2 days to go until the New Year, and about 2 weeks since babyT’s birthday has passed. As with any kids’ birthday party we have received lots of toys as gifts (most of which I shamelessly asked for mind you, keeping in mind T’s developmental needs and current inventory.) But bottom line is that with the entry of all the new toys I started collecting the old ones and putting them away for future babies (not mine, of friends I meant.) And that was the perfect opportunity for me to show you what our favourite toys of 2017 were.
Here are 12 toys or objects from babyT’s playroom. These are in no particular order of introduction or preference. But wherever possible I’ve tried to highlight why babyT loved it and what we learnt from it.
Musical Ball Popper
This was one of babyT’s first gifts received right when he was a newborn. Although it did lay all wrapped up and we only opened it once he turned 6 months, it has proven to be a constant source of fun and entertainment for him till today.
This is one toy that never gets shelved or ignored by him. At first, it was only the music and the movement which he enjoyed. Down the line, he has learnt colours from it and also sizes. He is so obsessive that the right balls meant for this toy should go into the maze that any stray ball caught in the maze from another toy (say a ping pong ball) is hunted down and “tantrummed” into being removed. He learnt this the hard way of course when HE put in a different ball and it got stuck in the tube and blocked all the other balls. We couldn’t find a screwdriver for a few days in order to open up the device and remove the rogue ball. BabyT followed up worse than your boss ever did on those days. But yea.. we love this toy that much.
You can buy it here: Playskool Explore and Grow Busy Ball Popper
Shape sorter cube
This was an upgrade from our regular Fisher Price shape sorter blocks that almost everyone gets in baby’s first year. We had actually gifted this toy to babyT’s first friend who is just 10 days younger than T. But I loved the thought of upgrading T’s shape sorter blocks from just 5 shapes to more.This particular toy I love not just because it offers more than the basic shapes – example, it has a semi circle, a crescent and an oval and circle too, but also because it has varying textures on every face of the square. The child can have a sensory experience too. What’s more – for an advanced skill upgrade the child can learn to match textures on the face of the square and the sorting shapes too. Fine motor and sensory development at its best.
You can buy this here: Baybee Magical Form Cube
Ride on from Little Tikes
This was babyT’s first birthday gift from his aunt and cousin sister who live in the UK. The bonuses for this were that it was yellow – babyT’s favourite colour and it was a giraffe – favourite jungle animal. He didn’t take to this until he was about 15 months or more. However just before he turned 2 years he had some new found love for this ride on. He also insisted on taking this down to the playground with him.
You can view this here: Little Tikes Go and Grow Lil’ Rollin Giraffe, Multi Color
Wooden bus from Shumee
How well do you know me? If you do then you would know I am an Anglophile and have a thing for anything British including red double-decker buses (hey, you can find them in Majas Depot in Andheri too. :P) So yes I got this because it was a bus and it was red and it was wooden. 🙂
We even paired this with our favourite London book.
What has babyT learnt from this toy? Relationships and grouping people. You see this red bus also has little faces who are seated in it and babyT learnt to group people on the bus. So most usually it was him, me and daddy along with either my side of the family which included babyT’s maternal grandma, grandpa and uncle. Or it would ferry him and babyT’s paternal grandma, grandpa and cousin sister and aunt and uncles. He knew which family or household went with which individual and accordingly slotted a seat for them in the big red bus. Ain’t I a proud momma?
For more updates on our toys, games and activities, follow my Instagram feed: MommyingBabyT
Make a Monster blocks from Crocodile Creek
This toy or puzzle if you have it was an absolute chance buy from a local store when we wanted to gift babyT something just like that. The hubby bought this one actually. But it was a very welcome addition to our playroom. They are not plastic or wooden but made of thick cardboard which gives them weight and stability. They can be stacked quite easily by toddlers.
We learnt how to create a monster that has 3 elements – Head, Hands, Legs.
