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Only 5 toys?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Okay, perhaps the title is a bit extreme, but I wanted to ask you seasoned mothers out there.....we have an eleven week-old daughter, and I don't want her to have an orgy of toys as she grows, especially plastic cr*p.

What are your child's five favorite toys? I would like to purchase toys that are sustainable, foster imagination/creativity, etc.

Thanks in advance for your replies...

post #2 of 33
If I had to choose only 5 they would be:
A doll with clothing.
A riding toy.
A pull toy.

I wouldn't count books, puzzles, or art supplies as toys though.
post #3 of 33
The only thing my DD was interested in at 11 weeks which stayed the course in ANY way is her bedtime lovey, who is still going strong (though worn and "well-loved") years later.

Her 5 favourite toys today are:
crayons and colouring book
bedtime lovey
cardboard box her new booster seat came in
set of plastic ponies (currently having a tea party behind our sofa)
set of swimcap and goggles (we don't have a pool!)

It varies so much from day to day though. I definitely think that it's fine for you to choose 5 toys YOU want to have around (like a nice rocking horse, or set of pretty wooden alphablocks or whatever) and the kid will be happy enough with them. DD likes what she has, finding something to do with what you have is a learned skill and fosters creativity and imagination (i used to "cook" lovely meals in my "oven" - actually a wooden pram - when i was a kid!), i think if you provide limited materials her imagination will develop wonderfully. I wouldn't worry about trying to predict what will be favourite at this stage - maybe if, like my parents, you see her "cooking" in her toy pram for 8 months you might want to splash out on a toy cooker set too, and maybe you won't.
post #4 of 33
My kids are 2 and 4 and these are the top 5:

1. Lego Duplos
2. Kitchen
3. Baby dolls (dd)
4. Trucks/cars (ds)
5. Dress up box
post #5 of 33
Blocks, ball, sticks, push/pull toy, something to dump water with in the tub
post #6 of 33
i'm going to assume these are five indoor toys (and outdoor toys don't count against the five indoors!). here is my list for a baby up to age 2.

doll & related items (like a stroller, even if you personally don't use a stroller - fun to push!)
play kitchen
bean bags
something wheeled (like a train table and trains, matchbox cars and ramp, dump truck big enough to carry/dump the blocks or bean bags)

if the play kitchen is too bulky or too much stuff, my other vote would be for a stacker or shape-sorter. we don't have a play kitchen, but do have play dishes and food.
post #7 of 33
I found that, pretty early on, DS made his preferences known and they didn't necessarily line up with mine. So your baby's 5 favorites might be different from your 5 favorites, which would make your favorites clutter, no matter how nice they are. One thing you can do is take your baby to some kind of indoor play space or someone else's house, and see what she likes best. For example I never would have thought to get an exersaucer, thought they were just "plastic crap," but when DS was 4 months old we took him to my cousin's house and she offered us their old exersaucer. We put him in it to see if he'd like it, and, sure enough, it became his Favorite Thing Ever until he was nearly a year old. The gorgeous, classic wooden mouse with wheels and a pull-string? Totally ignored. We literally kept it just because I like to look at it.
post #8 of 33
At that age Evie had a teething ring, a little marionette dragon, a carseat toy, a little ring worm with a bell in it, and a clacky ball. She still plays with all of those, though we've expanded the toy collection a bit.
post #9 of 33
Up to 9 months all mine care and cared about regarding toys is chewing on things. Playsilks and wooden toys are good for that. Properly sized blocks work. I made these great teethers of cherry wood for DS2, 1" hole in the middle for holding, shaped like a bird and an elephant, big enough that he can't get too much in his mouth, sanded smooth.

