I dug through a bunch of photos and donate piles as well as pinged the memory of my mom and our nanny to compile a list of all of Skylar’s favorite toys since birth. I tried to give a rough estimate of when she used them as well as if she is still playing with them. Hope this is helpful to buy for any little nuggets in your life!
(I’m not done shopping for my almost 2 year old – leave a comment if you have any awesome kiddo suggestions you would like to share!)
Baby 0-10 Months (**Items still being used at 2 years old)
- **Ring Stacker ($5) – One of the most basic baby toys. We have the plastic one. But there’s cute wooden ones by Melissa & Doug ($8) that would probably be awesome too.
- Baby Einstein Fish Tank Soother ($40) – I was skeptical of buying this fish tank thing considering it is so expensive. But it turned out to be worth every penny. As a tiny baby Skylar loved the soft water like lights and soothing music. Once she started being able to use her hands she loved poking at the starfish on/off button. We would even bring this in the car with us because she found it so soothing.
- Jungle Jumperroo ($80) – This was another “Am I really going to spend this much on a baby toy?” purchase that turned out to be totally awesome. As a baby (4-10 months?) Skylar was mostly only interested in things for a few minutes and then was ready for the next activity. But with this jumper she would be happy/entertained for 15(!), 20(!), sometimes 30 (!!) minutes at a time. Which I can’t even tell you how amazing it is to have them busy & content for that long at that stage. (At first we had to start with a pillow under her feet so she could touch.)
- **oBall Rattle ($7) – Fun, flexible, easy to grip lightweight ball.
- Sofie the Giraffe ($24) – Great size for little fingers to hold and safe material for gnawing on. Ended up buying the teether as well.
- Elmo Frozen Teether ($7) – She like holding this teether frozen or not. A good size to throw in the diaper bag or stroller for a quick toy to grab.
- Activity Mat (~$40) & **Linked Chain ($4) – Great for developing hand-eye coordination before they can roll & crawl.
- **Lamb Mat ($43) – We got this as a babyshower gift and it turned out to be really nice to have when she was tiny as a soft surface to lay her on. Now Skylar drags it around the house, lays on her belly & rubs her face into the fur and exclaims, “Soft!”
- **Lamby Snuggler ($18) – This is Skylar’s “blankie” or “lovie.” And is required to come on all car trips, stroller rides and bed time tuck-ins. We therefore own both “Lamby” and “backup Lamby” in case disaster were to strike the original. (We swap them back and forth to keep them equally worn, er, loved.)
- Cuddle-U Nuring Pillow ($24) – This thing was random and great. Nursing pillows are already useful for propping baby up in all sorts of positions but the addition of the hideaway velcro seatbelt strap thing was a great addition.
- Strap protectors ($5) – New babies are so soft and delicate that these strap protectors were great additions to carseats and stroller straps. Babies fall asleep in all sorts of positions and having these to lay against were much better for snuggling.
- Pacifier Clip ($7 for 3) – These things are great for attaching toys (oBall above!) to little nuggets who enjoy throwing things and then being sad they are no longer holding them. Great for car rides and highchair playtime!
Baby 6-18 Months (**Items still being used at 2 years old)
- Alligator Walker ($29) – This walker is quite heavy and therefore easier for kiddos to stabilize themselves on then the other lightweight plastic walkers. We started with this on carpet and moved to the hardwood floors. (I don’t know how related it is but between the Jumperaoo and this toy she was walking unassisted right at 10 months.)
- **Pull Toy ($22) – Once Skylar got the hang of walking she started loooooving pull toys. To the point we’d (still do) tie floss to things and let her pull the around the house. Kids are weird.
- **Bead Maze ($15) – These things are fun when they are littler to just poke at but as they get bigger they can actually solve them. Little ones good for carseat play.
- **Buckle Caterpillar ($25) – Skylar started to get obsessed with highchair buckles sometime around 8 months and it continues to this day. I’d bring toys to distract her at restaurants but instead she would focus on the highchair strap for the majority of the meal. So when I found this toy on Amazon I was stoked. It was a huge hit. Great distraction for strollers, restaurants and car time. (Although it took awhile before she could undo the buckles – she loved snapping them together from the start.)
- **Lock puzzles ($22) – Skylar loves locks and latches of any sort. She loved loved loved playing with this board. Hubby asked if we are raising a cat burglar.
- **Water Play Table ($50) – This table was a huuuuge hit this summer. Splashing around and putting balls into the spiral funnel provided endless fun. We also took the Duck Water Fountain listed below and stuck it in the table and it was an even bigger hit.
