Toys We Like

15.09.2011 Toys We Like

As it was Alfie’s 2nd birthday yesterday and people were very kindly asking what kind of toys he likes, I had a little think about it and came up with this list. Not that this is a request for gifts! Just something to remind us what he’s playing with most these days and perhaps help other parents and gift buyers when thinking of their two year olds.

1. Trampette. Wow, what a fantastic investment. Pete brought it back from the UK (Argos) and it is easily the best £40 we have ever spent. We have certainly had more than £40 of joy from just watching him bouncing on it and the compound kids love it so much they borrow it when we go away. It’s a small square thing you put together yourself and most importantly, has a handle on one side that they hold on to. Recommended.

2. Play Doh. Endless fun, we come back to the play doh time and time again every day. We’ve improvised our own tools from kitchen equipment; rolling pin, plastic knife, cookie cutters etc and Alfie loves to get the plastic tubs down from the window sill and settle at his table with an adult to ‘play play doh mummy’.

3. Trains. The Brio type with wooden tracks are an absolute winner. Even though we have only a small track, cobbled together from IKEA and a Thomas the Tank Engine set from Uncle Tommy, he will play with this all morning. We do seem to have accumulated quite a few of those magnetic trains to go with this and he spends hours putting them together and taking them apart. We also build tunnels out of his wooden blocks and then destroy them, of course. Who would have thought that something so simple could be so time consuming?

4. Crayons. Well, crayons are always going to be a sure-fire hit, if a little less glamorous than the above toys. However, in my determination to get my boy into drawing and painting I have managed to source crayons that you can sharpen like a pencil, crayons that you can erase, crayons that you can use in the bath (brilliant for adults too!) and crayons you can use on a white board. It has to be said that at this stage he likes to peel the paper off them best of all but I’m still collecting, perhaps more for me than for Alfie…

5. Bikey. This is a new present from mormor for Alfie’s birthday and although he is a little on the little side (only just) he has barely let go of it since yesterday. It’s a strider rider thing, like a mini bicycle without pedals which helps them to learn balance and steering whilst still having their feet on the ground, so they ‘run’ with it. Supposedly this can eliminate the need for stabilisers on a proper bike in a couple of years’ time. At the moment he pulls it around the living room very proudly and can sit on it putting his tiptoes on the floor, with an adult helping. Again, it cost about £50 and came apart, so I brought it back from the UK (John Lewis).

6. Diggers and Trucks. And cars, airplanes, cranes, nee-naws (anything with flashing lights), rollers, cement mixers, tankers and trains. No matter how small, how second hand and shabby (charity shops are a great source), one or a box full of vehicles will always light up his face. And they are very portable when travelling.

It’s not an exhaustive list. At other houses he loves little kitchens for example, and mini tools and sweeping brushes (yep) are also favourites. Trikes, scooters and Little Tikes cars are fascinating and those mini baby buggy’s that the girls all push around have been known to cause fights! So we’ll keep adding as we go along. But it’s a start!

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