Kids’ schools are off for too many random days, especially for toddlers. If you’re home with your kid and need to take a work call or get something done, you need to get Plus-Plus, the greatest quiet toy I’ve encountered in a while.
Plus-Plus is a system of tiny plastic pieces that are shaped like the offspring of a plus sign and a hashtag. They fit together to make flat or 3D sculptures, and toddlers can spend hours lining them all up to see how long a “snake” they can make, or what letters they can assemble out of the pieces.
I like buying sacks of pieces like this, but they also have kits containing instructions and the pieces you need to make something specific (a jellyfish a dinosaur etc.) and these come packaged in cool tubes, making them perfect for tossing in your bag for a restaurant outing, an office visit or something that would otherwise bore children.
Like Legos and Duplos, they also offer a baseplate, though this seems superfluous if you’re building on a flat surface like a table or floor. They also offer a larger size (Plus-Plus BIG) for younger kids, whose motor skills may not be up to the task of handling the the regular Plus-Plus pieces). Note that both sizes are recommended for kids 3 and up, I guess because that’s the age when kids usually stop trying to eat random stuff.
As someone who buys too many damn toys, this is one of the few that I’ve really loved recently, so much so that I stocked up on a few additional packs for the car, for the grandparents’ house, for travel. I think they’d also make great gifts, and parents will not be mad at you for giving their kids something with no batteries, no flashing lights, and and no noises.