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<p>I asked a little while ago about how I can limit character toys in my home and I now have another question.</p>
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<p>This question is for those of you who allow your kids to have a balance of some mainstream toys along with the waldorf type toys.</p>
<p><strong>1- Do you notice a preference for one style over the other? 2- What are the mainstream toys you and your kids like (especially those with toddlers and younger children?).</strong> The reason I ask is because family won't shop online and wants ideas for christmas besides books, cd's and crafts. We have decided that we will stick to getting most of the waldorf type toys and family can get the big box stuff so long as it is in limited amounts, of good quality, will keep his interest for a few years and can be passed down or resold. <strong>3- Is this fair/reasonable of us?</strong>  My aim is balance. I don't want to forbid him from having toys similar to all the other kids he plays with but, I dont want his room bursting at the seams with plastic junk either. So far we have suggested lego duplos, schleich animals, add ons for his kidkraft train. <em>Thank you :)</em></p>
 

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<p>The only plastic toys that our kids have are Playmobil toys. They are open ended and, because they are available all over the place, can be purchased by my in-laws when they feel the need to buy something mainstream. Because they are so small we just keep them all in a basket and the girls pull out what they'd like when they'd like it and we do not have to see them when they are not in play :0).</p>
 

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<p>A pet peeve of mine, but why do people ASK you what you want and then say that they don't want to get it???  Hello, people, this is the 21st century, buy things online.</p>
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<p>Our mainstream toys are Sesame Street character plush dolls.  DD1 loooooves SS and we even went to Sesame Place amusement park this summer for our vacation.  That is where many of the dolls came from too, haha, including the three in the attic for Christmas.  She just loves them all!  The other mainstream toy that she has that she plays w/ all the time is a Fisher-Price Little People fairy treehouse.  She got that from grandpap for her birthday.  It is 100% plastic, but open-ended, non-commercial.  She does play w/ it almost every day.</p>
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<p>There are ALLLLL kinds of creative, open toys that you can get from big box stores.  Sports equipment, for one.  Tee ball, hockey sets, a tent, a sandbox, golf set, a slide, swing set, scoot bike, tricycle, kick balls, soap crayons, tub toys, bubble machine, butterfly net, bug house, magnifying glass, water table, sand toys, gardening tools, picnic table, camping chairs, sleeping bag, doctor's kit, cd player, mp3 player, tumbling mats, rocking chair, baby stroller.  Just b/c it comes from Toys R Us does not mean that it is garbage.  You just need to think, "What is at TRU that my son would really love & that we could use together?"  Plastic is okay w/ me if it is primarily to use outside or in the water.</p>
 

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<p>One year for Christmas we asked for thomas the train gifts. I suppose it is a 'character' but we just read the books and don't watch the movies so I don't mind it. There are also plain train sets. You could also ask for a general category of gifts rather than specific things. Some categories we have used are board games, puzzles (wooden ones when they were younger), trains, duplo legos, or wooden play food. It hasn't worked well with our families but you could try asking for only wooden toys. I did this and only a few people honored it and those that did gave melissa and doug toys. Their puzzles are good but we've had lots of issues with the paint on their other toys chipping off or being chewed off. </p>
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<p>What about asking for non-toy things? Museum or zoo memberships are great things to ask for. Or, if you're comfortable with it, suggest the gift giver take your kids out for an outing or meal. You could ask someone to pay or give your kids a gift certificate for swim lessons or a class of some sort.</p>
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<p>If any of the gift givers are crafty you could ask for felt play food from sewers, knitted animals or other things from knitters, or wood blocks or other simple wooden toys from woodworkers.</p>
 
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