Kate Strand

Mom to two, former Elementary School Teacher, Preschool Owner, turned Co-CEO of Hello Happy Parent.

Parents dream of magical toys that are captivating, educational, durable- and will engage children for more than a few minutes at a time. The simplicity and reliability of bubbles, Legos, and the hose in the backyard are great options, but when it’s time to settle on a few solid decisions for the playroom- a bit of planning ahead can save you space, and money! As a former Preschool Owner, Mom to two, and Co-CEO of Hello Happy Parent, I can testify that this series of toys will not only check off the boxes of qualities listed above, they will also stand the test of time. The versatility of these toys ensures that if you buy them when your kiddos are littles, they will continue to enjoy them for several years ahead.


1

Water has the ability to capture a child's imagination and invite them to a long, calm, sensory reset. This sink does just that. It provides an opportunity for children to explore scooping, pouring, mixing and pretend play- all with running water that isn't increasing your water bill! Several parents I've spoken to recently, swear by this toy as a daily favorite.

Pretend Play Sink

Crabby kiddo? Just add water!

$29.99
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2

I have watched children spend HOURS upon hours every DAY exploring these blocks! Perfect for learning through play, you can discuss colors, patterns, shapes, counting, balance, lights, magnets, and more using magnatiles. You can use magnatiles as the foundation and add in figurines or animals, build the blocks on a light table (turn the room lights off for an increased sensory experience), or create building challenges. Bonus: many adults enjoy playing with these as well. And one thing we know to be true about increased enjoyment for parents during playtime: it promotes a strong bond & shared happiness for the child. Win/win.

Magnatiles

Don't walk, RUN to buy these.

$49.99
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3

Wooden blocks are a toy that never goes out of style. They are durable, so you don't need to worry about breaking them. They are awesome to add on to as time goes on- you can mix and match wooden blocks from multiple sets and the building opportunities are endless. Castles, garages, houses, apartments, towers... you get the idea. As a side note: they even look really nice on the (low) shelf in the play area. Even if you aren't trying to achieve the look of a pinterest-worthy Montessori classroom, when you glance over at the toys, and you spot some neutral colors amongst the bright, light-up, musical toys- it's like a breath of fresh air.

Wooden Blocks

The toy that never goes out of style.

$55.99
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4

I didn't know there could be such a difference in scooters. BUT, when I saw my second child (who was 2-years-old at the time) jump on one of these and ride it around the local toy store, I knew at that moment, that it was one of two things: either she became a gifted board-sports prodigy over night, or this scooter was special (hint: although she's fun to watch, it was the latter). These scooters ride so smooth, both of my kids will ride them all around the neighborhood on sidewalks without any trouble. They come in different sizes and are easy to adjust in height. Part of me thinks both of my children have been on these wheels more than their feet in the last year.

Micro Scooters

Why walk, when you can scoot?

$12.95
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5

Wooden Rainbow

Simple + Beautiful

$49.49   SHOP NOW

It may appear to be a simple rainbow, but let's walk though the alternative ways it can be played with beyond practicing and stacking ROY.G.BIV in order. Turn it into toy car and skateboard ramps, use it as you animal caves, a doll gymnastics course. Your kids will show you something clever with it, I promise! Bonus: Like the wooden blocks- this toy also looks good on display.