It was December when I last blogged a list of Ben's favorite toys, and the kid wasn't yet crawling, and probably unsurprisingly to parents of toddlers, the first two items on the December list make it onto the June list, too. We've gone from one big cloth box of toys to a whole TROFAST (I love Ikea) cabinet, with at least half the toys in storage so that A) there's some kind of limit to the mess, and B) toys can be NEW! all over again in a month's time.
Here are the evergreens, the greatest hits:
1. Leap Frog Learn & Groove Musical Table. Ben loves this thing, and for an electronic noise-maker, it's pretty amazingly non-irritating. My advice: put the talk mode in Spanish so it's less distracting when you're trying to read a book.
2. Ikea nesting and stacking cups and stacking rings. He's nearly able to stack now, which increases the play value, but you'd be amazed at how much he loves playing with these even without being able to manipulate them the way they're intended to be manipulated.
3. Animals from Playmobil 123 (from the farm set and the tractor set) and Schleich (I've bought him mother-baby pairs of elephants, cows, and pandas). The cows from both are the biggest hits. At left he's cruising the sofa with a Playmobil cow in hand.
4. Hammer balls from Plan. I love Plan Toys. Good, solid stuff, well made by a ecologically and economically responsible company. Ben, of course, doesn't care about that, and I have to confess I'm surprised by how much fun he clearly has with this toy, which I would have thought was of limited interest (he got it as a gift). He will hammer the balls through and then retrieve them and replace them to hammer again.
5. Playskool gear toy. Another one I'm surprised by the duration of his interest in. At first, he just liked pulling the gears off and chewing on them. Then he worked out how to push the button and make them turn. He clearly finds the thing fascinating and challenging, and the music is really not bad at all.
Here, on the other hand, are the things I wish he'd like, but he remains steadfastly uninterested in:
1. Push walkers. We have a super-cute one from Ikea and a plastic hippo-shaped one borrowed from a friend, and not only is he not interested, he gets annoyed if you put him down too close to one. Ok, no pressure, kid!
2. Blocks. We have at this point hundreds of very nice, very expensive wood blocks. Andy and I like them very much, and when we get down on the floor and make exciting block structures, Ben does enjoy destroying them, but that's really the limit of his interest. He has very recently figured out that he can stack one block on another, though, so it could be that blocks are on their way in.
3. A baby doll. I bought him this one for his birthday, and he gave it a good poke in the nose and proceeded to other things. His cousin, six months older, loved the baby doll and carried it around giving it hugs and kisses, so I have good hope that Ben will develop regard for his baby eventually.