Sunday, February 26, 2012

Favourite Toys for the First Year

Now that The Bean is nearly 14 months old, we're able to look back and do a little review of his favourite toys from his first year.  We choose three toys for 0-6 months, and three for 6-12 months.  Just so it's clear, the opinions expressed are our own and we have received no compensation for any of these recommendations. 

Lamaze My First Mirror
Pretty much from the time he could focus his eyes, The Bean enjoyed looking in the mirror.  As he got older he would smile and make faces at himself.  He still likes looking in the mirror, but now uses the full-length one in his bedroom, rather than this little one. 

Manhattan Toys Skwish Classic
This was one of the first toys The Bean was able to grab and manipulate.  He had lots of fun holding it and turning it in his hands.  There are beads that slide and make a gentle clacking noise.  He also liked chewing on the knobby ends.  I like wooden toys, so it got a thumbs-up from me just for that.

Bright Starts Rattle and Shake Barbell Rattle
We got two of these at our shower.  They were great because, again, The Bean could hold and manipulate them from a very young age.  They make a gentle rattle sound.  He seemed to like that he could make noise.  

Vtech Learn and Discover Driver
I think a little bit just to give The Bean a toy that was noisy and would drive us a little crazy, Jen's brother and sister-in-law gave us this car toy for The Bean.  He loved it.  Even before he could really sit up he was able to manipulate the gear shift and turn the steering wheel.  It has different settings for music, animal noises and numbers. He still really likes to play with this one. 

John Deere Animal Sounds Hayride
We got this as a hand-me-down from one of the parents of a student I teach.  This isn't the exact model we have, but it's similar enough.  Each of the animals makes a noise when you push it down and when you push the farmer it plays "Old MacDonald".  On ours you can push something and it will move forward and when you push the steering wheel it beeps and the headlights light up.  The Bean loves the noises.  We attribute the time he's spent playing with this toy to his ability to say "moo".   He dances when the song plays.  It's pretty cute.  The animals on ours are a bit more realistic and The Bean uses them in the Fisher Price barn he has too.

Fisher Price Bright Beginnings Activity Walker
We picked up an older model of this toy at a garage sale for $5.  It may well have been the best $5 we've spent at a garage sale in the past few years!  As soon as The Bean was able to pull up he would push this toy around.  Before he was interested in pulling up or walking he liked to play with the various spinny things on the front of it.  It collapses down flat, which is great for storage and traveling.