacking blocks...Lots of stuff, and most of it will last beyond 2 - just used in a different way.
Also, puzzles and books are great. We got our son a bike when he was 1.5 - has a push handle - LOVES it, now rides it like a tricycle.
M.H. answers from Seattle on December 05, 2008
What about a little four wheeled vehicle that she can sit on and push around the room with her feet? (Know what i'm talking about? sort of a pre-pre-bike for 1-3 year olds.)
Also popular in our house is one of those poppers with the long stick that can be pushed or dragged around.
Sometime in the next 6 months or so your child will be old enough to start scribbling, so kid-safe non-toxic crayons or finger paints might be fun.
D.L. answers from Seattle on December 05, 2008
Big hits at this age for our daughter or friends included:
Any toy you can push while walking (Our little girl was already walking so we didn't need them to help hold her up. She got a doll stroller and a shopping cart.)
Ride on toys (She got one that converted from walking/pushing to ride on.)
Her first baby doll is still one of her favorites
Simple wood puzzles
Books, books and more books (our little girl's favorite by far! - then and now)
Simple instruments (drums, shaker eggs, tambourine, piano, etc.)
Large stacking blocks (not small legos)
Pretend items like you have (cell phone, keys, etc.)
What I will tell you is this is the age that things start coming with lots of pieces. At age 2 it got really crazy and now that out daughter is 3, I wish there was a better way to control all the parts to toys and games. Keep that in mind when asking for things. If you don't have great storage, toys with lots of balls, puzzle pieces, blocks, etc. that don't come with a good container for storage can get quickly out of hand. You do need some toys with parts, but you don't want to get too many at once. Also, it might be good to ask for a toy bin or storage system. :-D
Happy birthday to your little girl and Happy Holidays!!! :-)
J.W. answers from Seattle on December 05, 2008
Books. Cloth books, thick cardboard books. Books for you to read to her. Then.... have them buy into a GET account for her higher education. Your little girl will get more than enough toys, so many that your house will look like Toys R Us, so ask them to invest in her future with GET. I wish I had done that with my in-laws who spent gobs on toys. But books are so important, even at this very early age. A doll is a good thing, a little kitchen set... anything that stimulates her imagination. Teddy Ruxpin is back. He's a teddy bear that reads books, so he talks and she can follow along in the book. Just a thought or two.
S.W. answers from Seattle on December 05, 2008
Stacking blocks or stacking cups are a big hit. my four year old still loves them. Alphabet puzzles will last you for many years also because they become a good teaching tool as they grow. musical instruments are always good and long lasting. Tell your family to buy the real ones, not the baby ones. There are some really nice ones on the market right now that are colored with natural dyes so you don't have to worry if she puts it in her mouth, which you know she will. I've been telling my family to buy quality not quantity. you will be amazed at how fast you will accumulate toys. It's so much nicer to have fewer really nice things then a bunch of stuff you will want to throw out in a few months. Also you have to remind them of the dangers of buying things made in China. I'm not trying to be preachy, but you really have to be careful these days. And it takes some effort to find toys not made in China.
M.W. answers from Seattle on December 05, 2008
Welcome to the PNW from the Midwest! I'm from Michigan, but I chose to live here--although I do miss my family (all back there).
Our daughter is about to turn two. Some of her absolute favorites this past year have been:
* kid sized pots and pans (little mini stainless steel ones)
* larger wooden blocks (loves to make "towers")
* her mini-broom (a little wooden/cornhusk one from Top Ten Toys in Seattle/Greenwood)
* her Raggedy Ann doll--and other dolls for that matter
* her "guys" which are three little hard plastic figurines of Cookie Monster, Ernie, and Elmo (plays with them daily)
It's so fun that she's now getting more into "dramatic" play and enjoying wearing some dress-up clothes (tu tus, fancy hats, any pair of shoes that aren't hers!)...so that would be a recommendation for the future. She has lots of other toys, but we've discovered that she really enjoys the simpler variety. She has just discovered puzzles, and that's what we're going to get her for her second birthday. We really wanted to get her a play kitchen, but they are big, and our house is not!
We did get a wagon for her first birthday, and did not really get to use it until she was about 15-16 months and she absolutely loved it! That's another long-term useful product.
We aren't big on buying from the mass-merchandisers (although the "guys" were a wonderful purchase for us!), and we have had lots of luck shopping at Goodwill in Ballard (not sure if the Bellevue one is as well-stocked), Top Ten Toys (they avoid all the "hyped" toys), and our local consignment stores.
Enjoy this next phase--it has been an absolute joy to watch our little girl just explode with curiosity, social skills, and language this past year!