Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday: Toys Worth Buying

Don't forget about my giveaway that ends Friday!!

I'm a big believer in classic toys.  We have very, very few toys that make noise or light up.  (Namely because they DRIVE ME CRAZY).  I've found that Bean is far more likely to engage with a toy that she can use in as many different ways as her imagination allows.  

Here's my top 10 list of toys worth having in your kids' toy stash.

10.  Tinker Toys - A classic that has absolutely captivated my toddler. At nearly three, she is completely capable of making her own creations and conjuring up elaborate stories about them. 

9.  Blocks - These are great from a very young age.  Babies love to hold and bang blocks together and because they're most often natural wood, they're safe for babies to mouth.  Toddlers love the classic "build and knock down" game.  And preschoolers start to build their own creations and use their imagination.

8.  Play Kitchen - From the day Bean could stand up on her own, this has been one of her favorite toys.  She loved opening and closing the doors as a small toddler and now concocts entire meals complete with place settings and  elaborate ceremony.  In addition to her kitchen, a great set of play food offers countless hours of entertainment.  (And if your toddler is like mine, you'll find that they become ridiculously attached to one or two pieces and carry them EVERYWHERE). 

7.  Books - Does this need explanation?  I think not.  Reading to your kid, and later, helping them to love reading on their own, is quite possibly the BEST thing you can do for your kids' imagination.

6.  Cars - I've yet to meet a kid who doesn't crack up to see a car whizzing across the floor at high speeds.  We also really loved Melissa and Doug's twin race track thing, but I haven't the slightest idea where to find it online. 

5.  Play Dough - I'm a big fan of play dough... either bought or homemade.  However, I do have issues with their accessory toys.  Kids aren't necessarily adept enough to use them properly until they're older.  I say, get the dough and use random kitchen utensils as tools.  Works as well, it's cheaper, and often, easier.

4.  Puzzles - Love the whole Melissa and Doug Chunky Puzzle line.  But really, she'll do any.  She's up to 48 pieces now, almost entirely by herself. 

3.  Dress Up Clothes - Bean LOVES to dress up.  Our dress up box has very few costumes that were bough in their entirety.  Instead, it's a hodgepodge of  different accessories and  clothes.  And that's generally the very first thing the kids flock to when they come over.  The results are often random, and always hilarious.  I will say that it's worth it to spend money on the most used accessories, like the wands and the crowns and hats.  Otherwise, pick things up here and there.  I definitely suggest getting a mix of both boy and girl outfits.  Little boys don't mind sometimes, but they'd often rather be things like firemen or police officers. 

2.  Little Tykes Cozy Coupe - My neighbor had one when I was a kid.  We all fought over it.  It's as classic as things come.  And it's played with nearly every day.  We have ours inside on our porch and sometimes, we wish we had two to cut down on the bickering when friends come over.  I would suggest searching Craigslist and Yardsales.  There are far too many out there in nearly new shape to justify buying one new.  Besides, even if they're scuffed, a magic eraser will clean 'em right up.

1.  Legos - More sophisticated than blocks.  More possibilities too.  Better for the slightly older kid, though Duplo blocks are a great starter.  They're a great enough toy that I still jostle to play with them myself. 

Bean has other toys that are more modern or new and yes, she plays with them, but these are the things she always comes back to play with.  I would say that it's always, always, ALWAYS worth it to try to buy used when possible.  If things are in great shape, your kids won't notice a bit.  And if they do and complain?  Use it as an opportunity to teach them about conservation and thankfulness. 

Let the holiday season begin!!  WOOT!

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  1. But how do you get the families to stop buying the noisy toys?!


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