This might be a no-brainer to all you seasoned mothers out there...but the best toys aren't really toys at all.
1 bag of lima beans + 1/2 bag of black beans + 3/4 bag of pinto beans + a couple glass dishes + measuring cups & spoons = 2+ days of non-stop fun for Z
She seriously has not grown tired of the beans. I got the idea from this incredibly eye-opening book called Raising Your Spirited Child. This book is blowing my mind. But that's another post. In the book she recommends lots of sensory activities for your spirited child. I had no idea it would be such a success!
I have to say that we try not to spend a lot of money on toys. We prefer wooden, all-natural toys (once again, another post) which are typically more expensive, so we don't have a lot. One of our desires for all the toys our girls have is that they be open-ended. This definitely fits the bill....and it hardly cost a thing.
I actually had to pull her away from the beans several times yesterday. She has not grown tired of emptying and filling. Last night her play took a different turn when we carried the bean tray into the living room. All of a sudden she was making smoothies, cream of wheat and ice cream all available for purchase...with beans.