Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Toys my children ACTUALLY play with.

*** If you want to join in, read the post here and then link up to the MckLinky below. It will be open for a couple of days. If you do not have a post ready to go this week, I will be posting a new one each Thursday. It doesn't have to be a new post, an OLD POST about a toy that your child loves would be fine! Also, post or email me if you have a question about a toy that you do not own but are considering buying so that we can look for someone to give you a review of it.
For example, I have two little boys so it is very hard for me to decide what to buy my five year old niece. I would love some suggestions.

Alphabet Floor Foam Alphabet

This week I would like to share a toy that my sister bought for D for his 2nd birthday. The Alphabet Floor Foam Mat instantly became one of D's favorite toys.
Here are some of the activities that we have done with the Floor Mat.
1. Teaching Letters. I actually credit this mat for helping me teach D his letters. D is a very hands-on learner so being able to touch and move the letters were essential for him. I would remove one or two letters and ask him to put the "E" back.
2. Letter Hide and Seek. I would hide letters around the room and D had to find them and put them back in the correct place on the mat.
3. Hopscotch. Set the letters up in the form of "hopscotch" and jump on the letter and call out its name.
4. Write words. This has been a recent addition. D is almost four and VERY interested in spelling words. I will call out the letters and D will attach them in the correct order.
1. Educational.
2. Fun. Who wouldn't love a giant puzzle?
3. It has large pieces that even little hands can manipulate.
4. It is durable. Mine, however, have lots of teeth marks from M.
1. It has LOTS of pieces. Have you noticed that that drives me nuts?
2. I could not find a Spanish edition so there is no "ñ." (A con for us.)
3. You need lots of free floor space because it is fairly large.
Toys that we are interested in:
Science toys. D is very interested in animals, space, insects, etc. Some ideas I have are an ant farm or telescope. Does anyone have any science-based toys that you would recommend? (D will be 4 in December.)

My Boaz Ruth left the following message last week. If you can provide any information, please leave a comment. "I'm looking for more information about the laptops for the very youngest kids (2 and 3). We're looking at the Vtech tote and go laptop, but if you've tried anything like that, it'd be helpful to hear."


  1. My son got this a few months ago and LOVES it as well! He just turned 2 this last month and is very into learning letters. There are so many ways to use it! The only down side (and this is mainly due to his age) is that I get stuck doing all the! I leave the letters slightly up so he can at least help push them into place.

  2. this looks fun! i always wanted one but we didn't get one! maybe i will for the pea--the princess is past all that! but she does like babyish stuff! we have a telescope from toys r us that works just fine it was like $20. and for the laptop, we got the cars one last year for the pea and he's never really played with it correctly. he likes the buttons, but the games are too hard? for him!

  3. This looks like a fun puzzle mat. As for science toys, two low-tech and inexpensive things that I would recommend are magnifying glass and binoculars. As you might have noticed, I am trying to stick with toys without batteries. To me there is practically nothing between good old toys that nurture imagination and a real computer.

  4. I know this is going to sound crazy, but the best science toy is a cup of vinegar and a box of baking soda!

  5. Hmmm...... I have to think about science toys that are actually played with. From my experience I wouldn't recommend a telescope, I would get a good sturdy pair of kid binoculars. There's a really good magnifying glass you can get from Lakeshore Learning that is a stand that works wonderfully, and my kids have loved looking at stuff through it.
    I'd also recommend some simple field guide books. My kids have liked looking through them and finding pictures of the animals that they know.

  6. Raising: I have no illusions that my son will "learn" how to use a real computer using a toy laptop. Instead, we don't want him using the home computer yet, and are using the laptop as a way to allow him his own "computer" to play with in hopes it will make the family one seem less desirable.

    We have nothing against toys with batteries. We figure moderation in all things. So he's got an assortment of stuff. In fact, the trains he is getting are Geotrax, which use way TOO many batteries. But they were free and I definitely don't want more than one train system to keep track of, so we'll take them!


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