Educational Toys (Really! ) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-27-2002, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I've noticed dd use a toy as a tool to help her learn a new skill, and she spends hours using that toy to accomplish her learning goal, but when she has mastered the task, she is no longer interested in the toy.

Do I get rid of it then?

Also, I feel like she needs new toys with new skills to master, but I KNOW she doesn't really need me to buy her something every time she reaches a new level...

So, what do you do?
She is 16 months old, and her little brain is cranking away

What are your favorite toys/tools for 16 month old children?


What do you do with all the toys/tools that she/he has grown out of?
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#2 of 10 Old 01-29-2002, 03:05 PM
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Hi LaLa

We rotate toys- once Eli is done playing with a toy I put it away for a few months. Then I swap it with another toy. If he's done with it- I pass it on to a friend or thriftstore.

This keeps the clutter down, I have a few toys and tons of books in every room in our house.

He is 18 months old and his current favorite toys are:

Beanbags- I made them because he loves to throw, but he doesn't throw them. He hides one (always under the sofa) and says a very funny version of "I don't know where it is" (which includes a shrug) and then we all look for it. Is it underneath the book? The dog? etc.


Ping Pong balls- these are great cause they won't break anything and are fun for him to throw

Puppets and stuffed animals- everybody gets kisses, gives kisses, and sings songs.

A plastic hammer- he fixes everything.

Anything on wheels.

Hope this helps,
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#3 of 10 Old 02-03-2002, 04:20 AM
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Dd is sixteen months old also. Our favourite toys:

wooden bricks
duplo (I dont think you can have enough duplo, especially with a girl at this stage, as gender ideas are already forming)
dolls/soft toys and imaginative play items, plastic cutlery, paper plates, pretend foods, bowls, cups etc. A big blanket to put them on for picnics. Sometimes we use real food, carrots etc, to feed the babies.
some wonderful farm/zoo animals, from LearningExpress, a bit more expensive - from $3 to $5 each but worth every penny. I've seen them in a few small shops too. We go into the shop and choose a new one every so often. She then plays with it non stop for several days and it renews interest for the set. Tons of scope for imaginative play, for years. My friend's six and seven year olds get them out when they come over.
books, books and more books. And library books, as many as we're allowed to check out
crayons and paper
stickers for sticking on the paper with the crayons etc
playdough (home made) with the imaginative play items above
some wonderful wooden dominoes with animal pictures on - very cheap from Target, along with the wooden bricks, but lots of opportunity for games sorting them out
music CDs for dancing to (we love Music Together)
sets of letters, we found some great wooden ones in a small toy shop and love putting them in dishes and sharing them out
wooden beads
a big tin of old buttons and beads (watch the mouth though)
bath toys that come out of the bath, we try to be creative and switch things around.

I keep different categories of toys in plastic boxes. I switch the boxes around every so often , so that things seem exciting when they come back out.

If I think of anythign else I'll post again.
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#4 of 10 Old 02-03-2002, 11:49 PM
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Yeah - sounds just like both of my girls (now 4.5 and 2.5). For a while I did bring in lots of new stuff - from consignment and garage sales. (allowed me to rationalize "well at least it dosn't cost a lot".) But, i wasn't happy with the interaction it set up - always needing new stuff to keep us interested.

We finally hit upon several things, although they might have both just grown out of it, because things got better from both of them as pretend play developed.

1) let them get into your stuff. Seriously - trotting around the house in one of my pairs of shoes (flats) was good for at least 1/2 hour. Add in a scarf, or a pair of gloves that instantly became puppets, and I might actually get dinner on the table. Other stuff too. My pots and pans and my spoon were way more exciting than the kitchen set that they had.

2) consider messy play - paints at an easel were good for a big while - esp. if you are not picky about making BIG plops of color on the paper. I found a wet birds eye diaper was indespensible at times like these. It sucked the mess right up! Play dough - homemade is messier than Dream dough brand, which stays together better than the other brands, IMHO. Waldorf-style beeswax is the least messy, but neither of my girls could do much with it at that age.

