Hi friends of Whitney! I’m Ashley and I blog over at Perks of Ponder. I started this new blog after getting divorced. My old blog Mrs. Mama no longer fit. Ponder is my last name and in this season of my life I’m looking for all the perks of being me. Plus, who doesn’t love alliterations?
I’m raising a very spirited 3 year old named Jack. He is the reason I laugh, play in the dirt, and eat goldfish crackers off the floor. He is also the reason I worry all the time, why I want to day drink, and why I’ve been known to cry in the floor because he refuses to use the potty.
I spend my weekdays as an elementary librarian who services 711 kids each week. Librarians are no longer just the keeper of the books. I teach lots of technology skills and spend a lot of my time researching resources for my fellow teachers.
Jack and I are currently living with my parents while I focus on paying off debt and building a house.
I blog as a way to record the moments of our lives, to document my everlasting quest to be the best me, and for the blogging community connection. I really am so amazed at the friends you can make through the connection of sharing thoughts and ideas.
I was quick to say yes when Whitney contacted me about writing a post for her Boy Mama series. I’m writing about toys. Our lives, my paycheck, and our furniture revolve around toys. I consider myself an expert and if you don’t believe me, just ask the man who delivers the Amazon packages.
When we found out we were having a baby boy the first thing we purchased was a toy football. We are huge sports fans so it just fit. Now that I am three years and four months into this boy mama gig I have lots of knowledge of which toys were worth it and which ones were a waste of money.
First year toys that Jack loved
1// Alphabet bath stickers. I bought these a few different times because they provided lots of bath time entertainment. There were times (and this is true today) that I put Jack in the tub just to play and calm down.
2// Wooden blocks. I think these are a staple for a reason. Santa brought Jack a set of these for his first Christmas. Once he got old enough to play with them, they provided hours of entertainment. Mama just loves building towers for Jack to knock right down.
3// Boats for the Tub. They connect magnetically and Jack has always loved toys that connect. Is this a boy thing?
4// Rattle. Pretty standard baby toy and Jack loved the loud noise.
5// Footballs. We bought him a blue and white one for his very first toy. He still has it today and will always be a keepsake for me.
6// Rattle guitars for car seat. Another standard baby toy. I liked that they provided that extra boy edge. There are a lot of neutral baby toys so it was nice finding these that were a little more masculine.
Year one (and beyond) toys that Jack loved
1// Holy Stone Dump Truck with remote control. Super easy to use and was a wonderful first remote control vehicle.
2// 12 piece Wooden Engines & Train Cars. This was a toy that was a big hit with Jack. Once again, they connect which he loved and we still have most of them today.
3// I Love You More Than Bananas Monkey. This was a gift from a family friend and it actually came from Dollar General. It sings this really fun song and although it no longer sings, we still sing that song to him.
4// Road Rug. Jack enjoys pushing trains and cars on this rug.
5// Vtech Sit-to-Stand Learnign Walker. This thing was such an entertainment piece for Jack. He played with it long before he was pushing it around. This thing was key in getting him walking.
6// Where is Baby's Belly Button? All of the Where is Baby's.... books are so much fun.
Toddler toys that Jack loved
1// Kindle Fire (Kids Edition). This thing has been wonderful! It has apps, books, and videos already on there. They are age appropriate and centered around learning. Not only does it teach them the usual stuff but also things like clicking and dragging.
2// Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper. I got Jack and my nephew Bennett one for Christmas. These boys love hopping around the house on them. Plus, adults (up to 220 lbs) can use it also. I've been hopping around the house quite a bit and it is a great workout.
3// Happy Trails Plush Rocking Horse. I think every kid needs a rocking horse. I have great memories of mine.
4// Little Tikes Trampoline. Jack loves to jump so I knew he would be a fan.
5// Melissa & Doug Top This Role Play Hats. Jack has always loved hats and he looks so cute in them. These hats have been through life with this toddler. When other kids come over they always enjoy them also.
Like most kids, Jack loves his toys. I’ve noticed that his toy likes have stayed pretty consistent. If it connects, moves, or makes noise then he will enjoy it. Overall, his favorite toys have been trains. He is obsessed with trains. He uses anything he can find around the house to make tracks, tunnels, and ramps for his trains. When you have a toddler boy it is smart to always have on hand boxes, duct tape, scissors, and a flashlight. You will ALWAYS need those items and will entertain your child more than anything they will find on tv. Homemade toys are the best toys.