Little One is fast approaching his 2nd birthday at the end of this month, and I have been spending a lot of time browsing online and in the shops to find the perfect birthday present ideas for him. Watching him play everyday, I get a good idea of the sorts of things he enjoys playing with and things which he doesn't seem to ever be interested in. Some things just sit in his toy box for months on end, so I am keen to not over-indulge, and just get a few things for him which I know he will really enjoy and gets lots out of. I am also keen to buy him some things to give him a wider variety of activities to do at home so we don't need to venture out to soft play all the time...
Inspired by some amazing ideas for educational and sensory games to play at home, I plan on making him a few simple games which I will also give to him, but I will cover those in a separate post. But here are a few other ideas for things which I think make fantastic gifts for two year olds, covering a range of different prices...
1. Train Table Set: We have already started to collect the IKEA train set range, and LO enjoys playing with it, but we just set it up on the floor and he gets bored of it quickly. There is a huge range of train table sets available online, and they come with all sorts of scenery, cars, trains, bridges and buildings. They are quite big so can take up a fair amount of room though. We are definitely not spending a fortune, so have found a few on ebay for a really great price.
2. Play dough and Cutters: We have started off by just getting three pots of play dough and a set of plastic cookie cutters. So far, Little One has enjoyed using play dough so I figure why not expand the collection and get a few more different shaped cutters. You can also get sets which include rolling pins and tubes which squeeze out the play dough like strands of spaghetti!
3. Wooden Puzzles: Little One started to take an interest in these a few months ago and happily sit and sort the shapes into the right places. Melissa and Doug do loads of these and I found lots in their range at fantastic prices in TK Maxx, including vehicle and dinosaur themed ones.
4. Easel: When we do painting or drawing, we tend to sit on the floor to do it, but I think an easel enables little ones to be a bit more independent with their art. It can always be set up in a room with chalks or pens available and it can also be used in the garden. I think we are going to buy this Mala one from Ikea as it's only £16 and has a chalk side and a whiteboard for pens.
5. Jumbo Chalks: Little One hasn't really used chalks before so I thought these would be great either to use with the easel or outside where he can draw on paving slabs on the patio. This is something I remember most vividly from my own childhood and I know I had hours of fun using them- drawing flowers, people and even making my own game of hopscotch.
6. Wooden Building Blocks: I can't actually believe we haven't got any of these yet as again, I know I had some as a child, and enjoyed playing with them for years, until I as at least 9 or 10. I look online at a lot of Montessori activities and wooden blocks always come up as a great open ended activity as they can be used in so many different ways.
7. Helping Hands Motor Skills Set: As I mentioned above, I am planning on making some games for LO to play, and I saw these on a post on The Imagination Tree blog. They are aimed at 3+ but they are great for helping little toddler hands develop fine motor skills. These can be used in all sorts of ways- using a pipette to transfer water from one bowl to another and tweezers to search for treasure or to lift objects out of trays.
8. Wooden Play Barn: Little One loves anything to do with farms, farm animals and tractors so I would love to get him a little wooden play barn with figures to move around. Most of the ones I have found are age 3+ probably due to small parts, but I have found this gorgeous barn which comes with extra chunky wooden pieces and is suitable for age 18 months to 36 months. It comes with 53 wooden pieces and is great for encouraging imaginative play.