Before I was a parent, I had a hard time figuring out what were great age appropriate toys to buy for my friends’ kids. I was always asking my friend Michele for what I should buy anyone. It wasn’t just about knowing what they might like, but what would be something they could understand and not above or below their skill set. Aubrey has had some great toys that grew WITH her. While she received some for her first birthday to play with, she really didn’t get the hang of it until she was 18 months or older. But did that mean she just let it collect dust? No. But as she grew, the way she used it would also be different.
Take this toy for example. A friend of ours had one at their house for their son. Initially, Aubrey had a blast just hammering the pegs in, then flipping it over and doing more hammering. After awhile, she started pulling them out, and grouped them by color. Then we played a game where I asked her for a specific color, and she’d hand it to me. This is a great toy (and GREAT price point!) that can grow with the child.
Blocks are one of Aubrey’s favorite things. At church they have large foam ones you can build up. It’s great for her to learn patience (especially when they fall over and you have to start again) as well as hand-eye coordination. Melissa & Doug has a cardboard set and is also in the primary colors. Many of her cartoons discuss how the primary colors can create new colors when you mix. Always a great way to add in some additional education. Not to mention building the tallest tower in the wooorrrldd! (shout out to one of her favorite shows, Daniel Tiger!)
Aubrey also LOVES puzzles. I can’t remember if she got this as a gift or if I bought this one for her. It is a matching fish puzzle. When she first started using it (around 18 months) it was more about hand-eye coordination to get the pieces in the spots. Now that she’s older, it can be used to match up the colors correctly. Since they’re made of wood, they also will hold up a lot better than cardboard pieces as they sometimes end up in her mouth.
Another puzzle. This one she started using very early. The shapes are nice and large and love that the entire piece is painted front and back (the back sides are solid color). Aubrey likes to make the car drive around on the floor, and we also have used them to trace with chalk on her chalkboard easel.
All of these items are also great if there’s a second (smaller) child in the home. The wooden toys will hold up really well to be passed along. So these are some of my recommendations for gifts for two year olds (or even for a one year old birthday so they can grow into them).
Oh and Melissa and Doug are having a sale for buy one, get one 50% off the Classic Toys! Enter CLASSICBOGO at checkout!
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