14 answers

Toys for Toddler

what are some fun, stimulating toys out there for a 2 yr old boy? He has soooo many different toys but gets bored with them quickly. He's really into anything that rolls like trains, cars, and trucks. We have Thomas and Geo Tracks not to mention some matchbox cars and others. I just feel like he is bored at times and want to know if this is normal or if there may be other ideas out there from other moms?

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My son plays with trains, cars and trucks, too. But even at two, he really seemed to enjoy building. He has Lego Duplo blocks which are the big Lego's for toddlers. He also got a set of Mega Blocks and Lincoln Logs for his 3rd birthday. He likes to build towers and castles and now points to tall buildings and towers when we are in the car. I learned to take them apart when he was out of the room. He would be upset and then I redirect him and say, "Let me see you build a tower." And he was off to work. I love when he's working and he tells me, "Almost finished!" This type of creative play where he has control of the outcome is very rewarding and can hold attention longer than the cars and trains. Good luck and happy building!

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My son plays with trains, cars and trucks, too. But even at two, he really seemed to enjoy building. He has Lego Duplo blocks which are the big Lego's for toddlers. He also got a set of Mega Blocks and Lincoln Logs for his 3rd birthday. He likes to build towers and castles and now points to tall buildings and towers when we are in the car. I learned to take them apart when he was out of the room. He would be upset and then I redirect him and say, "Let me see you build a tower." And he was off to work. I love when he's working and he tells me, "Almost finished!" This type of creative play where he has control of the outcome is very rewarding and can hold attention longer than the cars and trains. Good luck and happy building!

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Have you tried rotating your toys? Divide them up into 2-3 boxes and send all but one box away on "vacation". Then each week, pull out a different box and send the old one away. That way he's not seeing the same toys all the time and they will feel like new.

This is very normal.

The best thing I ever did was take half of my children's toys and put them up for 3 months. I now rotate toys and when I bring them down you would think it was Christmas. They get so excited about the toys they haven't seen or forgot about.

While they are sleeping I put the next set away so they don't know what is missing. If you don't do this they will constantly nag you for one toy.

I now run a daycare and do the same thing and it's fun to watch the children go through the box and get excited.

Good luck with your little guy.

It sounds like he may just have too many toys out at once (or just too many toys! LOL). One good way to keep things interesting is to take 1/2 the toys and put them away for 2 weeks...then when those come back out, put the 1st half away. Always rotate them to keep them fun and interesting. The other way to keep things interesting is to have toys that inspire imagination or engage the child in active participation....most electronic and lights/sounds toys require little participation as they flash and sound while the kids are just sitting and staring! I think that plastic electronic toys get boring quickly :-) I find that toys that I play together with the kids are most fun for everyone...such as dress up outfits, blocks, large legos, musical band instruments, painting at an easel, play-doh, play dolls/stroller, shopping cart, kitchen and food/tea set, cars/trucks/trains, crayons/coloring books, animal figures/dinosaurs, dancing to a music cd, and the usual outdoor stuff like sand boxes, wagons and tricycles... Anytime you are 'doing' the playing it is more fun, and it's always more fun with a parent! Best wishes on rotating some toys in/out and playing together with some of the cool stuff you already have!

Try some cars/vehicles that have a remote control - there are several out there for toddlers. My boys loved them because they could run after them in the house.

I say put some toys up high so he has to ask for them.

My son likes everything Rays baseball. We have a play room and he will throw a ball up and try to either hit it or catch it. He would rather us playing with him, but he likes it by himself too.

He also likes cars and found a "monster truck" at a consignment store and has been pushing it all over. I bought a car from my friend's Discovery Toys online store for my friend's son's 2nd birthday. She says he loves it. (They live out of state now.) It is fun and interactive so I'm going to get it for my 2yr old for Christmas too. http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/esuite/home/marcietaylor

He also likes a dinosaur he picked out at a dollar store.

I think having each kind of toy having its own specific toy box or bin or shelf helps too. His toys are a little more organized so he gets one out at a time. (In theory, you know they're all out at once, but so far he likes to help put toys away too.)

Rotating toys is a great solution to boredom. You pull out a diff box every week and its like Christmas.

A new toy out that is awesome is the Handy Manny Tool box. The toys sing and the tools dance in the box. The tools are also removable. My son has been going to sleep with this thing, which is silly, but he loves it.

