Editor’s Note: This post is sponsored as I was kindly sent complimentary products featured in this post – all are designated with “c/o” – in exchange for writing about them. All editorial and opinions are my own.
Our parents love helping W learn new words and numbers and I’ve found that the beautifully crafted toys from Melissa & Doug are a wonderful tool to help with just that. W’s currently at an age where his vocabulary is growing quickly every day so reviewing the names of various food items has become a fun game for him. The Food Groups Wooden Play Food (c/o) from Melissa & Doug has been a big hit and because they come in tidy little wooden crates, they’re easy for grandparents to store away and bring out whenever W visits.
Wooden Pull Toys
Classic wooden toys have such a timeless appeal which is why we’re all loving W’s First Play Wooden Rocking Farm Animals Pull Train (c/o) from Melissa & Doug. The 6-piece train is linked together and the three farm animals (pig, cow, and horse) gently rock to-and-fro when pulled. The animals can also be easily removed for play. We’ve found this to be a great toy for the grandparents’ house as W loves to run laps pulling the train behind him.
Fun educational puzzles have proven to be another win for toys that the grandparents really enjoy with W. It’s a low energy activity which can offer a nice break because W can be a little ball of energy! He’ll often sit on Papa’s lap while they say the names of each puzzle piece together which makes it a fun and relaxing activity they can enjoy together. Here are our top favorite picks:
See-Inside Numbers Peg puzzle (c/o) from Melissa & Doug: W is starting on number recognition so this puzzle has been a fun aid to help him. A picture is located beneath each piece that illustrates the same number of items as the numeral on top of the puzzle piece, making for a more full experience. He loves when he guesses all of the numbers correctly and we clap and sing “yay!” all together.
See-Inside Alphabet Peg puzzle (c/o) from Melissa & Doug: This puzzle is similar to the numbers puzzle except it has the alphabet. When we play with it, we’ll say each letter and the name of the corresponding picture beneath the puzzle piece. It’s really exciting to see W begin to have letter recognition. These puzzles also help to encourage hand-eye and fine motor skills.
Around the House sound puzzle (c/o) from Melissa & Doug: This is a fun sound puzzle – when W lifts a puzzle piece, he hears realistic household noises including an engine revving in the garage and food sizzling in the kitchen. The grandparents like that it helps develop auditory and fine motor skills as well as encouraging narrative thinking.
Old MacDonald’s Farm Sound puzzle (c/o) from Melissa & Doug: Another fun sound puzzle where the pieces match the picture. W loves hearing Old MacDonald and the animals sing and he often joins right in.
United States of America sound puzzle (c/o) from Melissa & Doug: This puzzle is a little advanced for W but we like it because it’s one he can grow with. While he can currently use it to develop map and memory skills, he can later use it to help learn the names of states and their capitals.
If you’re a parent, you know how tiring it can be to constantly be lifting and unfolding a heavy stroller. While I love our main stroller, I didn’t realize how heavy it actually was until we received the ultra-compact, lightweight Lara stroller (c/o) from Maxi-Cosi. I can lift the Lara easily with one arm which amazes me because I have to be all hands on deck with our primary stroller. The Lara also folds down so compactly that it takes up only a third of the space that our other stroller does making it perfect for travel. Oh, it also fits in the overhead bin of the airplane if the grandparents’ commute from your house to theirs is long-distance. I love having this stroller on hand for the grandparents to use because it’s so much easier for them to manage and maneuver … and honestly, I’m really enjoying that perk myself! We also love that it has two deep compartments for storage because we’re always toting things along for W on the go.
Convertible Car Seat
Lastly, I’ve found that it is so much nicer now that my parents have their own car seat – the brand new Magellan 5-in-1 (c/o) from Maxi-Cosi – for W in their SUV. Now when they babysit, we feel much more relaxed knowing that if anything came up, they have a safe and secure place to transport W. It’s also taken the pressure off my husband and me to always be the ones to drive because now W can really go in any family car making outings much more fluid. And while sleepovers at the grandparents may still be far off, I know it will be easier for everyone now that my parents have the Magellan safely installed. The biggest reason I’ve found the Magellan car seat to be a great gift for grandparents is because it accommodates children from the newborn stages all the way up to 10 years old (or 5 lbs. to 120 lbs.). It’s backed by European engineering (over 30 years) and is supremely adaptable with 3 adjustable torso height positions, a 7-position recline and 14 headrest heights that will ensure your growing child is always comfortable.
Photography and styling by Sarah Darcy of Classic Bride blog.