Cuisine · Frugal Frances · Lifestyle · Mommy & Me · Willow & Wonder

Toddler Inspiration. Favorite things we’re loving right now!!!

We are all over the map when it comes to great balls of fun inspiration, but I think we have found some sensory play ideas and some intellectual fun!  Squishies are turning out to be all the rage.  I even love to squish them!

My daughter can smush this, squeeze it, and use it in her play kitchen.  And they make many different kinds like: cupcakes; ice cream; sandwiches; fruits; vegetables and animals.  Here is a link to many many wonderful little squishies that I would love to have.  I seriously am a little obsessed.  I can justify getting them if they go in her play kitchen; then they are more useful than just something to smush.

Here’s the cake in the picture below!

Another sweet cake

Jumbo fruit and a unicorn

Swiss Roll

I told you I was really into these.  HA.



Sensory Ball Bin


These sensory bins were tons of fun with Dew Drops.  My Little Ponies took baths in it, and they came with little sea creatures to try to find in the bowl.  They were super smooth and wet and slippery.  It was a fun one to play with for several days.  I just saved them in a covered bowl at night and got them back out when she wanted to play.  They come as little beads that you add water to and soak.  They expand in 8 hours for hours of fun later.

Where’s Waldo Books


My daughter has a real sense of humor and Waldo books do too.  Here’s a good Waldo collection to check out with six books!  He loves to find all the mischief in each land and finds great amusement in witnessing all this mayhem.  All I have to say is: “we need to find the little girl who smushed her ice cream in her brother’s face” or “the boy who kicked a soccer ball through a trailer”, and well folks, we have hours of entertainment!  Finding Waldo is tricky and luckily they challenge us to find all of his possessions too, making the book fun for a prolonged period of time!  I highly recommend this since it gets your kids face in a book for at least an hour each time.  It is actually really challenging for adults!

Pretend Play – Valentine’s Day Store


Our favorite thing to do is play store and Valentine’s day made for a great opportunity to have a thematic store idea: a Valentine’s Day Store.  This is our register and we love it! We had so many little props from her V-day gift bag and we collected all things pink, red and lovely for our store.  I threw in some heart candies to make it just a little more fun.  I recommend making little holiday shops to spice-up the good ole grocery store pretend play.



A little fun gifting for V-day made for a sweet holiday.  We made crowns, you can follow this link to that DIY craft blog post and we crafted Valentine’s and had V-day stores.  I’m pretty sure we crafted everyday.  She couldn’t get enough of making Valentine’s.

Valentine’s Day Dress-up


Pretend Play – make a cardboard refrigerator


This of course, needs to be gussied up.  Which I may end up writing an entire DIY post about it.  It needs to be pink!  Maybe needs some shelving, knobs on the doors, etc.  But for now it served it’s purpose – to get my girl to play with her kitchen and it was a success.  Sometimes I forget the power of cardboard and how easy make believe can be.  We don’t need to have everything store bought and fancy to make for a perfect playtime.  It’s so important to remember to instill that imaginative edge with your child, to get them to see that things can morph and change and become real without really being real.  I was contemplating getting a play phone and then thought I would just do a nifty one out of cardboard instead and I’m feelin’ decorating an old egg carton in the fuchsia that it comes in, to make for a nice egg holder in the refrigerator.

Noodle Necklaces


We also love making noodle necklaces with ribbons and a pipecleaner as a threading needle, just bent in half.  I made the mistake two years ago of buying up the pasta department in the grocery store.  I dyed them a whole bunch of colors and then got them out for my toddler, only to realize everything still was going into her mouth every 5 seconds.  Major choke hazard issue.  So I bagged them up and brought them out years later because my daughter was still that child that eats all the sand at the beach, and it was just a little too scary.

But now that we can work with tiny beads and things, this was a perfect activity.  I especially like the wheels and recommend ribbon or string in a thick gauge so it doesn’t hurt the neck.  I learned the hard way when I used twine and yarn that it was too itchy.  So make sure to think about comfort not just cheap materials you have around.  I would love to do thick ribbon or a gorgeous bow on the back.



Pick everything up with tongs.  Yup, tongs are so fabulous for building dexterity.  I need to get a little set to use for tiny things like beads and pom pom sorting!  Keep looking for craft materials at your local thrift store.  We got all these for $3.  Don’t forget to support your local thrift store and remember not everything needs to be brand new.  It’s not great for the environment!  If you pick right it can be extra special too!  Although this pom pom link is worth the $10.  Imagine how many crazy crafts and sorting you can do with this bin of pom poms.


Peter Rabbit Collection


We went to see Peter Rabbit and found it to be quite comical.  I loved the old school illustrations they included in it, just like the books.  These are one of our favorite book collections.  This happens to be another book experience that we get lost in.  Checkout the Complete Peter Rabbit Collection with this link.  There are many different stories about a multitude of animals and each is a fun journey of riddles and old English.  Anyways, we usually start reading it pretty regularly around Easter time to get into bunnies, gardens and spring mode.  Here’s a smaller Peter Rabbit Collection worth checking out!

Stealing miniature furniture
Darling fake food

Two Bad Mice is my absolute favorite of the collection.  Definitely because it features two little mice stealing doll house furntiture and food.  I love anything involving a doll house indeed.  It is a sweet story, however.

Matchy Matchy Aprons


I’m in love with these matching aprons from Anthropologie.  We got them for Christmas and love to sport them when we are ready to grab our whisks and whip something up!  I will keep all of her aprons forever and kinda dig the mini-me style thing right now!  Anthropologie has many styles in matching aprons for moms and children!

Honest Kids Juices



I have to say the sugar content of these juices is really good here.  It also tastes more like flavored water than straight-up sugary juice.  I’m a big fan.  Kids love to poke the straw in and most of the time my daughter will just drink half a box every couple days so they last forever!  Cute names too: Appley Ever After; Goodness Grapeness; Berry Berry Lemonade.  I’m a sucker for a good name; that’s why I love Shopkins so much!  Clever, clever, clever.

Making Omelets with kids


This is our new fun fav.  Let your kids put the veggies and cheese on it but be sure to protect them from the hot pan.  Just hold them over it and let them drop the ingredients in.  This was a great way to get some green veggies down!

That’s all for now, folks!

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