Five Favorites: Toys for the Under-5 Crowd

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

If you have more than one child close in age, you've probably realized (as I did after I had #2) that a baby's favorite toy tends to be something that big brother or sister plays with as well.  Granted, there are some really great baby-specific toys out there, but those only last babies so long before they're totally TOTALLY boring.  So here are some of my favorite toys that fulfill the following criteria:
1.  Not choking hazards!  Those get banned from the house anytime we have a baby who tends to mouth a lot of things (so, for all but like, 3 months of the past 4 years).
2.  Interesting for older kids.
3.  Not so annoying that I want to gouge my eyes out.
With that in mind, here are 5 of my favorites - links are Amazon affiliate links, so if you buy anything through my links I get pennies and pennies and maybe even enough to buy a candy bar (ok, when did those get so expensive???  I remember when they were 3/$1!)!
Any and all Duplos.  I particularly love the Baby Zoo and often get that and some Building Plates as a 1st or 2nd birthday present.  The babies LOVE chewing on Duplo animals and the heads of the Duplo people, and pretty early on they all started enjoying trying to stick them on to the building plates. 
Again, every piece is extremely chewable for the babies (and honestly, mine don't seem to enjoy playing with things that *aren't* chewable, so that's the number one thing I look for!).  And the bigger kids LOVE playing doctor with each other and their animals.  A huge bonus is that the kit helps get them ready for check-ups and they're always really excited to get shots because they practice with the syringe all the time.  Like, a 2-year-old John Paul was excited for shots at his 2-year well visit because he had been practicing with the syringe.  Totally worth a purchase!
Okay, most people already have a set of these.  BUT, anyone on their 2nd (or 3rd or 8th) child probably doesn't have a complete set.  We have 3 different sets and only one is complete...  But they're AWESOME!  Great bath toys for bigger kids, my babies always love nesting them, and once the babies are rolling or crawling the big kids love stacking the cups so that the babies knock them down.  We stack them and then roll balls toward the tower to go bowling.  There's just so much you can do with a set of stacking cups!

I like this brand because it's one of the kinds *real* musicians use.  So they produce a pretty good sound, but they're cute colors and have an elephant on them!  They're super-durable, we've had the same set for almost 4 years.  They're great for teaching kids the concept of steady beat, and I particularly like them when paired with the stacking cups - we do lots of "in and out" games with the babies, spin them around on the coffee table to mesmerize them, and hide them under stacking cups to practice object permanence.
I know I've mentioned this one before, but the twins are teething and loooove these screwdrivers right now!
I hide the little nuts so that the babies don't try to swallow them.  But the big kids LOVE "fixing" their toys, practicing fine motor skills with the screwdrivers and pliers, hammering the nails, you name it!  And the babies...  Well, they love sucking on the screws and chewing on the tools!
It's on sale on Zulily right now - if you're not a member, you can click my link and get $5 off!
Linking up with Hallie at Moxie Wife - check out more favorites today!


  1. My daughter has shown an interest in a doctor's kit lately. Maybe we'll get her this for Christmas. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Love this list! I currently only have one toddler, but I'm always on the lookout for good toys that will be future-baby friendly. (Definitely not ready for Legos stuck under my feet yet!)

  3. Love this list! My baby just started crawling/stealing toys from the toddler, so I'm so happy to read these ideas.

  4. That's the doctor's kit that John Paul's godfather gave him, right? And that godfather is an actual doctor? So it's pretty authentic as well as emininently playable-with.

  5. I didn't realize Lego made sets for children that young. I'm sure my kids would love playing with something like that! The egg shakers sound like a great way for the kids to make some noise without it being too loud. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Legos are a huge favorite here too! We just bought a bunch more for Grace for her birthday. I also second the doctor kit. Ours is a bit different, but made a BIG difference in being comfortable with dr visits. Anything to prevent meltdowns!

  7. My mom just asked for a kids' Christmas list the other day, so this is perfect! We have and love the egg shakers and stacking cups (both awesome for so many age levels) but everything is going on the wish list!

  8. Love love love the idea of bowling with the stacking cups!


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