If We Only Had 5 Toys for Baby’s Second Year

As a follow up to “If We Only Had 5 Toys for Baby’s First Year” I thought it might be fun to share my top 5 toys for ages one to two. That second year is such a rich time of learning and exploration and toys can definitely play a role in your little one’s development. Unlike infant toys, these ones last far beyond the second year. My daughter is quickly approaching three and she is still loving many of the same toys we introduced shortly after her first birthday.

All that to say, invest in quality with toys, not quantity. Things that can help your child at multiple developmental levels, be shared between siblings (no matter the gender) and are made with with long lasting play in mind are key components I look for when making a toy purchase.

safari puzzleThe more the merrier when it comes to puzzles in our family! These chunky pieces are great for little hands that are still learning to maneuver small objects and they can double as imagination play since each piece can stand up on their own. The safari set is one of our favorites!

You can buy Melissa & Doug Wooden Chunky Puzzles here

shape sorterI’ve been thoroughly impressed with our toys made by Hape – quality at its’ finest. This shape sorter is no exception and with a parent’s guidance teaches colors, shapes, spacial skills, as well as cause and effect.

You can buy the Hape Shake and Match Shape Sorter here

blocks

I’m not sure if all children have a love for letters like my daughter, but between the fun we have building towers, tracing the letters and practicing their names and sounds, there is no doubt that these handmade blocks are a must have! Plus, I can see us using them for at least another five years so the investment totally makes sense.

You can buy Ah!Natural Baby Speller Blocks here

Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 9.02.20 PMWebkinz animals are normally marketed to older children who can take advantage of the online component, but I’ve found that they are the perfect size for little hands. This raccoon is a cherished member of our family and is often seen tucked in the crook of my daughter’s arm, snuggled up in her bed or riding along in the car. I love that we aren’t carting around a HUGE stuffed animal, just something small that fits right beside my girl wherever we go. Plus, there are so many animals to choose from!

You can buy Webkinz here

Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 9.05.36 PMLast, but not least I’m pretty much in love with this slide from IKEA. The clean lines and wood instead of plastic make this piece a sturdy and perfect for year round, indoor use.

You can buy the VIRRE slide here

Would your one-two year old love all of these toys? What are some of your top picks? Please share, my son will be one in August so I’m always on the look out for new options!

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Gretchen hails from the beautiful Pacific Northwest along with her husband and two young children. Before transitioning to life as a stay at home mom, Gretchen worked in sales and marketing while earning her Masters in Management and Organizational Leadership. Now her days are focused on managing meal plans and nap times while organizing her sewing stash and children's toy bins. My oh my, how life changes in the blink of an eye! Gretchen writes frequently about natural parenting, becoming more environmentally conscience, her affinity for thrifted treasures, and hopes of making it out of yoga pants each day on her blog That Mama Gretchen (www.thatmamagretchen.com).

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Jenny
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The play kitchen (with dishes and play food) is the most consistently played with toy at our house. My daughter got it for Christmas when she was 18 months and has been playing with it ever since (she’s 3 1/2)! I have ours in the real kitchen/dining room so we can “cook” together.

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