I can’t quite believe that we are here in November, but I am so ready for all things festive! I have booked in a couple of fun things for the kids, such as a visit to Father Christmas and a Panto (oh yes we have…), so am looking forward to the build up and just enjoying this time of year. With the dark nights and the weather, little joys are where it is at for me.
One thing that brings me joy is planning out what to get each of the children for Christmas. With two of the three children having a birthday in December too, there is a lot to plan for, especially when I need to think of birthday and Christmas gifts all at once.
For Mason, it will be his 1st birthday soon. It is technically his second Christmas, but seeing as he was only a week old last year when it happened, it will be a little more exciting for him this time around. I have been on the lookout for some toddler toys that will work for him, as we pretty much sold or gave away all of the older children’s toys, thinking we wouldn’t be having another baby. So looking at where there is now for little ones has been really fun.
What makes the best toys for toddlers?
Some of the best toys for toddlers are the ones that inspire play. Little ones learn through play, so the best toys for them to have are the ones that help them to do just that. I have tried to be intentional and specific with the toys that I have for the children this year, rather than just something that looks good or is popular, but might only entertain for a couple of minutes. If you don’t have the kinds of toys that inspire or encourage independent play, then it can make or break whether they are able to do just that. The price is also something to think about. You need to get what is in your budget, but it is also important to remember that the most expensive toys don’t necessarily mean they will be the best for the job.
Toys that will keep babies and toddler entertained and inspired
When you look at the toys that are out there, they usually fall into two categories. Those that are ‘one and done’ and those that are ‘open-ended.’ A toy that is more open-ended is as the name suggests, where there are a couple of options for the toy and there is the space to be creative and imaginative.
For instance, a pull along toy is a good thing to get a baby that will soon be walking. It can be fun for them to pull along the toy as they toddle. The wooden Fisher Price pull along toy here also has the addition of animals to play with too. This makes it a much more open-ended toy, giving more play options, more independent play opportunities, and more use for the toy. I really like that it is made from wood too, painted with such cute animals on it.
If there is an educational element to a toy, even an electronic toy, then I think they are definitely worth it. Leap Frog have been known for their battery operated educational toys for a long time now, and this is no exception. There are so many different elements to it, to help little ones learn words.
The pads on the pages of the book are touch-sensitive, so when they touch something, it will describe what they are pressing, such as a food or a colour. There are different settings to it, as well as having the option to switch to French as well. Talk about fancy! With so much to do, it makes it a more of an open-ended toy in my eyes, and the fact that they will be learning a lot, potentially learning French too, makes it a good toy for a little one in my eyes.
Quality from Fisher Price
Fisher Price is also a brand that you know you’re going to get some good quality toys from. This dancing penguin is a lot of fun, with different options, so I’d definitely recommend. Mason has been playing with it for such a long time and is fascinated with how it dances, moves, nights up, and makes noise!
If you are looking for some ideas for toys that will keep your baby or toddler entertained for hours, then think about the following:
- Cars and garage
- Toy cleaning items, like mops or vacuum
- Simple puzzles
- Small world toys like animals and a barn
- Ride-on toys
- Play kitchen and food
If you will be buying for an older baby or toddler this Christmas, then I hope that you have found these ideas helpful. Very.co.uk has such a great range of toys that will work for all budgets and keep toddlers entertained and inspired for hours on end.
If you have little ones, what are you most excited about playing with this Christmas? Have you started your Christmas shopping? It would be great to hear what you think.
*collaborative post – all words and opinions are my own.