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November 22, 2009

Most Christmas gifts are pretty simple at our house, and so I was wondering what gift suggestions you parents might have for 2 1/2 year old toddler boys. I’m looking for things that will occupy these winter months of being indoors more.

They love trains but already pretty much have a nice stash of trains and tracks. We can always add to that. My mom already bought them an Ikea easel and road mat for Christmas. I’m sure these items will provide lots of fun. We always get them each a book. But I’m wondering what items have been a big hit with other folks’ children. Sometimes the things I think they’ll like end up being duds and they play with something I never expected! Suggestions??

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Morgan permalink
    November 22, 2009 9:30 pm

    They might enjoy this:

    Although you might get tired of it after a while! If you can find some of that egg crate padding, like what you put on beds sometimes and line a hallway with it, it’s much better.

    Do they have a set of wood blocks? Tom’s nephew loves to build bridges for his cars with his. I think these are sooo pretty!

  2. November 22, 2009 9:42 pm

    I always wanted to get this for my boys but never did: a mini trampoline. I thought it would be a great way for them to get energy out when they’re cooped up in the winter. YOu may not think that’s sucha great idea w/ your little monkeys. 🙂

    New DVD’s: Thomas or the Leap Frog videos. My boys learned a lot from Leap Frog and loved the “Letter Factory” 3 yrs. old was about the time they would sit and watch them w/out me having to strap them into their seats (Yes, I strapped my children into feeding seats and made them watch videos).

    Mega blocks. Though they may need a little help building w/ them now, it’ll be a toy that they’ll use forever.

    stickers, playdough, coloring books/crayons, crafting type stuff. This might be the age where you could actually begin to sit down and try to do something for a whole 5 minutes with them. 🙂

    If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know.

  3. November 23, 2009 5:01 am

    Blocks. Nothing fancy. Wooden blocks are a toy that span the ages. We got Tim his first set of blocks when he was 2 or 3, and he still regularly pulls them out to build. I know I loved playing with blocks at my grandfather’s house when I was little. Nothing like ’em.

  4. November 23, 2009 9:13 am

    I agree w/ the mega blocks – both my guys (2.5 & 15 mos) LOVE playing with them…we build towers alll day long!


    Melissa & Doug foods (I have two budding chefs, lol)

    but if I were to just get 1 – def. the mega blocks!

  5. November 23, 2009 9:20 am

    Those are all great suggestions. Anything they can build with or figure out to take apart and put together are marvelous. I would also suggest a real metal harmonica for each of them. I bought Joel one when he was just six months old. Of course it was a slobber catcher for a little while, but soon he figured out how to blow and make sounds. It was so much more delightful to hear him create music that to play artificial musical instruments.

    Small set of Duplos (they will outgrow before too long, but are probably not dextrous enough for regular Legos yet?)

    You could make them chef aprons like Dad wears and give each a grill tool.

  6. Nicole Hammond permalink
    November 23, 2009 9:24 am

    Danielle, check out this link. My sister bought the school bus for Jack’s birthday. He loves it – the controls are easy for him to handle and it makes “truck” noises. I love that the bus is rubber – no marks on my walls! If you buy the fire truck and school bus together, it’s cheaper:)

  7. November 23, 2009 2:37 pm

    Sadly, blocks have just not caught on with the boys. We have both wooden blocks and Duplos. Not that into them, at least not yet. Only if I sit down with them and build stuff with them. Usually they’d rather make the the block containers into a make-shift drum set, lol, and beat on it!

    We have a mini trampoline, actually, but I never thought of cleaning it up and bringing it inside. That’s a good idea!

    I like the idea of play food. I’ve got budding foodies, so that could be neat! Thanks for tall the ideas and links, guys! I’ll check them out!

  8. November 23, 2009 6:24 pm

    ooh, if they’re into food, I bet a play kitchen would be hours of enjoyment!

    I was going to say skip the mega blocks at this age and go straight to Duplos…but I see you’re already on top of that–funny how kids are SO different. Elijah plays with his blocks more than almost anything else.

    have you ever heard of a Bilibo? I’ve not seen one in person, but I’ve heard they’re a great toy for fostering imagination…was thinking of putting that on Elijah’s list, wondering if it really is that great and/or if he’s too young for it yet.

    the other suggestion I have is a bean table, if you’ve got the space and if you think there’s any chance they could play with it neatly. I bought about 10-15 lbs worth of various kinds of dry beans, and Steve built a table for them. I never imagined how many hours of enjoyment E would get out of that thing. it’s mind-boggling. he has various containers in there, and shovels, and puts other toys/blocks in it…sort of like a non-messy sandbox. for the most part, he’s really good about keeping them in the table (and they’re not that hard to clean up if he doesn’t), but with some kids that might be harder. anyway, I can take pics of ours and send them to you if you want. it’s really simple.

