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How to set up a toddler play space:
Two important pieces of my toddler play space are the Ikea Shelves and the Ikea play kitchen. Both have proven to be very sturdy so far with my rowdy 2 year old boy.
Toddler self serve snack fridge:
Two year olds are all about learning how to do things by themselves and if we can find ways to encourage their independence they will thrive! I found this mini fridge on Amazon and keep a couple of snacks inside so that my toddler can help himself to snacks whenever he wants. The idea is to set them up for success-so I do not put a ton of snacks in there that I would be mad about if he left the door open. In the photo I have tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, and peppers. I also plan to add some cheese sticks.
Toddler Toys: wood or plastic?
I like to follow a Montessori method and they typically encourage wood over plastic toys because they are more natural and do not contain toxins etc. I prefer wood toys because I like to pick toys that are like home decor, because let me tell you YOUR CHILDREN’S TOYS DO BECOME YOUR HOME DECOR! We got some plastic construction toys for my toddlers birthday as gifts so they are out on our shelves right now but I would prefer to swap them with some beautiful wooden versions. My toddler likes these toys just fine though.
So it is best to have a variety of categories of toys: books, puzzles, creative, and then a variety of toys that with a variety of concepts….as you can see here we most have construction/transportation going on here. For Christmas I plan on updating the toys on these shelves but for now this is what we have going on.
Following your childs interests:
Right now my child is all about FIRE TRUCKS, POLICE CARS, TOOLS, CONSTRUCTION, DIGGERS, ETC. It is good to follow your child’s interests and encourage them to explore things that fascinate them.
Including natural elements:
I love the plants that are on the toy shelves. My little guy gets to help water them and he loves this. Incorporating nature is good for mental health and we are digging the plants 🙂 I like to incorporate seasonal natural items as well- this month my little guy can explore the pumpkin: color, shape, weight, texture etc.
In the middle of the plants on the top of the shelf is this aromatherapy diffuser. I like to use essential oils in our play area.
Shop the items in my play area by clicking the links below:
Similar Construction Vehicles: Dump Truck
Name Puzzle by Howard and Sons Designs (totally recommend shop this small business) but similar version by Fat Brain Toys Name Puzzle
Wooden Etched Blocks are from Crate and Barrel but I have these Grimms Blocks on Peters Christmas List
Similar Play Mat (I think ours is made by Skip Hop but I couldn’t find it on Amazon