Ella's Modern & Minimal Toys

In this blog post, I’ll be featuring a few tried-and-true baby products that Ella has grown to love over the past few months. Like most moms, I look for baby products that are easily accessible and affordable… which means I do most of my shopping online through Amazon! Below I’ve listen a few affiliate links for products that I bought for Ella that I would absolutely recommend to my friends and family. I’m not sponsored by any of these brands (I wish!), but I do want to share them with fellow mammas our there who are on the hunt for quality baby products. Let’s dive into it!

Melissa & Doug Giraffe Wooden Grasping Toy

Around 6 months of age, Ella became interested in the way certain objects could bend back and forth. I wanted to find a toy for her that was flexible but safe to go in her mouth (hello teething!). This meant I couldn’t have any small parts breaking off and becoming a choking hazard. Thus, I was so excited when I came across this Melissa and Doug Giraffe!

The giraffe is made up of interlocking pieces of wood, that can bend back and forth with a flexible connection. A strong, black elastic band is threaded through the giraffes body and pops out of the giraffes bum to form a little tail. Ella loves playing with that tail!

The neck is nice and long for babies who are learning to grasp onto objects. I’ll put this in front of Ella with the giraffe on all fours so she can practice knocking it down. The wood is nice and light-weight, which means this isn’t very destructive when it hits your floor. It’s perfect for throwing in the diaper bag before we head out the door. I’d highly recommend this to anyone looking for a baby toy that is simple and engaging for baby!

wooden baby toy melissa and doug giraffe
wooden baby toy melissa and doug giraffe

Uncle Goose Uppercase Alphablank Blocks

You can’t go wrong with a collection of toy blocks.. right? Wrong!

Many of the blocks I was coming across had loud, cheesy baby designs that I didn’t want scattered all over my house. I wanted to find Ella some blocks that were minimalistic but still engaging for her. I’ve always loved Grimm’s Set of Wooden Blocks but I could never justify spending $150 on a set of toys that, let’s face it, will eventually get colored on, spit on, and sat on. No way! I needed to find something that was affordable yet beautiful. These certainly fit the bill.

Uncle Goose sources their wood from tree’s in Michigan and carves each design right here in the U.S.A. You can also choose to paint them any color that you wish or leave them unstained like we have. Once Ella starts learning about the alphabet, these blocks will be a perfect tool to teach her about all about vowels, sounds, and spelling. I know these blocks are going to get used around our house for years to come!


Manhattan Toy Skwish Rattle and Teether Grasping Activity Toy

You may have seen these aesthetically pleasing rattles floating around Instagram lately, and that’s because babies go absolutely bonkers for them. Sometimes I have to pull this one away from Ella because she’ll get so excited she starts whipping it around in the air like a crazy person. It’s pretty cute though. Which is why we’ve accumulated a collection of these that are situated around our house. Let’s jump into the details!

When I first saw these rattles online, I thought they were entirely made out of wood. But there’s actually a strong elastic band threaded throughout the entire toy that makes this rattle flexible for your little one. I also didn’t realize that some of the wooden knobs are loosely wrapped around the wooden shafts, which means your baby can tilt this back and forth and watch as the beads glide across the toy in complete awe. Ella also loves chewing on the wooden knobs that are fixated around the perimeter of the toy. You can’t really find a toy that is easier to grasp than this one is! They can grab onto the beads, the elastic or the wooden shafts easily and rotate it around, almost like a ball.

This toy makes just enough noise to keep your baby interested, but not enough to drive you crazy as a parent. A total win!

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Skip Hop Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center

This product from Skip Hop is Ella’s most used baby product at the moment, and there are a million good things I could say about it.

Let’s start with the design. It’s modern, it’s minimal and it’s light weight. It comes in two color profiles, one that is Pastel (pictured below) and another that is Primary (see here).

This activity center set’s itself apart from competitors because it’s not only an activity center, but it converts itself into an activity table once your child is old enough to sit in a chair unassisted. This means I won’t have to spend money on a child-sized table once Ella grows out of the activity center. You can actually purchase a matching set of stools for the table if you wish to have a set that is cohesive. I haven’t bought those yet but I definitely will once she’s big enough!

Ella honestly spends hours in this activity center throughout the week. It’s the perfect spot for me to put her down when I need to make myself a cup of coffee or fold the laundry. I love putting her in this because I don’t have to worry about her crawling away while I’m not looking. And she loves all the toys that came with it! They rattle, spin, squeak and bounce. She’s great at entertaining herself in this thing.

My favorite part of this activity gym is how easy it is to clean. She’s had her fair share of spit-up’s down the seat and I can easily remove the fabric cover and throw in in the wash. All the toys around the perimeter also detach so you can thoroughly wipe the surface without having to work around the toys.

Without a doubt, this is the baby product I get asked the most about on my Instagram account. It has a unique, almost spaceship looking design to this that always peaks the interest of anyone that see’s it! And when I tell people that it converts into a table they just lose their minds! Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But still. Everyone seems to think this thing is pretty cool.

It’s stood up to a lot of abuse from Ella over the last five months and hasn’t been damaged a single bit. This thing is durable.

While it may be a higher ticketed item, I wanted to include it on this list because of its versatility. When you factor in the cost of buying an activity table for your child in the future, this things is actually a steal for what it’s capable of. I’m so glad we made this purchase!

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If you enjoyed the nature of this blog post and would like to see more like it in the future, please comment below or give this post a little “like” by hitting the heart below.

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions regarding the products I’ve mentioned above, either via email at mariah.mpls@gmail.com or you can always direct message me on my Instagram account.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sincerely, Mariah