Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Favorite Toys 12-18 Months

When Nicky was a newborn, I couldn't wait till he gets older and learns to hold thing in his hands so that we can play with the myriad of toys I began to accumulate for him since I found out I was pregnant. It took a long time coming, but after he turned one the real fun started. Here are some of our current favorite toys at 16 months:

1. Stacking. Nesting. Building. And, most importantly, knocking it over. These are the favorite things of any one year old :) Nicky loves My First Mega Blocks (left) and can play with them independently for quite a while. Mommy really likes those Melissa & Doug wooden stacking/nesting blocks with pictures (right) and Nicky enjoys them too (they make lots of noise when they fall). We also have fun with Tegu Magnetic blocks and looking to try Better Builders magnetic set, which was recommended to us by a friend.

2. Fat Brain makes the coolest, most entertaining toys! When Nicky was younger, I got him an unusual pyramid which he plays with to this day. When he turned one, I got him another stacking toy called Spin Again, with six gears that spin onto a rod. You simply put them on top of the axis and watch them spin their way down! When you get them all stacked, you pull the pole out of the base and the gears spin off and tumble down. Then you start all over again. This is by far one our most favorite toys!

3. Dr. Seuss Fish Bowl. This seems like a very simple toy - a fish tank with five fish, but it has taught us the invaluable skill of cleaning up. Nicky liked it from the start. The fish are squishy and make sounds when grabbed and the tank is clear so you can see each one drop to the bottom. He loved emptying it. Then, Mommy sang the clean up song as he put each fish back into the bowl. Now, every time I sing the clean up song Nicky puts his toys away!!! (Let's pray that lasts well into the teenage years!)

4. Books are a life saver! They travel with us. They help us pass time in the house without turning on the TV. And slowly, they are teaching us words. Nicky knows I always have a book in my diaper bag, so even when we are out he pulls one out and pretends to read ;) Here are some of our current favorites (anything with flaps, especially!):

5. Trampoline. When visiting a friend on a play date, Nicky discovered their trampoline and it was love at first sight. Specifically designed with toddlers in mind, this is a perfect activity to work up an appetite or burn off some steam before nap time ;)

6. V Tech Sports Center. If you follow my Instagram, you might have noticed Nicky's obsession with soccer. This soccer net/basketball hoop is indispensable on rainy days when we can't go outside to play!

7. Tunnel.  Great toy for both kids and cats :) Here's how the tunnel works: Grab a ball and throw it from one end of the tunnel to another. As the kid to fetch the ball. Repeat :) It also folds easily and takes up no space (I hide it behind the couch!) A must-have toy for those lazy evenings when mommy is out of ideas on how to entertain the toddler!

8. Tools Toy Set. Nicky loves helping Mommy. And I try to always welcome his help and find a job he can handle. But when I need to accomplish something on my own, this tool box is a great way to occupy him. It comes with tools, screws and nails and a shape sorter.

9. Pretend play. This is probably my favorite part about life with a toddler. Nicky watches me closely all day and imitates many things I do. He brushes his hair and teeth. He cleans up, with a broom or paper towels, depending on what kind of mess he made. He feeds the cat. He turns on the TV and types on the computer. However, some things like the stove or the sink are still off limits to him, so when I saw with adorable Little Tikes sink (which comes with pots, utensils, plates, silverware and actually has a working faucet!) I knew it's something he would really enjoy!
Here are some other things you can get for your little one to practice real life:

10. Stuffed animals. The sweetest thing happened some time after Nicky turned one. He started to like stuffed animals. He hugs them. He brings them to Mommy so she can hug them. He sleeps with them and tucks them in in the morning when he wakes up. And as the number of them grows, I am beginning to think about getting a hammock to store them all. But in the meantime, I just melt every time Nicky hugs his favorite bear :)

Some of our other favorites:


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