Little Miss Parenting

My Eight Favourite Toys for 0-2 Year Olds

My daughter has a lot of toys, in fact.. that’s probably the understatement of the century. And yes, a lot of these are pink, but that’s because pink is her favourite colour. I am not one of these who sees toys as girls toys and boys toys, I tend to buy my daughter things I know she will enjoy. However saying that, I also see nothing wrong with girls liking pink and dolls, and princesses.. I like pink and dolls and princesses so I see that more as a reason why my daughter does not because I’ve forced her to be like that. My daughter owns Thomas toys, and a wooden tool box, her favourite doll is Woody and I certainly have no regrets buying or having her bought any of those, she just doesn’t get the pleasure from them over a long period of time as she has with the toys i’m sharing here. Not only that, my nephew also enjoys playing with all these toys so it seems a good bet that in general, these are ones great for a child of either gender between the ages of 0-2 (but more specifically 1-2). Anyway, I’ve rambled enough about my feelings on gender being placed on toys.

LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket RRP £19.99 & Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Pretty Please Tea Set RRP £11.32, Both Argos

My daughter got both of these for her first Christmas when she was 11 months old. She still plays with them today at almost three. Although when she first got them she used them as shape sorters and for their originally designed purpose.. now she uses them in role play and hosts tea parties. I will be retiring them at Christmas for a more grown up tea set and picnic basket.. but there is no denying that these have been two of her favourite toys. They’re educational, they have taught her colours and shapes, they sing songs that she’s learned the words to and she often dances to. I cannot praise them enough. Little Miss has quite a few toys like this such as the Cookie Jar & the Lettersaurus and I can’t praise them high enough. They’re incredibly durable, I have lost count of times my daughter has dropped the basket while carrying it around filled with megabloks and yet it still works perfectly. I will be packing them away for any more children I will hopefully have, girl or boy. Currently Home Bargains have the picnic basket less than RRP, the picnic basket at £14.99 but it will be snapped up fast.

Djeco Magnetic Fishing Game RRP £12.95, Le Petit Toyshop

Last Christmas on the way back from Bee’s Christmas Party we had a delay in York for over an hour. In search of something to do I pushed LM up the street and we came across this wonderful toy shop called Corkys. I had some money so I treated LM to this magnetic fishing game. It was her first ever “game” and it has had so much play in the last year, both by Little Miss on her own playing imagination games, and playing properly when my nephew is over. In fact my nephew loves it so much I have bought him his own for Christmas. It’s a great way for kids to learn to take turns. It’s bright and colourful and the shapes are wooden (I love wooden toys!) It’s such a simple concept, it has no gimmicks and no noise. My favourite sort of game, really.

LeapFrog Tag Junior Reading System RRP £24.99, Argos
Little Miss has never been one who enjoys being read to. She much prefers to read on her own which is why I bought her the Tag Junior reading system. The battery powered puppy reader reads the story when pressed over the words. The books that go with it ask questions and read in the voices of the characters. You can get a whole variety of books from ones to help with potty training and dealing with a new sibling, to educational ones about numbers and letters. Not only that but you can program the puppy to say your child’s name which Little Miss rather enjoys. Over the last year Little Miss has used it at least once a day so I don’t begrudge buying a couple more books to go with it for Christmas.

Pollyanna Rocking Horse RRP £49.95, Mamas and Papas
This was Little Miss first Christmas “big” present. As a child I’d always wanted a rocking horse so when I went through my Mamas and Papas phase while Little Miss was a baby I invested in this. Little Miss has loved her so much that I feel slightly heart broken at the very thought of packing her away to make room for her new toys. But I have to face the fact LM is just too big for her now. She’s so pretty and I can’t express the amount of use we had out of her, even now LM takes her dolls for a ride. Such a perfect piece for her nursery.

Wooden Kitchen RRP £40, Asda
This was Little Miss gift from Aunty Ezz, Lee Lee & Jack last Christmas and ask you can tell, it’s had a LOT of use over the past year. Every morning LM gets up and makes breakfast with it. It has been one of the best toys and because of the fact it’s wooden, a good height and fairly stable I’m sure LM is going to have a lot more use over the next few years. I think kitchens are always a brilliant toy for role play and imagination. We have collected a lot of accessories to go with it and we’re hoping to add to it this Christmas.. I found pretend macarons in Mothercare that are perfect for her stocking! This pink kitchen is the one that was available in Asda last year, this year there is an even better version.. if you have a kid between 1-4 I urge you to make that their big Christmas present!

Play Trays & Jigsaws £1.99+
My daughter is smart and brilliant at problem solving so the decision to buy her play trays at one year old was a bit of a no brainer. She didn’t start being able to do them herself and with ease until maybe 18 months but since then I can’t keep her going with them. She recently completed a 50 piece jigsaw alone which was marked age 4. I’m so glad I bought them as I think skills that come from being able to complete a jigsaw at an early age such as problem solving and concentration. They’re relatively cheap to buy, the Disney ones came from Home Bargains, the letters were from Argos. Perfect for a rainy afternoon, and lets face it, in the UK we have a lot of those to face over the next few months!

Fisher Price Little People £7.99+
As I’ve mentioned above, Little Miss is a Disney girl however Little People also come in non-Disney sets not that we have any of those. Last Christmas I bought her the Disney Princess Songs Palace and she loved it from the moment she opened it. Of all the toys she has, her Little People are the most played with. So much so my mother has bought her the Disney Princess Garden Tea Party for this Christmas. Again, these are fantastic for imaginative play. Little Miss plays some of the most amazing games with the characters. She also likes singing along to the music. The characters are also great to take in the bath and the paint stays on. The detail is fantastic unlike a lot of non Disney Shop toys. Despite being plastic they’re all very durable, I can assure you of this as I have tripped over the castle multiple times haha. There are garages, homes, farms all available and Argos often has fantastic offers on them making them a good buy.

Wooden Easel RRP £20, Asda 
A fantastic birthday gift from my sister for Little Miss’ second birthday. It lives in my kitchen as the other side is a chalk board. It’s come in handy for LM to have constant access to being creative without her feeling the need to draw on my walls. In fact, it’s such a popular toy that I have returned the favour and purchased one for my nephew for Christmas. The boxes in the bottom are so handy for storing all her crafty bits and the mat was £1 from Home Bargains. It means I just take that outside and give it a shake!

This is my daughter’s third Christmas and the first year she’s asked for gifts from Santa Claus. Thankfully she only asked for a few gifts, so I’ve had fun picking out everything else.. although this could be the last year as I’m pretty sure by next year we’ll have a list! Of course I can’t tell you if any of what I’ve bought will be any good yet, but hopefully next year I can give you all a post on toys for the 2-3 bracket.. but 80% of it is Disney (what can I say, we’re a house of Disney lovers) stuff from the so called “boys” and “girls” departments ha!
I hope that anyone finding it difficult to buy for your tots finds this guide useful. I have a whole bunch of proper gift guides hitting Cocktails in Teacups next month!
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