Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Our Favourite Toys for Toddlers and Pre-schoolers

Toys cost a fortune these days. As parents, we often wonder which are the best toys to buy, the ones that will last more than a few days without breaking, which our kids will not get bored of and which will benefit them in some way. 

This will of course vary from kid to kid, but here are some of the toys that, between Noodle and Squish, we have gotten the most use out of.

1. Any ride on toy
The single toy Noodle has used the most over the years is one of those cheap plastic push motor bikes. We bought one for her first birthday and she has been using it ever since. At the time, it was about R100 cheaper for a plain one than for one with cartoon character stickers on. We bought the plain one and personalised it with our own stickers, some fabric paint decor and even a personalised number plate. 

Noodle got a beautiful ride on car with all sorts of sound effects from family members which she used to enjoy and is now one of Squish's favourite toys. 

2. Building blocks

My mother kept our Lego blocks from when we were little and we have since added to this collection. The new ones fit perfectly into the thirty year old set and I have since discovered that the Megablocks brand of blocks are also good quality and fit into the Lego branded blocks. Around the age of two, Noodle went through a phase where this was the only thing she would play with. Squish loves them too, though we still stick to the bigger ones for him as they can be a choking hazard.

3. Peg board

Both kids love this peg board that my sister got for Noodle. The little ones press the pegs into the board to create the picture of their choice (either from the designs provided or their own). This is great for developing fine motor skills and allows them to explore their creativity. 

I only allow Squish to play with the bigger pegs as the smaller ones may be a choking hazard.

4. Anything that can be pushed or dragged 

Favourites in our household for both kids are toy trolleys, prams and wagons that can be pulled or pushed. Noodle takes it a step further, connecting all the toys she can to each other with string and towing them with her bike or car.

5. Disco-Robo 

This toy is not particularly educational, but it is the coolest techy toy ever and even the adults love it! This robot has a very good quality, built in MP3 player. You download your favourite music and Disco Robo dances to the beat. (It also responds to clapping and will dance to the rhythm of your claps). 

Disco Robo also talks and you can chat to it using a cellphone app (it will answer basic questions), or use your TV remote to enable additional functionality- extra dances, jokes and speech. There is an attachment that lets it spin on its head too.

What are your kids' favourite toys?