Last week my husband was away and I had to take Otto with me to a couple of my classes and also to his brothers sports training. While it is undesirable to have a toddler in tow, Otto (at 25 months) is capable of quietly sitting and playing for 30-40 minutes with a couple of small toys. These toys are also useful for when we are in waiting rooms, when eating out, when I need to make an important telephone call and they are good to have just in case I need them when visiting friends.
Which toys we take with us depends on the event, how quiet he needs to be and how much space he has. If we are eating out somewhere nice I will only give Otto the water painting set, or one little model car. However at sports training he usually can make a little more noise and has a bit of space on the floor in which to play. I hope you find some of these ideas useful. These toys are what we use, so they are a reflection of my toddler's interests. Many of these toys would also work well as small gifts to friends or as stocking stuffers.
Mini Board Books - includes My First Mog Books (my toddler loves cats) and Mini Board Books from Lovevery.
Small Model Cars/Vehicles - we use Siku vehicles.
Lacing Activities - Lacing Cheese.
Wikki Stix - even my older children love these and they are mess free.
Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks - another one that my older children will play with too!
Set of Model Animals - we rotate these and usually only take 4-5 animals. These are all Schleich.
Water Colouring Books - I still look for reality based and as realistic as possible books. We use:
- Melissa and Doug Water Wow Vehicles
- Melissa and Doug Water Wow Occupations
- Galt Water Magic Vehicles
Others (not pictured):
Pencil and Notebook - with only one or two pencils.
Bristle Blocks - only five or six pieces.
Duplo - only five or six blocks. Enough so that he can build something but is still manageable.
Small Tin of Play Dough.
Create-A-Scene Magnetic Play Sets (these are on my wish-list, they look fabulous and come in many different themes):
It's useful to have a few bags prepared to grab if we are rushing out the door. The key for us is rotation so the child has a renewed interest in the toys. I try to take different bags and books each time we go out.
You might also enjoy this article Screen Free Options for Toddlers - When Travelling or Eating Out that I wrote when Otto was 18 months old.
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