1. Pink Scooter 2. Guitar 3. Legos 4. Kitchen 5. Doll 6. Cell Phone 7. Purse  8. Coffee Maker Set 9. Ice Cream Set  10. Stroller 11. High Chair 12. Disney Vanity 13. Pretend Food

Elena is a smart little two year old who loves to talk and play ALL day long.  She’s Cam’s best buddy and now that she’s talking so well the two of them play together and get lost in pretend play most of the day.  I’ve mentioned before that we encourage them both to play with the same toys and haven’t really bought them many toys that scream “boy”or “girl” until very recently (and they were gifts).  But I tell you, Elena loves her dolls and lights up when she sees a big pink toy, like her little vanity.  Gender rolls are fascinating to me as I watch them play out with a boy and girl very close in age.  For the most part they enjoy similar toys but there are inherent differences that I’m noticing more and more as they grow.  Here’s some highlights from Elena’s top toys right now:

Pink Scooter.   This was Elena’s second birthday gift and she LOVES it. Her brother got one the year before and they would constantly fight over his so I was excited about this gift as much as she was! It grows with them; the seat can be adjusted by height and can be removed when they’re ready.  My whole little pack is going to be riding around on these soon. They love them better than the tricycles they have.

The guitar is a toy we’ve had hanging around since Cam was a baby but Elena has taken a special interest in this singing guitar. She started playing with this as a one year old but it’s still a constant this year as well.  If she hears a good tune she runs for the guitar to play along with the song.  It’s one of those things I can’t really understand what the fascination is all about but I’m highlighting this because Cam loved it just as much at her age too.

Pretend play is EVERYTHING to Elena (and her brother) which encompasses most of the toys listed on her board above.  Most of the day she occupies herself with her baby dolls and the kitchen we got them for Christmas.  I find that kids at her age love cellphones! Her grandmother gave her her very first Itty Bitty American Doll for her second birthday and she is in love.  It’s not cheap but it’s so life like and  you can get the clothes and different accessories that go with the doll in the future.  Many people tell me taking a trip to the American Doll store with their daughter is like taking them to Disney World.  I think she’s too young for that right now but some day in the next few years we can take her to get some new clothes for her baby.  For now, her favorite thing to do is change the baby’s diaper and dress her back up again.  Playing house, making food, feeding and pushing the baby dolls around is the first thing she does when she gets to playing in the morning. She’s a little momma in training and I love to listen to her when I’m buzzing around cleaning up.

Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Set.  This is the sweetest little gift she got for Christmas and it is a toy that not only she and Cameron play with, but all the kids love to play with when they come over for play dates.  It’s in the realm of pretend play- they set up a store and bring each other different combinations of ice cream.  This has been my go-to gift for two and three year olds and I particularly like it because I don’t see it around often.  You can bet that they won’t already have anything like this toy in their home. 

Her Disney Vanity is one of those things that she goes crazy for.  We don’t have many pink girly toys because she’s always loved growing into her brother’s toys that he got.  This though- she loves it!  It comes with a brush and little lotion bottles (that are empty) and it also has a button to turn on a ring of lights around the mirror. When she’s done it folds up into a little suitcase.

I write posts like these for two reasons: When I’m in the market for a Christmas or birthday gift for another child I like to search for posts like these to see what other kid’s favorites are and start there.  Pinterest is loaded with blog posts from other moms that list the toys their children love at certain ages.  For that reason, I enjoy sharing what we love to play with as well.  I also do the same when I’m looking to find some fresh new toys to add into our rotation.  As a stay-at-home mom with three under three I’m running a little preschool all day and I like to keep things interesting for them.   It pays to keep things fresh and fun (even if you have too many toys already) and the other moms have the best information!