C got a big ol' bin of MegaBloks for Christmas and didn't take much interest in them until recently, but they have quickly climbed to the top of his list. He loves putting them all in the bucket, dumping them out, and stacking them as high as he can. We have a box of Duplos in the closet for him when he gets a bit older, but for now the ease in which MegaBloks go together and come apart is perfect for him.
Another favorite of the moment is his Little Tikes Camping Adventures Look Out Lantern. We bought it for when we go to camp this summer, but since learning how to turn it on an off, he is fascinated. He stares into the light like a little moth until it dims out on its timer. I can't wait to take him camping where he can really use it.
C has been very into books lately and we've begun letting him choose the book he wants to read before bed. We keep his board books, touch and feel books, and other hard covers down low on his level. So far, no books have been maimed or destroyed. ::knocks on wood:: He definitely has his favorites that he reaches for more often. They are:
Peek a Who? by Nina Laden
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin & John Archambault
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Little Hands Love by Piggy Toes Press
When he pulls out Little Hands Love, its especially cute because he will sit quietly turning the pages and feeling the different textures on each page (fluffy cotton, rough cardboard, silky leaves, etc.)
At about $4-$5 a piece, this season's collection of t-shirts and shorts at Target is fabulous! There are several mix and match sets in the collection and all of the shorts are fun, summery plaid prints. ::geeking out:: I absolutely adore the look of plaid shorts, but they usually have one, maybe two, shirts that can match with them. We were able to buy four different shirts that matched the same pair of shorts creating more outfit options for less money.
Target also has their super lightweight summer pajamas out and I need to pick up a few sets. C is finally outgrown is Christmas pajamas and its no longer long pants and sleeves weather! Two mix and match t-shirts and shorts come in each set for $15.
When C started walking, we started being more intentional about what shoes we bought for him. During a BOGO 1/2 off sale at Stride Rite, we got two pairs of their Step System shoes for him and they are fantastic! They are soft enough where he can feel the ground and keep working on his balance, but firm enough to withstand being outside. A pair of sandals and sneakers and he was set for the summer. With the BOGO, it was about $45 for both.
To pack his lunch for daycare, we had been using the Bento Box Lunch Kit by Skip Hop. With his growing appetite, however, he is quickly outgrowing the capacity of the little containers! I recently discovered the Gerber Graduates Mealtime Organizer and am in love! It holds so much food, not to mention utensils, and ice pack, and a note or picture from home.
We can fit his yogurt, some sliced fruit, and a whole sandwich (yes, that is my 18 month old's typical lunch and yes, he eats it all). Its dishwasher safe and only costs about $7. Keep your eye out - Gerber Graduates/NUK has BOGO free coupons on their facebook page every once in a while. I snagged two of these and love using them. The only downside is that the cups on the left side are not removable and its a little large to put in the microwave if you need to reheat something. For cold lunches, however, its perfect.
In the Diaper Bag
Our absolute must have in the diaper bag item is GoGo squeeZ applesauce pouches. C just goes nuts for them! They are a compact, easy, and delicious snack that never fails - and doesn't make a huge mess. They come in six apple combination flavors (regular apple, strawberry, banana, mango, cinnamon, and peach) and he loves all of them. For 100% natural, organic fruit the price isn't too shabby at about $.50 a pouch, but there are always coupons (and fun trivia, contests, and pictures) available through their facebook page.