- Musical Activity Table ($40) – This toy was a gift and was awesome because it can grow with the kiddo. You can initially use it without legs when the baby can only sit and bang on it. And then once they start pulling up it’s a nice and sturdy structure to grab onto and balance against.
- **Duck Race Water Fountain Bath Toy ($30) – This toy is pretty cool. It plays a song and sprays a fountain of water in the air. The spray changes based on what duck is stuck on top. Shooting water everywhere = baby’s idea of awesome time.
- **Little Stuffed Chair ($60) – Slightly cheaper version of the ubiquitous Pottery Barn version. Skylar uses this all the time to read books, watch tv or just cuddle with all her stuffed animals. And it’s super light so she can drag it around to where she wants it.
- **Magnet Drawing Board ($25) – This is a great toy if you kid loves to color and you don’t feel like pulling out/cleaning up paper & markers or dealing with drawing logistics in the car. (I had to use ribbon to extend the attached pen string because it was slightly too short for comfortable drawing.)
- LeapFrog MyPal Violet ($25) – Singing dog that reacts when you push it’s paws. Favorite of Skylar’s for quite a few months.
- **LeapFrog Alphabet Singing Magnets ($20) – Sort of annoying how much she enjoys pushing the buttons to make the magnet sing the alphabet or numbers. But good distraction to play with on the fridge while I’m trying to get some stuff done in the kitchen.
Toddler 1.5-2.5 (Skylar is currently 22 months old)
- Sidewalk Chalk ($4) – Anything art is currently awesome. And getting to draw outside? Double awesome!
- No Spill Bubbles ($12 3/pk) – She learned to blow bubbles a few months ago and it is now a favorite activity. Not mom’s favorite at 6 am when it’s 40 degrees and the sun is not up – but Skylar is totally into it. No spill is key.
- City Road Playmat ($22) – Fun place to drive toy cars around. Also fun to ‘balance’ and walk along the roads.
- Light Up Crocs ($30) – “What shoes do you want to wear?” “RAINBOW shoes! RAINBOW shoes!” Every. Single. Day.
- Calico Critters Tree House & Accessories ($70) – Skylar loves this set and it’s little cute critters. (I might love them even more then she does.) They are so freaking cute I can’t even stand it. Some of the sets come with unbelievably tiny stuff that I’ve been hiding and keeping until she’s bigger but the main items she adores and plays with in the tree house every day. (I’ve also bought the bunny family ($22), car ($35), living room ($15), bunkbeds ($9) and tricycle set ($22)… I may have a problem.)
- Wooden Blocks ($50) – Really nice set. Classic toy that she’ll play with forever.
- Any kind of art supplies – Any kind of crayon, marker or stamping tool – she loves them all. Invisible ink books are good for car rides and prevent her from deciding her face is more fun to color then the paper.
- Toy Stroller ($14) – She is obsessed with her toy stroller. We bring it on walks, to the park, into the grocery store (really bad idea!) and her stuffed animals get rides throughout the house all the time. (She also loved a push lawnmower and push vacuum at our neighbors – so I think any sort of push toy would be a hit at this age range.)
- Cars ($12 for 12) – Loves cars and trucks. Great to bring one just to hold in grocery store or at restaurant.
- Play Tee-Pee ($45) – There are a million cute teepees at various price points. We went with a $50 one from Target that has pretty starry lantern at the top. Skylar loves climbing in with the soft lamb mat (listed above) and yelling, “I hide! I hide” once inside.
- Playdough Starter Set ($8) – This is a great activity for the highchair. Mashing, squishing and using the cookie cutters with minimal cleanup on the tray.
- Princess Ball ($14) – Even though there were tons of other options – she insisted on the “P’cess Ball!” at Toys R Us.
- Little Owl Purse ($13) – She always seems to have lots of little things in her hands. (Chapsticks, little bunnies, rocks she’s found…) She really liked the concept of being able to put them in and carry them with her at all times. Also, zippers. (They have the cutest other animals too – bee, butterfly, fox…)
- Small Table & Chairs ($85) – She loves having a little set of furniture just her size. It’s great for drawing and playing with toys. Also for practicing sitting and eating like an adult.
- Vegetable Cutting Set ($20) – Bought her this set for Christmas. Think she will love ‘helping’ in the kitchen with these toys. Which will also work perfectly with her play kitchen ($65) that I forget to include in the graphic above. 🙂