December time typically means that parents are on the look out for toys to give their little ones as gifts over the festive season. If you are stuck for ideas, here are a few that I gave my little ones to test drive this holiday.
Rubbabu Rubbablox Basix
A set of 10 large and 10 small blocks. Encourage imaginative play and help your child develop motor and spatial skills early with these soft and safe building blocks. Made from natural rubber foam, all materials safe for ages 0+. 97% biodegradable. Outer covering 100% nylon flock, durable and easy to clean with a damp cloth or soft brush.
Please excuse the inner child in me coming out here, but these are the most awesome blocks ever! They have the most amazing velvety texture, beautiful colours and are the ideal size for big and little hands alike. My girls (and I) had so much fun building towers and knocking them down; matching the colours and creating all sorts of fun shapes and structures. The blocks are light which makes them easy to store and ideal to pack in the car for your holiday. The best part though, and anyone who has ever stood on a lego brick while barefoot will appreciate this, is that they are spongy and won’t attack your feet while making your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. This toy is a winner all around.
Clamber Club is the exclusive supplier of Rubbabu. For more information or to place your order please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Puzzles are always a great way to go when you are stuck for an idea for a new toy (either as a gift or for your own children). These two puzzles from Melissa and Doug are fantastic options.
Melissa and Doug Bug-Catching Magnetic Puzzle Game
This magnetic wooden puzzle game features a garden full of attractive bugs and insects! Use the magnetic butterfly net to “capture” the 10 bug buddies from the game board. Then enjoy the challenge of returning them to their preferred perch!
The magnetic bug catching game was such fun for both of my children and while simply using the magnetic rod was satisfying enough for my youngest daughter, I challenged my four year old to name the insects as she was pulling them out of the spaces. Another great aspect of this puzzle is that your little ones can use the magnetic rod to put the pieces back as well as pull them out, making this an amazing puzzle for hand-eye co-ordination.
Melissa and Doug Pets Sound Puzzle – 8 Pieces
Some of our favorite pets are waiting to “speak” to your child. Place the puzzle piece into the well with the matching picture on the puzzle board and hear the animal meow, woof or tweet! Eye- and ear-catching puzzle enhances matching and listening skills.
The sound puzzle was also great fun and my youngest daughter had a ball repeating all of the animal sounds each time she matched one of the animals.
Melissa and Doug Shape Sorting Cube Classic Toy
This ultimate shape sorter features 12 chunky, vibrantly colored shapes that make a satisfying “clunk” as they drop into the natural-finish hardwood cube. Then open the lid, take them out and start all over again! A classic educational toy for toddlers.
Extension Activities: More Ways to Play and Learn:
Ask the child to build a tower with the blocks. Help the child become familiar with the shapes and colors by identifying them as the child stacks the blocks.
Encourage beginning counting skills by asking the child to count the blocks with you. Repeat the activity until the child is familiar with the numbers one through twelve.
Once the child is familiar with the shapes and colors, ask the child to hand you a specific shape or color block.
I am such a sucker for good old fashioned toys and this wooden shape sorter from Melissa and Doug doesn’t disappoint. I remember playing with shape sorters when I was little however I don’t remember them being as cool as this one. The wooden box is really sturdy and the shapes are colourful and chunky making them easier for little hands to grip and place through the corresponding holes. What is also really nice about the shapes being made out of wood, is that they can be used to play with individually as well as with the box. This toy kept my girls entertained for a decent amount of time and at one stage they even added them to their existing set of blocks to build with.