Later on, my first has played a lot with:
Blocks and other building things
Little animals and people (stuffed, wood, good quality plastic, or lead-free pewter)
Hats and playsilks
Little cars and vehicles

Also blankets, boxes, etc get a lot of play but that doesn't count as toys.
post #10 of 33
First, a bit about utilizing developmental stages to help keep grandparents at bay:

our doctor believes that most children are overstimulated by having too many toys. he has suggested toys for each age and developmental stage, and we were able to use this to help facilitate the 'he doesn't need it' process with the grands.

luckily, it also fits in with our own philosphy too!

with this, i told the grands that if they gave us something that we didn't want or need, it would go directly to charity. this incentive not to spend was helpful.

Now, onto what my son likes.

when my son was that age (11 wks), his favorite toy was a box lid. seriously, i had a box from Trader Joes that was a nifty cube shape. one day, he got ahold of the lid, and it was his favorite toy until i finally got rid of it right around his first birthday.

his second favorite toy was his "jingle box." using a trader joes plastic candy box (for chocolate covered almonds), i simply put jingle bells into it (you could use beans, beads, whatever). he still loves this box.

this third favorite toy was a toilet paper roll. he still loves these. i have to replace them, but it's not hard to do!

before my son was born, i was very specific about what i wanted for him. i told both families (whose love languages are in objects; MIL hoards and gives you old stuff, my mother buys new) that we would tell them exactly what we wanted and needed as we needed it, and anything that we didn't want or need, would go directly to charity.

both have respected our wishes.

in lieu of toys, i asked for specific things: 1. clothing items as needed; 2. toys as i needed or desired them.

because of this, i haven't had to buy a lot of clothing for DS. my MIL doesn't do the clothing thing, so she doesn't give much, but my mother loves to buy baby clothes so she willingly does so. i give her a list of the size and what we need, and she'll buy it for me.

at birthday and christmas (we've had two christmas and one birthday so far), i asked each for a specific toy. i asked my parents to get blocks, my ILs to give him spinning tops (my FIL is a wood turner). my sister, sil, and great aunt bought him the instrument that we wanted for him (a drum). at christmas, it was a teddy bear, wooden train, and ukulele.

i haven't purchased much for him, honestly. since everyone else wants to, and i don't need much else, that's what we do. for christmas, we bought DS's ukulele tuner and case.
post #11 of 33
1. Wooden blocks
2. Peek-a-block/balls, the little colorful plastic blocks and balls with things in them.
3. Kitchens and play food/dishes
4. Multi-activity toys/centers/etc. We have a cube now that has beads, spinners, rattles, a mirror, sliders, and other stuff, and the baby loves it. Older kids like bead tables and things.
5. Bumble balls. Currently sold as dog toys (you wouldn't believe how many of the toys we love are now sold as dog toys thanks to the CPSIA), historically used as a toy for blind children, ALL my kids love these things. They wear out after a while, and sometimes I have to take it apart and re-rig the switch to make it work, but they're cheap and fun.

Other things: my blind kids love rattles, my sighted kids not so much, even as babies. All my kids like books. Legos are popular but a clutter disaster, so YMMV; I have a 30-gallon tub for toddler legos and big-kid legos are stored in a drawer under the boys' bed. Stuffed animals take over the house. Shape sorters do nothing but get lost; every single shape sorter has had all its pieces go missing within a couple months of entering our house. Balls are great, the more the merrier.
post #12 of 33
My little one is almost a year old, and for this past year she's been super easy to please. We don't have a lot of toys, one small basket full and another larger basket full of books. If I had to pick 5 and chuck the rest (not including books), based on what she loves right now:
  • domino set
  • little wooden car
  • bucket
  • blanket
  • teddy bear
post #13 of 33
I agree with what has been said so I am going to cheat and
My list would be
2 Things to mouth-
3 Things to reach for-
4. Things to grasp
4. Things to crawl toward-
5. Things to pull to a stand with~ sofa, low table or chair or box or toy
6. Things that make a sound (rattle, bell imbedded in object, pots and pans, crumpled paper)
7. Things to dump and fill (any box, container, pot or pan)
8. board books, cloth books or otherwise sturdy books

