Of course pots and pans (and the salad spinner!) are the best toys. But I only have so many, and my 17mo is getting bored. Her "baby" toys don't interest her much anymore, and I'm wanting to get her a couple nice developmentally appropriate things that would keep her interested for a while. I have a tiny house so size is important. Any suggestions?
A stacker, we like the Ikea Mula wooden set
A set of stacking and nesting cups.
Great toys with many uses, and a source of enjoyment for many months. We have had these out since 6 months or so, and still interesting to him at 21 months
Toys honestly don't get a ton of use here, and we have a good variety of different things (aka- wasted $$ lol)... Beyond balls (which have always been a hit!) his play kitchen, vehicles of all different types and sizes, & occasionally wooden blocks and duplos, my 2yo doesn't play with "toys" a whole lot.
He liked puzzles a lot when he was younger but they lose their appeal after the first few times. So we got this magnetic board called imaginets with different shapes, which is fun and a lot more open ended. & easy to store! And he loves tangrams, too.
Books and art are the most fun things for him, so we have lots and lots of books and wide variety of art supplies. Beyond that, he's way into sensory play, like ballerina mentioned. That kind of stuff keeps him bust for ages! He loved the pipe cleaners through the colander when he was a bit younger, play dough- BIG YES to that, and it's really fun to make with them. Sensory bins are a hit. I dye white rice different colors and put it in good sized plastic containers with little "treasures" and measuring spoons and cups, mini tongs, a wooden spoon, etc. and he digs around in there discovering things. I second checking out pinterest. Really any hands on, messy-ish kind of play is a lot of fun at this age. I just saw an activity with colored foam that looks like a lot of fun!
We also just got the stuff to make our own light table and got a bunch of neat translucent type goodies (shapes, stones, etc) to play with on top of it. I'm hoping that'll be a hit!
Liz Lovin' DH DS (12) and forever missing DD (12/02/07)
From the withered tree, a flower blooms~ He's here!!! So crazy in love with my boy!!! 12/14/11
Mega blocks, easier to manipulate than duplo. Easy to find second hand, and inexpensive. My son likes to build towers on to wheeled bases.
A chalk board and chalk.
Large and small wheeled vehicles.
Balls, full sized down to tiny bouncy ones.
A keyboard with microphone.
A 17 mo might not be quite starting pretend play, but will be soon, so I'd say if you want to invest in things for longer term play start collecting things for a play kitchen, small wooden cars, a doll or two, etc. Open ended toys like play silks are great, wooden blocks, etc.
Work at home, homesteading mom sharing child care 50/50 with my wonderful WAH DH. DD1 born Jan. 2010. March '12. DD2 & DD3 (twins) born Feb. 2013
DH got some tinker-toys type blocks for DD when she was around 2. At first she would just do basic things with them like put one stick into one block and do that until she ran out of either component. Now (she's 3) she is into building little structures and calling them things ("look mommy, it's an airplane!", "it's ice cream!") which they just slightly resemble. It's kind of neat how her creations are evolving. They're kind of like this: