Best Quarantine Purchases

The best (under $30) purchases we’ve made to entertain our toddler during this coronavirus quarantine so we can get some work done, help him learn and all try to stay sane.


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Happy week 7,896 of Quarantine! J/k, I know it’s Wednesday of week 5 and we’re starting to potentially see a light at the end of the tunnel. But today I pulled out a new toy from my office for my kid and his special toy he had ordered with his own money arrived EARLY moments later. Thanks, UPS. But it actually entertained him all day and I got a monumental amount of work done so it was a success…

It’s not unusual for me to have a small stockpile of “new” things for our toddler at any given time. They may actually be new or they may be new-to-him things that I’ve picked up in our neighborhood — like his trampoline that’s been so great for getting energy out during this lock down.

I had purchased a few things in January when we booked our Grand Cayman and Canada trips and while we were in Grand Cayman, I realized how the situation was turning so I may or may not have added a few more to my cart. He only returned to school for 2.5 days after that trip before coming home for our quarantine.

We’ve definitely tried to fill a lot of our time with hikes, sidewalk chalk, sandbox and the trampoline I got from a neighbor for $15. But we’ve also tried to add in some learning and structure because he got so much of it at school.

These have been our best quarantine purchases for a toddler and his favorites so far: 

Water pad — it has the alphabet around the edges and comes with a book with the alphabet too!

Numbers puzzles – great for counting and recognizing numbers

Spelling puzzles – great for recognizing letters/sight words

Bean Bag Shapes – we’ve played catch with these and also drawn shapes outside and had him match them up

Paint Set with rollers and sponges – we’ve had a lot of fun with this doing different textures

Wooden Pattern Blocks – probably no real surprise, he mostly wants us to make cars not all the other cool animal shapes

Magnapad alphabet – I actually surprised him with this on the way to Grand Cayman because he loves his numbers version so much that he’s had since he was 2.

6-in-1 Fun Pack Card Games – he really wants to be into card games but needs a little more focus (however he is great at Candyland!)

My mom sent him some stickers, crayons and 500 sheets of construction paper so we’ve been busy making cards for everyone we know + the whole neighborhood but it has actually been really fun and really sweet to watch him drive his gator around to deliver them or to get calls from people saying they got theirs in the mail. It makes him so happy.

This is what’s working for us. We’re lucky to have a kid who is fantastic with independent play and who is go-with-the-flow for the most part. We’ve had our share of meltdowns over here (myself included) but for the most part he has been pretty good. He loves when his teachers send videos and he liked FaceTiming his best friend. Working full time and trying to help him learn / play simultaneously is a new ballgame but we’re all doing our best and making it work day by day. There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

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