Thursday, February 16, 2017

Best Toys for Toddlers

toys for toddlers 2-3 year old

A few days ago, I came into my son's room in the morning and said "Hi, Baby!", as I always do. T
o which he replied - "No Baby. BOY.
Well, how did that happen?!! 

Nicky is clearly no longer a baby, yet nowhere near the grown and independent person that he wants to be. Each day he is conquering new skills (like putting on his jacket or drawing a straight line) while constantly testing his boundaries. And although it can be difficult for all parties involved (hello, temper tantrums), it is amazing to teach him and watch him learn.

However, one thing I have figured out about toddlers is that you have to have them constantly engaged in something, especially at home. Otherwise, they start coming up with their own activities and that can turn into a mess of cosmic proportions. Luckily, there are so many toys available for this age group, so I picked out some of our current favorites to share with you. 

Toys For Toddlers: Reviewed

Thinkful Roll & Play Board Game Review

Thinkful Roll & Play Board Game

Nicky loves to play with his parents and wants our undivided attention, so I went on the hunt for a game that can keep all of us entertained. This board game is very basic and simple enough for a toddler to follow. You start with six piles of cards, each a different color. Then, you roll the big plush dice and see which color faces up. You pick the card based on the color rolled and act out the action stated (i.e. give a hug, find something blue, roar like a lion, etc)

  • Rolling a dice (throwing it nicely)
  • Taking Turns
  • Colors
  • Vocabulary
  • Gross Motor
  • Following instructions.
Engagement: depending on a child, up to 30 minutes

Melissa & Doug Plush Bowling Review

Melissa & Doug Plush Bowling

This game is fun for the whole family! Perfect for rainy days, to give your little one something to do so that they won't destroy the house. It took Nick a few tries to figure out how to roll, not throw, a ball but once he figured it out it quickly became one of his favorite activities.

  • Gross motor
  • Target practice

Engagement: Up to 30 mins

Matching Shapes & Colors Eggs Review

Matching Shapes & Colors Eggs

These eggs are a great way to practice colors with your little one, as well as a way to introduce shapes. Perfect gift idea for Easter ;)

  • Enhance fine motor skills
  • Learn Colors 
  • Introduce Shapes
  • Cognitive development

Engagement: 10-15 minutes

Melissa & Doug Hand Counting Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Hand Counting Puzzle

This puzzle is absolutely brilliant, it teaches numbers in different ways (counting on your fingers, counting items in the picture and connecting them with the right digit, gives helpful hints by using colors) The pieces are large enough for toddlers and very easy to follow.

  • Counting & Learning Numbers
  • Matching Colors
  • Telling apart Left/Right
  • Puzzles Together

Engagement: 15-25 mins

Melissa & Doug Sort & Snap Color Match

Melissa & Doug Sort & Snap Color Match

This is one of my son's favorite game, so much so that he can play it independently. It's very simple - you lay a sheet over a wooden board, and insert the pegs into the matching color holes. Say each color out loud as you do it to help them learn. Count how many holes of each color you have and then count how many pegs you will need.

  • Matching
  • Colors
  • Animals
  • Counting
  • Fine Motor Skills

Engagement: About 20 mins

Melissa & Doug See & Spell Game

Melissa & Doug See & Spell Game

Another one of our favorites, this game is responsible for getting my son interested in letters. We name the items on each cards, then spell out the word and look for letters to fill it, naming each later while we place them in the correct spot. 

  • Letters & Spelling
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Matching

Engagement: 20-25 mins

Melissa & Doug Fire Truck Sound Puzzle Review

Melissa & Doug Fire Truck Sound Puzzle

Nicky had a little bit of trouble with and little interest in putting together puzzles. However, this one was simple enough for him to follow and rewarding in the end - the truck makes fire engine sounds when assembled correctly!

  • Building puzzles
  • Fine motor skills
  • Cognitive

Engagement: It takes about 2-5 mins to put the puzzle together, can be repeated 2-3 times.

The Learning Journey - My First Match Review

The Learning Journey - My First Match

This is a cute matching game that teaches your child the basic two-piece puzzle with simple and familiar items like bicycle, soccer ball, etc. 

  • Fine motor skills
  • Matching & putting puzzles together

Engagement: 15-20 mins

Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Review

Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace (Pets)

A few weeks ago I caught my son unlacing daddy's sneakers and then attempting to lace them back up. So I got him this toy, in attempt to discourage him from messing with our shoes :)

  • Fine Motor
  • Practice patience & concentration

Engagement: depends on the child & skill level

ALEX Toys Little Hands String My ABC Review

ALEX Toys Little Hands String My ABCs

Another lacing game, this one comes with an entire alphabet to put on a string. You can say the ABCs out loud as you string them or spell out words and form sentences. 

  • Fine motor skills
  • Spelling & letters

Engagement: Depending on the activity, up to 30 mins.

Buckle Toy "Blu" Whale Review

Buckle Toy "Blu" Whale

We have had this toy for some time, but Nicky was too young to play with it until a few months ago. Now he has learned to open and close buckles and this little blue whale has become his best buddy.
Warning: child might learn how to unbuckle himself out of everything after playing with this toy!

  • Fine motor skills
  • Matching colors
  • Cognitive skills
Engagement: about 15 mins

Casio Toddler Keyboard Review

Casio Toddler Keyboard

In lieu of a small piano, you can get your little one a toddler-sized key board to play music. It has far more options and my little guy loves playing with all the controls.

  • Fine motor
  • Music appreciation
  • Cognitive
Engagement: Up to 30 mins

Exercise workbooks busy books for toddlers

Exercise books for toddlers

These books are a great way to study with your little ones in preparation for daycare and Pre-K. Learning to sit still and work on an exercise is a necessary skill to master and the time you spend together while learning how to hold a pen or place stickers in the right spot helps you form a stronger bond with your child. It's a great way to keep your toddler busy and to spend some quiet time.

Kumon My First Book of Tracing Review

Kumon My First Book of Tracing

Practice your penmanship with these fun workbooks

Melissa & Doug Tape Activity Book review

Melissa & Doug Tape Activity Book

Learn tracing and practice fine motor skills by placing tape to add color to pictures.

Kumon at the Zoo Workbook review

Kumon at the Zoo

Fun with stickers - use them to complete the picture

Go Go Life Skills Review

Go Go Life Skills

Fun activities for your little one to practice basic daily situations and everyday cognitive problems.

Go Go Intellectual Skills Workbook Review

Go Go Intellectual Skills

An assortment of exercises for your toddler, including stickers, drawing lines, analytical questions and so on.

Does your little one have a favorite toy?
Share with us in the comments below!


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