Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Kidlet Gift Guide: Toys {& Books} for Tinkering Toddlers

* Amazon links used within this post are affiliate; all other links are "clean."

One last go'round on the Gift Guide Carousel, and then we're back to our regularly scheduled programming!  

We nerdy-parent-joke a bunch about B's hatred of toys.  Which isn't entirely fair, but I definitely wouldn't describe my second born as "easily entertained." He mostly likes to climb, get into {re: mess up} whatever L is doing, and generally cause trouble.  He is, however, a tinkerer; he likes to see how things work -- flip switches, twist knobs, open doors, stick small things into other small things. Hopefully a few of the following items will tickle his fancy...

The Baa-Baa-Barn Farm House is actually another item I'm pretty sure both kids will flip for... My grandmother has a small Costco barn that they each adore, and both enjoy playing with  L's dollhouse.  This sucker plays mostly-non-annoying music, and there are loads of cause/effect features I think B will appreciate.  Plus it's pretty cute, to boot! 

Fisher-Price Little People City Skyway - It's huge, it's plastic, and you're allowed to chunk things down it to see how fast they go.  What's not to love?  The Little People Wheelies "All About Trucks" peeps are coming along for the ride.  +1 for ladies and dudes of color representing.

I am so damn excited about these Alpha-Bots!  Like transformers for nerds! B is obviously a bit young to be learning letters, but I know all the twisting and turning possibilities will blow his little mind.  From the multitude of glowing reviews, it seems as if this is truly a toy enjoyed by a wide age range of chickadees.

Stick together... pull apart... repeat a dozen times while Mama blow dries her hair!  Hooray for Bristle Block Stackadoos!

B is obsessed with L's rain boots and constantly tromps around the house in them.  Hopefully he'll enjoy his very own be-dragon-ed pair as much as her tulips so all twenty of their toes remain dry simultaneously.

Lately, B has been really into Play-Doh.  It's the only seated activity I can count on to entertain him for at least 15 minutes.  Considering how enthralling he also finds the recycling truck, the Play-Doh Garbage Truck should be a homerun.  Big thanks to Emily {who also does some pretty bitchin' kiddo gift guides!} for this suggestion!

After nearly a year and a half of ambivalence {a torturous lifetime for this reading addict!}, B is finally really into books!  To encourage his new interest, we'll add We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Pout-Pout Fish, The Story of Babar, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Harry the Dirty Dog, Demolition, and a set of 5 How Do Dinosaurs ____? books to his library.  It's possible we've gone a bit overboard in this category.

A few other ideas for you I haven't previously mentioned that are current hits for B in our playroom...

Mister Potato Head - This classic is still loads of laughs.  Some pieces are difficult for toddler hands to assemble, but dismantling Big Sis's carby creations is the tops!

IKEA Lillabo Figurines - Decapitation {and mixing and matching the bodies / heads / hats} is totally hysterical and fun.

Melissa & Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Set - is velcroing and unvelcroing all of these damn cookies!

Green Toys Recycling Truck - Vehicle + Tiny Slots for Tiny Things = Winning

Roadwork - If I'm ever ordered to list all the steps one takes when building a road with a gun held to my head, I will 100% survive thanks to the number of times I've read this book.

Dear Zoo - Roadwork and this guy were the only books B was at all interested in until about 2 months ago.  Our copy has seen much better days, but Dear Zoo still remains Top Dog for naptime reading! 


  1. What a neat barn; looks ten times more interesting than the Little People One. Thinking I may need to add the City Skyway to our list now, or for a birthday. My son is turning 3 at the end of January and he also cannot sit still and seems to dislike most toys unless they involve physical activity. I joke that we should have just bought him a stripper pole for his playroom because even if it had been tacky, it would have given him something to climb other than the posts on our bed frame!

    1. OMG. Now I want a stripper pole in the playroom. This could be your million dollar idea...

  2. We love some of the same books _ Harry mcclary (rhyming dog book) is another big hit here.

  3. Plan the Road! Plan the Road! Mark it on the map. Hammer in the marking pegs. PING, BANG, TAP!

    The Fisher Price car thing was a present for my crew last year, they both still love it! And it really doesn't take up that much space because it has a relatively shallow depth.

  4. The roadwork/demolition books are a favorite for my little guy too. He has a third one called Construction I believe. Anyway...I need to check out the alphabets!


happy little comments!