with the holidays approaching and a lot of indoor activities closed / canceled, I thought I would share with y’all some of our favorite toys, books + activities!!  everything here are things we own (or something similar if they no longer have the same version).  Josie is almost 8M and Parker is almost 4, so everything listed is for this age group!  that being said, a lot of these things will bring entertainment for years to come (even for parents – I love building with Parker!!).

before you shop anywhere (especially online), make sure you sign up for Rakuten (I have gotten hundreds of $$ back just from signing up and installing their widget on my browser!).  and when you sign up HERE and spend $20, you get $20 back!!  so it’s basically free money to shop 😉

and last but not least – I don’t believe in “boy” toys and “girl” toys.  i believe in toys.  the end.

 

PUZZLES

when Parker was little (closer to 1), he loved these chunky puzzles – it made it easy to grip (I also got teeny little velcro dots and attached them to each piece so that the pieces would stay for an easy clean up … you’re welcome haha).  I’m about to bust them out for Josie and since they’re wood, they last and last!

now that parker is a little older, he LOVES giant floor puzzles.  with quarantine, I’ve bought 7 different puzzles for him and it really keeps us entertained.  he’s finally able to do them by himself and I love seeing how much he has progressed the last few months! 

 

DOLLHOUSE + ACCESSORIES

I joked that I bought this for me (well, maybe it wasn’t a joke).  I’ve been waiting and waiting for the day to get a dollhouse and this one is everything I’ve dreamed of!!!  the accessory pieces are big enough so that if Josie gets her hands on them, I feel safe (minus the little sofa cushions – they went right in the trash!).  we got both black + white families for the house – we like to expose them to all skin colors (and I also really wanted the family to have two moms lol).

the past few months, parker has really gotten into imaginative play and having his toys interact and so I felt we were ready!  my parents actually saved my old victorian dollhouse from when I was a kid but the pieces are way too small, so we’ll save that for when the kids are older.

 

BUILDING: LEGOS + MAGNATILES

okay, best toys ever.  seriously – y’all NEED magnatiles in your life.  they have provided hours of entertainment for the past few years.  they are seriously timeless. and the large duplo legs are perfect for the younger kids as the pieces are bigger, therefore, safer.  I’ve loved buying different sets to create a big city — we have the bakery, batman, spiderman, airport, pizza guy, frozen, minnie mouse and more.  I may or may not have built a whole city one time when he was in school because he’s always knocking my work down LOL

 

MAPS

I am asked about our map wall decals alllllll the time!!!  they are GORGEOUS and I love having them in Parker’s little work area.  in preschool this year, they talk a lot about the world and continents, so he’s been really into showing us different places.  since he got really into geography, I purchased this USA map as well so that we could talk about the different states (note that this map does not have Hawaii or Alaska). 

 

BABY TOYS

every baby (and child) is different and what they will be drawn to will obviously be different.  these are some things that we used with Parker and now with Josie!  both of our kids looooove(d) this jumper.  it’s the best – it allows them to get some energy out and stay entertained while you get some stuff done!

the box is a Montessori based toy that teaches object permanence as well as hand / eye coordination.  they have a more advanced option as well with a drawer but this is the basic one to start with.  I love that these colorful blocks are soft as they inevitably will hit the kids in the head, face, legs, you name it.

the pop blocs will be a new addition as a Christmas present for Josie.  one of Parker’s former teachers recommended it for Josie as I was looking for some good skill-based toys for her.  they’re like a little puzzle

 

I also have a ton of products and a whole favorite book section on my Amazon Shop.  during quarantine, this baby got full of different activities as we went from having Parker in school 30 hours a week to zero AND had a baby!  happy shopping!!

 

*I may receive commission if you shop with my links 🙂