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S/O Toy Simplification: What do you think the BASIC "necessities" are for a toddler?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I was reading the Toy Simplification thread, and wondering what you feel are the basic "necessities" for toys? I have an 18-month-old, and I'm thinking in terms of gifts for the upcoming holidays and her 2nd birthday next year. I want to keep it simple, affordable, green/non-toxic, etc.

I recently purged through her toys. Most of them were plastic, and a lot of them noisy. I felt bad because she LOVES the obnoxious noisy stuff, but I know that they really don't facilitate creativity or thought. Most of them were purchased by relatives, but I am guilty of some of the buying, too. Even if plastic and noise wasn't an issue, she just plain had TOO MUCH crap! kwim? Thankfully I was able to sell some of them on Craigslist or consign them so I can put the $ toward more useful items.

She has an all-in-one wooden kitchen/laundry set and a few felt play foods plus some microfiber "sponges" for cleaning. I want to get her more for her kitchen like extra food, stainless steel pots & pans, some wooden or stainless steel bowls & cups, maybe a tea set. She has a toy broom and loves to help me "clean" the floor. She has a tricycle and some balls for outside, though it's getting colder now. Other things I'm thinking she "needs" are some play silks, wooden blocks, some sort of water/sand table set-up (not sure where I can safely put this).... what am I missing that kids really love at this age?
post #2 of 22
some sort of cart or stroller to push around, dd is 3 and just started getting into dolls so maybe 1 nice doll, doll bed, doll clothes etc

beeswax crayons started being a big hit around that age and some big HUGE paper like that covers the whole table

dd got her dollhouse around then (craigslist find came with furniture and stuff) so nice dollhouse with a few people to represent your fam.

Then just sort of random cheap art or nature stuff:

- flet roving in a basket
- big sea shells
- rocks
- pine cones
- wood chips (like little pieces of wood found at craft store)
we have some chestnuts dd loves


cutting fruit and vegies with a cutting board and wooden knife if you dont already have those where a big hit around that age

obviously not all those are NEEDED just some fun things to choose from that dd really liked
post #3 of 22
Play silks - buy from Dharma Trading Co. and dye them with Kool Aid.

You can use them for capes, skirts, play scenes, playhouses, nature table... Endless possibilities. Get several sizes including the hankerchief size which is fun to tie on wrists or ankles for dress up or tie together in a long rope.
post #4 of 22
I would also suggest a soft ball for inside. Made out of wool. Wet felted, or out of felt or sweater scraps for a larger ball.

And a rocking toy.

My 18 mos old son loves water play, running around with a hobby horse, playing with play food (because he sees his older sister do this) and rocking on the rocking horse or rocking frog. He does also like to put silks over his head and either chase or be chased (no matter how many times he runs into things!). And I'll second the push toy. He's a big fan of the toy grocery cart, too.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy&Will View Post
Play silks - buy from Dharma Trading Co. and dye them with Kool Aid.
What kind of silk do you recommend? There is quite a variety!

Silk Fabrics - Yardage & Bolts
http://goo.gl/VNWn

Thanks for your help!
post #6 of 22
Musical instruments can replace the desire to make noise that the passive plastic was doing for her.

We also like blocks (both natural and fancy colored haba), duplos (plastic, yes, but great for find motor, made in Europe, safe, not very Waldorf I know), a little felted ball, a few puzzles, some natural elements like starfish/pine cones/rocks, small baby doll, small animals (either wooden or schliech), broom/dust pan/mop. We also really like the four elements by Grimm and Spiel. DS played with them every day at 2 and still plays with them frequently at 3.
post #7 of 22
I wanted to also mention that "Toymaking with Children" and "Heaven on Earth" have good examples/discussions of toy purchasing. You might find them at your local library.
post #8 of 22
I will admit, I MAYBE hoard beautiful kids toys

Here are our basics/what we use everyday (but we do spend a ton of time at home, so everything does get used on a daily basis) I too am in the middle of a toy purge, and giving myself the end of the month to do it because I'm hoping to sell stuff on Craigslist

Anyway here it is broken done into "areas"
Indoor plant area: we have some kids gardening tools/watering cans.

Kitchen: we have a wooden play kitchen, small wooden purple shelf I got that we use as a fridge, wooden bowls for play "food" and I have some felted/wooden stuff and we also use acorns, shells, beads and the likes as "soup" foods.

Dolls: DD has a few dolls including a knit Waldorf one, and two plastic/knit combo dolls we got from a local toy shop. For Christmas I'm getting her a cradle, but she has a wooden stroller/push toy from I think Haba? And she has clothes/changing line for them as well.

Wooden tree house, and wooden tree stump blocks

Mini gnomes and fairies we got from Etsy are great!

I can't think of anything else? I do no plastic but we do have a pretty large collection of beanie babies because my DD LOVES to play with them. She makes them forts with her play-silks and literally will play all throughout the day. We get them used/as gifts.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by copperfox View Post
What kind of silk do you recommend? There is quite a variety!

