This list was fun to make because we really do have a blast with our 3 monkeys. They love to play and laugh!! The teacher in me sets up stations around the house so that they don’t get too bored and fussy. I have different toys in different little corners and rooms and spots throughout the house. Those toys stay in their certain rooms in spots around the house so that we move to a new spot for a new activity which keeps toys from getting lost and keeps them from getting too upset. I only clean up the house once a day. Every night after the kids go to sleep, Derek and I have 30 minutes of no talking clean up time. haha He puts on a podcast and zones out and cleans the dishes and kitchen, while I get 30 minutes where no one is touching me or talking to me, and I quietly put everything where it belongs which is oddly very satisfying. Being touched out and in need of silence is a very real thing in motherhood – especially motherhood x3! Other than that though I let them play hard. I have also come to terms with being ok when people come over and my house is a wreck. Again I only clean up when it’s nighttime, so if you come over in the day time, watch your step! haha I have learned that everyone’s house is a mess and living life in the mess with people is true friendship! Having community is way more important to me than a clean house.
That said, here are my top 10 favorite toys from this year. I put months that they played (are playing with) them. If it has a “+” that means that they are still currently playing with that toy. Like I said in the last post, if a toy is able to withstand my 3 crazy kids, then it is well made and durable! And we don’t have space for toys that don’t get played with. Another fun fact about our toys and house – Derek and I sell our used toys and baby gear on Facebook Marketplace as soon as our 3 outgrow it. I know that doesn’t work for parents that are planning to have other kids, but as soon as they outgrow it, then put it up in the attic or storage out of the way. We only have current things out. We also put up half of their Christmas toys and are slowly getting them out each month. Ok, now the much anticipated list! Remember that the link is in red, so just click on the name to read more about it!
#10 Bag of Balls (8m+)
We were gifted these with a bouncy castle which is AMAZING! But we actually use the balls for so much more than the bouncy castle. I can put the kids in a small area and dump out some of these balls and it is instant entertainment. We always have at least a couple on hand. I can’t wait to get a cheap blow up pool this summer to put them in while they play outside.
There is a debate about walkers hindering babies from actually walking, but we used the mess out of ours until they started trying to walk on their own. Once they started showing signs of actually walking, we stopped using the walkers and used push toys instead like this learning Farm Push Walker. But for the months before they started walking, they had so much fun in these, and they in no way hindered ours from walking. In fact, they walked right on time if not early which is amazing for preemies. I have so many great memories in these walkers. Plus, this sit and stand learning farm walker can come off of the walker and was one of their favorite toys from an early age.
Side Note: Look at how short Lucy is in these walkers compared to the boys! For a long time the boys would walk everywhere, and Lucy would stay put and watch because she couldn’t reach the floor.
We have used our baby bouncers so much! We kept thinking it’s time to get rid of them but the kids every would still want to play with them. We got 2 jumperoos and 1 exersaucer. They love both equally. The exersaucer grows with them more but the jumperoo one lets them jump more which they love. Sometimes the only way that we were able to eat was thanks to the 30 minutes of entertainment that these bouncers provided (Not kidding!).
#7 Books with Flaps (10m+)
My kids love all Nosy Crow books! They are interactive and have lots of sound or moving pieces or flaps! Flaps are the best! They take turns lifting it up to find the animals. And we always make the animal noises. They love them equal to Dr. Seuss books. I also have all Dr. Seuss books memorized. haha I was most proud of memorizing Fox in Socks. We read SO many books.
#6 Fisher Price Kick and Play Piano Mat (3m-1year)
Our kids still sometimes play with this mat. They loved kicking it before they could roll, and it grew with them. We would change out the toys that hang down. Now they still walk over to it and play the piano that flips up.
#5 Play Kitchen (10m+)
As soon as our kids could stand, they have loved to play with their kitchen. They open and close the doors and play with the bowls and spatulas and have so much fun.
#4 Shape Sorter (1 year+)
I couldn’t find our exact shape sorters (we actually have 3 different ones), but this one is very close! I am a geometry teacher so I am a little partial, but my kids love to push shapes into these shape sorters. They love to pick the right spot and sit for a very long time with me sorting their shapes every day!
#3 Tunnels (10m+)
Our three know exactly how to get out their tunnels and pull them out at least once a day to play. They play hide and seek in them and just crawl through them and giggle the entire time. They fold up so easily and are light so it’s easy to get them out as much as they want.
#2 Band Instruments (10m+)
Our kids love to play musical instruments. We have a collection of maracas and cymbals and shakers and tambourines. They have so much fun with them!! They march around and think they are so big. They learned how to play the cymbals before learning how to clap. We have 3 sets of maracas, and they just walk around shaking them and dancing every day.
#1 Push and Ride Cars(10m+)
I think our kids learned to walk by pushing around their little Lightning McQueen cars that my mom got from Sams. They still race around the house with them by using them as walkers. They are just now starting to be able to sit on them and actually ride them. They have been so well used already by just pushing them. It’s awesome. Any push and ride car will work, but it is a must for a 1 year old!