Sam is 27 Months old now, and suspected autistic. Sydney is 15 Months old, and at roughly the same level as Sam with most toys. Recently, we’ve been spending a lot more time on the floor, playing with various toys.
I decided to do this blog post to share some of our current favourites with you. We bought most of them ourselves, but some were kindly sent to us to help with Sam’s development, and for me to review.
First up, we’ve always been huge fans of blocks. The set of 26 Little Tikes Wooden Blocks are an absolute bargain at £4! They are great quality, and each block features two letters, an image of a word beginning with each letter and two patterned sides. At just under 16p per block, these are brilliant! We use them for stacking, making patterns (stair cases etc), and for learning new words from the pictures. They come with a velcro fastening net for handy storage, too. They’ve improved both Sam and Syd’s hand-eye co-ordination massively.
The Little Tikes Play Food Shopping Basket has been brilliant too. Syd has learnt some food names from the items included. (Juice and pear are now well established in her vocabulary)! Both Sam and Syd love to carry the basket round, and put random things into it like they are shopping. I am sure that as they grow older, this will continue to be one of their favourite role play toys. The £5 price is an absolute steal, too.
The Galt First Farmyard Puzzle was developed by Dr Miriam Stoppard – one of the UK’s most trusted parenting experts. The puzzle is chunky and the peg is large enough for small hands to pick it up easily. The pieces are all cut out into random shapes, so it isn’t immediately obvious where each piece goes. This frustrated Sam to begin with, but after a week or so of removing the pieces first, he can now put them back into the puzzle as well.
The Smart Snacks® Jumbo Count ’em Up Popcorn™
has been brilliant fun. Sam loves to line up the pieces of popcorn, then move a piece at a time into the tubs while I count. He will then empty the tubs out a piece at a time too. The tubs have been used as containers to carry all sorts of other things too. Syd loves to pop her toys into them and pretend she’s eating. The popcorn is also frequently tipped into the aforementioned shopping basket when we are playing “shopping.” At £15.95+ vat, these aren’t cheap. They are amazing quality though, and will definitely last for years. They are available from Learning Resources.
The All About Me Family Counters come in a huge tub. You get around 72 figures all told. (Mums, Dads, Boys, Girls, Babies and Cats). They come in a range of colours. We can only play with these when Syd isn’t around as she tries to eat them. Sam loves to rescue all of the red characters and put them together. He hasn’t really noticed the different characters yet, only the colours. I am sure that he will spot the differences soon though, and then he will have even more fun with this set. They retail at £17.95+ vat. I have planned lots of indoor activities around these. I have plans of setting them in jelly for the kids to “rescue”, I am even going to try freezing a couple in ice, so Sam can watch the ice melt and the “men” appear. Stay tuned for those blog posts!
Our most played with toy at the moment is definitely the Carousel Wooden Shape Puzzle. It only cost £2 and has taught both Sam and Sydney lots. They’ve both learnt to recognise different shapes and colours, thanks to this jigsaw. It was also the first puzzle Sam did by himself. The board itself shows the colour of the corresponding piece, so that children can work out easily which piece goes where. (The empty square space is purple, just like the piece which goes there). This has definitely been £2 very well spent! I love the fact the pieces are cut into the shape, too – not all random squiggly shapes like most other peg puzzles.
I can’t forget “Bubbles” – they are still number one in our house! Sydney can now ask for bubbles! It is one of very few activities that Sam will do at the same time as Sydney, so I spend a lot of time blowing bubbles. I stock up on large bottles of bubble mix when I am on the high street, and pour it into smaller bubble pots for easy transportation. It’s very rare I am found without bubble mixture on my person!
I could go on and on writing about toys we love, but I’d be here all week. I will do another round up soon of our favourite educational toys.
If you are interested in hearing more about Educational Toys, you can watch Dr Miriam Stoppard’s Educational Toy Master Class online HERE
This is not a sponsored post. We were sent some of these items to review, but purchased some of them, too. All words and opinions are my own.