Baby Cubby- Toddler Toy Wish List

*Affiliate links below* I was provided with a gift card from Baby Cubby in exchange for this post, all words and thoughts are my own*

Moving from a baby to a Toddler is a big deal. You are in a whole new stage of development and with that stage come new toys, new equipment and new needs that can seem overwhelming. With the Toddler Essential Toy List I provide you with here you will be able to entertain and even learn with your toddler. When I go looking for any new product I always like to research the company I will be purchasing from. In general I like to buy from responsible businesses where I know I can get support if I need it. Baby Cubby is just that it is more than a business, The Baby Cubby is for every parent out there who has ever felt overwhelmed or discouraged about becoming a parent. The Baby Cubby team is made up of parents who have been there, they know what it’s like and they are passionate about encouraging, inspiring, and reminding parents how amazing they are and how important their role is.   The way they do that is by finding the best and safest baby gear and providing it to parents in a fun shopping experience where they do things like test strollers on their stroller track, price match everyday – even AMAZON, offer free shipping nationwide at BabyCubby.com and actively engage with parents via social media and their cubby community blog to discuss some of those hard topics of parenting.

Here it is my Toddler Wish List

Hape Toys Beaded Raindrops

I have not met a child or adult for that matter who does not like the soothing sound of a rain stick. Make it see through, where your child can observe cause and effect, and see how those beautiful beads move up and down as they turn the rain stick from one side to the other and up and down and it is that much better. Well you have cognitive and auditory development covered in one toy as your child problem solves and discovers how they can make sound with this awesome and beautiful toy.

Hazel Village Organic Animal Doll

There are so many to choose from seriously, how can you stop at just one or two. These beautiful stuffed animals are organic and oh so cuddly. Not only that but they are a great way to boost your child’s social/emotional understanding, can help with language development and are a great way to work with your child to support dramatic and imaginary play. Your child can  play on their own with these precious dolls to create imaginary tea parties, super animal rescues and so much more. I love them mostly because my boys love dolls just as much as my daughter and these dolls cater to both boys and girls.

What Do You Do With An Idea? Book

What Do You Do With A Problem? Book

These two books are two of our favorite books. And they tackle subjects that aren’t usually talked about in this way. It is about solving in a broader range then most books. You are talking about an idea as if it were something fragile you protect it and then watch it grow and become something amazing. With a problem you don’t run from it you face it and figure it out. You can mold it to cover a wide range of scenarios. While these two books are not toddler specific, it is so important to read to your child for at least 15 minutes a day and these are books that will grow with your child. My toddler niece loves these books; my preschooler takes something different from them and loves them as well. My second and fourth graders also love these books and have deciphered the deeper meaning from them. With these books and any other amazing books you find you will be helping your child develop their literacy and language skills.

Boon Marco Bath Toy

In our house we love water toys. We regularly use bath toys in water table exploration which can be as basic as a shallow Rubbermaid tub with an inch of water in it. (Always supervise your toddler near any water play). Bath time is just more fun with toys and can be a way to further your child’s science and observation skills. This little toy is one of those toys that is just a blast where ever you decide to play with it. In the tub you can watch it bob up and down with its little light and then dive down to the depths of the tub. We use this toy both in and out of the water. My son likes to use it for imaginary play as well. It is a toy that can spark interesting topics of discussion as your child grows. With toddler emerging language you can pick vocabulary to introduce and develop such as “above”, “the divers head is ABOVE the water” “below” the divers body is BELOW the water” you are also teaching concepts at the same time. Have your child raise their hand “it’s above the water” then lower their hand into the water “it’s below the water” so that with this vocabulary you are teaching concrete concepts as well. You can expand as your child discovers and masters vocabulary and concepts.


