Well it happened. My baby girl turned two at the end of August. Yep. We have a toddler now. How in the world is that possible? Yesterday we were praying and begging God to let us please keep this pregnancy, and now that little heartbeat and blob on an ultrasound is two years old. We blinked. Damnit. Everyone tells you not to blink, that it goes fast, that the days are so long but the years are short. They were not lying to us. We know that now. And we know that the next years will only increase in speed as they fly past.
Over the years we have collected many, many, many toys and activities for our little squish that she has loved. But there is something about 2 year old toys that are just FUN. We celebrated her birthday with friends in family a little different this year. We originally planned on the fun party, with decorations and astronomy themed everything, all the way down to the Thank yous (that still need to be written and mailed out). However with the pandemic that seems to be sticking around for a while we made the decision to celebrate with family virtually.
We had friends and family that would have been invited to the party send gifts or birthday wishes to us, and one by one we facetimed, zoom called, or texted videos and photos to everyone as she opened their gifts. SHE LOVED IT! For her daddy and I, it was a little bitter sweet. We enjoyed having a more relaxed day celebrating with her, but we knew how desperately everyone was missing getting to spoil her in person. But we made due, and it was a wonderful day for her.
One by one we slowly opened gifts and having family all over the United States and on different schedules we were able to make her “GIft Opening” last all day, instead of five minutes of paper and bows flying everywhere. Honestly, even if by the grace of God we get to celebrate with family next year, spreading everything out may be a new thing we do. We were not rushed to get her to open the gifts and be excited about each one, because she had time to play with each gift as she opened them. It was fun. Unexpected, but still fun.
That is an extremely long preface to get to my point of this one. . . We have many new toys that have been so much fun to teach her new things from her birthday and we wanted to share a few with you. If you have a toddler birthday coming up, or need Christmas ideas for the little human in your life, these are a few fun learning toys that have been huge with our household recently!
Alpha Pops! (ALL images are linked to products)
Couple things, these are softer plastic and easy for her to pull apart and put back together. We are not huge on learning letters quite yet, but it has been fun to match colors and identify the letters of her name. She loves these. They are double sided so you are only dealing with 26 pieces instead of 52. HUGE plus for us. I mean if you like tracking down 100 different pieces from a game or activity than you do you boo, but this mama is not so much a fan of pieces.
Melissa and Doug, ANYTHING
Remember the sane person who just said she hates lots of pieces? Yeah, that same person asked for puzzles, pretend food and more puzzles. I obviously had a lapse in judgment. But hear me out. These have been some of her most played with toys since her birthday, so it is worth picking up the pieces forty times a day for OCD mama’s like me, or once a week if the pieces are not lost like normal humans like my husband.
Melissa & Doug Fishing And Bug Catching Magnetic Game Bundle
These are perfect to help teach your little one hand eye coordination, and problem solving. We had to help her the first couple times she played with these to teach her how to guide the little magnet fishing rods to the puzzle pieces but it took her no time at all to pick it up and love these.
Melissa & Doug Birthday Party Cake
We love Melissa and Doug toys. Obsessed? Maybe. Is there anything wrong with that? Nope! They are made will, last forever, and encourage imaginative play and sparks learning. The Birthday cake set is held together with velcrow and has a wooden knife for her to “cut” the pieces apart and serve to her guests. Or the dog who is never interested. The only down side to the fake food kits like this is that there are LOTS of pieces. But we know she is having an amazing time playing with them so you know, you have to just look past that aspect.
Melissa & Doug On The Go Water WOW!
These items have SAVED our butts more than once on numerous occasions. We have used them countless times in the car, since they are just water I don’t care if she decides to color the car seat, her leg, or face. We have also used these many times when either Michael or I have work calls and she wants to sit on our laps. I think we have 6 of these now. We highly highly recommend them.
Melissa & Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop!
Okay, so these are just fun, and they are much higher quality than we anticipated them to be. We have hardwood floors so daily I am using a swiffer or broom and dust pan to help keep down the mass volume of dog hair that gathers at the floor boards. Zoe always wants to help me, so we decided to get her a play set that is perfect for her size to “clean” with mommy.
Melissa & Doug Sushi Slicing Play Set
Similar to the birthday cake kit, these little sushi’s are held together with colorful Velcro and can be “sliced” with a little, well not so little clever. She is a little young to be able to handle the chop sticks that came with it, but that has not stopped her from serving her dolls and dog with the sushi rolls she puts together.
Learning Resources New Sprouts Stir Fry Set
Now did she get these last two gifts because her daddy is asian? Maybe, but there isn’t anything wrong with teaching her the importance of sushi and stir fry in your diet. Am I wrong? This toy took her a little while to love because it took her a little bit of time to figure out how to use the utensils, but as soon as she figured that out, this has been a daily activity for us.
Princess Dress Up!
So these are not really practical or technically “learning” toys, but they do spark imagination, and motor skills to get on and off, so in my book they count! She has been obsessed with FROZEN and FROZEN II since it was released so basically we have watched these two about seven hundred times. Mommy and Daddy can quote them both word for word. It is a parental skill I didn’t know we could achieve.
These came from various locations, we got most of ours from Amazon, or Target.
So that’s my list. These are some of our absolute favorites right now, and though tomorrow she may change her mind and have zero interest in all of them, right now they are her go to’s. Not listed are the countless books, stuffed animals, alphabet magnets, stickers, musical instruments, tub toys, action figures, and baby dolls. She is loved. She has an army of Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents that love to shower her with gifts and let her know she is worthy of affection. And we are incredibly blessed by them.