Any of this can be met with a toy or a household item or recyclable item

I would look for things your child wants to do-and needs to do developmentally- and then improvise with safe household items.
This will cut way back on any toys you do get, and you will find your child wants to do what you are doing anyway including helping with household chores as they are able

PS Another thought is to look to your library often they loan wood/high quality/educational toys. so it is worth keeping in mind~ a nice way to rotate toys without having to store them!
post #14 of 33
If I had to choose 5 types of toys it would be
kitchen items
plastic animals
dress up stuff
train set
post #15 of 33
My son is 3 yo. The 5 favorites:

-wooden train set (mix of generic and Thomas)
-animal figures
-basket of cars
-play kitchen

The play kitchen actually isn't a favorite of my son much of the time but it sees a TON of play when other kids come to visit so I'm glad we have it. It's a great group toy.
post #16 of 33
my kids don't really play with toys. We have them, but they barely touch them most of the time.

So... top 5 toys...

- wooden thomas train set
- rody horse
- magna doodle
- Dress up stuff (does that count as a toy?)
- and a push toy that we bought for $1 at a garage sale when dd was a baby... they both still play with it.

mostly, though, they play with the laundry basket... Lately they have been playing with this colorful plastic air pump (like a foot pump?), Ds said it was a baby today, DD has been calling it a dog named "Garlie" and dragging it around by the plastic hose. Basically stuff they find around the house that seems interesting. These things always get more play than the plastic MIC junk. They also like puzzles, games, and art/craft supplies, and musical instruments. I guess those might count as toys...
post #17 of 33
LO's are 2 and 3.

Their favorites are very much like a PP's:

1. Lego Duplos
2. Kitchen / play food
3. A box of trucks/cars/trains (we have about a shoebox's worth in all; their favorites are Matchbox and Thomas, unfortunately; we also have a couple of nicer wooden ones but they're not played with as much)
5. Foam bath toys

Also, books, Crayons, paint, and Play-doh. They're not really "toys" though per se.
post #18 of 33
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I found that, pretty early on, DS made his preferences known and they didn't necessarily line up with mine. So your baby's 5 favorites might be different from your 5 favorites, which would make your favorites clutter, no matter how nice they are.
So true! For the first year they're so easy to please with normal household stuff I don't think you need any dedicated toys at all. After that they develop Opinions.
post #19 of 33
I think for babies and toddlers you really don't need any toys as long as they have access to safe stuff around the house. This woman has a neat idea for playthings for a baby your child's age - www.sewliberated.typepad.com. All of my kids prefered real objects to toys for quite awhile. And even now it doesn't take much to keep them happy. My oldest likes to draw, my middle likes gross motor play, my toddler loves books. We only have about a dozen types of toys actually and they really get little action. Something I've kept in mind when choosing toys for my kids too is "Can they all play with it? Would kids a hundered years ago enjoyed it? Would kids 100 years from now have fun with it?"

If I had to pare down even less than what little we have I'd keep the folowing in addition to books, minimal art supplies (crayons, colored pencils, watercolor paints, paper, playdough/clay), access to household items like blankets and laundry baskets, and access to nature items (rocks, shells, pinecones)-

a doll or stuffed animal
wooden unit blocks
nesting toys (boxes and/or arches)
a ball

If I could have ten I'd keep our dollhouse sized dolls, wooden animals, a truck, the train set, and the marble run.
post #20 of 33
If I had to narrow our toys down for my 4 year old and 2 year old, I don't think I could do 5 "toys" each, but I could definitely do groups of toys.

4 year old -
matchbox cars (he has a carrying case to hold about 35, he actually only has about 25.)
a metal tractor and trailer
sock monkey

2 year old-
2 dollies (she loves two very much)
dress up clothes
wooden kitchen and accessories (made by my DH)
doll stroller
fairy house (It's plastic)

These are the things they play with the absolute most. I'd also want to have at least a ball and a frisbee for playing outside, plenty of books, crayons and art supplies, etc.
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