We have too many toys.
There. I said it. We have WAY too many toys for only having two young children. When Addie was just a baby, we had one toy box in our family room. It fit every toy she owned and we were content. But then suddenly, that one toy box has grown into two bedrooms, a playroom and an unfinished basement FULL of toys!!
I almost think I could accept the amount of toys we have IF my kids played with all of them. But they don't. They play with maybe half of them if we're lucky. And honestly, I find that random household items like remote controls, plastic bowls and spoons, empty kleenex boxes and toilet paper roles get more play time than any of the their toys. Empty kleenex boxes are a LOT cheaper then some of the junk we have bought for them :-)
But I don't want to say that all of their toys are a waste because some toys have actually been really big hits with both my kids. Those are the toys that I often give as gifts because I know they will get played with (at least a little bit). And since this is the season of giving gifts, I thought I would share some of these toys with you incase you have a child to buy for this year.
I know a lot of the 6-9 month toys seem like a waste (and many of them are) but both of my kids loved playing with this piggy bank when they were babies. Believe it or not, they both still play with this from time to time and they are now almost 2 and 4!! Addie likes counting the coins now and carries them in her "purse". This is a great gift for a baby or early toddler in my opinion, especially when you can find it as cheap as $12 sometimes :-)
We own almost every Melissa and Doug Chunky Wooden Puzzle they make. Addie got her first one from the Easter bunny when she was a baby and she has been playing with them ever since. Blake is crazy about this truck puzzle and he pushes them around on the floor :-) They are really a fantastic gift and around $7-$10...you can't beat it.
Okay...I am pretty much in love with all Melissa and Doug toys. They are durable and unique and my kids always grab for them. They love this play food cutting set, as well as the other wooden food sets they make. And speaking of play food, you can't go wrong with this next gift.
Land of Nod has a bunch of great toys for kids, but one of the first things I bought from their store was this felt veggie set. It was such a big hit with Addie, I ended up getting her the fruit set too. They are seriously so cute in person...you might be tempted to put them in a bowl on your kitchen counter. They love playing "grocery store" with these because they are big and they fill up a real grocery bag :-) And speaking of playing grocery store...
I originally bought this for Addie, but Blake is the one that pushes it every. single. day. That boy LOVES filling this shopping cart and pushing it around the house. It's always a huge hit when other kids come over to play too. I know it is a little pricey at $45, but considering how sturdy it is and how much my kids play with it, I think it's worth every penny. Plus, Addie loves writing on the chalkboard :-)
Fisher Price Learning Vacuum (or any toy vacuum)
I linked to this Fisher Price learning vacuum because it is the first toy vacuum we owned. My brother gave it to Addie for her first Christmas and between her and Blake, I would say this is one of the most played with toys in our house. Now that we have upgraded to the toy Dyson vacuum that Pottery Barn Kids sells...this vacuum doesn't see quite as much action. But that's only because it is a smaller toy and Addie has to bend over to use it now. But...what I can say from owning two toy vacuums is that kids love to pretend clean. I can only hope that love sticks around when they can work a real vacuum :-)
I am only linking to the Pottery Barn Kids kitchen set because it is absolutely adorable!! If I would have had an extra $700...I would have probably got this one for my kids. Instead, we have a Step 2 Lifestyle Kitchen that certainly gets the job done. Blake definitely spends more time at the kitchen then Addie these days, but it has been used and abused and it's still a great toy :-)
I know I am forgetting a lot of great toys on this list, but for the most part, these are the things I think are gift worthy and definitely got used in our house. All kids are different and mine are still pretty young so I realize this only spans a small age group. BUT...it seems that buying for babies and toddlers can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you aren't buying for your own kids, so I hope this little list helped! And of course, be sure to share your kids and grandkids favorite toys in the comments. It's always great to read real reviews :-)
Happy 1st Day of December everyone!