Saturday, January 8, 2011

Top 10 Inexpensive Toys For 1 Year Olds

I know how expensive toys can be and how we feel when our child plays with the box more than the toy inside.  I didn't want to keep spending money on toys that would be left in the cabinets to gather dust.  Here are a few things that I saw Maxine liked that were really easy on the pocket or already available in the house.

1.  Crayons.  I got her a box of Jumbo crayons, 8 colors and she went crazy for crayons.  My dad got her coloring books and drawing pads for her to doodle in.  The bed sheets in their house would be massacred by her love for "drawing"  and "coloring".  With these crayons she learned her colors and we discovered that she loved the color orange.  Soon after she learned what color was what, she then learned her shapes as we drew them on the drawing pads.  And then she learned her alphabet.  She doesn't know how to write them yet but when you point to a letter she can tell you what it is.  She still mixes them up sometimes but crayons were the 1st tool we had for her learning a lot of things.  Available in National Bookstores nationwide.

2.  She may not have had a lot of toys during her 1st year of living but she had a lot of books.  I made it a point to read to her everyday.  She loved it.  I got her hardbound books so I wouldn't be afraid of her tearing the pages up,  When she could, she opened them up on her own and would stare at the pictures.  She would sit in front of her bookshelf and explore other worlds.  Dr. Seuss entertained her with rhymes and once she could open the flaps on her own she couldn't stop turning the pages.  The Circus Macgurkus was one of her favorite books.  Also the very hungry catterpillar.

3.  One thing she still loves playing with until today are bottles.  She just loves them.  I give her bottles of half empty lotions, small alcohol bottles that I fill up with water and clear bottles of hand sanitizer.  She can walk around the room putting "alcohol" in her hands and rubbing them together.  She asks for lotion from me because she can't get it out.  This is how she learned to say "please" (saying please only lasted a few days), "thank you" (this lasted a few days then came back after a few months of disappearing), "more" (this is here to stay), "last" (I know she doesn't mean it), "one last" with her eyes looking up at you like the cat in Shrek.  and "promise".

4.  Play food.  We went to play school and she saw a basket of play food that you can "cut".  The fruits and veggies were held together by velcro.  There are plastic sets sold in most toy stores.  You can use this to teach her her fruits and veggies.

5.  Shape sorter.  Everyone has one it just differs on the number of shapes and the colors they come in.  My dad got her this from SM.   She used it so much I began to rethink buying branded expensive toys.  This was the most worth it toy she ever had based on the time she spent playing with it and how much it cost.  She learned even more shapes using this toy.  Her oval, cross and octagon.

6.  Keyboard.  Get an old one and give it to her.  But first, put it in front of the real computer so she'll think its the one you use.  Get her an old mouse too.  She'll happily clickety clack away for a few minutes.

7.  The ballpen.  She loves to copy the people she sees and she sees me and my mom write a lot.  So, this is her writing.  She draws circles, lines and makes random movements with the pen.  We spend a lot of time here on my desk drawing.  I would draw houses, trees, rainbows, clouds, birds and whatever else I could think of.
8.  Water.  She loves playing with water.  We go to swim in a pool when we can but that's only a few times in a year.  We wash our hands together, and she plays with the water in the sink in our bathroom.  We also let her wash the dishes in the sink in the kitchen.  As you can see in the picture she's watering the plants happily.  To say that she loves playing with water is an understatement.
9.  Household cleaning items.  I remember when I was a child myself that I loved "cleaning" the house with the help.  I would clean the floors and wipe the tables with them.  Since Maxine also spends a significant amount of time with them she sees them cleaning the house.  The little gaya-gaya that she is, she insists on helping them out.  She sweeps my bed room in the morning and the fallen leaves in the afternoon.  I like that she knows how to clean after herself, put her things back and wipe the things she spills.  She's actually happiest when she thinks she's helping out or when she's doing things she sees adults do.  

10.  Containers of any kind.  She loves moving things from one container to another.  Whether its water, pebbles, sand, candies or coins. *note that the gummy bears are mine, I don't let her eat candy.

Pahabol... I know we aren't supposed to let our kids play with plastic bags but Maxine lost the habit of putting things in her mouth when her first few teeth came out.  So here she is walking around trying to tie the plastic bag around her neck.  Now that she's older she likes to hold paper bags and put things in and out of them. :)

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