Silk Fabrics - Yardage & Bolts
http://goo.gl/VNWn

Thanks for your help!
We use these from Dharma Trading - http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/en...rves_silk.html

We've done Koolaid and it's really easy - you can also dye with natural materials like beet juice, onion skins, coffee, etc.
post #10 of 22
I feel like if you were to get all the stuff you mentioned, it might be somewhat overwhelming all at once for both you and your baby. They really don't need much - it's our well-meaningness as parents that is responsible for us winding up with too much stuff. Reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne has really changed the way I see things and inspired me as a parent...I highly recommend this book.

We did just simplify and our "can't live without" list is basically all we have now:

Wood trucks
Rocks
Chestnuts
Stacking toys
Blocks
A wool ball we wet felted
Playsilks we've dyed ourselves
Felted Playfood
Train set and Train table
A Plan toys cart that he loves to wheel around.

and we have four or five books out at once for him to look through and we'll rotate them about every month except for the seasonal ones; those stay out for the season.

Outside, my son just plays with dirt,a big metal dump truck that we bought at a thrift store and our chickens and couldn't be happier
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...9&id=673622784
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...5&id=673622784
post #11 of 22
I have 4 little boys. We would not be without our sandpit!
post #12 of 22
I just wanted to say thanks for all the ideas even though this is not my thread. I have been pondering different educational philosophies as I intend to homeschool my daughter (currently 15 mo) and Waldorf really resonates with me. I think it is because both her and I connect with nature on such a deep level. It is really helpful for me to have some suggestions on toys, especially since I am working on a list of what I want to make her and ideas for the grandparents for Christmas. I honestly don't get the playsilks but so many people speak highly of them so we will give it a go. She likes playing with the dish towel and my nightgown so maybe it will be the same idea. I am so looking forward to getting away from the plastic junk, although somewhat feeling guilt to because DD seems to like it.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctrygirlatheart View Post
I just wanted to say thanks for all the ideas even though this is not my thread. I have been pondering different educational philosophies as I intend to homeschool my daughter (currently 15 mo) and Waldorf really resonates with me. I think it is because both her and I connect with nature on such a deep level. It is really helpful for me to have some suggestions on toys, especially since I am working on a list of what I want to make her and ideas for the grandparents for Christmas. I honestly don't get the playsilks but so many people speak highly of them so we will give it a go. She likes playing with the dish towel and my nightgown so maybe it will be the same idea. I am so looking forward to getting away from the plastic junk, although somewhat feeling guilt to because DD seems to like it.
OT: My brother and SIL live in Scotts Valley! We haven't visited since last summer, though. We love it out there!
post #14 of 22
It is beautiful here. We recently moved up to Ben Lomond to be out a little further. If you you ever come back this way, pm me and let me know.
post #15 of 22
my ds is 18 months. i tried to keep it very basic but it adds up so quickly. some toys are from his older daughter

wool balls
musical shaker
drum
stacking toy
stacking bowls
tree stump blocks
playsilks
pull toy
rolling car
cloth doll
soft animals: cotton teething puppy, terry cloth teething bunny and a teddy bear
pot and wooden spoon
basket of wooden eggs
1 larger shell
3 beach rocks
2 puzzles
push wagon (present for this christmas, eliminating a plastic shopping cart)
bean bags (present for this christmas)

my son loves to help clean. i could see a child-sized broom being something we will purchase soon.
post #16 of 22
my DS is two. here is what we have:

bead toy
stacking toy
wooden blocks
wooden train (4 cars)
two soft balls
shells
soft animals: small owl, small bird, small flamingo (gift from his friend), dragon, rabbit, monkey, two teddy bears, one lamb, and one turtle
two sheets and one scarf (used as play silks)
drum
ukulele
2 harmonicas (we lost the one, then purchased another, and then found it. it was in the fireplace under a brick)
three types of rattles (btw, some of these are "ours" not just his)
books
crayons/pens and scrap paper
balancing trike-bike

that's us.
post #17 of 22
my son loves to help clean too. i just give him a regular, real brush/broom to help me. the hand held broom works very well for him.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies, Mamas! Great ideas! I am definitely going to dye some playsilks and I am doing a Melissa & Doug co-op where I can get some nice wooden stuff at 50% off. I'll probably get her quite a few things from them & give it to her half for Xmas/Yule, half for her Bday in March, and maybe some for Easter/Ostera. We are Pagan - well, I am, but DH is Agnostic/Apathetic LOL. I will definitely rotate stuff to keep her from getting bored too. I'm happy to say I've made about $70 so far selling her plastic junk on Craigslist and consignment LOL.
post #19 of 22
I recently purged most of our toys and if i had to get rid of everything else this is what i'd keep as the bare minimum.

kitchen with accessories
farm set with accessories
riding toy/bike
pushing toy
wooden cars
building blocks
nature toys
a couple puzzles
baskets
post #20 of 22
for that age I have a few things I consider must haves

a push cart of some sort
playsilks
wooden blocks
wooden cars/trucks
wooden farm and animals


other than that I feel like they are just absorbing and needing to be near you and seeing what you do- and mimicking that.
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