I have been parenting now for 10 1/2 years and I have seen many, many different types of toys come and go from my house over the years. My daughter was the first grandchild on both my husband’s and my side of the family.
Because of the great excitement surrounding the first grandbaby, my daughter received many gifts early on and continuing on for the first few years in particular.
Everyone was very excited to purchase the cute new hot toys for our little one. Amazon makes the gift buying very easy with the suggestions for the different ages. We really enjoyed the attention our little one was receiving, however, we did notice many of her toys started to stack up and go unused in her toddler room. Even when we would donate something, it seemed that a new toy would creep into the toy receptacle, also known as our house, (:) ) rather quickly.
Anyway, my point is, we have been BURIED in toys for a little over a decade now.
Finally, last year, when my oldest turned 9, she started to clear out her toys and opted, instead, to have a digital piano taking up the toy space in her room. She has saved a few stuffed animals, but most of the plastic toys have been gone for over a year now.
My eight year old is much more into creative play, and really utilizes her toys to their fullest. I really don’t mind picking up toys if they are being used. In addition to creating towns with her creative play toys including dolls, little people and stuffed animals, she will also set up an optometrist office in her room, for example, and use her dolls as patients. I love that!
My four year old……well, he’s four, so he is into every plastic toy there is and then some. :0
This past year has really been a CLEAR OUT THE HOUSE year. We have been narrowing down our toy collection to our absolute must haves.
Our Four Favorite Toys over the years
When it comes down to it, there are four types of toys that we absolutely love. These toys have never irritated us, and we have always felt that our children’s time was well spent when they spend time with these particular toys. Here they are…..
1. Little People – Talk about sparking your imagination. These little people have been igniting imaginations for decades. I remember mine back in the ’70s. They used to be wooden and a little smaller than the ones today. I’m generally not a fan of plastic toys, but the little people are made with a solid plastic that really are built to last. My 8 year old and 4 year old love setting up whole cities with these little guys. They will set up a town on one side of the our house and have the little people travel by bus or train to get to the nearby town located on the other side of our house. Really adorable.
I love this toy for the hours upon hours of enjoyment they provide in a very beneficial manner. The little people help ignite creativity, sharing, and working together. I love seeing my 4 year old son playing with the little people by himself, creating unique voices for each character. I also love seeing my 8 year old and 4 year old playing together with these little people.
2. Wooden Blocks- What can I say? The classic toy that will live on for generations. I can’t even begin to count the number of hours all three of my kids have spent with our wooden blocks. My son enjoys building the highest towers possible, while my 8 year old daughter loves building homes for her little people.
Our favorite set of wooden blocks is definitely the Melissa and Doug Wooden Block set. We have three of the 60 block sets and have them in several rooms in our house.
We absolutely love the quality of these blocks and the countless hours of fun that this toy has provided for our kids and us too!
3. Legos- LOVE, LOVE LEGOS. Talk about creativity. Legos, I believe, more than any other toy, really get the engineering side of your brain functioning at its highest
capacity. My son brings a tupperware filled with legos to the pool every day and builds a new boat for his lego men every day to ride in through the waves of the baby pool. :)
4. Thomas the Train - These wooden trains are just too adorable for words. I love how the names of the engines are written on the bottom of each train. I love that they are wood. I love that my son can stay mesmerized for hours with these engines and create whole new worlds for his trains to explore. I love the sound effects my son makes for his engines to come to life. They’re just awesome.
Conclusion: The Best Toys
I love toys that spark creativity and imagination. Sturdiness is key. Wooden toys are my preference, but little people and legos prove that plastic can be ok when constructed in the strongest manner possible. The four toys mentioned above will never be donated or go in the trash bin at our house. My husband and I will keep and treasure these items for years to come and hopefully watch our grandchildren enjoy them as well.
What are your favorite toys for the kiddos?