I'm inspired today by Jenna's post over at That Wife about some of the toddler toys and activities she's created for her son. Many are things that are easy to piece together around your home, or to buy and make.
I think I'd like to make the fishing pole for Zoom, and possibly make 3 additional sets, one each for his twin cousins, and one for his Grandpa (who we call Duwa). Duwa loves to fish and gave each of the babies a "Grandpa's Little Fishing Buddy" hat when they were born. It would be fun to get him to play fishing with them over Christmas. I'm excited about this idea!!
Someone commented that they may make a kit of all the items she's suggested to give as a gift, and that seems like an awesome idea, too.
Jenna also asked about learning toys that we use at our house. We have a felt alphabet that my aunt made for me when I was born. Each pocket has a toy in it, and the toy matches the letter on the pocket. Letter A has a felt apple, Letter B has a boy, etc. After Zoom gets changed, we sing the ABCs (while I point to each letter) and then we pull out three toys (one at a time). This lets me say the letter, make it's sound, and then show him the toy. If we get out L for Lion, we make the lion sound, too. Now Zoom will point at the ABCs after he's changed and sing "AAahhh Baaaay" because he likes it so much!
We also have a lot of "musical" items in our house. Zoom is big on music and noises, and a pot and pan are some of his favorite toys. He plays the drum really well. For Christmas, we are getting the three littles some musical instruments, tiny egg shakers and a couple of musical rhythm sticks each. We all took "Music Together" classes and these instruments are inexpensive, yet easy for little hands to use, and were always a favorite in class!