The classic occupation toy: crayons and paper. Bring a tiny notebook instead of a regular sized one and it become a lot more fun! My daughter LOVES to pretend she's a spy with a tiny notedbook. She calls it Sneaky Peaky and pretends to be Junie B. Jones
Because of the endless possibilities! One of my favorite games to play with children is to combine drawing with another toy (like puppy in my pocket) and then encourage the child to make an entire world for the toy (even a folded gum wrapper works - say it's an alien). Draw a shelter, draw the food, draw the water, swimming spot, potty spot, etc. Encourage their imagination to run wild!
One time while play this game, my niece once drew a parking lot for "The biggest birthday party EVER!", complete with "PVC Pipe structures". This game is what you make of it. So go bananas.
I prefer the little packs of Plasticine clay to Play-Doh because it doesn't dry out BUT it's down to personal preference! Yes, you can even make your own play dough: recipe here
I understand that dough toys and squishy things can be a taboo toy - some families are afraid of it getting stuck in the carpet... hair... everywhere... but it really depends on the kid.
For our family, it's been a great occupation toy for keeping kids busy when they need to be a bit quite (like church and 4-H meetings). I feel that the benefits outweigh the mess, especially Fine Motor Skill Development. But every family is different! We picked up our little clay packs at The Learning Shop, near the cash register by the tiny frogs, but I found them online at the Tin Toy Arcade as well.
Cars, truck and planes can be SO MUCH FUN! They can be quite or noisy toys, but they can really keep a kid busy! Wooden ones become heirloom toys and are passed on for many generations, which is why they're my favorite.
Non-toxic wooden kid toys: a mom's dream come true! Chickory Wood Products is a local, USA made, recycled, up-cycled environmentally conscious children's toy maker. The owner started making toys years ago so that he could have surprises for his children. That Christmas was a particularly rough one, and he wanted to make sure there were surprises under the tree on Christmas morning. The toys were so popular when he showed them to his friends, that people began to purchased them. This pattern kept going until he was able to solve his family's financial crisis by making the toys that he built with love for his own kids.
Since that fateful Christmas many years ago, they've been featured in movies, local business photography (even here at ChunkaBuns!) and have been a bit hit with Disney productions.
Pipe Cleaners are a very versatile toy with so many creative abilities. The puppies in the above photo were made with pipe cleaners, but simple things can be made too! Or- just wind them around your fingers for a sensory toy.
Sensory and creative toy all in one! PLUS THEY'RE SO AFFORDABLE! When the ones in your purse get yucky, just recycle them and pull a few more out of the package and stick in your purse. Michael's has some great rainbow style pipe cleaners to pack your purse.
Tiny toys for story tellers (Example above). Any of the blind bag surprise kits can be a lot of fun, but we've had great luck with Puppy in my Pocket, Kitty in my Pocket, Mini Whinnies and Mini Mixies.
These are chocking hazards for little kids, but are great toys for older kids because they truly support the imagination. Entire worlds, galaxies, stories and plots can be built with just a few toys who travel across the table to reach an unknown destination... Plus they take up so little space in your purse or diaper bag. They pack a big punch in a tiny pouch. And.. they're not very expensive.
So much to see and do! Grownups will relish showing toddlers how to stack and build two short or one very tall Manhattan Toy TreeHouse Stack-Up
The enclosed 12 stackable pieces can be arranged in dozens of different ways, and turns into a fairly small toy compared to what the end results can be. This is for the Mary Poppins of Diaper Babs. Independent testers including parents, educators and panelists have selected the treehouse stack-up to receive the National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval - 2016
It doesn't sound like much fun, but anything in a case can keep babies and toddlers occupied for ages! EX: Open the case, examine the case, chew on everything, taste everything, put it back together... repeat. Training and Travel Toothbrushes
Why we love it:
A toy and tooth brushing? Sign me up! Babies love to explore, and a toothbrush can be a strange and interesting object to explore. Too big to be a choking hazard so Mamas will go bananas for this banana teether that encourages infants to develop healthy oral habits early and take gum (and teeth) brushing into their own hands—literally! We also love the animal toothbrush covers and eco-friendly toothbrushes
This cute Robot Family can hide inside each other like a set Russian Matryoshka Nesting Dolls.
Fun to open and silly to stack, kids will love to play with our set of 6 Nesting bright green alien robots. Measuring from 3.35 inches to 0.75 inches, each Robot opens at its waist to enclose a smaller Robot - so not for those who still put everything in their mouths! Or - start off with the mom and dad and expand the family as baby stops tasting everything.
Necklaces and bracelets are intended for moms to wear and for baby to chew on!
All chewlery is washable, durable, chewable. Silicone beads are BPA free and food grade which is perfect for teething babies and the wood beads are sealed with a 100% organic wood polish made of beeswax and olive oil. Washable, chewable and personally approved by Axel, one of our very own Chunka Babies! (He's wearing organic savvy pants in the pic above. You can purchase those here :) )
Melissa and Doug have done it again! Created a toy that spans multiple ages, keeps kids busy and it relatively mess free and diaper bag friendly!
This sucker is full color and full of fun. It feels like you're really painting! But it just uses water! This entertains kids all the way to age 10. Refillable and helps so much when kids need to be in a quite - creative zone. For those local to the Fox Citites: pick these up at the Learning Shop