Okay friends, I am about to share with you all some of my saving graces around here. Things are a little crazy around here, and I have a very busy and independent 1.5 year old constantly following me and getting in to everything. I need ways to occupy and yet stimulate and educate the baby, dependently and independently.
I have been trying really hard not to just put a show on for her so I can get things done around the house, but I’d be lying if I said that Daniel Tiger doesn’t make his appearance around here a little too often. However, I have recently noticed that these few toys truly keep her attention and keep her occupied for an abnormal amount of time. I’m not kidding you. Yesterday I was back in my room packing, and things had been a little too quiet for a little too long. I walk out into the living room and she is just sitting on her toy mat, putting the shapes in her snail, dumping them out, and starting over again. Over and over and over again.
Another thing that I love about these toys, besides the fact that she actually plays with them for longer than .2 seconds, is that they are wooden and don’t make ridiculous amounts of noise. They are plain, understated, and simple. They are stimulating, yet still allow her to use her imagination and not just be entertained by flashy lights and singing.
Faye was given this gift for her birthday back in April. This is the toy that we take on trips, and the one that she literally never tires of. Not only can she pull the snail along, but she can fit the wooden shapes into the “shell” of the snail. When she first got this, she wasn’t able to figure out how to remove the shapes once she put them in their slots, so she would just bring it to me, put it on my lap, and patiently wait for me to dump them out. She then would put them back in their slots, and ask me to dump it again. She would do this all day long if I would play along. Thankfully, now she knows how to dump them out, and 6 months later, this is her go to toy. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t play with this.
We pack the “shell” part whenever we go on trips. It is incredibly entertaining and extremely portable. I like to think that she has learned some shapes and colors from it too.
These puzzles were given to Faye by my mom when she went and stayed with her for a few days. Over those few days, Faye played with these over and over again, and each time, she got a little bit better at them. This one teaches her farm animals, while this one teaches her shapes. These are some of her only toys that make automated noises, but I like it because it does the animal noise and names the shape when you put it in the correct place. She has learned a lot of the different animals from this, and that has been all on her own.
The other day when Faye and I were out doing some Fall shopping, we picked this up at a second-hand children’s store. It has been a hit ever since. This toy is great for interactive and independent play. There are times that I sit on the floor with her and we got over the letters, colors, and the different little people, but then there are also a lot of times that she just sits there and flips them around, looking at the letters and picture objects that go with them.
I think it is really important to invest in high quality, stimulating toys that will last in your home. It is so easy to get sucked into the silly $3 toys here and there around the store, but I feel like the classics are the ones that have kept her attention and have proved their worth over time. Also, how about the pony tail. 😉