3) consider even messier play - if you are willing, a large tupperware storage box with a few inches of sand in the bottom is GREAT - even just for the novalty in the winter. this entails vaccuming, though, so YMMV. Some people do this sort of thing in the bathtub - you still have to vaccume, but the mess doesn't get tracked all around the house if you get pulled away before it is all clean.

4) combine more than one toy - are there two puzzles that are mastered and forgotten? combine the pieces for a new challange

5) homemade stuff - for some reason, little cheesy paper puppets that I made one rainy day are the ones that keep getting pulled out. I taped together a few small boxes to make a dollhouse once - that one still gets used, the nice wooden one has become the storage place for all the dolls and animals. Ah, the money I could have saved. . .

6)best of all - forget the toys and let her help you! sorting socks was a favorite activity at this age. A baby washcloth wet with just water sent each of my girls of on a mission to "wash the floor" don't even get me started on the short broom.

also - I've found that by afternoon, nothing looks exciting anymore, so that is where we put our bathtime. after that, they seem to recharge and think of what might be in store for later. . .

You can get creative in the tub too. A fav around here is ice cubes. Either plain or colored with a little food coloring.

If I think of any more, I'll share.

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#5 of 10 Old 02-05-2002, 03:21 PM
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my toddler at 17 months started to get interested in the alphabet puzzle that he got as a gift. It's the alphabet wooden puzzles with upper and lower case by Light, Camera, and INteraction. Within few days, he memorized the whole alphabet. He learned numbers with puzzles as well. I noticed that he learns words/alphabets/numbers with the wooden puzzles really quickly. He loves them.
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#6 of 10 Old 02-05-2002, 03:55 PM
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My kid's favorite toys are anything wooden and they love puzzles, shape sorters, and puppets. I love the stuff from The Playstore. It's my favorite so far. I also enjoy things from Hearthsong but they tend to be for older kids.

I think rotating toys is a good idea. Also moving them around the house. My kids never touched the train table when it was downstairs so we put it in our living room and they love it!
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#7 of 10 Old 02-21-2002, 06:42 PM
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1. duplos
2. household plastic ware
3. toy tea sets, or real unbreakable teasets, plates, plastic flatware that the child can use to play meal times with. My son loves tea/coffee time and loves to pretend to eat. I managed to dig out a smallish tin tea and coffee set that I'd forgotten about.
4. He likes whistle, flute, and kazoo- music toys that he can make good noise with.
5. inexpensive baby doll, something that really does look cute and babyish.

I do give away lots of toys- usually the obnoxious items that he rarely used, especially the noisy battery operated ones that play songs when you push buttons. I also find myself giving away lots of stuffed animals. He's not really interested in them, and how many can you keep. Our house is too small.
I keep some of the good ones for the new baby on the way. We still have lots more toys than we need.
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#8 of 10 Old 02-23-2002, 07:27 AM
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When my dd turned 2, her grandparents gave her a wooden doll house - she LOVES it. She can play with it all day. She was a little family that goes with it, but she just gathers up stuffed animals, little wooden and plastic animals, etc. and uses them to 'act out' all of her little stories.

The people/animals go to the cinema (to see 'Monsters, Inc.!), to the library, to the playground, to the shops, etc. - but they always start from and end up at the doll house.
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#9 of 10 Old 02-27-2002, 04:28 PM
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pmmamma sorry if I spelled it wrong.Very good advice. Love the colored cubes in the tub.Everyone seems to think yes we have to much.
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#10 of 10 Old 03-05-2002, 03:18 PM
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I love the coloured ice cube in the bath idea!!

Also I use a bean box instead of a sand box inside during winter or rainy days. just filled a wreath box from target with different kinds lima, black, pinto white, ds loves it and it's a little less messy to clean up than sand.
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