Birdie will be turning four this winter (HOW???) and Teddy two this October and in almost four years of raising these little goobers I've noticed that there are certain toys or books that they play with more than others and that I would never put in the donate pile. They are the toys they reach for time after time and that seem to entertain them for longer periods of time than others. Sure they get bored of them too occasionally but these are the ones that they will still return to week after week and year after year.
I remember when Birdie was just getting into toys at around eight months of age and I was feeling so lost when it came to knowing what she would truly enjoy. Needless to say we made a lot of mistakes over the years - bought toys that they never played with or would play with once and then the item would sit and collect dust until I inevitably had to donate it. So I thought I would compile a list of the tried and true toys, the ones that will be worth it and well loved.
- Doctor's kit: We actually have a few of these as Birdie's has gotten some as gifts. One of the reason's I love this toy so much is it is a rare bird in that it encourages the kids to play together. It's not an activity that Birdie gets much enjoyment from doing alone so almost always she will involve her little brother in some way, shape or form.
- I Am A Bunny book: We've had this book since Birdie was a baby and it is by far the favorite book of both kids. It's such a sweet simple little book and a great way to help kids learn about the seasons.
- Melissa & Doug farmhouse: Birdie initially got this for her second birthday and after playing with it the first day seemed to lost interest. But over the last year she has developed a huge love of it and spends hours quietly playing with it by herself. It's great for when Teddy is napping and I need her to focus on independent play.
- Toy cars and trains: Teddy is a boy through and through and as far as he's concerned you can never have too many cars or trains. We love this Ikea one in particular #1 because it's cheap and #2 because it comes apart and he likes changing up the shape. We also have the Janod train set and both kids have gotten hours of enjoyment out of it and it's a toy Birdie will reach for time after time.
- Stuffed animals: As most parents we've gone through our fair share of stuffed animals and learned that the way to Birdie's heart is via BlaBla dolls and Teddy is a huge Jellycat devotee. They each have a lovie from these two brands and won't go anywhere without them.
- Wooden stacking rings: This was and continues to be one of Teddy's favorite "developmental" toys. We've tried several other kinds but this is the one that he really enjoys and excels at with each attempt.
- Bear mask: This one really surprised me. It's something both kids love so, so much. Either they wear it and "scare" me or they like for us to wear it and chase them around the house. It's a toy that they play with on a weekly basis and it elicits so much laughter and joy.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh DVD: I've noticed that the kids eventually get bored with almost every single kids show on Netflix but Winnie the Pooh is something they never tire of. And I'm happy because it's the least annoying and loud thing they can watch and instead of amping them up it seems to calm them down.
- Uncle Goose ABC blocks: I'll be honest with you I bought these mainly because I thought they would be a cute decoration. So I was completely shocked when I realized that this is probably the number one toy of choice for both kids. We have a set for downstairs that's Russian and the English set upstairs and when the kids get bored this is the toy they reach for daily. And it's also another toy that really encourages joint play as Birdie loves teaching Teddy how to stack.
I hope you find this list helpful and I'd love to hear about what toys your children love!