The Best Toddler Toys To Keep Your Little One Engaged

Best Toddler Toys

Your Toddler’s Unique Toy Preference

Isn’t it fascinating how toddlers, so young and fresh to this world, can show such strong preferences? One of the most vivid examples in my life involved a well-recommended Love Every play gym that we excitedly got for my little one. As it turned out, she preferred to just lay on a plain blanket, clutching a board book in her tiny hands. Yes, you read that right! A board book over a colorful play gym. But that’s the thing about toddlers – they know what they like, and sometimes, it’s as simple as a book. One of her favorite board books is the colorful and texture-rich “If you ever meet a Groovicorn”, and the indestructible “Mama and Baby”.

Here’s my humble advice: observe your little ones closely. Their interests will guide you to the best toddler toys that can keep them entertained while saving you money and space.

Toddlers’ Favorite Toys: What My Little One Loves

General Play Toys

When it comes to the best toys for everyday play, you’ll want toys that inspire creativity, learning, and hours of fun. Here are some of my daughter’s favorites:

Switch board

Switch Board: A Shining Star Amongst Best Toddler Toys

Imagine a toddler toy that’s built to nurture problem solving and joy while fine-tuning motor skills and hand eye coordination. The Switch Board checks all these boxes and then some. It’s an eye-catching busy board equipped with eight distinct switches, each activating a different LED light.

Peekaboo bunny

Peekaboo Bunny: A Cuddly Companion Among Best Toddler Toys

Meet Flora, the Peekaboo Bunny: a soft, huggable, and interactive friend that comes to life at the push of a button. With two play modes to be a fun toy for your little one, she can either play an adorable game of peekaboo, hiding behind her oversized, velvety ears, or sing a playful, rhythmic song in a sweet child’s voice while her ears dance to the beat. This toy has been great to help with our daughter’s language skills.

A climbing toy

Climbing Toys: Safe Fun That Enhances Motor Skills

Take playtime to new heights with CMFYDAILY climbing blocks. These vibrant, soft foam blocks are expertly designed to ensure a safe and engaging playtime experience for your children. Watch as your toddlers scramble up, slide down, crawl over, and navigate around these durable blocks, developing their understanding of shapes, sizes, and spatial relationships along the way.

That's not my giraffe book cover

Board books

My little one loves board books, “That’s Not My Giraffe“. It’s full of fun pictures and words that she enjoys. Reading this book is a special time for us, full of laughter and learning.

An egg shaker

Egg shakers

Ignite your child’s musical curiosity with the sustainably made Beech Wooden Egg Shakers! These elegantly simple, nature-inspired rhythm makers are carefully crafted from durable beech wood, promising a long-lasting addition to your toddler’s toy collection.

Cutting fruit toy set

Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit Set

It’s good to have something fun that also enhances your little one’s fine motor skills. fine motor skills help children with tasks such as cleaning, holding objects, and feeding themselves. The Melissa and Doug Cutting Fruit Set, is great for fine motor skills, and our little loves cutting the fruit and it has sparked interest in helping me in the kitchen.

Wooden building blocks

Wooden Building Blocks

We were at IKEA shopping for some storage solutions when we cam across this
40-piece wooden building blocks set, multicolor. Our toddler loves stacking the blocks and knocking them. All of this fun also helps enhance motor skill development.

A shape sorter toy

Shape Sorter

This keeps our daughter’s attention and develops spatial awareness. This type of toy also helps our toddler with improving their problem solving skills. Bonus: this wooden sorter set on Amazon includes stacking rings that are a little more challenging the common ones.

Fisher price mixing bowl

Fisher Price Mixing Bowl

We got this Fisher Price Mixing Bowl for our little one for Christmas when she was 9 months old. She is almost 18 months old now, and this is still a great toy that gets added to her rotation.

Toys for Bath Time

Our bath playtime is always filled with fun and adventure, thanks to a handful of beloved toys. My little one enjoys the Octopus game, a bubbly bath book, and her favorite rubber ducky that’s always ready for a splash. And who can forget those special no-mold toys and the simple pleasure of a washcloth, perfect for squeezing out water? Last, but not least, her trusty turtle companion always joins us, bringing joy and imagination to our super fun bath time.

Toys for Outdoor Play

soap bubbles floating on green garden background.

Our outdoor fun is always a splash with our best toys for outdoor play. A water table sets the stage for endless fun, and rubber toys provide exciting tactile experiences. The bubble maker is a hit, painting the air with shimmering spheres that she loves to chase. A simple watering can becomes a tool for exploration, and ordinary rocks unlock her imagination.Chalk brings color to our play, transforming our driveway into a canvas, while sponges add a surprising element of squishy, water-soaked fun. It’s amazing how these simple tools can create such a world of adventure.

The Toy Rotation Magic

Breathing New Life Into Old Favorites

Have you ever noticed how quickly children lose interest in their toys? One moment they’re the best thing ever; the next, they’re collecting dust. But, fear not, because here comes the toy rotation magic. It’s a simple yet effective strategy that not only keeps the excitement alive but also encourages your little one to engage in different types of play.

How it Works

Once a week, when the stars come out and my little one is off to dreamland, I transform into the ‘Toy Fairy’. Under the veil of night, I quietly tiptoe into her play area to wave my magic wand – okay, it’s more of a gentle hand really – to swap out the toys. The aim is simple: keep the toy landscape fresh and exciting.

