• Sarah Dann

Terrific Toys for 2 and Up

Why is finding good toys such a mine field?

Since the beginning of Covid, I feel like I have scoured the internet high and low for hours trying to find the best educational and environmental friendly toys I can.

Whether its finding a toy which will keep your child entertained whilst you type out that critical email or simply a present for your niece, or maybe with colder and shorter days rapidly approaching, you are starting to think ahead.

However, you are thinking, more noisy, chunky plastic toys is not what your home needs, then this post may help you.

I'm not one to be a huge fan of too many toys. Less is more, as the children tend to actually play with what they have, instead of being over whelmed and fluttering from one thing to the next, and not truly benefitting from each activity. Of course creating chaos in their wake. In addition to this, I feel the world is a big playground, whether its experimenting with leaves and sticks and racing them down a stream that has formed in your street with all the rain, or, practicing their balance walking along the edge of the curb. The world is a wonderful place where children can develop a whole range of skills without spending a dime.

However, I feel there's also a place for toys, especially when you know the children are learning new skills, such as fine & gross motor skills, learning about sharing, cognitive development, all whilst nurturing their creativity and imagination.

Those who follow me, will know I steer away from plastic where I can. There are several reasons why I choose wooden when I can:

Wooden toys are aesthetically pleasing, there is no doubt that wooden toys are beautiful, but with this they promote a calming environment where you will want to sit and engage with your child.

Natural material toys connect your child to the natural world, and teaches them about weight corresponding to size. For example, a small wooden toy, is going to be lighter then a larger wooden toy, so it allows them to start to develop a deeper understanding of the world around them. Whereas plastic cannot offer that skill.

Wooden toys are durable and absolutely last the test of time. My niece adores playing with a wooden horse barn that was loved dearly by my husband when he was just a boy. So wooden toys should also be seen as investment as they can be passed on through generations.

Of course, should a wooden toy end up in a landfill, you can rest easy knowing that it is biodegradable.

Finally, by being wooden your child's developmental experience is enhanced as the toy will develops all their sensors.


I have recently completed an online course on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) and how we can incorporate this into almost all our daily activities, Not only was this course hugely interesting, but it provided some great resources (toys) that I wanted to share with you which are included in my top toys for 2 and up list:

To order click the pictures*




Why I Love these:

Perfect for little hands, these color coded bells will enable your little one to learn to read music, learn about notes all whilst having a ringing good time! This booklet contains all your little ones favourite songs, from happy birthday, marry had a little lamb, the wheels on the bus to jingle bells!



Why I Love this:

This activity will keep your child engaged as they use spoon, tweezers or chopsticks- depending on their fine motor skill level. The aim is to match the color ball to the pattern they choose. Create flowers, numbers, letters and much more! This offers great cognitive development too.




Why I Love this:

This abacus is beautifully made, we use it when playing 'shops' to help build memory and develop the understanding of Math. This could be used for so many great uses though, and even help with that homework!



Why I love this:

Why do I love this tool box? For one, the tools are painted with little faces that bring joy to little hands. Often our little ones see us use tools to fix things, and a childs natural instinct is to be like us. This is a great toy that enables that whilst building numerous skills including creativity, fine motor skills and imagination. In addition, I love this because it comes with a little instruction booklet to show you how to make cars and even a little worm (my charges favourite!)





Why I love this:

We have played this game a lot! Apart from being a fun letter recognition & matching game, it also offers the opportunity to introduce turn taking. This is truly great fun for little hands.


Why I love this:

Whether you have a magnetic easel or pop these on the fridge for a fun learning experience. Spell out the family members and you could even add their ages too! This comes with Capitals and Lower Case letters, so your child will have the opportunity to learn and match each of the letters.



Why I Love this:

Like with the Bells, making music affects the developing brain in some amazing ways! This is a great selection of beautifully crafted wooden instruments for your child to explore and put on their very own performances of their favorite songs, building those vital parent-child relationships.




Why I love this:

Melissa & Doug make some wonderful toys, and this one wont disappoint. Like with the tools above, children will love being able to 'help' out around the house. Allowing children to participate in every day tasks allows them to learn the value of where they live. Children will learn that spaces are shared by all, and by keeping areas clean shows respect for one another.




Why I love this:

This is a great nifty little case which will enable your child to master buttons, buckles, toggles, poppers and much more!



Why I love this:

We do this every morning and this allows my charge not only to understand the days of the week, but also the temperature, weather, seasons, special events that month, activities we will be doing that day and gives her the opportunity for her to tell me how she is feeling through different facial expression magnets! (Silly is a firm favorite :)!)


Why I love this:

What a great wooden family this is, lovely to the touch, fabulously made and sure to spark your child's imagination.



Why I love this:

This barn, requires some light assembly, but will provide hours of endless joy and independent play. Pair with farm animals for your child to learn more about the world around them and where our food comes from.

Why I love this:

This cute wooden fence is a wonderful addition to the wooden red barn above. It is chunky so it doesn't fall over easily, and folds together with ease making storage simple.




Why I love this:

There are plenty of Dr.'s kits, but few offer the opportunity to introduce and talk about oral hygiene. Here you have the opportunity to pull out the silver wooden teeth floss and brush the teeth. The X-Ray is a lovely addition too.



Why I Love this:

Community Helpers play a major role in our society and by offering opportunities for dress up allows our children to have a deeper understanding of the world. Children will love being able to blow the whistle and have the opportunity to handcuff a member of the family.





Why I love this:

We use this with some toy vegetables and fruits passed on from an older sibling and set up shop on a table with our abacus. This lovely wooden toy helps children learn about money, math and develops their imagination. One of my greatest memories as a child was selling things to my parents from my shop, and it is just one activity that never grows old.



Why I Love this:

These wooden colorful dominoes are fantastic, whether you are teaching and creating patterns with the tiles, building or creating a fun course, this is a great STEM toy



Why I love this:

Magna-Tiles are one exception I have to plastic toys. These colorful terrific tiles open the doors for so much cognitive learning, and have been STEM approved. No matter the age of your child, I guarantee they will have a blast with these. There are some cheaper alternatives, but in my experience they just don't quite compare.


Why I love this:

Prepping dinner and need the child to be involved in a quiet activity at the table? Let their little hands have fun with these stamps and create their own little masterpieces.




Well there they are, my list of toys which I feel have been a huge success and wanted to share with those who may be struggling for fresh ideas.


In addition to these toys, I also wanted to take the opportunity to share with you two books I have found really interesting and think they may help many other people with little ones.






*None of the items shown have been sponsored.



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