Tegu Blocks

No Toddler or Preschool Toy list would be complete without TEGU blocks. They are by far one of the greatest toys for any aspiring architect. I will admit I have been known to play with them while the kids are napping. They are addictive and so fun. While standard building blocks are wonderful, the smooth feel attractive colors and amazing hidden magnets in the tegu blocks set them apart. While playing with blocks your toddler is learning

  1. Problem solving. Sometimes it is intentional: “I want to build X. How do I do that?” Other times it is in-the-moment: “To go higher and add to one side, what can I use?”—Peter Pizzolongo
  2. Imagination. Children can follow their own plan, or they can share a friend’s vision and work together to create something they never dreamed of.—Karen Cairone
  3. Self-expression. Blocks offer many ways for young dual language learners to explore, express themselves, and demonstrate what they are learning across languages.—Karen Nemeth
  4. Mathematics. Important concepts and skills are practiced and strengthened through block play, including length, measurement, comparison, number, estimation, symmetry, balance.—Kristen Kemple
  5. Continuity and permanence. Block play engages spatial sense and motor abilities; it can be a solo or a group effort; block creations can stand for an indefinite period of time.—Lawrence Balter
  6. Creativity. Blocks and other loose parts can be moved freely by children, to be combined and recombined in countless ways.—Angela Eckhoff
  7. Science. Blocks offer opportunities to test hypotheses and build scientific reasoning.—Gayle Mindes
  8. Self-esteem. Children discover that they have ideas and that they can bring their ideas to life by creating, transforming, demolishing, and re-creating something unique.—Holly Bohart
  9. Social and emotional growth. Blocks help children learn to take turns and share materials, develop new friendships, become self-reliant, increase attention span, cooperate with others, and develop self-esteem.—Kathleen Harris
  10. Development in all areas. Block play requires fine and gross motor skills. Blocks enhance children’s problem-solving abilities, mathematics skills, and language and literacy abilities. And constructing “creations” builds self-esteem and feelings of success.

All of that from just building with blocks. And a toy like Tegu blocks is one that will grow with your child, in fact my ten year old loves playing with them just as much as the toddlers do. They just play in different ways.

I hope this list has helped you and at least given you a jumping off point. Are there any toys you found your toddler couldn’t live without?

 

HABA: My Little Town and  Land of the Fairies Play Cubes

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Every toddler loves to gather toys and pack them away for an adventurous trip somewhere within their imagination. Every one of my kids have done it and every child I have every observed in my long years of preschool teaching has also enjoyed this activity. In fact they crave it. Just watch any toddler who finds a bag, backpack, box, even a cup will do will start collecting items to put inside it. This developmentally appropriate behavior is quite adorable to watch, I remember with all my kids getting ready to leave to go run an errand just to hear a toddler yelling at me “Wait! I got to get my stuff!” As they scramble around to fill a canvas bag, a sand bucket, even a ziploc baggy with the items necessary for our trip into the unknown (or the supermarket). HABA has come out with the cutest developmentally appropriate toy ever! I love these adorable packable toys and so do my kids. These toy is perfect for taking really anywhere to keep your kids entertained
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The Land of the Fairies- Planet Play Cube comes as a thick cardboard cube. Just wait while the outside is adorable when you open up this cleverly folded cube you are submersed into an amazing magical world full of imagination with wooden characters to play with.
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My boy loves the Land of the Fairies cube but he also is head over heels for the My Little Town – Planet Play Cube . Again a thick cardboard cube hides a great surprise, a main street to navigate.This set includes the cube with wooden accessories to play with in this case 2 cars and 1 traffic light.
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Buy It: You can purchase the My Little Town – Planet Play Cube and the Land of the Fairies- Planet Play Cube from the HABA site.

Disclaimer: I received the HABA Play Cubes for review purposes. All my opinions are my own.

