My First Uno Card Game. While were at my moms house last month, my Mom and I taught Colin how to play Uno. I modified the deck a bit, removing all the draw twos, draw fours, reverses and skips. He picked it up remarkably quickly, so when we got home I looked for our deck and could only find about 30% of the cards..so I went on amazon and found these. You don't really need to buy a special deck of uno cards for kids, but he likes them. This is basically just a slightly larger sized version of a regular deck without the skips, reverses and draw fours (draw twos are in there but they don't have words on them), oh and they have Mickey Mouse on them so they are more fun. He loves to play, but we have to work on his poker face, he really loves to show me when he gets a wild or a draw two because he is going to "trick" me.
Little hands cardholder
. I had been wanting to get him one of these for a while, but finally did when I ordered the uno cards. His little hands have a hard time holding his cards and playing with them laying face up on the table just makes me let him win which in the long run is probably not a good idea. So I got him this and within a day he could load it himself. Now if I can just get him to stop throwing it when he looses we'll be all set!
Magic Treehouse Series. I have very fond memories of being read to out of chapter books at bedtime. For my sister and I it was the Little House on the Prarie books. My father would read to us and competently without planning it we always seems to 'line up' with the stories, (when it was winter in the book it was winter, when it was spring it was spring). All of us remember it very fondly so I knew I wanted to do something similar with Colin. He isn't quite ready for "little house" yet but we were all ready for something more complex than Goodnight Moon or Harold and the Purple Crayon. That was when I stumbled upon this series and we have been reading the books probably since I was pregnant with Meghan. Colin loves them, and they are very educational too! We have been able to really relate activities in our lives with things that 'Annie and Jack' do in the book (mummies or knights at the museum, tigers in the zoo, being brave, etc). Since the kids in the book travel through time, it is a great way to teach him history in a way that is fun. How many three year olds do you know who discuss Mount Vesuvius erupting? They are a little on the suspense/scary side but Colin handles it very well, much better than he would if it were on TV. There are just enough pictures to keep him interested, and enough books to keep Mom and Dad interested for another year or more!
Melissa and Doug Floor Puzzle. Colin got two of these puzzles for Christmas and he really enjoys them. He is pretty good at putting them together more of less by himself. They are sturdy too, he regularly walks or kneels on the pieces and none of them are warped or bent. I'm impressed.
ORE originals Sugarbooger backpack. This little back pack will always have a special place in my heart because it has served Colin very well through his first two years of preschool. It is the perfect size to fit on a two and three year olds back, and holds his sippy cup a few snacks and a "friend". It is starting to show some wear now after being pulled (read, yanked) off a hook by little hands for almost two years, but I have been very happy with it. He will need something bigger next year as we have been told his new school will have real homework every night (yes for 4 year olds!), but I will be sad to see this little pack retired.