If you’re a longtime reader, you know that we value quality over quantity. We’d rather have a few really nice things versus lots and lots of cheaper items. We hope Annabeth will feel the same way one day and we’re trying to instill this value in her by supplying her with only a few toys of nice quality instead of lots of cheap toys.
Too many choices are overwhelming for adults, so I imagine that it can be even more overwhelming for kids (and especially toddlers). We have Annabeth’s toys on a rotation: every week or so we swap out the box of toys for a new one. It keeps things fresh and makes old toys feel new again. It also keeps her from being overwhelmed. We do our best to choose toys that foster imaginative play because that skill seems to be so lacking in so many children these days.
With all of that being said, here are our five favorite toys that Annabeth seems to reach for time and time again:
- Melissa & Doug Fold-and-Go Wooden Dollhouse ($30): My mom is the queen of gift-giving and she knew that Annabeth would be obsessed with this little dollhouse. Annabeth loves all of the little furniture and being able to carry it around. We love that it keeps a low-profile and is easily stored away in a basket when it’s not in use.
- Melissa & Doug Examine-and-Treat Pet Vet Play Set ($27): Annabeth received this from her friend Sahana for her birthday and she LOVES it. She adores Atlas and our cats, so she has fun pretending to care for the kitty and puppy that come with the set. She also loves all of the lotion/potion and ointment bottles that she can open and close to her heart’s content. On the website, Melissa and Doug talk about the importance of building empathy in our children and this play set is designed to do just that.
- Disney Figure Play Sets ($12-$30): Annabeth is a tiny little thing. At two years old, she clocks in at 21.4 pounds. She has the sweetest, most petite little hands and gets frustrated when toys are too big or bulky for her to grasp. We discovered these little sets at Disney World and they have tons of options. Annabeth calls them her “buddies” and she just loves them to death. I think it’s because they fit in her little hands so nicely. We like that they can easily be thrown into our diaper bag or Josh’s pockets and I think they’ll be super convenient when football seasons rolls back around.
- Bitty Baby ($60): I realize it’s a little extreme that our two-year old has an American Girl doll, however, we are talking quality over quantity here! She has a less expensive baby doll that goes in the camper, but Bitty Baby (named Josie) is our main gal. We picked her up in Manhattan at the American Girl flagship store, but there’s really nothing better than getting an AG catalog in the mail and ordering something fun. We like Bitty Baby because she makes gift-giving easy for family members–just order an outfit or accessory and you’re good to go! Annabeth loves Baby Josie and it is the sweetest to watch her play mommy.
- Books, Books, Books (varies): We began reading to Annabeth before she was bigger than the period at the end of this sentence. In fact, we bought her first books at Barnes & Noble as a pick-me-up after taking a third very disappointing pregnancy test that told us not yet. On maternity leave, I read Little Women and A Little Princess aloud to her and during her first summer, Josh read Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone to her cover to cover. She LOVES books and will happily read and be read to over any other activity or toy out there. Screen time scares us both, so we gladly buy our girl as many books as we can cram into our cozy home and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives.
Do you have any toddler toy favorites? I didn’t put this on the list, but sidewalk chalk is actually her ultimate favorite toy because our girl loves being outside in the sunshine.
PS: We’re thinking about a toddle bike for Christmas–shoot me an email or DM if you have a good suggestion!
PSS: We really liked Color Wonder products until Annabeth left some artwork on our dining room wall–I thought they were supposed to be invisible?!?