Learning Resources Stem Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set

IMG_20160413_152154966We have been working on STEM/ STEAM activities for some time now. While I have the science, math, art and engineering activities pretty well situated finding suitable technology has been harder for me to incorporate. When we look for new toys we are always looking at what and how the kids will be learning from them. By introducing children to the fun of coding and puzzle solving with this colorful, programmable mouse with a build-able customizable maze we have introduced our technology. This toy offers a  great way to introduce young children to science, technology, engineering, and math. Children program the mouse with easy push-button controls to follow their created maze and find the cheese. The Mouse lights up and makes adorable sounds setup is perfect for tabletop or floor play. My children love setting the maze up in different ways. Children experience STEM through hands-on activities and experiments while challenging them to think critically, solve problems effectively. While this toy is definitely ideal for ages five plus my three year old also loves helping his big brother and sister set up the maze and he really enjoys watching the mouse after it has been programmed go through the maze. I have also let me try coding just on a much smaller scale where the mouse only needs to be programed one to five paces. If it is nice and simple my three year old can feel accomplished and we can work towards more complicated coding.

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There are also two different kinds of cards that come with the Learning Resources Stem Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set. One type of card is a maze card that shows examples of mazes you can setup, they help to give ideas. My kids do prefer creating their own mazes. But it is also a learning experience to try and duplicate and follow an example. The other type of card is one that helps with the coding. The cards have the symbols for the coding patterns so you lay out each card in front of you so you can see the code you will need to input into the mouse. We have found it helpful especially when our mouse doesn’t find the cheese and goes a little astray we can follow the code we set and find the kinks in our coding a little easier.
stemThe race is on to build hands-on coding skills! Build your maze, and then use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for Colby, the Programmable Robot Mouse. Program the sequence of steps, and then watch Colby race to find the cheese! This deluxe set includes 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided activity cards, cheese wedge, and Activity Guide to provide the perfect hands-on introduction to coding concepts. Create your path with 16 maze grids to create a 20″ x 20″ maze board, 22 maze walls, and 3 tunnels for endless possibilities. Colby lights-up, makes sounds, and features 2 speeds along with colorful buttons to match coding cards for easy programming and sequencing. Add multiple players with Jack, the Programmable Robot Mouse (LER 2841), sold separately. Colby measures 4″L and requires 3 AAA batteries (not included).

Disclaimer: I received a free product to help facilitate this review. The opinions expressed in this review are mine and unbiased.

HABA’s Little Friends Bendy Dolls

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HABA’s Little Friends Bendy Dolls are a huge success at my house! My daughter and my son love these cute little bendy dolls. They are perfect for little hands. The arms and legs bend easily and they are just right for all the imaginary play your child can think up.
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My daughter who is 9 instantly fell in love with these dolls and put them to play right away in her doll house.

While she is at school my 3 year old loves playing with these dolls. They have been added to his fun sensory bins where we build playgrounds for them and obstacle courses. He has them zooming through the air like superman and back down again just in time to have lunch with him.
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BUY IT: HABA’s Little Friends Bendy Dolls are sure to be a hit with your little ones. These 4 inch tall “bendy dolls” are made from flexible soft plastic, with metal wires inside which allow for them to be posable. MSRP: $7.49. For ages 3 years +. Available at www.HABAusa.com

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Educational Insights The Sea Squad

This post includes affiliate links
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Meet the Sea Squad: Flipper the anglerfish, Dipper the octopus, Chomper the shark, and Bob the clam.

Pretend play and puppet shows will be a splash when these comical marine friends hit the scene. Their googly eyes, vivid colors, and hilarious expressions will inspire creative play and transform story time into the ultimate sea adventure.
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They’re Learning!

Encourages self-expression
Inspires dramatic and creative play
Develops communication skills

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4 Sea Animal Puppets-on-a-Stick perfect for pretend play
Great for puppet shows, circle time, YouTube videos, family announcements, and more
Two ways to open and close mouth
Wipe-clean surface
Part of the best-selling Puppet-on-a-Stick™ line
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Buy It: You can purchase the whole Sea Squad on the Educational Insights Site