I’m so excited for today’s guest post from my Twitter buddy, Mari from Small for Big! Mari’s blog is nothing short of inspiring with posts that range from design to kids toys to DIY and more. Plus, she has years of experience as a toy designer. How cool is that?! What really blows me away, though, is that Mari has nearly 160,000 followers on Pinterest. Seriously! Go check her out — and tell her I sent ya.
Hi everyone, I’m Mari (rhymes with Atari), and I write over at Small for Big. I’m so happy to be here helping PJ today. We’ve been Twitter-bonding over various things from the horrors of blogging to the joys of State Fairs, and it reminds me why I love Twitter so much: I’m always meeting new people! She’s asked for some toy recommendations for toddlers, and since it’s one of my favorite ages for toys, I was happy to help.
Whether it’s learning how to build your blocks, the physics of everything, or caring for a loving little friend, all the foundations of a toy are first explored between ages 1 and 2. It’s about exploration on every level – all those classic things you think a toy should be are wrapped up into tot-friendly packages. So this is the time to break out the good stuff (not the fine china, but maybe the fine kid-safe woods and plush!) and show your favorite toddlers what playtime is all about.
Fill ‘N Build Wagon, Educo, $53.99 – When they’re learning to walk, a push toy or walker is so very useful. But once your tot is walking, this toy keeps going, letting them bring their favorite treasures wherever they roam.
Sort A Shape House, Kid O, $29.99 – Shape Sorters are a must-have. The beauty of Kid O’s is in its simplicity – I’ve heard kids use it as a imaginative first house as well as a shape sorter. And the design is nice to look at too.
Nonos the Dog, Deglingos, $29 – Deglingos toys and accessories are some of my favorites because they’re so unique. The patchworks and patterns are beautiful, the faces quirky, and yet all together they’re still a lovable first friend.
Tatoo Tap Too Pounder, Janod, $30.00 – It’s fascinating to watch a kids mental gears turning as they discover pounding on one end makes the stick go through the other – cause and effect is so fun!
Solid Wood Drum, Plan Toys, $22.00 – Music is a great tool for toddlers, if you can find a music class for your tot I highly recommend it. We loved ours, and also love exploring music and rhythm at home with this beautiful drum.
Puzzle Stacker, P’kolino, $38.00 – My daughter loved playing with this stacker as a toddler – it was not only the stacking but the sorting of the shapes, and matching up the pieces. It’s hours of fun. I’ll admit, even I had fun rearranging the patterns once in awhile.
YBIKE Balance Bike, $80 – We have a balance bike for our daughter, and it’s amazing to watch her speed down the street! Though we don’t have the YBIKE, it’s a great starter bike because it’s wide base makes it very sturdy for little learning legs. (we have the Wishbone 3-in-1 bike, if you’d like something with more longevity!)
Baby Bubble Bouncer, TP Activity, $49.99 – Some kids need more active time than others. This bouncer is especially handy for apartments and Northern climates, where burning off some energy can be a bit more difficult.
Rody Horse, $49.99 – He’s a classic for a reason. Easy to store when not in use, easy to inflate when you’re ready to bounce across the floor, and it’s easy to laugh when you see your toddler’s beaming bouncing face.