I always have a hard time anticipating what kinds of toys Finn is going to enjoy playing with at a certain age or as he moves into new developmental stages. When my family asks what he might like for holidays or birthday, I rarely have good ideas for them!
I get a lot of inspiration from a mom friend of mine in the neighborhood who always seems to have the best toys (and she gets a lot of inspiration from her sister!). She actually put together a goodie bag of toys for Finn to play with for our drive to and from Florida so that he could have some new things to entertain him!
While I don’t give her the best ideas, my grandmother seems to have quite a knack for picking out things that Finn goes crazy for. I credit her years of teaching first grade along with long tenure as a grandmother and great-grandmother!
I also love crowdsourcing and can’t tell you how valuable and helpful it’s been to receive ideas and feedback from YOU guys both on my blog and social media as I’ve moved through all the stages and ages from pregnancy to two years old!
I have tried to give back a little of that knowledge by sharing things like my pregnancy must-haves and baby favorites along the way so that other moms (especially first timers!) have resources to turn to. It’s always nice to know the recommendation is coming from someone that you know or who is like-minded.
Here are past pregnancy and baby favorites posts.
- Over 30 Pregnancy Must-Haves
- My Pregnancy Skincare Routine
- Lululemon Must-Haves for Pregnancy
- Baby Essentials: 0-3 Months
- Baby Essentials: 3-9 Months
- Baby Essentials: 9-12 Months
- 20 Favorite Books for 12-18 Months
And now it’s time to shift into full-on toddler focus! Today I have a round up of the toys that Finn has loved and played with the most between the ages of 18-24 months. While each child is different in their interests and likes, I can confidently say that these toys got a TON of use in our house…and still continue to! I’ll put an asterisk next to his absolute faves.
FAVORITE TODDLER TOYS: 18-24 MONTHS
- *Play kitchen. A couple of months ago, a friend handed down her Little Tikes play kitchen. While that style is now retired, this Step2 kitchen is similar. I bought a couple of sets of play food to compliment it. What I love about this toy is that he can really grow with it and I can see him using it for the next few years!
- *Infant gym and ball coaster. This toy lives at my grandmother’s condo and it has truly stood the test of time! It’s a grow with me toy where you start by just lying the baby on the mat and letting them look at the hanging toys. As they grow, it becomes a fun and interactive ball toy. He still plays with it two years after we bought it!
- Water drawing aqua mat. Markers haven’t been an option for us because Finn puts them straight into his mouth no matter how hard I try to convince him otherwise. I love this coloring mat because it uses a pen filled with water as the ink. Different colors and patterns show up as they “color” and disappear when it dries so they can use it over and over.
- Mr. Potato Head. This classic toy has been a big hit with Finn recently. He’s just starting to get the coordination to place the pieces into the small holes and needs help sometimes but he adores working on it and pointing out “eyes, hat, ears, glasses, etc.”
- Grimm’s wooden rainbow stacker. This is another toy that Finn has just started to get into recently but the possibilities for imagination and play are endless. There are so many creative ways that you can use this stacker. Just a few days ago we were creating tunnels to push cars through. This toy is pricy and I received it as a gift when I was pregnant. I also found this knockoff/budget version but the reviews are not as great as the original.
- Sound puzzles. Finn loves to play with wooden puzzles. We have this vehicles sound puzzle, this zoo animals sound puzzle and this shapes sound puzzle.
- Stuffed Mickey Mouse. Finn is not super into stuffed animals but if he’s going to play with one, it’s going to be Mickey. He holds Mickey, hugs him and gives kisses. So sweet.
- *Cozy Coupe. Okay, can we agree that this is one of those iconic childhood toys that you just have to buy for your toddler!?
- Wooden peg toy. This is one my grandmother ordered and that we keep at her place. Finn loves playing with it when we’re visiting.
- Wheelie bug cow. This was a ride-on present from some of my girlfriends for his first birthday and it’s one that has stayed relevant all year.
- Lawn mower. This was a second birthday present but would have been a hit LONG before because he’s been a fan of any toy he can push since he was learning to walk.
- *Baby Shark smart phone. This one is a blessing and a curse, ha. Finn’s favorite jam has long been Baby Shark and this toy smartphone lets him play it over and over to his heart’s content…and let me tell you that there have been some stroller rides where I have listened to Baby Shark on repeat 10+ times. Bonus…it also does ABCs and numbers!
- Bath animals. These are cheap and simple but Finn loves to play with them at bath time. He lines them up, says what animal they are and makes animal sound. They also squirt water!
- *Laugh and learn crawl around car. This car has over 75 interactive songs and phrases and an interactive dash. Finn loves to hang out in this car and I find all sorts of things he’s decided to take in the car with him, haha.
- *Kid’s Dyson vacuum. Oh my gosh, this wins for Finn’s favorite toy of 18-24 months. He plays with it all the time! It’s super realistic and he likes to get it out and help me when I vacuum so we’re tandem cleaning. We discovered this vacuum and the car above from the friend I mentioned earlier. He loved playing with both at her house so much that I ordered them as soon as we got home.
- Wooden shape house. My grandmother gifted this to Finn for his second birthday and he fell for it immediately! He likes to fit the shapes through the holes and move the beads. He also likes to find other things to put in the house, like his Hot Wheels cars.
- Mega Bloks. This was a first birthday present that he’s played with more and more as the year has progressed.
- ABC, 123 foam bath toys. Finn’s obsessed with sticking these all over the bath tub and they’re helping with letter and number recognition.
- Musical guitar and piano combo. Finn is a music man so this 2-in-1 piano that flips into a guitar is perfect for him. It has over 30 melodies and 6 different instrument sounds.
- Loops and swoops amusement park. This was passed down from a neighbor and Finn has fun rolling all sorts of things down the ramps from balls to cars.
TWO IMPORTANT REMINDERS
First, some of the best toys are the things that you have around the house. Finn spends countless hours lining up and stacking various things that he finds around the house. He also loves to help me with things like doing laundry when we’re inside and collecting sticks when we’re outside.
And second, books and reading are EVERYTHING! I keep books for Finn in the den/playroom, in his bedroom, in my bedroom and in the car. I try to rotate them frequently. He will often pick up books on his own and read to himself or ask me to read. <3
Most of the books on this list are still faves and I’ll write a new toddler reads post soon!
I would love to hear your favorite toys for 2 year olds…especially those in the imaginative, not so plastic, non-battery operated realm.
What is your toddler’s favorite non-toy activity? Finn’s is definitely moving household things around and lining them up!
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