1. Playdoh. Michael has only really got playdoh for the last couple of months and really enjoys playing with it. You can get all sort of sets but I think they are pricey and a bit pointless for a toddler. So Michael has 4 pots that were £3 and a basic set from Wilkinson's that came with some tools. We also use things we already had the house to make shapes, including Winnie the Pooh cookie cutters and stacking cups from when he was a baby. Also those shapes you get with some bucket and spades work well as well.
2. Bucket of dinosaurs. They also do other buckets of small toys like army men, cars, farm animals but Michael loves dinosaurs at the moment. I got this for £5 from the Entertainer and Michael plays with it lots. I also like it can all go in the bucket which means it's easy for Michael to take to his Nan's for the day.
3. Books, books, books! I love reading and have always been a bookworm. So it seems natural for me to read to Michael he has loads! It's also been nice to rediscover some old childhood favourites! Reading with your child can help their communication and it gives you some bonding time.
I find some of the books in the book shops expensive. That's not my money is £6 in WHSmith! So I get most of Michael's books from the charity stores, they have a wide range to choose from and are a lot cheaper. Most of Michael's books are 50p and less.
4. Dolly and Buggy. Michael loves pushing his buggy around. We try to raise Michael so he does not always get gender stereotypical toys. So yes he has dinosaurs and cars that he loves but he also has a dolly, buggy, Sofia the first doll and a doll's house for his second birthday. A nice wide range of toys. The buggy pictured was £5 in Argos and the doll £4 in B&M.
Note he is not actually hitting the dolly, when you press its stomach it makes noises. It also came with a bottle, bib, cup and dummy so a pretty good deal. Sometimes however he just likes to chuck the doll out and race the buggy around!
5. Weebles. Most of us have seen the adverts for weebles. They don't fall down! Michael just has the peppa pig car that came with Peppa and that was £12. He loves pushing it along and trying to push Peppa down. We also got him George and that was £5 alone! So I would look around or get a set that comes with all the characters your child wants because they can be expensive separately.
6. Happyland. From the early learning centre or mothercare, you can get all sorts of sets that range from a pirate ship to a fairy house. I love Happyland, it wears well, and is played with loads. It's fine from a year old to I would say around 5-6 when your child may be ready for something for older children like playmobil. Michael has the pirate cave, rocket, farm, castle and loads of mini sets.
I would also look around for this because as it wears so good, people do sell it on so you could get at a cheaper price from ebay, selling sites, charity stores etc. I got Michael a huge bundle of it for £24, retail price it would have been £150 so that is a huge saving.
7. Puzzles. Michael has had these since he turnt one but has only really started to show an interest in them. You can get all different ones and they are really educational and fun. I would try and get a little bag for all the pieces because they can get lost. We can not find the cow for love or money.
You might notice some of these toys typically have 3+ age guidelines. I do indeed use these as guidelines only and use my judgement. With supervision Michael has happily played with all of the toys.