  9. anne permalink
    November 24, 2009 3:55 pm

    my boys aren’t big into blocks either…I wish they were because they are SO cute.

    Oh well.

    Things my boys are into…
    Matchbox cars fold and go sets…they actually fold up and store nicely into basket and they get HOURS of fun out of these. They are about $10. You can get them almost anywhere.

    they are overpriced at Amazon…you can buy them at Kohls, Target, Wal-Mart, TJ Maxx even if you are lucky.

    Crayola paint brush pens. {$5}
    Rock my socks too. They LOVE these things and they are NOT MESSY AT ALL! 🙂

    The other thing my boys LOVE is stickers. THey LOVE stickers and they are cheap!

  10. anne permalink
    November 24, 2009 3:56 pm

    ps- MY parents bought the boys the Ikea kitchen this year…I’ll let you know how it goes over..but I think it’s going to be a hit.

  11. November 25, 2009 1:55 pm

    I am most definitely not a crafty mom, but this tissue paper art kit makes me feel like I’m one, and my two boys loved making this simple but fun art. Here is the link to Amazon:

    My guys are a bit older (4 and 8 — the 8-year-old has grown out of this kind of project now, but the 4-year-old still loves it), but I do think this tissue paper art would be fine for 2.5 or 3 year olds. You basically just crinkle up a slips of tissue and stick them onto the adhesive part of the design. A good project for a cold winter’s day.

  12. krista permalink
    November 27, 2009 4:04 pm

    Melissa & Doug puzzles are a favorite in our house. One that Natalia continues to play with (though she’s outgrown it now) is a 4 “page” wooden book puzzle where the 32 pieces are magnetic. It’s called MY FIRST BOOK OF ANIMALS.

    I got one of their puzzles in a box for Natalia this year. There are 4 12-piece puzzles included and they have firetruck, construction, zoo and farm themes. I think Target sells them for about $12.

    Do your guys like to draw? Natalia really enjoys her Aquadoodle mat. And you can make some extra shapes out of a sponge so that there is more than the one water pen to share.

  13. November 29, 2009 10:26 pm

    Wow, thanks for all the ideas, guys!!

  14. November 30, 2009 3:46 pm

    one other idea I thought of–playsilks. it seems like all the mamas on my message board just think playsilks are the greatest thing ever–essentially just big (3’x3′ seems to be a common size) squares of silk dyed bright colors, useful for all sorts of play. I did some looking the other day and so far the best price I’ve found is for a set of 8 or 12 at you can find them on Etsy them as well.

  15. November 30, 2009 3:47 pm

    oops, excuse the typos. it’s been a long day already and my mama-brain is totally fried.

  16. Bethany permalink
    December 8, 2009 10:01 pm

    Things my boys loved at that age….or that Adelee plays with now (yep I get a girl and she loves boys toys)
    Matchbox cars. They couldn’t get enough of them and they are pretty cheap. Adelee plays with now and loves. Line them up. Build roads with the blocks, they came everywhere with us.

    My boys also liked the parents brand cars it was a set of four and they were this squishy soft plastic and you would pull them back and they would shoot forward. No batteries but lots of fun

    Little radio flyer tricycle. I got one for Adelee for her birthday….she rides it around on our wood floors inside the house. IT is not to big and bulky but helps get some energy out. Tires won’t scratch floor either they are rubber.

    Any kind of gun or sword (even if you don’t believe in weapon play they will soon turn everything into that) Lego has these foam swords that are great they sound like they wouldn’t hold up but they do. We have the Disney version of them. My boys also loved this plastic knight costume with shield and sword from target.


    Superhero capes (course couch jumping usually occurs with these) I just shot some photos for a company that sells ones with cool magnet clasps so that they just come off instead of choke on them

    A big bag of plastic floating pool balls or bounce house balls. we don’t have room for a bounce house or pool so we just play with them….some have made it in the bathtub but otherwise……We throw them all over the house and hit each other with them…they are really light don’t hurt. Hours of fun around here. Big mess but a fun mess.

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