We’ve been in family quarantine for about 6 weeks at this point. So now that you’ve completely decluttered your entire house (ha!), check out these nine toys you might want to add back into the mix. They can inspire little hands and minds to keep themselves busy. But, best of all, most of them are under $20, so you’ll have more cash for DoorDash! A few others just might be worth investing in to have on hand during this unprecedented time. So start shopping and get playing!
Best for outdoor adventuring
Kids will think they’re little explorers as they spy, catch, and observe all sorts of natural things using the GeoSafari® Jr. Bugnoculars ($12.99). From bugs to worms, and leaves to flowers, little ones can get some hands-on learning with nature thanks to the breathable and transparent container with magnifying eyepieces and lenses.
Best for burning excess energy
Here’s a toy that parents will appreciate as much as their kids do. The BRITENWAY Fun Basketball Hoop & Balls Playset ($9.25) is a great way to get moving and spark a little family-friendly competition. The net will stick to any flat surface so you can bring the fun outdoors, into the tub, anywhere you can think of. Score!
Best for rainy afternoons
The Kid Made Modern My First Jewelry Kit ($29.99) is so much more than a box of big beads! With 100 pieces for little ones to peruse, choose, pattern as they like, and string to make necklaces and bracelets, this kit will challenge those fine motor skills and creativity too. Tots will learn all about colors, shapes, and sequencing while playing with both wood and plastic beads of all kinds.
Best for make-believe
Help your mini M.D. perform routine checkups on all of his or her stuffed animals, dolls, and toys with the help of the Simba Jumbo Doctor’s Kit ($10.89). There are 10 different pretend medical devices, including a stethoscope and thermometer, and some stickers to reward super patients!
Best for sensory stimulation
A bestseller for hugely popular Kinetic Sand, the Sandisfying Set ($19.97) comes with 10 different tools to mix, shape, and create cool designs. You have to admit; it’s kind of hypnotizing to play with. Remind your kiddos; parents can play too!
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Best for animal lovers
Since we can’t visit the zoo right now, bring the animals to your kiddos with the Melissa & Doug Zoo Animals Sound Puzzle ($12.99). Eight different animals each make their appropriate sound when a correct puzzle piece is placed. Tots will brush up on matching skills and manual dexterity while roaring like a lion!
Best for Frozen aficionados
If you’ve been watching Frozen 2 on repeat in your home, here’s the perfect toy to keep kids occupied. The Fisher-Price Little People Disney Frozen Elsa’s Ice Palace ($27.99) has an impressive, ice-inspired setup for all sorts of pretend play scenarios to unfold.
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Best for building
The open-ended building blocks Mega Bloks Big Building Bag ($14.99) can be assembled in seemingly infinite ways. They’re big enough for little hands to manipulate and brightly colored to help get the creativity flowing freely.
Best for playing house…because you’re stuck there!
Pretend play takes on a whole new dimension with the lifelike Baby Alive Lil’ Sips Baby ($14.99), who needs a bottle, diaper changes, and plenty of love and care! Show your little one the ropes, and she or he will be playing mommy or daddy in no time.
Whitney C. Harris is a freelance writer and NYMetroParents’ Manhattan and Westchester calendar editor. She lives in Sleepy Hollow, NY, with her husband, a toddler, a preschooler, and a dog.
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