With Christmas just around the corner (hurray), a few people have asked me what we’re getting Ted this year. To which I’ve replied a tangerine and a lump of coal, and waited for them to fall about laughing at my hilariousness. I’m still waiting.
Hilarious jesting aside, ‘tis true that I am loath to go completely crackers in Smyths and buy him yet tons more plastic crap to fill our living room with.
Graham on the other hand, is the complete opposite, and has been looking forward to raiding Smyths since the last time we went. Men, eh?
Contrary to what G thinks, I’m not being tight. I am simply being sensible and realistic, while also thinking about the environmental impact of buying yet more plastic monstrosities/learning tools.
The reality is that Ted has a few favourite toys and a few favourite ‘non-toy-toys’. Our house is small and we are very lucky to have lovely friends and family who will buy him things and I’m only really interested in getting him one or two items that will last and will help his development. So that’s probably the tangerine and the coal ruled out, unfortunately.
I might do a little round-up of the things we end up getting for him, but before that I wanted to highlight his current favourites, in case it helps anyone else in choosing gifts for a little ‘un approx. 12-18 months old, perhaps even younger. (It’s worth noting that some of the gifts he received last Christmas are still firm favourites now.)
My sister bought Ted these Hungry Caterpillar cups last Christmas and they’re still amongst Ted’s Top Toy Picks. He likes to build them up and clatter them together and bash them against things. He also plays with a set of plastic cups at my mum and dad’s that were mine as a baby. Stacking cups for the win.
Cars/trains/things with wheels
I can’t pinpoint the exact time that he began to love playing with cars but aside from emptying the kitchen cupboards, it’s his favourite thing. (He also loves watching real cars and buses when we’re out.)
It’s made me question why he loves it: have we ‘forced’ him into playing with cars, because he’s a boy, or has he chosen to play with them, over other things, himself? I’m still not sure of the answer to that and I am keen to get him a doll (which G will pull a face at) to balance things out, although he has tons of soft toys that he’s not too fussed about, so is that my answer already?
Anyway – he has a couple of wooden ‘emergency vehicles’ from Aldi, which he loves; a new dumper truck and some Thomas the Tank engine characters.
He’s a got a plastic bus shape sorter and this wooden one, and although he can’t fit the shapes in himself yet, he loves playing with them and loves stacking the wooden shapes on top of one another. (Genius, obviously.)
We got him these eggs last Christmas and they still keep him entertained – he laughs when you take the ‘shells’ off the eggs and there’s a shape sorter element to them too, for older kids.
We bought him this pop-up toy for his birthday, and it’s a favourite, although he likes to whack it on the floor to make the animals pop up, rather than pressing the buttons. (It’s fair enough as I think it’s a tad faulty and so the buttons don’t always work anyway.)
Books are the key to Ted’s heart. Preferably ones that he can eat and/or pull the flaps up with force until the books are unrecognisable. Favourites: Dear Zoo, Oh Dear, Where’s Spot?. He also likes the sensory ones – like the That’s Not My…books and a great one called Really Feely Farm.
And he loves bath books, which are cheap as chips.
Things that he’s occasionally interested in but not mad on, yet: Sticklebricks and Mega Bloks
Things he hasn’t really bothered with: his wooden push cart; his soft toys, such as Bing and Iggle Piggle and his Twirlywoo (although he laughs at the ones that make a noise). He’s also still unbothered with his little trike and his rocking horse – he hates anything that you have to sit on.
His favourite non-toy-toys: anything from the kitchen cupboards (couscous, noodles, bottle of olive oil, salt shaker, etc); a bag of mini coat-hangers (note health and safety implications; only allowed under close supervision!); plastic bottles of any size; my make-up bag and contents
*This post contains affiliate links. (FYI I am just testing them out – not sure I’ll be able to retire on the 0.00002 pence I might make from commission on a £8 dumper truck, alas.)