Building Blocks

I need help!

My two-year-old son has outgrown his toys and I have no idea what to buy him to keep him busy. We have the requisite cars, trains, play dough, crayons, and blocks, but the only things that seems to keep his attention are electronic. Isn’t there anything out there that will stimulate his mind without burning out his eyeballs? I know that he’d love a marble track and more advanced Legos, but with twins arriving in a few months, I have to avoid anything with small, delicious parts.

He loves to figure out how things work and I’m wondering if there are some fabulous building toys out there that won’t break the bank. I went to the toy store the other day to see what’s out there and I saw a magnetic building system that cost $200! I find it hard to find toys that are age appropriate. The puzzles that are rated for two-year-olds he solves like a speed chess champion, but more advanced jigsaw puzzles frustrate the hell out of him and he throws a hissy fit. How do I find toys that challenge but do not frustrate him?

I suppose the other obstacle is that it’s wintertime. This kid loves physical activity; he could kick and throw a ball around the backyard for hours, zip around a playground until dusk, and make an obstacle course out of rocks and puddles. But that’s out of the question in the cold weather, and our house is too small to run around in for long. We don’t have the room for indoor play-sets, cardboard spaceships, or plastic basketball hoops. I am at a loss. I’ve read the blogs and best-of lists out there and nothing pops out as innovative and reasonably priced. So mamas, please help a fellow mom out! Please post some suggestions below, and keep in mind I am approaching the freakishly large third trimester stage that makes movement difficult. So, please no suggestions for Twister. Thanks!

1. Affordable
2. Indoor toy
3. Challenging for 2 year old
4. Does not require adult participation
5. No video screen

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