For the Love of Stacking

Once my daughter got the hang of stacking, there was no stopping her. When she struggled early-on to put one block on top of the other, I did what any other panic-stricken mom afraid her daughter was falling behind would do: I invested in stacking toys and found a couple that really helped give my daughter the edge amongst her stacking peers. Stacking quickly became one of her favorite ways to avoid bedtime. She would stack the hell out of blocks and toys while I applauded and cheered her on well past her bedtime. She learned early on how to get out of sleeping, and here are some of her favorite bed-avoiding tactics toys.

Melissa & Doug ABC/123 Blocks

These classic toys seem almost as necessary as diapers. I still find these mixed in with other toys. The durable wood construction means they survive toddler antics. My flat screen tv is another story. The Melissa & Doug ABC/123 blocks also work for sorting by color as well as number and letter recognition. And baby’s first drums. Stacking towers and destroying them made for lots of laughs and fun.

Tobbles by Fat Brain Toys

This brightly colored gem was introduced to me by one of my daughter’s therapists. The two layers and unusual shape made for good sensory exploration. These uniquely shaped Tobbles by Fat Brain Toys are weighted to make stacking fun and easy in all sorts of combinations giving toddlers a chance to explore different sizes, balance, and spinning.

Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board

Melissa & Doug toys are well known for mixing up fun and skill building into great toys and who doesn’t love this classic take on shape sorting? My daughter was sorting shapes and colors long before she could ever say words like “circle” or “red”. The Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort board is a great introduction to counting too. She would do this over and over and over and for a toddler who had the attention span of a fruit fly, that was a big deal.

What are your favorite stacking toys?

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First There Was Electricity, Then Rody the Inflatable Horse

There have been lots of great inventions over time that have made life better, from electricity to the automobile, but I’m not sure any rival with the amazing Rody Inflatable Horse. Any parent of a sensory seeker can appreciate the need for things to bounce on. When I found this little gem while scanning the internet for some sort of safe bouncy thing to save my sanity I clicked “add to cart” faster than my kid can lose her s*#t over not getting her way.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but my little toddler was on the move and bouncing off of mattresses, couches, and anything that had a little give to it so I was desperate for something to save my furniture. Why not just get her a yoga ball? Oh, because that is a “ball” and those are meant to be thrown. Anyone else held their breath when a large inflatable ball goes sailing towards their flat screen? And of course, a ball doesn’t have feet and requires more balance than my daughter had time for when she was in the throes of the terrible twos. Rody just made more sense because it provided stability, including ears to hold onto, and because it doesn’t look like a ball so it’s not as enticing to pick up and launch at expensive things that break too easily.

When our little red Rody arrived I opened it up, pleased to find it came with a manual pump. I aired it up and checked off my arm exercise for the day as I put it in front of my daughter as quickly as I could. Needing no explanation, she saddled up and galloped all over the house. Our Rody is a seasoned traveler, having been schlepped from house to house, bounced on for miles. He has endured make-up, unnecessary bandage applications and the occasional WWF style wrestling match. Through it all, the Rody has survived my daughter’s heavy hands and hardcore playing.

Would I recommend this product? Am I drinking coffee? The answer is yes. Yes, I would. It’s recommended for ages 3 yrs and up but I totally cheated and got my daughter riding at a year and half. She is almost 4.5 now and getting a little too big for her Rody. But after over two years of bouncing, our Rody is still smiling with those same big doughy eyes.

Was I paid for this review? I wish.

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