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the decluttered/minimalist toybox

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

If you have a minimal collection of toys for your little one, what's in it?   I like to think we have a fairly small toy stash compared to most families I know, and I'm careful to declutter the unused ones and follow the one in/ one out rule.  We're at the perfect point now where every toy they have is played with daily, and they would definately notice and be devastated if any were removed.  The issue is that the holidays are coming, and I've already been given $200 by a family member to buy toys on their behalf for Christmas.  Incredibly generous and appreciated of course, but man that is a lot of toys to come into our house, even if I'm choosing it.  The relative is also making a donation to their education accounts, so this other money has to be strictly toys.

It's a great opportunity to refine our fairly minimalist stash, so I'm looking for ideas for toys that will stand the test of time and grow with my kids for a while, but also don't take up space or come with tons of pieces.  My boys are 4 and 18 months (the babe's still mouthing toys)  So it's tough to find baby-safe toys that are still captivating to an older preschooler. Our current toy stash includes:

wooden train table

books

puzzles

wooden barn with animals

little people house

blocks, of varying types

toolbox

play market

handful of small things: binoculars, kaleidescope, balance board, shape sorter

post #2 of 24

Maybe I'm just contrary, but I don't really feel that someone has a right to force you to bring toys into your home by giving you money that's "strictly toys". If you, say, use that money to take the kids to movies, or to pay for pony rides, or for a membership at the zoo, is he going to haul you into small claims court? :)

 

 

post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crayfish View Post

Maybe I'm just contrary, but I don't really feel that someone has a right to force you to bring toys into your home by giving you money that's "strictly toys". If you, say, use that money to take the kids to movies, or to pay for pony rides, or for a membership at the zoo, is he going to haul you into small claims court? :)

 

 

 

I agree.
 

Another idea for using the money would be to put it towards one more expensive item, such as a bicycle which would be a great gift for a 4 year old, and eventually can be passed down to the younger one.

 

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

It's a very emotionally sensitive great grandma we're dealing with, so there could be repercussions.  If she gets stressed it causes her to get sick, whether or not it's just in her head, and then well it just causes headaches for many people. I might try to see if some of it could be put toward experience gifts.

Like the idea of one expensive item. A bike is out though since we have no storage for outdoor toys besides our car trunk, which currently holds their wagon.

I was also thinking of something open-ended that could compliment some of their current toys like a nice wooden treehouse playset which is otherwise out of my budget (takes up only one or two square feet) where the animals, little people, trains, and blocks can play, and I could likely get rid of the barn and house then.

post #5 of 24

How about a family membership to a children's museum or some such thing, and ask the giver to go with you for the first visit on the membership so she can really feel appreciated...

post #6 of 24

I'd do a membership, to the pool or a museum or zoo. But, if it had to be an actual "toy", I'd totally go for the tree house. :)

 

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver's Mama View Post

It's a very emotionally sensitive great grandma we're dealing with, so there could be repercussions.  If she gets stressed it causes her to get sick, whether or not it's just in her head, and then well it just causes headaches for many people. I might try to see if some of it could be put toward experience gifts.

Like the idea of one expensive item. A bike is out though since we have no storage for outdoor toys besides our car trunk, which currently holds their wagon.

I was also thinking of something open-ended that could compliment some of their current toys like a nice wooden treehouse playset which is otherwise out of my budget (takes up only one or two square feet) where the animals, little people, trains, and blocks can play, and I could likely get rid of the barn and house then.



 Oh I understand your need to avoid repurcussions.

 

Yes one nice item like a lovely wooden treehouse playset would be ideal...a great toy for your kids and sure to please great grandma. winky.gif

post #8 of 24

My son is  5. He has Legos, books, art supplies, a Star Wars light sabre, his bike, some outside toys like balls and a gifted to us basketball hoop, a Leapfrog (mostly used for long trips), a pillow pet that he loves to play with along with 2 other stuffed animals and lots of running around at the playground. :)

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver's Mama View PostIt's a very emotionally sensitive great grandma we're dealing with, so there could be repercussions.  If she gets stressed it causes her to get sick, whether or not it's just in her head, and then well it just causes headaches for many people.

My contrariness continues - my first thought is "emotional blackmail - don't give in to it."

 

That aside, my first actual toy thought was, dress-up clothes? Some quite good ones might eat up a good bit of money without eating up too much space.

 

 

post #10 of 24

I also think you should suggest a membership to a local children's museum or zoo.  It wouldn't even take up all of the money, so you could still get more toys. 

 

Are there any neat train table additions?  There are pieces I'd love to add to our track, but won't because they are too expensive.

 

Do art supplies count?  I'd definitely pick out some nice art supplies.

 

The tree house playset sounds awesome though.  And I also like PPs idea of dress up clothing.

post #11 of 24

Kapla blocks. 

 

books for older kids: The New Way Things Work, an animal encyclopedia, geography books (Hungry Planet, child's atlas, Children Like Me), The Way We Work, Joy Hakim's history of science books, Red Sings From Treetops, beautiful picture books to bring out at holidays [we are huge, huge library users, but it is sweet to have a few favorites to return to every year]. 

 

Subscription to Click and Babybug.

 

If you don't have one, toward a great camera?

 

art materials--watercolor pastels, metallic sharpies, sunprint paper. 

 

music gear--recorders, drums, harmonica, shaky eggs

 

The great thing about elderly relatives is that they don't always have a good sense of what is age-appropriate, so you can buy for later :)

post #12 of 24

What about some nice wooden rocking horses?  There's a cool one that Rosie Hippo sells called Palomino.  They're very simple, but yet still look really fun!

post #13 of 24

My daughter plays with her Magna Tiles all of the time.  We actually have two sets and she's constantly creating things with them. 

 

We're also huge fans of playmobil and our playmobil people get played with a lot.  You could also buy some cool outside toys with the money. 

post #14 of 24

Another good, but simple toy is Wedgits.  My kids can play with them for HOURS.

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by freestylemama View Post

My daughter plays with her Magna Tiles all of the time.  We actually have two sets and she's constantly creating things with them. 

 I like this! We were at a restaurant today that had them in a play corner and it was a bit hit, and they seem to store compactly.  I checked online and they're crazy expensive- something I would never buy, so I think this will be a good opportunity to get some.

Good news- the idea of a membership has been accepted! (Science museum), as long as there are still some  toys. Great-grandma may be miffed that the kids will only be opening a little box of tiles on Christmas, but I'll technically be following her wishes and I think the kids will have fun, most importantly.

 

thanks for the suggestions! Of course, today, Grandma started asking for gift ideas! rolleyes.gif
 

 

post #16 of 24

How about an indoor swing or fun chairs from ikea? The LOMSK chairs are considered a toy in my home, my kids loooooove to play in those! Still a toy but, fairly practical.

post #17 of 24

Even though it sounds like you've already decided, I thought I'd suggest a play kitchen.

post #18 of 24

My kids love playing with Magnatiles as well. However, we ended up buying Magformers. They're a little less money, and there are more shapes available. A year later, they are still played with almost every day.

post #19 of 24

*


Edited by LoveOurBabies - 2/18/13 at 12:24am
post #20 of 24

If I were in your position I would totally get this playkitchen. It's very expensive but so damn beautiful.

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