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Old 01-18-2010, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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...

Sonya
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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If I had to choose only 5 they would be:
A doll with clothing.
Blocks.
Playsilks.
A riding toy.
A pull toy.

I wouldn't count books, puzzles, or art supplies as toys though.

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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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.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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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

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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Blocks, ball, sticks, push/pull toy, something to dump water with in the tub

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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Old 01-18-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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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.

blocks
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.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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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.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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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.

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Old 01-18-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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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
Puzzles
Little cars and vehicles

Also blankets, boxes, etc get a lot of play but that doesn't count as toys.
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:58 PM
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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.
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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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.

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Old 01-18-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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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

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Old 01-18-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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I agree with what has been said so I am going to cheat and
My list would be
1.You
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!
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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If I had to choose 5 types of toys it would be
kitchen items
plastic animals
blocks
dress up stuff
train set

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Old 01-18-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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My son is 3 yo. The 5 favorites:

-wooden train set (mix of generic and Thomas)
-blocks
-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.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:47 PM
 
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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...

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Old 01-19-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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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.

mama of DS(3) & DD(2)
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:31 AM
 
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Quote:
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.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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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
playsilks/cloths
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.

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Old 01-19-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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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.)
legos
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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Old 01-19-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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At age 1:

-stacking toy
-more stacking toys
-more stacking toys
-you get the picture.

At age 2:
-Duplos- he strongly prefers them to his nice wooden blocks
-Simple puzzles
-Stacking toys (more complex than the ones he liked a year ago)
-Balls

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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If you have more than one child it would be quite difficult to do 5 individual toys. Five groups of toys is easier to manage though.

I would say that our top toys are:
Lego bricks
Our doll house set
Pretend shop

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Old 01-19-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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Cell phone
Computer keyboard
Set of keys
Windchime
Cat

Lina's consistent favorites from about one month to now.

As for buying toys for a tiny LO, stick with stuff that looks like it'd be fun to chew.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:57 AM
 
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My 5-year-old son's Top Five would probably be:
1. Puzzles and games (can that count as one?)
2. Video game/computer
3. Star Wars Figures
4. Legos (he has some of the small ones, but I think he actually plays more with the Duplos)
5. Marble Run.

My 3-year-old daughter's Top Five would probably be:
1. Doll(s)
2. Schleich Animal Figures
3. Small wooden Dollhouse with peg-people (wooden pegs painted by my husband and I for her)
4. Play kitchen/accessories.
5. Play-doh.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:15 AM
 
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cardboard box, water bottles, shoes, cats, doll.
those are my 14 month olds favorites, doesnt matter how many toys she has, she always ends up with this combo.
i wouldnt stress too much about toys right now. enjoy having a baby that you can set down, walk away and go pee without coming out of the bathroom to the entire house torn apart from top to bottom!
oh how i miss that.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:21 AM
 
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The five toys that have endured at our house:
  • plain wooden blocks (varied shapes/sizes)
  • soft balls for throwing indoors
  • doll(s) with clothing and blanket
  • playsilks
  • wooden train set

Also there is a category (for lack of a better word) that my kids call "setups," which is basically a jumbled drawer of small things they can use to set up scenarios - little wooden animals, people figures like Playmobil, "food" they made with modeling wax, dollhouse furniture, small wooden shapes like barrels, horses, etc. This kind of play became important around 3-4 and has continued through at least age 10 (my oldest, at 11-1/2 doesn't play this way anymore). They often use a dollhouse and castle for setups but they could do without - they happily do setups on top of books and make multi-levels with books and blocks.

The soft balls were important when my toddler boys were compelled to throw everything they touched. For awhile we had only soft things out to play with! But they still love to throw stuff and pelt each other. If I was starting over, I would make/collect woolen balls for this purpose (ours are polyester-covered foam splash balls, not as nice but they serve the purpose well).

My girls are totally hyped on dressup, but they could happily manage with nothing in that category but playsilks.

I echo the others who say that art supplies, craft supplies, books, music and story CDs, puzzles, and games are also essentials here but I wouldn't call them "toys."

With the 5 things given, plus "setups" and the "non-toys" I listed, my kids don't need other toys. It took me too many years to figure this out!! All of the things I listed still get frequent use by my younger three (5, 7, 10). My 11 year old seems to be past that stage but he does join in their play once in awhile.

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Old 01-21-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Cell phone
Computer keyboard
Set of keys
Windchime
Cat

Lina's consistent favorites from about one month to now.

As for buying toys for a tiny LO, stick with stuff that looks like it'd be fun to chew.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:09 AM
 
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I have a 4 YO and an 8 month old, some they enjoy together:

Legos (DS loves the regular sized bricks, but we play w/duplos around baby)
soft balls
music shakers

We have soooo many toys cluttering our house, for some reason I have the hardest time decluttering toys. The broken/missing parts ones are easy to get rid of but I have several teethers (8?) why do I keep them? Has she ever chewed on them .

We create our own reality.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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That's a tough question to answer. I'm more of an advocate for setting aside toy space, and then keeping the toys within the toy space. The toys kids like are so individual and change so frequently that I gave up trying to predict what DS would like.

For example, DS has one bookshelf (for books only)
One toychest (whatever he wants in it)
One set of bins on an organizing rack
A chest of art supplies

Anything that fits in those four places, he can keep. Once something gets close to full or I see that there's a lot that he has that he isn't playing with, I purge.

I'll be keeping this system with the new baby. They're going to be sharing these 4 spaces now, because at this point, none of them are full and things are easy to organize.

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Old 01-22-2010, 01:37 AM
 
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This list includes the toys that have lasted for years:

4 yo girl:
Doll & clothes
Play kitchen
Backpack - loves to take pretend trips and fill with stuff
Craft stuff
Dress up

8 yo boy
legos
train set
knights/army guys
star wars action figures
dress up
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