The toys that have been feeling a bit neglected, maybe a forgotten doll or a stacker that’s been toppled one too many times, are carefully collected and stored away out of sight. Believe me when I say, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ really works. It’s almost as if they cease to exist in her little universe for a while.

Then, in place of the retired toys, I bring out some of the old favorites that have been resting in the toy chest. Seeing these ‘long-lost’ toys again, it’s like she’s meeting a beloved friend after a long time, and the room is instantly filled with a renewed sense of novelty and anticipation.

The Results Are Worth It

The morning after the toy rotation is always a treat. My daughter wakes up to a reimagined play space. Her eyes light up as she discovers ‘new’ toys, and the playtime that ensues is filled with wonder, creativity, and genuine excitement. It’s not about constantly buying new things; it’s about rediscovering the joy in the things we already have.

The toy rotation magic not only keeps the play space clutter-free but also offers your child a variety of learning experiences and keeps their interest levels peaked. So why not give it a try? You might just be surprised by the results!

When to Buy New Toys

Plush kids stuffed animals IKEA

Striking the Right Balance

In a world saturated with adverts pushing the newest, shiniest toys, it’s easy to get carried away. However, it’s crucial to remember that more toys don’t necessarily mean more fun or better learning. In our house, we have a thoughtful approach to acquiring new playthings for our little one. We don’t frequently buy new toys, but we do under specific circumstances.

Growing With Your Child

Children grow and change rapidly, and so do their play preferences. So, the first trigger for a new toy purchase is when it seems like she’s outgrown her current ones. You’ll know this moment has arrived when they start losing interest in toys they used to love or when the play becomes too easy or not challenging enough. This is the time to introduce new, age-appropriate toys that match their evolving skills and interests.

Replacing the Irreplaceable

Then, of course, life happens, and toys can break. We’ve had our share of pop ball tragedies involving an eager dog and a misdirected game of fetch. In such cases, where a loved toy meets an unfortunate end, we do consider replacing it. However, it’s always done mindfully, keeping in mind the child’s attachment and the educational value the toy offers.

But It’s Not All About the New

While buying new toys is exciting, it’s not the only way to keep playtime fun and engaging. The practice of toy rotation, as we’ve discussed earlier, can breathe new life into old toys and keep your child engaged for hours. So, before rushing off to the store or clicking that online ‘buy now’ button, consider if a new toy is really needed or if an old favourite, long forgotten at the bottom of the toy box, could spark the same joy.

Remember, it’s not about having many toys, but about having the right ones that contribute positively to your child’s growth and enjoyment.

Navigating the World of Toy Gifts

Taking Control of the Toy Influx

We all adore the sight of our kids’ faces lighting up at the sight of new toys, don’t we? But the sheer volume of gifts can sometimes lead to a cluttered play area and, paradoxically, less fun. I’ve found a fantastic way to manage this – a Toy Wish List!

The Power of a Wish List

A Toy Wish List is simply a running list of toys that my daughter has shown interest in. It can be a toy she engaged with at a friend’s house or something she saw in a store or even a book that she enjoyed at the library. The secret is to be observant and make a note when you see that spark in her eye.

The beauty of this list is that it serves a dual purpose. First, it acts as a guide for me when I’m considering adding a new toy to her collection. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it’s a lifesaver when birthdays or holidays roll around.

Sharing the Joy (and the List)

When friends and family ask what she might like for her birthday or Christmas, I can share this wish list with them. It’s a win-win situation. She gets toys that she’s genuinely interested in and, as a bonus, there’s no extra clutter in the house from toys that don’t capture her interest. This also helps our loved ones make meaningful gift choices that they know will be appreciated and used.

Moreover, the wish list provides an excellent opportunity to introduce a variety of toys, ranging from the more elaborate birthday gift to smaller, simpler items perfect for stocking fillers or Easter baskets.

In this way, by keeping a wish list, we can ensure that every new toy that enters our home is purposeful, appreciated, and most importantly, played with. This strategy brings us closer to our goal of a well-curated, clutter-free play area that encourages fun, creativity, and learning.

Decluttering: Letting Go and Making Room for New Joys

Decluttering toddler toddler toys

The Emotional Ties to Toys

Decluttering the toy chest can be an emotional journey. As you sift through those tiny, once-loved playthings, each one holds a memory – a giggle here, a wide-eyed wonder there. It can tug at your heart to think about parting with these tangible reminders of your little one’s younger days.

Learning to Let Go

What I’ve come to realize, however, is that letting go of the old creates a beautiful space for new joys and discoveries. It’s not about discarding the past but about making room for the future. The reality is, as our children grow, their interests and needs evolve. It’s essential that their play environment reflects this growth, encouraging them to explore, learn, and develop new skills.

The Rewarding Process of Decluttering

This process of decluttering is continuous – it’s not a one-time activity but a habit we cultivate. It’s like pruning a tree, allowing for healthier growth and new blossoms. The reward? A toy collection that’s always fresh, always engaging, and never overwhelming.

In this process, we also teach our children about the value of space and organization. They learn to appreciate their toys more, and also understand the importance of letting go, a valuable lesson they can carry into their adult lives.

As we bid goodbye to some toys, we not only make room in our homes but also in our hearts for the new memories that these future toys will bring. It’s a cycle of joy, discovery, growth, and a wonderful part of the parenting journey.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, fellow moms! Your guide to navigating the world of best toddler toys. It’s a journey full of discoveries, joys, and yes, some clutter too. But in the end, isn’t it all about the giggles and the wide-eyed wonder? Happy toy hunting!