Thursday, June 25, 2015

Favorite Summer Toddler Toys to keep them BUSY BUSY BUSY!

One of the common themes among moms that I keep hearing about is that come summertime kids start complaining about being bored. While mine are still too little to get "bored," I am bound and determined to make sure that they have the ability to entertain themselves and discover the world around them through their creative minds. I love the idea of summer vacations, camps, vacation bible studies, amusement park trips, pool dates, mornings spent at the splash pad, and anything else that falls in those categories of being out and about and enjoying the sunshine, I also understand that there is no possible way to plan an activity for the kids every day of summer. And to be honest with you, I am a total homebody at heart and love just lounging and developing memories at home. But while I think the creative mind is the most important thing that a child possesses, I also think it's important to help stimulate their pretend play and give them access to things {toys, products, whatever you want to call it} that will help keep them busy and entertained. Let's be honest here, it helps a mama get a load of laundry and dishes washed in the meantime. And if she's really lucky, a really delicious dinner cooked.

So I have compiled a list of favorite "toys" and products that we own that really bring out the creativity in our children in between all the summer activities that have bombarded our calendars.

1. Play kitchen We gifted this to E when she was 2 and it has been a fan favorite among the two. The amount of things that they "cook" and the meals that they "prepare" for us is just so interesting. They always bring us a platter or bowl of goodies and say "eat this." And we do. Without question. And they tell us how good our manners are, and how nice it is that we try a little bit of everything. It's funny because you can see yourself in them when they are talking while they play and how they interact when it comes to meal time.

2. Lalaloopsy Baking Oven . I love spending time in the kitchen with my kids. I try to let them help cook any opportunity that I can get, and it's amazing how much they pick up and "understand" when it comes to the art of cooking. While I enjoy them in the kitchen, there are certainly moments where having them help is not exactly ideal. So this is where I am able to whip out the oven, put it in the kitchen next to me, and let them mimic and have at it. We have only had this toy for a brief amount of time, but it's beyond what I expected it to be. Now, when I am actually done cooking dinner and I am able to supervise, then the kids can get to work to making dessert. Guys, it actually bakes cookies! Real dessert. It comes fully assembled and all you have to do is plug it in. It comes with: 1 Strawberry cake mix, 1 Sugar cookie mix, 1 pink frosting mix, and 1 pack of heart confetti sprinkles! Not to mention the assortment of fun utensils to use.

This is also a great learning opportunity for our kids. We talk about time, measurements, and the process of baking. You can see through their eyes their little brains working away from all the powerful information they are taking it.

3. Blow up pool and fishing toys. Even just cups and spoons will do. Seriously, when a pregnant mama has two toddlers at home, and all they want to do is go outside but you just can't get the energy to go anywhere, then this is the next best thing. And the best part is that there is no deep end or crazy running, or even "adult swim." I get to sit in my chair next to them, and just enjoy the giggles and sunshine. Little pool toys that we love: water rings, buckets, spoons/measuring cups, fishes and nets to "fish," water guns, etc.

4. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sandbox When I think of sand, I think of sand castles, and building, and creating, and my imagination runs wild thinking of all the things that a little one can create. It's a great sensory activity, and it really can keep little ones occupied for long periods of time. We have an assortment of shovels and buckets and molds that our "castles" always turn out quite interesting. This sand box can hold up to 350 pounds of sand, and it comes with some fun stickers for the kids to decorate. There are also two built in seats and cup holders so the kids can get cozy AND feel refreshed at the same time. My favorite part, of course, would be the lid because I can simply cover up the mess and not have to think about it until another time. That and it keeps all the neighborhood cats away. It's also very secure and you don't have to worry about the wind taking it away on a stormy day or night. And to be honest with you, you don't even have to spend a ton of money on sand toys, or any at all. Just using random size plastic cups, spoons, and stuff around the house is even more exciting than buying something from the store.

5. Little Tikes Push & Ride Racer Hands down, a must if you have some wood floors, tile, or anything else that a kid can ride on inside the house. These kids of mine have races every day, and although their little legs are NOT so little anymore and barely fit, they somehow still make it work. We bought our first little car when Elli was 1 year old, and it's last us this long. I am certain we will have a third car ride lover when she comes of age too. I cannot even imagine what that will look like with 3 in the house going full speed around my legs. Bruised legs.

6.Water balloons, bubbles, and kites. We have frequent water balloon fights and that activity next gets old! They also have biodegradable ones, so there is a bonus there. Not going to lie, my fingers often hurt after blowing up so many. And bubbles and kites, because common... how can one not be outside and experience those things!

7. Slip n slide I mean do I even need to explain this one? It was our first year trying one out with the kids {thanks to the sister of mine}, and it's seriously addicting. I'm looking forward to doing my own moves next year when I'm not pregnant.

8. Matchbox cars + Track.  I can honestly say that this is not just for boys. My daughter will play for hours with these cars and so will my son, and it's some of the best play that I have seen. Any cars will do, and any track will do {you can even make your own with duct tape around the house and a permanent marker} and all you will hear is vroom vroom, zoom, and "watch out car!" It's the best.

9. Grow'n Up Heracles Seesaw, Multi Not just an ordinary see-saw, but the most amazing thing ever gifted to us by my in-laws. Can be used indoors or out {we used a lot indoors during the cold winter months}, and even allows the kids to spin around. Seriously the sturdiest thing I would have ever hoped for, and by far the best laughter from my two.

1 comment:

  1. Hi.....I would love to email you asking a few questions about introducing baby #2 into the family. Would that be possible? If so, please let me know! I would really appreciate it! Thank you!


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