Aiden is a huge fan of the Thomas and Friends franchise. He actually received his first set of Thomas trains when we were still in the hospital with him!
Since then, his collection of trains has grown to include 3 different sets as well as a few extra train pieces. If we had more room, we would for sure have a train table. Until then, Aiden makes do with various smaller configurations of trains on the floor – always featuring at least one hill. He loves hills and bridges.
Aiden’s favourite train is Percy, so we got him a motorized Percy for Christmas. It caused a little bit of initial frustration for Aiden, when he couldn’t push it on his own, so now he has a classic wooden one too.
Aiden’s love of Thomas and Friends includes many toys and books, including:
Aiden may love Thomas, but it’s not yet an obsession. He’ll read about any train; his current favourite train books include Busy Trains and The Little Engine That Could. Additionally, while you’d expect Aiden to watch a lot of Thomas videos, he actually prefers Dora the Explorer.
One of my personal favorite toys is the Knights Castle that Aiden’s Bobe gave to him for his birthday. I fell in love with the whimsy of it when we saw it in the store and thought it would be great to encourage imaginative play. Plus, it had a dragon.
Because the castle doesn’t have a limited set of actions, Aiden is open to decide how to play with the toy. Although we have lots of toys that make music with buttons or have a specific play function, many have a finite set of play activities. The castle is open to imaginative play.
Ways that Aiden likes to play with his castle:
- Take figurines ‘up’ the stairs
- Put figurines or even snacks into the window, walking around and taking them out from the door
- Using the knights table to ‘feed’ the figurines saying ‘nom nom nom’
- Balance people on the top of the turrets
- Drive cars through the drawbridge
- Balance the ladders against the castle
When he was younger, the spent a lot of time learning how to put figurines on their feet. I expect this is a toy that will really grow well with him. Plus, all the pieces can be put inside for travel.
Fisher-Price makes quite a number of garage options for kids who like to play with cars. Other companies do as well, as you can expect. After a few weeks of feeling overwhelmed in toy stores before Christmas, I purchased the Fisher-Price Little People Racin’ Ramps Garage for Aiden. Though apparently Fisher-Price garages used to be more sturdy than they currently are, I have no major complaints about the quality of this toy (the elevator is a little hard to raise, that’s it).
This has been a central toy in our living room for many months now. Though Aiden doesn’t really push cars around much, he loves to put them down the ramp with excited “Whee” sounds. When he was younger, he was obsessed with piling toys into the elevator shaft.
Most recently, Oma re-invented the toy by raising it up and having the cars or blocks fly into the waiting bin below. That was fun.
Given the dozens of negative reviews for this toy online, I would suggest you look at what you want to get out of the toy. If you don’t care that you sometimes need to push the car out of the elevator or that the elevator isn’t that easy to raise, then it’s a great toy. If those details matter to you, skip it for an alternative choice.
For us, it’s been a fun toy!
As you recall, I’ve spent months looking for the perfect bath crayons. I’ve looked high and low all over North Vancouver for crayons that draw easily and don’t crumble. Based on advice from you wonderful mamas, I knew that the regular Crayola crayons would be good, but it took me a while to find them! But I did! We grabbed the last package from Michaels!
I’d searched Michaels before, though probably they had been out at the time. For good reason – they are awesome!! As you can see in the photo, it is easy to draw with the Crayola Bathtub Crayons – they glide onto the surface easily without wasting bits of crayon everywhere. You can easily add fine details too.
It’s been a pirate-themed week for Aiden. On Wednesday, Aiden helped Cole break in his new Little Tikes Anchors Away Water Table and they had a great time. It’s sure to be a source of fun for them this summer – the buttons are a little hard for toddler hands to press (to activate the waterfall or cannon gun), but I love the whimsy of it.
To continue the theme, Aiden steered at pirate ship today at Metrotown. I often put him in the riding toys even if we rarely pay for them. Just steering them is fun… for now!
I’ve also been sorely tempted a few times to buy the Little People Lil Pirate Ship that buddy Zayden has whenever I see it at Superstore!