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Two Great Toys

Toys. We love them, and we hate them.  (Stepping on a race car or lego is not a fun time!)

There are so many choices, and advertisers make lots of money trying to convince us (and our children) that their toys are the best.  Well, I have a couple of tried-and-true recommendations for you that are suitable for babies through preschoolers.  They are open-ended, easily cleaned, and you may want to buy more than one of each.

Drum roll, please . . .

1-  Soft blocks

B. One Two Squeeze Blocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

2- Nesting plastic cups (These aren’t the exact ones we own, since I found ours at Dollar General for about $5.00)

 

 

 

 

Yes, I’m serious.  It’s that easy.  The blocks can be stacked, rolled, put in bowls, dumped out, squished a bit, and they don’t hurt nearly as much as wooden blocks.  The plastic cups can be stacked or nested, used in the bath, outside, and for other imaginative play.

We have had both toys for a while now, and our 2.5 year old plays with them often.  They may be my go-to baby gift and recommendation from now on. 🙂

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Stickers

I’ve seen the “busy bag” concept many times and have pinned quite a few ideas on Pinterest; however, I haven’t actually brought one with us to use out and about until today. There are always toys and books in our car and something in my mommy bag purse, but today I considered having a quiet, hands-on activity with us.

Enter stickers.  I loved stickers as a child, and Kiddo has shown a recent interest in them, so I quickly put a “busy bag” together to help occupy him today at a restaurant.  It worked!

This one was very simple, and everything came from Dollar General.

  • Pencil bag with 2 zippered pockets
  • A small spiral notebook
  • 3 sheets of different stickers (smiley faces, Cars, and wild animals)
  • A few crayons if he wanted to draw

As you can see, he was happily occupied, and he even put a couple of stickers on his daddy’s shirt.

busy bag stickers_web

 

 

 

 

What busy bags or activities do you use for quiet time or out and about?  Let’s share!

Homemade Play Dough

Roll it. Shape it. Cut it. Bend it. Eat it (hopefully not). There are so many fun things to do with play dough. It’s easy to make, too! Go ahead and whip some up. It takes about 10 minutes plus cooling time. (Add the food coloring at the beginning, though, unless you want your dough to look like bleu cheese.)

web_play dough 2Homemade Play Dough:
1C flour
1/3 C salt (it’s drying, so maybe a little more or less)
2T cream of tartar
1C water
2T oil
food coloring if desired

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until it’s the right consistency.
Spread it out on wax paper to cool.
Store it in an airtight container, and it should last for a while.

Game time!

Our son is 2 years old, and like most toddlers, he’s into everything.

Does it come apart?  Can it be put together?  Maybe it needs to be “fixed” with his pretend drill.

You never know what will occupy him, but you can be sure he will be doing something.  Enter this simple, wonderful game.

connect four 1

Yes, it is Connect Four. connect four 2

He spent 30 minutes playing with it.connect four 3Now he asks for “game play.”  Score one for this Mama!

The Best Birthday Present

If you were turning two, what would you want for a present? Well, if you were our son, this is what you would get:

swingsetYep, your daddy would buy all the pieces,  build it, and help you play on your new swing set in just a couple of days! Talk about excitement, we hear “whee” (for slide) and “wing” (swing) any time he sees it or thinks about it.  It’s much easier than driving 10 minutes to the nearest park just to swing. Now, being out in the Georgia summer with direct sun until mid-afternoon isn’t a top priority for this mommy, but the change of pace and enjoyment are worth it.  😉

Supplies List for Various Activities

This is a list I’ve created from various sources (and my brain) of supplies to have on hand for activities with my toddler. I like my pen and paper lists, but this will be an easier go-to source for me at times. Most of these are easily available and already in my home. I hope this list helps you, too. 🙂  What would you add?

In alphabetical order for easier reference:
aluminum foil
aluminum pie plates (different sizes)
balls (tennis, dryer, ping pong, soccer, etc)
bottles and caps (plastic)
boxes (cardboard, cereal, pasta)
bubble wrap
buttons (different sizes)
canning rings
cans with lids (formula, coffee, etc)
chopsticks
coffee filters
cookie sheets (magnetic)
cotton balls and swabs
craft sticks
crayons
dried beans and pasta
envelopes
fabric (swatches and scraps)
felt
jars with lids
juice can lids
magazines
magnet strips
paint color strips
paper (wrapping, tissue, notebook)
paper bags
paper towel rolls
plastic eggs (sale after Easter)
plastic bowls, lids, cups
ribbon
rice
sandpaper
scarves
sheets (fort, anyone?)
spice bottles with lids (cleaned)
spools
spray bottle
stickers
velcro
wipes containers
yarn