Praying this post finds you while you’re warm and safely tucked inside on this freezing and slightly snowy day!
Many people have asked which toys and activities that I recommend as both a mom and a preschool teacher. I'm sure that some of you reading this post are thinking, "Hey! That's me!". So, after much consideration, I have put together a list for you all!
I’m excited to write this post for several reasons. One, I have a very bad Amazon addiction which my husband and postman can confirm. Two, these products I am about to share with you are all activities that I have been using for years and I firmly believe in. We use these in my house with our own children, at the Mother’s Day Out program that I have been running for 5 ½ years, as well as my kindergarten class where we attend one day a week for our home school group. Third, children do not need to be placed in front of tablets or television. These are great activities that are fun, engaging to the children, and educational. I promise that you all will love these as much as my kids and I have! Lastly, it’s Amazon and it shows up right to your door! You can’t beat that! With three children, I don’t want to have to run 10 different places trying to find the best activities. I know you don’t want to either!
When I put this list together, I focused on two major aspects. One, the use of fine motor skills. This is the time where we are building those muscles in their hands for everyday skills and working on hand eye coordination. The second is imagination. Imagination is so important for kids! They are able to learn social cues, expand their vocabulary, imitation, learn manners, and just be creative. I love being able to listen in on these conversations when the kids are playing. It teaches me just as much as them and I am able to learn so much from just listening and watching. Now that we have our two topics in mind, let’s talk about my top educational Amazon picks for ages 2-5!
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The amount of fun and the amount of time that kids can spend with a pair of scissors honestly amazes me! We have two different sets. Please make sure to be using safety scissors. We have had a hair cut experience and I want no one else to have to go through the same thing. Haha! We have regular scissors as well as patterned. If your child is a scissor expert, go for the patterned scissors to add a little challenge. If not, make sure to grab some good ole’ fashion regular scissors. We have a little rhyme to help with finger placement since that is the biggest challenge when starting out. “Two fingers on bottom, thumb on top. Open up and chomp chomp, chomp”. Here is a great graphic I found on Pinterest of why scissor skills are so important. We give this graphic out at our cottage school for Pre-K and Kindergarten.
If you don't have scissors yet and would like some that I approve of, you can buy some here:
2. Crayola Wonder
If you do not have these, get them NOW! These are the most amazing creation. Markers that only show up on special paper. They are a mother's dream! No more markers on the walls or furniture. Talk about a win! Here is a "Baby Shark" package that we love https://amzn.to/2LJ0IDR. They have a great selection of themes!
3. Water Wow
Another fun activity that is minimal mess! A pro tip: when you're all done with the pad, flip it sideways and fan out the pages for it to dry. They will dry faster and the pages won't stick together.
4. Stacking Toys
We have stacking toys of all kids! Puzzles, shapes, animals, etc. We actually just got in a new set that I have had my eye on. Robots! They were originally for Havlynn (age 2), but brother and sister have been playing with them just as much. I will give you guys a link to those as-well-as a link to another favorite set. Talk about some hand-eye coordination practice!
https://amzn.to/3aatVkk (robot stack)
https://amzn.to/2Zbrub3 (animal stack)
5. Magnet Mazes
Magnet mazes are SO fun! Another toy that the kids will play with for long stretches. I just came across this dinosaur set that I will be grabbing! We have about 6 others as well! The set that we have are no longer in stock by the company, but I will share the link of a different style by the same company we get ours from. If you're ever browsing Target, be sure to check their dollar section. I have gotten some great magnet mazes from there before for $3!
6. Felt Toys
Felt toys are great for play! If you're super crafty, check out Etsy for some very fancy felt activities! One favorite in our house and Mother's Day Out is the Melissa and Doug felt sandwich set. The kids make sandwiches and pitas that "taste" amazing! They also love to make you ham, pickle, and jelly sandwiches! Haha! I found a great set in Target's dollar section with a school and castle scenery and we love those as well. The pretend play and imagination is endless with all of these!
Lacing activities are great because not only are you getting hand-eye coordination, they can work on letter recognition as well! These are my two favorite lacing activities that we have at school and at home. I also, cannot promise you that the kids will not try to make a purse out of the laces and the boards. I could be speaking from experience ha!
8. Shape Puzzles
These particular shape puzzles I love since they have not only the shape, but different colors as well. You can imitate the image on the board, or you can make your own picture!
9. Fine Motor Tool Set
I literally have a favorite brand of children's tweezers that are better than any I have found. Today, I got these in the mail, and I have changed my mind! I love the water dropper in this one. You better believe we will be using this in the bathtub! Pom Poms are great to use for the material your child will be picking up. You can get those at Walmart or any craft store...or Amazon! Ha. When I started this center at school, it was October and I found some cute pumpkins to put the pom poms in. I also found these cute pails that I will be replacing them with!
https://amzn.to/2LGzGNc (tool set)
https://amzn.to/3qqozac (mini pails)
10. Flower Garden
I have bought two of these because they get used too much and the more flowers, the better! They come in their own little carrying backpack and are easy to store. There are endless possibilities on the amount and types of flowers that can be created. I've even sat down for a bit to make my own!
Thanks for hanging in there with me for all these goodies you can get with a click of the finger! If you don't have any of these and do buy something, I would love for you to let me know what you think. Happy shopping!