Rory’s Favorite Toddler Toys
As you’ve probably heard over and over by now, we try to be as intentional as possible when it comes to the items we bring into our home. Finn and I both get a little anxious when the house is a mess, and when you have kids it can get out of control fast!
Don’t get me wrong, Rory has lots of toys, books, and clothes, but we have done our best to be intentional with the items we get for her. And as you saw from this post, we encourage our family members to cut back on the gifts, so our house doesn’t get too cluttered and filled to the brim with stuff!
Today I thought it would be fun to share the toddler toys that Rory loves the most these days. Keep in mind, she just turned 16-months and I feel like every month her list of faves changes drastically. (It’s wild how quickly they develop these days.) But before we get to the list of faves, I want to share a few tips for how we keep things operating smoothly around here.
When we have too many toys available, Rory can get a little overwhelmed and she doesn’t have deep play with her toys. Instead, we’ve found that it’s best to have fewer toys out and about in our living room, where we spend our time. We have a few large bins in the basement that we fill with a variety of toys and books, and then we swap the bins out every couple of weeks.
We try to put a good mix of toys in each bin so it’s well-rounded – books she likes, a few fine motor toys, stuffed animals, and more. That way, when the “new” toys come out, Rory is excited to see them and it’s like they’re brand new again!
Keeping Toddler Toys Accessible
As of now, we don’t have a dedicated playroom. Instead, we only keep toys in the TV console in our living room. (It’s from Restoration Hardware Outlet by the way.) Upstairs in Rory’s room, we only keep books and we don’t play there. Instead we’ve made it a space just for reading and sleeping!
The console is great because it’s low and the cabinets are easy to open. Rory will walk over here, right after breakfast, and pull things out all day long. We have a variety of bins and baskets for her toys and we do our best to keep it organized, but it can get messy after a day of play!
During nap time and at the end of the day, we’ll put toys away and back inside the console so she can tear open these cabinets again during her next play time!
Finn and I are pretty good about constantly purging unnecessary items in our house…excess clothes, linens, kitchen stuff, etc. The same goes for toys. If Rory outgrows a toy, we assess to see if it’s something we want to save for Baby #2. If not, we put it in a bag in the car to donate. We’re pretty ruthless when it comes to this process and I think that’s kinda necessary to make sure your house isn’t overrun with stuff!
We now have a great arsenal of toys all ready for our son and anything that is broken, missing pieces, or not for us is removed from the house.
Books, All the Books!
One category that is very big in our house is books, and I don’t mind it one bit! Rory’s book collection is booming and we have lots of books upstairs in her room and downstairs in the living room console. Just like with the toys, we try to rotate the books as we go.
We also read two books before bed every night and I’ll swap those out every few days for something new. Although she definitely has her favorites, that we come back to over and over again!
The Lovevery Baby Kits
A majority of our toys are from Lovevery Baby. Finn’s mom got us a subscription to their toy kits when Rory was born and it has been the best gift ever. Age-appropriate toys come to your house every few months and they even come with a booklet on how best to use them with your child, and other ideas for playing at that particular age.They send the toys based on your child’s birthdate, so we listed her as a few months older than she actually is. That way, she can have more challenging toys arrive a bit ahead of time, and we can practice with those as she develops. So far, we’ve saved all of our Lovevery toys for our son, so we’ve already got everything we need for him!
Rory’s Favorite Toddler Toys
Okay, now let’s get to the goods…Rory’s favorite toddler toys. Here’s a look at those we reach for over and over again at this stage.
Buckle Man // Quiet Book // Baby Doll // Doll Stroller // Push Car // Grumpy Monkey Book // Water Table // Poke a Dot Book // Lovevery Baby Kit // Jumbo Crayons // Mini Soccer Ball // Bubble Maker // Pop Toys
We call this toy the “buckle man” in our house and it’s by far Rory’s favorite toy these days. It’s a great toy for the car because she likes to buckle each one quietly in the backseat (heck yes!). She brings this little guy to daycare as he brings her comfort too.Shop This
This is a new toy and so far Rory likes it a lot! Some of the pages are still a little too advanced for her, but she likes to try anyways. I think this one will be with us for a while.Shop This
Rory is ALL about the baby dolls these days and I love it because it’s helping her prepare for her role as big sister. We have a few of these baby dolls and they’re great because the pacifier is magnetic!Shop This
Since she is so into her baby dolls, we knew Rory would love a stroller to push her babies all around. Yep, this thing zooms alllllll over our house. She puts cups and toys in the bottom portion for her babies and then swaps out which one gets a ride. It’s adorable.Shop This
Rory’s pink push car was a big first birthday present and we’ve used it every day since! She rides in it for walks around the neighborhood and for trips to the park. We even put it in the grass when playing outside and she enjoys getting in and out of it and putting toys in the trunk.Shop This
This is, by far, Rory’s favorite book! She makes monkey noises “oooh oooh aah aah” to tell us that she wants to read it. It’s a sweet story with a great message for kids. We’ve since bought all of the other books in the series, but nothing is quite like the original.Shop This
The water table has been a lifesaver this summer! We set it up in the grass, fill it with water, and Rory goes to town! I learned quickly that I pretty much always have to have her in a swimsuit and swim diaper when she plays with it because the girl gets soaked fast. But well worth it for the summer fun.Shop This
Poke a Dot Book
This is a fun book because it brings activity to reading. Your child pushes the dots (and they make a fun noise) as you count each animal in the book.Shop This
Lovevery Baby Play Kits
These are our go-to toys. Every toy inside is high-quality and designed and tested for kids in that age range. I’ve learned a lot about development just from getting these toys every few months.Shop This
Rory just got into coloring and I love it! We’ve had the most success coloring after snacktime while she is still in her high chair. These big crayons are easy to hold.Shop This
Mini Soccer Ball
Finn is determined to make Rory a soccer star and they both love playing with this mini soccer ball. She is so funny, anytime she sees a ball of any kind she will scream “Dada” because she loves kicking or throwing any ball back and forth with him. It’s too cute.Shop This
This bubble toy has been a summertime must in our house. Finn loves running around with the bubble maker scattering the yard with bubbles and Rory just squeals and squeals. A fan favorite when we have play dates too.Shop This
Push Pop Toy
This is another great one for the car! In fact, we keep a little basket in the car with a few go-to toys so we always have something to entertain Rory. These little push pop toys are awesome!Shop This
One More Thing…
I want to emphasize that you don’t need any of this stuff to have a happy toddler. In fact, Rory would take the remote control or Tupperware over any of these toys! Household objects are just as exciting for a kid. But if you do want to pick up a few new toddler toys, I thought it might be helpful to share the faves in our household.
Now a question for the mamas out there…give me the scoop on what toys come next. Balance bike? Scooter? When do those toys come into play?! I would love to hear in the comments below.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.