While toddlers may be physically active, their brains are working just as quickly. Language, social-emotional, and motor development occur at a rapid pace. Kids between18 months- 3 years tend to enjoy gross motor play that enables them to run, jump, climb, and kick. They’re working to develop hand-eye coordination, intensely curious about cause and effect, and have a growing spatial awareness. Toddlers tend to lean towards playing in a parallel fashion with friends, rather than being ready to play together.
LeapPad2 ($99)— LeapFrog’s LeapPad2 is new, improved, and will be just as popular as the LeapPad was last year. What makes this tablet a sought after item? Price, educational content, and durability. For $99 you get an easy to use tablet that features a wealth of educational content that grows with your child. From eBooks, downloadable apps, and cartridge games for all subjects, kids will enjoy learning as they play. This highly durable tablet fits nicely in little hands and features a front and rear facing camera (LeapPad only had a rear facing camera), video camera, stylus, and the ability to track your child’s learning through the LeapFrog Learning Path. For a through review, visit my Parents.com post called LeapFrog LeapPad2: Interactive Learning Tablet for Kids Ages 3-9.
Photo Lettering Blocks from House ($40)— In our plugged in world, it’s nice to go back to the basics with a great set of blocks that feature nostalgic fonts. Toddlers will love carrying, stacking, sorting, and grouping these durable wood blocks while parents can appreciate them for their artistic quality. I just might want a set for my own desk just because they’re simply gorgeous!
Plan Toys Musical Band ($69.99 but currently available from Amazon for $47.95)— This kid sized drum set stands 13” tall and features two different size drums, cymbal, guiro, and a pair of drumsticks for a budding musician. Plan Toys uses Plan Wood in the creation of all their toys. This composite material is a sustainable choice that minimized environmental impact while being safe, clean, and eco-friendly.
Plan Toys Play House— This darling three story house features a panel that divides the doll’s living space from the outside and also serves as a two-sided play mat that can be a wall, roof, or garden. Parents will love that it comes with furnished with furniture for the two dolls and doesn’t require screws for assembly. Like the Musical Band, the Play House is made with sustainable, eco-friendly wood.
Kinect Sesame Street TV ($29.99)— I love Xbox with Kinect for families not only because the games get kids up and moving but because of the partnerships that Microsoft has created between trusted names in education for immersive content that kids love. Kinect Sesame Street TV allows toddlers to learn alongside Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover, and Elmo. Children become immersed in the game thanks to the Kinect’s camera that puts their image on the screen as they learn through play. They can see themselves on the screen as the Count is counting, clap to learn letters with Prarie Dawn, and engage in additional experiences that mirror what they see on Sesame Street.
Star Wars Darth Tater ($11.99)— The classic Potato Head goes to the Dark Side! Darth Tater is as much for kids as parents as both can work together to configure this famous villain. Darth Tater comes with eyes, arms, pants with boots, mask, helmet, Light Saber, and cape. Now if only there was a Luke SkyPotato to be Darth Tater’s adversary!
Sally Simons Simmons Super Frustrating Day ($12.95)— It’s no secret that toddlers sometimes have trouble expressing their feelings with words and not being able to say what they want can be frustrating. On the heels of the success of their first book, A Little Book About Feelings, The Mother Company founders, Abbie Schiller and Samantha Kurtzman-Counter, have published a second title geared towards ages 3-6. This charming tale of red-headed Sally teaches kids to remember to slow down and take a deep breath as a way to manage frustration. The rhyming prose provides positive messaging while the eye catching illustrations of Sally keep kids engaged in listening to a story that’s designed to foster emotional literacy.
Samples were received for review purposes. No compensation was received for this post. All images are courtesy of the companies. All opinions are my own. Amazon Affiliate links are included in this post.