Yesterday we had visited the pediatrician for a regular check-out before new year in daycare starts for my toddler and yet again, we have waited for almost 2 hours in line! Not sure what it’s like where you live but when we go to doctor’s office, 4 out of 5 visits end up with waiting over an hour!
Waiting in closed space with a bunch of sick kids isn’t something I like to expose my kids to but from time to time, it can’t be prevented. Although, in many cases when my husband was available to jump in, we would agree for him to wait in line and he would have called us just in time to step into doctor’s office.
Waiting isn’t easy for adults, let alone for toddlers! In most cases, if my toddler wasn’t really, really sick (and then she would just want to sit in my lap and cuddle), I would have a hard time to prevent her from jumping and running around the waiting room, and interacting with other sick kids. I know it sounds harsh, but hey! we didn’t come to doctor’s office to bring a new disease home!
So, after several tries and fails, I have come up with several items I usually carry in a diaper bag when we go to visit doctor’s office. What was I looking for when I picked which toys to carry around in my bag? Toys had to be portable (small in size), age appropriate, if they had an educational aspect that’s a plus but they had to engage my toddler for at least 15 -20 minutes.
Kidoozie My First Purse
I have a girl toddler so Kidoozie First Purse is something she loves carrying around. We save it for the time when we know we’re going somewhere we need to wait for a while because she loves to take things out from the bag, carefully look over everything and then put it all back. Multiple times. Plus, it’s easy to replace few items inside the purse to keep it interesting. If you have a boy toddler, I would suggest purchasing a tri-fold wallet and place inside some play money and old credit cards. They will love taking it out and putting it back inside!
Melissa & Doug K’s Kids Take-Along Shape Sorter Baby Toy
Melissa & Doug K’s Kids Take-Along Shape Sorter Baby Toy is an excellent toy to take along just about anywhere! It has a handle so toddlers can carry it themselves, it’s great practice for fine motor skill since with shape sorter on one side with 9 different shapes in 9 different colors to put through the holes and it has a little game on the back with crinkly flaps where images on top match shapes beneath the flaps.
ABC Animal Train Travel Bag
ABC Animal Train Travel Bag By Pockets of Learning is the exceptional toy that can be also used as learning toy when toddlers are a bit older and we start with letter recognition. It has 26 pockets with letters A-Z with 26 tiny animals, and each animal has embroidered letter to match its’ pocket. We used it in so many different ways – to learn names of the animals, to practice fine motor skills with putting animals back into pockets, to sing along our favorite nursery rhymes! The great thing about this toy that producer replaces missing parts free of charge! Another great toy by Pockets of Learning is Right at Home Fabric Book for Toddlers. Check them both and pick the one your toddler would like better!
Water Wow Coloring Book
Water wow coloring books are the great option to standard crayons and writing paper because they are mess free and we don’t have to worry about what my toddler will color (toddlers are famous for painting on all available surfaces!). Plus, it’s kind of like a magic when she uses only one pen and images she colors appear all in different colors! These books can be found in different themes (animals, alphabet, numbers, vehicles, etc.) so there is surely theme that will keep a toddler interested.
Sweet Pea Snuggle pod toy
This sweet little toy is one of my toddler’s favorite, she loves to carry it around, sings lullabies to her and put her to sleep. We use Sweet Pea toy to learn the importance of being quiet, we talk softly when Pea is going to sleep trying not to wake her up. When we visit a doctor, we project my girl’s sickness to a Pea and cuddle her until a doctor can exam her and see what’s wrong.
My little girl adores books and if possible, she would want me to read her books few hours each day. She loves to go through each book few times, especially if it’s a new book. My Little Pocket Library Early Learning Fun by Roger Priddy is our choice of books to take along. We take a full set with us each time because it’s really tiny and it can be tossed in a diaper bag without taking up much space. My daughter picks which one she would like to read first, then we read it through, name items on the pages, name colors, count items, etc.
Mihaela runs Best Toys 4 Toddlers blog and loves to come up with new ideas how to use old toys her 2 daughters keep leaving on the floor to slip over. She loves them despite the fact that they call her mommy few hundred times a day, and it makes her nuts.