This is the age of exploration and discovery. If it can be opened, it will be. If it can be banged on, it will. Over and over again. Kids at this age love to play, and they don’t always play with things in the way that you might expect them to. Kids at 18 months are just starting to get into imaginative play, so you can set the stage for years to come with some bigger purchases like a dollhouse or playhouse, a play kitchen or a craft table.
1. Melissa and Doug Band in a Box - Most kids like music. Or should I say love music? While they may have been making music for some time by banging things against walls, now they can really use musical instruments to start tap-taping to a beat and interact with mommy or daddy.
2. Shape Sorting Bucket - Though this toy seems simple (and is very inexpensive) toddlers can play with it for hours. They learn their shapes and sort them, count them, stack them and of course throw them into the bucket. With the top on kids can shake the bucket, and the handle allows for small and pudgy hands to be able to carry this around with them.
3. Play Kitchen - The nice thing about a play kitchen is that your little one can make their own “meals” and “snacks” in their kitchen while you make some in yours.
Kidcraft Uptown Kitchen matches the more modern stainless steel and dark-wood kitchen perfectly and the Kidcraft Vintage Kitchen in red is fun and really makes a statement. What kid does not like red?
The Pottery Barn Kids Red Retro Kitchen Collection may cost as much as some of your furniture, but it sure is beautiful and well-made! This is the kitchen featured on NBC’s the Parenthood in pink.
4. Shop and Play First Food Set - with or without a kitchen set, this is a fun way for a toddler to play with their food without making a huge mess!
5. Green Toys Dish Set and Green Toys Chef Set For your aspiring chef!
Have you ever tried holding a 25 pound squirmy and hungry toddler while near a hot stove or cutting veggies? It is not fun. Here are two options to make cooking more fun for both parents and toddlers:
6. Learning Tower by Little Partners - The Learning Tower creates a secure environment to stimulate a toddler’s imagination in the kitchen or at the counter (or really any elevated surface) and has two add-on accessories: the two Playhouse Kits feature a puppet show/popcorn stand and an ice-cream/lemonade stand and the Little Partners Art Easel which has a blackboard and a magnetized dry erase board. It also features a movable space for art supplies.
The Learning Tower adjusts to four heights to accomodate a growing child, and can hold up to 500 pounds - so you can safely put two kids in the Tower at once. A child can use the Learning Tower for years!
7. Matching Lovie and Toddler Blanket - Every toddler will love this gorgeous and plush Button NYC lovie and matching toddler blanket set by Button NYC.
8. Ride-on Toys - Two favorites are the Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug or the Pewi Y-Bike.
9. Pediped Shoes - Pretty much the most adorable and comfortable shoes a kid can wear. Available in three different collections to grow with each child. They are machine washable and mimic the way kids walk with bare feet.
10. Joovy Tricycoo - A pushtoy to stroll a stylish tot around the block that converts to a tricycle when the child is ready. Just wait for thr grin on a little one’s face when they see this and ride it for the first time!
11. Step2 All Around Wagon - This wagon is perfect for a little one for a stroll around the neighborhood, playing with friends and more. Comes with a canopy, places to hold drinks for parents and kids, a scret compartment and the seats fold flat to make a table or bed.
12. Skip Hop Travel Luggage - Kids love to wheel things around. Just the site of this luggage is sure to elicit a smile from your child, and they impose an easy rule when traveling - you can only take as many toys as fit in this suitcase. Genius!