There are so many options for toddler toys. How do you know which ones your toddler will like? If you’re looking for toddler toys or gift ideas you’ve come to the right place. This post highlights our little one’s past and present favorite toys. These toddler toy ideas are mom-approved and guaranteed to hold your toddler’s attention.
I’m a big fan of toys with educational purposes because those seem to keep her interest the longest. I also love to provide a variety of options by mixing toys that are more active with toys that are ideal for the quiet time before bed.
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toys that will keep a toddler occupied
Sometimes you just want five minutes of peace. To drink a cup of coffee or to poop without an audience. These toys are the best for keeping our daughter entertained the longest:
Four-sided Activity cube
Some toys seem to live on from generation to generation and this toddler toy is one of them. My sisters and I remember this toy well from the pediatrician’s office when we were younger! But it’s one of Nugget’s go-to toys in her playroom.
The wooden activity cube offers five different play surfaces with different activities on each side. Check it out here.
Signing up for a LOVEVERY subscription was the best decision we made at the onset of the pandemic when daycare closed, but I still needed to work full-time. Every couple of months, Nugget receives a box of age-appropriate toys geared toward educational milestones she should be working toward. They are Montessori-style open-ended toys that allow her to get creative. And these toys are by far her favorite and keep her attention the longest.
Nugget gets so excited every time her new box arrives and I love watching her enthusiastically explore her new goodies.
Prior to signing up, I did question whether the subscription would be worth it. But now I wish I had only signed up sooner. The toys are all high quality and to purchase them each individually would exceed the cost of the box, so it’s well worth it IMO. I also found that even if she doesn’t show interest in a particular toy the first time she sees it, she does eventually express interest in it in her own time.
We received this toy for our baby shower and it is the cutest thing ever. Nugget has giggled over this stuffed elephant many times over and just adores playing peek-a-boo and clapping along to “Do Your Ears Hang Low.”
FOAM CLIMBING BLOCKS
These foam climbing blocks make a great toddler activity. Who doesn’t love to climb and flop around on foam blocks? If you’re limited on space, this option is great because the pieces come apart for easier storage.
TODDLER STEP STOOL
This step stool is a must-have for any mama with a toddler who doesn’t like to be put down. Being able to have Nugget at counter height helps satisfy her curiosity and keeps my arms free! Nugget loves to stand and watch me prep meals.
This adjustable toddler step stool is handmade from Fishers Hand Craft on Etsy.
Also known as a Pikler Triangle. When I first heard about these and saw that they could be used for little ones as young as 6 months old, I was a bit skeptical. “How do they not fall and break bones??” was my first thought. But the concept is to allow your little one the freedom to climb and explore at their own pace.
Well, this toy was a huge hit. She loves to climb and explore the new heights (though, she is more interested in climbing higher when I’m nearby supervising.) I also add colorful links and other hanging toys to the rungs to encourage her to reach higher.
The ramp is located below a window sill where I have other toys so she’ll use the ramp to practice her balance as she makes her way from toy to toy. Check it out here.
RIDE-AROUND WOOD BIKE
The winter weather can make outside activities less fun, but this toddler bike is a great solution. It is the perfect size for entertaining your toddler indoors.
The wheels are rubberized to prevent slipping on hardwood floors and it’s a great height for your toddler to practice getting on and off on their own with minimal help. Nugget loves to scoot around the house!
TODDLER TOYS AND ACTIVITIES that are budget-friendly
The great thing about toddlers is they don’t know how much you spent, or whether a new toy is homemade or store bought. This next toddler activity is homemade and a way to involve family from afar.
Homemade FAMILY TREE
One of the hardest things about the pandemic with a little one has been spending so much time away from family. One way I tried to make it easier and to keep them close is by creating a family tree wall in our playroom so Nugget could see their faces every day.
She loves to point to all of their faces and walk around with the photos as she goes about her day! It’s also been a great way to establish name/face recognition so she isn’t shy when we do see them in person.
Originally I hung the printed photos with tape, but she loved to pull the photos off the wall and carry them around. So to make them last, I laminated each photo with Avery Self-Adhesive Laminating Sheets and re-hung them using 3M Command Velcro hanging strips and it’s working great! Take your favorite photos of family members, have them printed. Next, use laminating sheets and 3M velcro strips to adhere velcro to both the wall and the laminated photos to make your own homemade family tree!
Nugget loves anything having to do with water and arts and crafts. These water crayons magically create colorful pictures as water touches the pages, without creating a mess. They are reusable too!
Colorful building blocks make for a great before-bed toddler toy. We love these colorful blocks from Mega Bloks.
Toddler toys for quiet time
Interactive books of all kinds are great for keeping little ones occupied. Melissa & Doug offers fun “poppable” books (think bubble-wrap, but always poppable!) for your toddler to practice fine motor skills.
Flip board books and books with texture also are fun for your toddler, as are pint-sized books perfect for small hands to carry.
Another toddler toy perfect for evening hours before bed are these Vosego Virtuoso Bears. They play 40 minutes of soft, calming, classical music. We have Mozart and Beethoven and Nugget absolutely loves them! She carries them around the house and loves to hug them during diaper changes. They would also be a great tag-along for car trips.
I hope you found this list of mom-approved toddler toys helpful! What toys do you love for your toddler? What keeps your toddler’s interest? Comment below!
I wish you a healthy and happy holiday season!