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I agree with whoever defined undesirable toys as being toys that tell the child specifically what to do with them, toys that basically only do one thing (e.g. Chicken Dance Elmo).

My kids are 4 and 1. Right now, they're really into their play kitchen. I bought them some stuff from Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day: a turkey baster, funnels (they use mine and don't put them back), some little metal condiment bowls, a wooden spoon, and a small colander. They've used those SO much, especially the metal bowls. Things like peg puzzle pieces and magnets make their way into the bowls and are served to us as "food". We have some nice wooden play food that they love too. I also bought some fabric placemats that they use for picnics. The kitchen and accessories (including real ones) has resulted in hours and hours of independent play with both of them.

Legos are HUGE here. We have some other building toys, but they're not safe for my 1yo. My 4yo LOVES Magnetix.

Crayons and paper are very popular with my oldest, but only hold my 1yo's attention for 10 minutes. The last few days, they've both been using little foam craft shapes. My 1yo collects them and puts them inside cups and things, then throws them like confetti. My oldest used them as party decorations for his Lego train's birthday. They're all over the house right now.

Vehicles have been very popular here. I love a few solid wooden ones we have, but honestly, the kids have preferred the brightly colored metal vehicles.

Books are used a lot.

Puzzles are a big hit with both.

We have a wooden indoors tricycle that's an item of contention.

Magnadoodle is very popular with both kids.

My 1yo likes balls, but my 4yo never was interested much.

We have a wide variety of dolls, but they don't catch either child's interest for some reason.

They use their playstand, but only when it's split apart and propped against the wall like a house. The fabric "roof" and curtains get moved around. We have playsilks, but they don't generate much interest. The dress-up clothes only generate sporadic interest.

We have a train table that gets used a lot, although my 1yo takes it apart.

For outdoors, they like to water things, so watering cans and pots of different sizes are popular.

Some of their favorite toys, as you can see, are not really toys. Sometimes, they are interested in the strangest things. They "go fishing" with my metal sieve thingys and my pots. That money I spent in Bed, BAth and Beyond was so well-spent. :LOL
 
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