We love books in this house, and I hope that my boys continue to love books throughout their lives. Every holiday they get numerous books. Some of Evan's favorites are Disney themed, like his favorite movies. He has quite a few Cars and Planes themed 'Step Into Reading' books. For non-Disney, he especially loves the 'Amazing Machines' series, which has books about everything from Fire Engines to Submarines.
This one is a classic. If you don't have the original, start there. My son was 2 when we got him the original Mr. Potato Head, and he loved it. He's gone back and forth since, but will still play with it... when we can find all the parts. He also loves his Iron Man Potato Head which runs smaller than the classic, so his parts are not interchangeable. I plan on getting the whole Avengers set, because there's a lot of superhero love in our house. But if you're into other things, they have Daleks from Dr. Who, Yoda, and even Elvis.
We have a good variety, because I like to mix up what the boys play with, and they all perform differently. We have simple CitiBlocs which are just wood planks. I look forward to watching my boys imaginations grow. We also have Mega Bloks, which Evan started with, but now Oliver is exploring those. Since Evan is getting older, we have moved onto Lego Duplo for him, which have lots of fun sets.
There is nothing more fun than a sensory bin for my kids. Maybe it's the fact that it usually ends in a giant mess. We love this fine motor set from Learning Resources. Whenever I do a sensory bin, I include a few different things. Sometimes the fine motor tools, or maybe random tongs, spoons, measuring cups, and funnels. This year, my boys are getting some water beads in their Easter basket to mix things up.
5. Loose Parts.
I'm really getting into just giving Evan a bunch of random stuff and letting him go at it. I'm trying to nurture his creativity as best I can. A lot of times he'll ask for some direction, and for me to show him things he can do. I'm hoping that with more chances at free play with loose parts, he'll be more creative on his own. We have glass beads, measuring cups, pom poms, bottle caps and more that he has regular access to, but I want to broaden his materials. One problem is I have to keep all of this out of reach of Oliver, because most of these are choking hazards. I plan on adding small mirrors and marbles (or maybe wooden marbles).
I love my Do-A-Dot markers. There are so many things you can do with them. I've had Evan do simple printables I've found online, but I've also just given him freedom and watched to see what he could come up with. I feel like these are a "must have" for every toddler.
|Stock photo from Amazon.|
7. Shape Sorter Eggs.
My son loves these silly eggs. I tried to put them aside in the basement so that I could "re-introduce" them this year... yeah, that failed, because he found them. But anyway, this one is great for introducing colors and shapes.
We love wooden train tracks here. We have a train table, but mostly the tracks end up laid out on the floor. I love the troubleshooting and though processes that go into playing with train tracks. We already have enough basic track, but we could always use more fun accessories to add on. I've been wanting to get the SureTrack locking system to keep tracks in place.
Evan really seems to prefer the homemade stuff, but any play dough will suffice. I have different rules for homemade than I do for store bought. Both should stay at the table, but I let Evan mix the Play Doh colors together. Ever since I had two different homemade play doughs react oddly together, he can only have homemade dough one at a time. Evan especially loves his Chuck the Truck Play Doh accessories, like the Excavator that grandma bought him.
10. Pattern Blocks.
Specifically, we like our pattern block magnets. Evan loves them, and I like that they stay in place so neat designs don't get knocked around. He's gotten pretty good at creating his own patterns and making abstract images with the shapes.
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