We all think our DDs and DSs are unique and my bunch are no exception! I'm starting to plan out our Easter baskets and am coming up short for my 16 mo DD. I should mention here that I have 16 mo triplets, 2 boys, 1 girl. One boy is getting a toy vacuum, he is obsessed! The other boy is getting 2 different sized medicine balls (recommended by his therapist). These were no brainers. I have a ton of ideas for my oldest DD (7), but my 16 mo old DD....I'm sort of coming up short. Obviously, every things is played by everyone (so DD will get plenty of play out of the toy vacuum too), but I wanted at least one thing for each kid that was about/for them. There is always a toddler basketball hoop, but that is more generic and less about her. She's my thinker...loves to put things together, will send a good 20-30 minutes if I give her something new to take the top on and off and put something inside, take out, put back inside, put the top on, on and on it goes. I was thinking maybe lacing beads for small kids, but not sure. Any good ideas mamas?
A basket of different playsilks:
this rainbow one is gorgeous! My kids play with theirs almost every day! And they are 10, 7, 4 and 15 months.
And individual ones:
Toy garden has the best ones, nice and think and lovely colors.
And you can use a green play silk as the "grass" in an easter basket for your boys, too.
These have endless possibility: a fort, a gown, a meadow a flower.... !
lacing beads would be nice, but they are prob a tiny bit young to be able to do it without your help (at least DD was at that age - 18 mths was about right).
nice Stockmar beeswax block crayons and some nice paper
bubble bath or bath crayons
playsilks would be awesome. I dyed my own with food dye.
Leila, mama to Eleanor (10/08) and Emmett (4/10)
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What about some sort of sorting toy? There's the traditional blue plastic ball with the yellow shapes, but we've found a few different wooden ones that do the trick. A puzzle with larger pieces, perhaps with the knobs on them? Cutable wooden fruits/veggies/breads/etc (like this: http://www.melissaanddoug.com/pretend-play-food-sets)? Our dd likes to put things together and pull them apart again too, and was fairly easily managing all of these things on her own around that age. She still likes these things more than a year later too!
For greater things are yet to come...
My favourite gift I got my dd when she was toddlers was stacking bowls. They used (and still use) them for all kinds of things. They were useful for all the pretend play, and for stacking, arranging in designs, banging together...
I'm not sure what the price range is but this was a borthday gift for my 1 year old and she loves it and is ALMOST ready to transition to stage 2.
It is tricky to put together, but once you get the main bits together the transition part is easy. My DD loves it because she can cart things around and sort things with it. It's fun for her as well to explore how the wheels work. She spends lots of time with it.
Another idea might be a set of foam tanagram puzzles, or a set of wooden puzzles (melissa and doug have really nice ones!).
My 17 month old dd is like yours, OP - very into manipulatives. Her favorite things right now are blocks, stackers, and wooden puzzles. She really loves the Melissa and Doug puzzles with the magnetic stick (we have the undersea version, but there are a couple of others too) and was thrilled when she figured out how to lift the pieces out with the magnet. She likes latch boards and lift-the-flap books (I particularly like the fabric book varieties, as they tend to handle dd's roughness a little better than paper versions).
Playsilks are a great idea too and a favorite here. Also, all kinds of balls and beanbags. Our beanbags are homemade and filled with lentils, which have a wonderful heft and texture. She puts them in all kinds of containers to cart them around, takes them out and stacks them (sometimes on the cat, sometimes on herself, sometimes a chair or the floor), puts them in the bucket or bag again and repeats. It took me less than an hour to make a dozen from fabric scraps, and used a couple of bags of lentils that were the oldest in the pantry. The return on that investment is priceless. I remember my older DD played with her beanbags for years, too - they're great for juggling and basket toss games.
On my wish list for DD right now are Tegu blocks (www.tegu.com) - I think everyone in our family would play with them! They're pricy, though.
My ds has always loved the container play too. I made him a little scarf box that he loves. I just took an empty kleenex box and stuffed it full of cheap silky scarves that I had laying around and the couple playsilks we have. He was always getting into the kleenexes and ripping them all out of the box one by one. Now he can take the scarves out and stuff them back in to his heart's content. One of these days I'll get around to making a sturdier box for them, the cardboard gets tattered after a while.
Some cheaper alternatives:
Or a hide-and-seek puzzle (I've seen 'better' ones but this is the only one I can find at the moment):
Oh and another thing DS liked at that age & still plays with more than most other things -- and he sounds a lot like your DD -- is the Melissa & Doug grilling set. It has skewers so it's like lacing beads in a way, but easier for really young toddlers:
Look on Amazon for "Montessori toys", they have a lot of things that look like they may be a good fit for your DD!