Best Toys for Curious Toddlers

If the work of the toddler is play, that it’s important that there are plenty of toys to play with.  And though you can play with anything, in my mind, there is certainly a hierarchy of toys.

For example:

The All Day Toy – that we play with every day, bring to the park, and don’t leave home without!

Green Toys Recycling Truck

Natural Toys – Including the sticks on the ground, and the pudding box, and rice in a tupperware container (when I’ve got the patience for cleaning)

The basic idea of a sensory bucket – via pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com

The Last Minute Toy – Which is the toy you bought as you were running errands and something caught your eye across the store, and what the heck, it was only a buck anyway but it turns out he really likes it. Yes, from Target.


The Go to Book – We read this every day.


The Crafty Mommy Toy – which I generally covet on Pinterest, but when it comes to spending three hours tracking down all the details, or making the pieces I find I have less interest in.  (We’re saving paper towel tubes for this and other cool things)

And what I recently realized is a category all of it’s own – The Surprise Toy.

On Saturday on the way home from an Essex County Trails and Sails event I saw a sign for an Estate Sale two blocks away.

I couldn’t resist (mainly because we’ve often marvelled at the triple story open back porch on the rear side of the house, and the semi-dilapidated appearance.  And… contrary to popular opinion “Estate Sale” is actually the English language’s most beautiful phrase.)

And it indeed was the quintessential estate sale, goods gathered and saved for the past century;  much that was not in good condition.  There were dresses from the late thirties and forties, humble crockery, steamer trunks, molding books on Cold War era politics and much much more.

But we only had a few minutes before the napping hour was upon us, so the run through was tremendously brief. We left with four books and a $5 buck bag of boxes because I love small dainty things.

If was only after the nap that I realized that 20 small boxes are the best toys for a toddler, either a boy or girl!  So much fine motor activity involved in taking lids off and replacing them, opening and closing hinges, hiding smaller boxes in larger boxes.  I highly recommend starting your own collection of small boxes.


(not the happiest face… but only because he is getting in molars.)

And I look forward to doing plenty of sorting activities – by shape (circle, square, rectangle) and material (plastic, metal, wood) and by opening method (hinge, twist, and slide)

Like this post?  Consider Reading: Making a Container Garden

PS:  That small metal box with the writing claims to be pre- 1900s (or at least the contents were patented then and can be found in much better condition on this site.)

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Author: Beth M

Life Lessons, Parenting, Books, Sustainability.

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