I decided to put together this list because this past Christmas I knew of one thing we were getting for Branson (our new doggie, Link!) but when it came to anything else, I was stumped! I didn’t find many lists of toys that would suit us (we don’t go for the typical noisy, flashy playthings) so I thought this would be helpful for other parents out there like me! 🙂
So to get an idea of whose taste we are dealing with 😉 Branson is two years old as of November 2018. He is a very observant toddler! He is always watching what we’re doing and honestly would rather mimic us and use the real deal instead of playing with his toys hahah. Branson loves to explore and test limits, always challenging himself…and us! Here are the toys that Branson plays with the most, and seems to love engaging with over and over again.
Side note; I promise this post isn’t sponsored! I am not profiting from this post in any way. I link items to make it easier for you to find them and I just find a good brand and I tend to love a lot of their items! ❤
These are a serious hit in our house! Branson always gets excited when I pull them out. These specific flash cards are on a ring, which makes it SO easy to use and store and I don’t have to worry about them getting everywhere when we play with them! Branson loves remembering what the image is and I love seeing him work through it. His joy when he is correct is such an amazing thing to witness as a parent! These Hungry Caterpillar cards are also a great option; SUPER sturdy, nice and large with clear pictures.
Such a fun, challenging way to learn shapes and colors organically. We don’t really like to push kids to learn before they express interest and readiness. Branson originally just stacked the shapes however he wanted, but over time started to naturally learn how to match the colors and now loves to put the pieces where they belong. Recently, he’s even started saying “circle” or “square” as he stacks! Stores very easily on a shelf.
If I would read him books all day long, I think Branson would sit there and listen. All day long. He is just like his mommy and daddy! 🙂 He will wake up and immediately grab a book and drag it back into bed. We currently read all Pete the Cat, Little Critters, The Little Blue Truck series (our fave!), and I love going through the kids’ book section near the checkout at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s.
Wooden Trucks and Road Mat
Being a small boy, Branson loves anything trucks and motorcycles and tractors…Zachary worked in the farm field up until this winter, and Branson was obsessed with all the giant tractors! ❤ He was gifted a roll-up road map rug for Christmas from a family member and he loves it! He will create a road out of anything, but this is a nice little mat to leave in his main play area. Our exact mat is mostly out of stock online, but I did find it listed here on eBay! This Round The Speedway Racetrack Rug and this Round The City Rescue Rug are adorable options at the same price and size. If you’re looking for something bigger, I love the look of this Jumbo Roadway Activity Rug.
We try to avoid plastic completely in our home. The kitchen is the most important space to follow this in, but toys that Branson plays with on a daily basis are a priority as well. I absolutely love Melissa and Doug wooden truck sets! They’re moderately priced and a great, durable choice over plastic options. We have this dump truck and trailer, this construction truck play set, and more.
When Branson was about 18 months, he started pretending to make and eat food. At my mom’s house, she had play food and a play kitchen and he would just bring me all kinds of things for an hour or more! We finally decided that for Christmas 2018, we would get Branson a play kitchen to have at home. He LOVES it!! He is obsessed with cooking food and “eating” it. We purchased this Melissa and Doug kitchen. We purchased this wooden food set that is also Melissa and Doug and this felt food set. I linked them to Amazon but both can be found at Target!
Branson loves to help in the kitchen, and this is like his own little version of what he watches me do regularly. He will sit and play with this wooden set for such a long time! It’s so neat, it comes with a little wooden chopping knife and a basket for it to be stored in.
Okay, so the toys are definitely not as good as the real thing to Branson! He does play with them and love them but if there is any chance he can use Daddy’s real tools, you can bet those toys will be tossed aside in an instant. LOL! I would like to get a better quality set for him as he gets older, but for Christmas I just went by Amazon reviews and purchased this one from Amazon. The drill is his biggest obsession! He calls it his “zizz” and it goes everywhere with us. I love these two workbenches: the Wooden Project Workbench by M&D and this Master Workbench by Hape. This little set also looks really nice and is at a good price!
Since we entered the world of playing out different situations on a daily basis (around 20 months), Branson loves loves loves to pretend to go to work! Every time it’s, “Bye bye! Love you! See you soon! Be right back! I go to work!” *Cue my heart melting* So I play along and tell him bye, and he’s typically hopping on his “truck” to go to work to get the corn and put it in the bins LOL. He currently has a couple of ride-on toys he uses, this wooden one from Amazon and this Radio Flyer 4-In-1. I love the Radio Flyer for going on walks, since I can control it from behind. Another option he would also LOVE is this Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster.
Electric Ride-On Tractor
So this was a splurge! But for Branson, so worth it. We got this for him for his second birthday this past fall and it is a daily use item, for sure. It’s the Peg Perego John Deere Ground Force Tractor with Trailor. This seems like a very durable tractor, he LOVES hauling things around the yard in the trailer. I really like the two different speeds, the faster speed is FAST! This little thing really goes! It’s a little too fast for him just yet, so we use the stopper to keep him from putting it in second gear. It’s not great on slippery grass but that’s a quick fix (I learned from reading Amazon reviews lol). A less expensive option I found is this Mercedes styled electric car that comes with a parental control option, so that’s nice for the younger crowd!
So I looked at a lot of reviews on indoor trampolines, because the first couple I checked out had negative reviews on quality. We went with this LBLA Kids’ Trampoline and I am very pleased so far! I wanted something for Branson in the winter months because I am not big on spending hours out in the cold, and I know he needs to be active on a regular basis. Also, regular “rebounding” is great for lymphatic health in children (and adults) so this was something I really wanted in our home. The trampoline gets lots of use here! It’s sturdy, solid, and I can adjust the handrail as Branson gets older. I highly recommend!
So this was just a list of ten of Branson’s current favorites. We have many, many options we’ve both loved over the last two and a half years so I may do another list of baby toys, etc. I hope this helped you out!
What is your toddler’s current favorite toy?? We’re always looking for new ones here! ❤