Father/Toddler Hobby Gift
November 30, 2017 7:33 AM   Subscribe

What hobby gift would be good for my husband to do with our 21 month old ?

Mr. Kitty set up the LGB train sets that he had as a child for Christmas and Toddler Kitty really likes watching them go around (and sending sippy cups on a trip).

Mr. Kitty is a very involved parent and I would love to get something that he and Toddler Kitty can actively do together (either outside or inside). Mr. Kitty is not a sports guy, but is incredibly handy with construction like stuff. He likes gardening, cooking, building computers, construction, our koi pond, our fish tank, our cats, and our dogs. We hike with toddler and dogs.

Toddler Kitty really likes the koi pond, fish tank, cats, dogs, hiking, trains, cars, and Sarah & Duck (cartoon).

What would be a neat gift for Mr. Kitty and Toddler Kitty bonding? Ideally i am looking for something they do together as opposed to say, a fish toy for the bathub.
posted by Suffocating Kitty to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Magna-Tiles! At this age, my husband would build structures and my toddler would gleefully knock them down. Eventually, they progressed to building together.
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:41 AM on November 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

Duplo train set
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:42 AM on November 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

A kitchen helper stool so that Toddler can assist Dad in the kitchen.

Seconding Magnatiles or Magformers. Or Mega Bloks.
posted by amro at 7:44 AM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Marble run.
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:44 AM on November 30, 2017

How about model-building? A basic model car or model train kit that Mr. Kitty could mostly put together while Toddler Kitty watches and hands him things and then they could paint together.

My son has this toy workbench that isn't necessarily something we do together (though we could--I'm just a crappy mom), but it is something he likes to play with when I'm working in my workshop (er, garage), so it is like we're building together. It comes with fake foam "wood" and bolts/screws so kids can actually make stuff with it.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:45 AM on November 30, 2017

At 21 months you still want to be sure the toy doesn't have small parts that could represent choking hazards. Magna-Tiles would be great. I'm not sure about Lincoln Logs. I'd stay away from marble runs until your child is older and can be trusted not to put the marbles in their mouth.

Duplo would also be a great building toy that's appropriate for this age.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 8:15 AM on November 30, 2017

That's a good point about the marbles. Although, if they spend the time building the run, and just drop the marble in, I think it would be pretty easy to keep it out of his mouth. If he likes watching the train go round, I think he'd like watching the marble. My now four and eight year olds have been playing with our for years.
posted by dpx.mfx at 8:25 AM on November 30, 2017

They actually have toddler Marble Runs now!

We actually use a regular ol' one from Mr. Machine's childhood and keep the marbles in an inaccessible place, so that it's a Special Thing that the (19 month old) kid and dad do together for special times/Mr. Rhod's BREAK IN CASE OF EMERGENCY distraction. The kid doesn't have enough dexterity to actually put the pieces together, but he points and dad puts together and then he shrieks and jumps up and down while Dad runs the marble.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:29 AM on November 30, 2017

Magnatiles are awesome.

At that age, my son was really into watering the plants, so we got him a little watering can; when I was doing yard work, he would fill the can, carry it around, and water things. He also liked pulling up weeds, so some gardening gloves might be fun.
posted by chbrooks at 9:40 AM on November 30, 2017

Making bread is a really fun thing to do with littles, because there's so much bare-handed squooshing involved. Biscuits/cookies are also fun. Maybe get them matching aprons as well as a stepstool and matching adult/child sized cooking implements (spatula, wooden spoon etc.)
posted by Acheman at 10:12 AM on November 30, 2017

How about dominoes? Similar kind of fun as a marble run but no small marbles to worry about.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:45 AM on November 30, 2017

Also if you're in the USA you can buy Duplo compatible marble run pieces fairly affordably (compared to Canada anyway). I've got 2 different kinds, Hubelino and Block-N-Roll. You can do more interesting things with the Block-N-Roll but Hubelino is easier for younger kids to work with.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:48 AM on November 30, 2017

Start going on nature walks. Learn about the plants, trees, birds, and critters of your area. It's time they would spend together, maybe with you if you're on a trip, it's stuff that would be remembered basically forever, and it can be done everywhere. My brother-in-law always taught his kids history as they traveled, making detours for significant sites. They complained bitterly at times, but have incredibly fond memories.
posted by theora55 at 12:50 PM on November 30, 2017

Guyagonalize bonded with our friends’ toddler and then inspired a big group cooking party by teaching the little guy how to make Chinese dumplings out of Play-Doh, so maybe learning to make dumplings from scratch might appeal.
posted by Diagonalize at 5:29 PM on November 30, 2017

My brother has been into making forts/cars/etc out of cardboard for my similarly aged nephew. Maybe a book like this and a bunch of paints/tape/various supplies to accompany it?
posted by gennessee at 3:48 PM on December 1, 2017

several sets of toddler friendly marble runs are on there way! Thanks Mefites!
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 5:21 AM on December 4, 2017

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