Try cooking/kitchen toys, they are not just for girls, think Emeril. My son has been "cooking" for years, he is now 4 1/2 and still loves it, probably even more than his 2 3/4 little sister. It started with putting a stool next to me so he could reach the counter while I prepped dinner. I'd give him a spatula and plastic mixing bowl or measuring cup sometimes it's mess but it's something we do together. He now has a 6 foot long "kitchen" made by Pop from old counter top and plywood. He loves to cook dinner for us and his stuffed animals and invites his sisters babies...we have hamburger corn waffle cookie soup...it's delicious but watch out you have to blow on it first because it's hot according to my kids. He graduated from play cooking toys to now borrowing my kitchen tools so much my mom bought him a REAL set of pots and pans from Target last Christmas. Two years ago for Christmas he received 3 apron/chef hat sets! We are now baking and I am able to use the recipes to help teach counting/adding and following directions as a learning tool for my pre-k-er. You should be able to pick up play food and other items at a consignment shop or our first kitchen came from a garage sale prior to moving to the big one made by my dad.

Hi C.! What a great age!!! In this year alone (before he turns 3), you'll go from barely comprehending him to understanding his full (broken up, cryptic) sentences in a span of 6 months. Two-year olds spans a wide range of both development and skill. Two year olds are just beginning to really understand the world around them and I have found they love to pretend and make-believe. My oldest son's imagination soared at this age; I always found him in his room with either his stuffed animals or plastic dinosaurs acting out scenes. They also love dress up and being silly with hats and scarves and just about anything else. Try also challenging them with wooden puzzles (10-20 piece) and big blocks (the brands 'Melissa and Doug' and 'Imaginarium' are awesome and reasonably priced). Play dough is also a great pasttime (you'll find him sitting there for at least 1/2 hr by himself). Try finger painting, listening to fun music and dancing (Wee-Sing has awesome CDs). This is also a great age to start playing "Simon Says".
Like yours, my middle son loves trains and cars. He's also more athletic. At 2 years, he was already climbing the monkey bars by himself, loved the swings and insisted on sliding the "big boy" slide at this age. And, interestingly, as much as he enjoys anything that rolls, he is really fond of animals, too. So you may want to give him a toy that provides exposure to animals (Fisher Price's Little People's Noah's Ark could do just that). Then you might find, he may actually be more interested in animals right now.
Either way, his short attention sounds normal. I believe that children at this age are always looking for something to learn and absorb. Their mind wants to be challenged - to dissect and put things together. At this age, self-accomplishment is important and can do wonders. The trains and trucks are wonderful for his imagination, but he probably wants stimulation outside of his own creation.
Keep listening to him (always), be patient (with yourself, too), and have lots of fun!

I have an extremely active daughter who just turned 2 and has lots of toys. Her favorites are her scooter, tricycle, building blocks and anything with balls. I like the idea of rotating toys, although I can't say I do that too well.

Having said all that, I don't think it's bad to let them be bored sometimes. I think kids are overstimulated and that constant stimulation prevents them from growing their imaginations and learning to occupy themselves. They have to be given the opportunity to invent and begin to engage in imaginary play. That takes time.

That's just my two cents. Good luck to you.

At this age they don't really play by themselves for a long period of time. My son is almost three and he is just now getting to the point where he will play or watch Elmo for more than 15mins. :)
My son loves imagination toys like a kitchen set, tunnels and tents. He has a play tent in his room and he brings all his animals in there. I guess he feels like it's his own little spot.

It may be that he has too many toys. I've found with my two girls if they have too many options, they lose interest quickly. You may want to put some away and then every two weeks or so rotate the ones that he currently plays with with ones you have put away. Also, I often move the toys from one location of the house to another. It seems as though if a toy sits in one place too long, it becomes like another piece of furniture to them and they don't even see it.

When my kids were that age they liked stringing big wooden beads on a string that has a wooden snake head. (Ryan's Room is the name brand and I found it at Marshall's.) Also, they liked those big Duplex/Lego blocks and wooden shape puzzles (Melissa & Doug). They also loved their water table when they were that age (Step 1). When it gets a little too chilly for water, we fill it with dried beans instead. They can never get enough of pouring from one container to the next. Also, an old Windex bottle filled with water and a rag to help me wash the windows.

Hope this helps!

Have you tried the large Magnatix? My son loves them!

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