The type of toys James is interested in has really changed over the last month or two. Here’s a peek at what’s currently on his shelves!
In his room:
The shelf in James’s room is relatively small, which works well for us because he doesn’t spend a ton of time playing in there. He usually spends about an hour playing in his room right when he wakes up in the morning, and then sometimes plays in there right after he wakes up from his naps, so he doesn’t need a ton of toys to keep his interest.
Right now, this shelf includes:
Stuffed fox – I got this on Zulily when I was pregnant and can’t find it online right now, but the brand is Manhattan Toy Company. James is just starting to cuddle with stuffed animals more and it is super cute!
Tin Music Box – I love music boxes for children and this one is very sturdy. I also love these for slightly older children.
Basket of Shakers – I switch these out regularly, but right now this has a maraca, a homemade shaker filled with dried chickpeas, and this Brio bell rattle (love this brand).
Homemade Insert Work – James is super fascinated by taking things in and out of containers right now, so he has a lot of insert work on his shelves. This one is a little red bud vase I already had with a peg from a baby hammering toy. He loves it and really concentrates on trying to get the peg into the vase.
Open / Close Basket – Similarly, he is currently really interested in figuring out how to open and close things. I think this is basically like a form of a puzzle – figuring out how things fit together. This basket has three little boxes that I already owned – a paper box, a box made from cinnamon wood, and his favorite, a little bejeweled box that a sweet student gave me. It also has a little drawstring bag.
This is one of his favorite things on his shelf right now. He looks SO pleased when he gets the lid onto a box by himself.
Montessori Egg and Cup and Peg and Cup – This is another insert work. It was given to me in a Montessori baby toy set similar to this one. He has loved taking these apart and holding the little egg for months, but I just put them back on his shelf given his current interest in putting things together.
Wooden Shape Sorter – My mom just gave this to James for his birthday and he loves it! He loves taking out the shapes and putting them back in (with the lid off, not through the little shape holes). He also holds the shapes up to us to name for him. I can’t find the exact one we have, but it’s similar to this one.
Fossil and Box – James loves to examine rocks, so I put a large fossil (also given to me by a student!) on his shelf. I found this unfinished wooden box at Target in the craft section and it was just the right size for him to practice putting the fossil in the box.
In the Playroom:
We often spend a large part of the afternoon in his playroom, so there are a few more toys in here. Currently, we have:
Fox Stacking Puzzle: This came as part of a bead maze toy my mom gave James for his birthday. We have the bead maze part of the toy in another part of the room and it is super cute too, but James especially loves this stacking puzzle.
Basket of balls – This has a bunch of balls in it including sensory balls, a lacrosse ball, and a really cute butterfly ball we got at our local wildflower center.
Pop Up Toy – This is one we just got recently and it’s super cute. There are springs under the four pegs, so they bounce when you tap them and will pop out if you hit them hard enough. James also likes just taking them out and trying to put them back in.
Rainbow Nesting / Stacking Bowls – These wooden bowls are beautiful and nest as well as stack. I love that when he’s older we can use them as containers, perhaps to organize art supplies in, so I see us using them for years.
Smelling Bottles – These were so easy and fun to make! I got two sets of inexpensive salt and pepper shakers from Target and filled each with something with a strong smell. I used fresh ginger, lemon peel, fresh rosemary, and coffee beans. James likes to hand me a bottle to smell, and then smell it himself. I love watching him sniff with his little nose, it is so cute! (idea from this post)
Jar of Rings – This is just an old applesauce jar filled with these rings. He actually hasn’t been using this as much lately so I need to find something to replace it, but for a while taking the rings out of the jar and putting them back in was one of his absolute favorite things to do.
Wooden Dowel with Bracelets – I used the wooden dowel from this rainbow stacker and put several interesting bracelets on it. James loved the rainbow stacker, but was beginning to lose interest, so I switched out the rings with bracelets to mix it up and spark his interest again.
Three Piece Wooden Puzzle – James has shown some interest in the puzzle, but so far he only removes the pieces, he does not try to replace them.
In addition to his shelf, he has a few other toys around the room:
Animal Rescue Shape-Sorting Truck – My friend Natalie gave this to James for his birthday and it is SO cute! He loves examining the little animals and putting them back in the truck.
Bowl of Pumpkins – I got James an assortment of small pumpkins and gourds at Trader Joe’s and he loves taking them all out of the bowl and putting them all back in. The bowl is glass and makes a great gong-like sound when he drops the pumpkins in. He also loves chewing on them….
Rainbow Blocks – I’ve mentioned these before, but we are still loving them. I have these on the window sill right now because they look so pretty with the light coming through.
Comotomo Silicone Baby Teether – I’ve also just started keeping this on the window sill because James is teething and loves to chew on the window sill. To try to deter this, I have the teether right there for him.
Duplos – We don’t keep a ton of toys in the living room, but we do have a set of zoo animal Duplos tucked away and James loves playing with them. He hasn’t yet figured out how to put them together, but he loves taking them apart and putting them back in the bucket. This is extra fun because my husband’s parents sent the set that belonged to him as a kid.
And that about sums it up! I’m looking forward to making him some more things for his shelves, so if you have any ideas or favorites, please share!
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