These blocks allow you to mix and match and create many types of monsters or you can match up the correct head and body (which would be a more advanced way of playing)
You can buy these blocks here: Crocodile Creek Make a Zoo Mix and Match Block Puzzle Stacking Sets, Multi Color
Hammer ball truck
Oh, this one has been a big favourite to teach motor skills, colours and matching. This has been babyT’s favourite for a large part of this year. It was also our first proper wooden Montessori toy I think. An investment which I am very happy with.
BabyT loves fooling around with me, by putting the blue ball on the green ring and then saying “is that right Tara?” with a big grin on his face, before proceeding to place the ball on the correct colour coordinated ring.
This truck also has screws and a screwdriver but T didn’t seem to be fascinated by it. He uses the screwdriver to tinker with the rest of the objects in the house.
I bought this from Amazon India: GreenTouch wooden Constructional Screw truck With Hammer Ball Hit Unbreakable game for kids
Balls and lots of balls
You really can’t go wrong with balls – of all shapes, sizes and textures. We got a wide variety of balls – soft, foam, a ball pit and we even asked Santa to bring us a yellow ball. 😉
A ball pit, however, is a sound investment for the house. However, let me tell you, you can seriously underestimate how many balls you’d need to make a ball pit really fun.
Buy your ball pit here: Rrimin Portable Ocean Ball Pit Pool
Stackers & nesting toys
Ideally, stackers and nesting toys should be introduced around the time baby is a little under 1 year old. We did have them with us, but babyT was only able to play with these independently in the run-up to his second birthday.
Try these stackers which seem to be a better investment than I made. It upgrades for use from a baby stage to toddlerhood to preschooler: Akrobo Personalized Geometric Stacker Wooden Educational Toy
Can’t begin to say how much babyT loves his little fruit basket.
I would have loved to have these in wooden form, but I love that these have really been put to use and taught us a lot. From names of vegetables to colours to role play (going shopping, to vegetable vendor.)
These are the ones that we have, although I got ours from Hamleys: Jaibros Plastic Kitchen Fruit And Vegetable Basket Cutting Learning Toy Set (Multicolor)
Fruit cutting set
How ingenious and super fun are velcro fruit and vegetable cutting toys. It gave immense joy to babyT to cut up and serve his favourite fruits. And now we use these along with our kitchen set to cook and eat play toys.
These are wooden so its a super-yayy from me. I really wish I could have a stash of cutting toys in all varieties of fruits, veggies, meats etc.
Some babies have teddies and dollies. Some have baby blankeys. Our comfort toy is this drill tool toy.This was a hand me down toy from babyT’s cousins who live abroad and they got a bunch of toys they no longer needed. I introduced this toy to babyT when there was some woodwork going on in the apartment above ours and he was afraid of the noise. So I showed him this drill toy and demonstrated how it worked and the noise it made to make him understand what the noise was.
He takes this toy every where he goes and its his comfort toy now. He also uses it to hunt down screws in objects around the house and attempts to tighten them up with his drill. 🙂
This is probably a close alternate to the drill and mechanical set babyT has: ALEX Toys Little Hands Twist & Drill
Book display rack
Last but not the least, is our most beloved and paisa vasool investment of the year – our book display rack.
Why this bookshelf works for us is because it displays the book face and babyT is able to pick it off the rack himself and reads it or brings it over for me to read to him. It greatly promotes an interest in books and reading. Unlike conventional bookshelves where you can only view the spleen of the book, this rack shows the cover page and so stimulates the child’s interest. I keep changing the books on this on a weekly basis and it ensures to capture T’s attention regularly.
I highly recommend you get this one for your little one’s books: Little Fingers Multi Pocket Colorful Book Shelf/Magazine holder for kids room/School/Office/Reception
Do you have any of these toys in your collection? What has your little on learnt from such toys? If you were to buy one item from this list, which one would it be? I’d love to know.
Note: This blog post contains affiliate links which provide me with a small percentage of commission but don’t cost you anything extra.