The Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet captured my imagination. It's a building toy with a fun twist. It has 44 pieces that include four base parts, 16 stem pieces, and several flower parts in pink, yellow and purple. I love that you can create your own floral arrangements, group the flowers by color, or stack the pieces on top of each other to make a really tall flower. If you're not familiar with Green Toys, they make their toys out of recycled milk jugs and make durable, quality toys. We have some of their other products and they have held up well to my kids' play. I love that this set comes with a storage box to keep all the flower pieces in. The manufacturer age recommendation is three through six, but some two year olds will be able to play with these.
There are several books that complement this flower stacking toy. Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert is a good book for young kids, around the ages of two through four, who may be learning the names of colors. It is about a child who plants seeds with their mother and the flowers bloom in the colors of the rainbow. To see the full story, watch this YouTube Video:
The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes was part of our gift for a 3 year old girl. It is about a tiny gardener who loved his garden despite not being very good at gardening. He works "very, very hard" at gardening, but he was just too little and could only get one flower to bloom. Seeing this wonderful flower gave him hope and made him work harder. This flower is seen by a girl, and it gives her hope, and makes her want to work harder, and while the gardener takes a long nap, the garden transforms into a beautiful lush garden. The only video I could find of The Little Gardener being read is this YouTube Video. Or scroll through the photos of The Little Gardener below to see more about this story.
If I were to give the Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet again, I would also consider giving the book Tokyo Digs a Garden, which is about a boy, Tokyo, who lives in a crowded city. He is given seeds that will grow into whatever he wishes. These seeds quickly grow and overtake the city. It has a moral about learning to live with nature, and the illustrations, by Kellen Hatanaka are bold and modern.
See the links in the text or below for purchasing information. All of these items can be delivered through Amazon.com which makes this an easy gift to shop for!