In this techno-driven world, my family was left behind. We just purchased our first computer this year (only because our hand-me-down computer broke). We’ve never bought a television (although we do have parents who give nice gifts, including TV’s), and I’ve only played Angry Birds once on a smartphone.
And since my kids have no clue what an app is, I thought I’d compile a list of the Top 5 Toys I Can’t Live Without (for inside playing).
1. BLOCKS. Any kind of blocks.
When my boys were younger, I’d stack blocks and they’d wiggle their little arms to knock them over and when they finally did, laughs! Now they are older, they put together houses, or obstacle courses, or cities.
We’ve had quite a few types of blocks, soft blocks, small wooden blocks, cardboard, and Legos. My favorite are definitely the big Melissa and Doug cardboard ones. They are big enough to build a fort and light enough not to injure anyone when the fort falls.
2. COOKING or CLEANING toys.
Gone are the days of little girls having exclusive rights to play kitchens and pretend cleaning. Thank goodness because my boys love a good vacuum. I walked into the playroom after a shower one morning to find Cheerios all over the floor and the play vacuum right beside them. Even though this was more an attempt to get out of trouble then actually play, at least they know what it’s for.
My older son tells me his favorite place to play in preschool is the kitchen. At home, we have quite an assortment of cooking toys, most are Melissa and Doug. I rotate toys every couple of months but the cooking toys are much too in-demand to retire for even a day. Chocolate chip pizza anyone?
3. DRESS UP.
I’ll never forget being at a playdate and my sweet guy running to me crying because the little girl there wouldn’t let him dress up like a princess. Since then, we’ve collected quite a few dress up options. There are many nights I have dinner with Buzz Lightyear and our doctor visits have drastically increased since purchasing a hand me down Gymboree doctor’s costume. My little guy also loves to put on a dress up hat and pretend to be a firefighter or a cowboy.
4. FIGURES – HUMAN or ANIMAL
From Playmobil, little people, and big buckets of plastic animals on clearance at Target, we can’t get enough of play figures. The stories are endless and their antics keep me laughing. Whether there’s an ape flying a helicopter or Buzz Lightyear hanging from the front door deadbolt, they always seem up to something.
5. ART SUPPLIES
These may not count as toys, but I honestly couldn’t live without them. They can change a day where nothing is planned into a day at the art gallery. Paint, glue, buttons, pipe cleaners, stamps, stickers, and play dough (use it with cookie cutters and stamps for it’s full potential) always seem to make a day extra special. Even if the boys just paint themselves and my kitchen table, it seems to add a lot of excitement to their day.
Honorable Mention goes to puzzles and music toys. They aren’t as popular as our Top Five, but what kid doesn’t love making noise (a.k.a. music) or figuring out a puzzle?
What are your favorite “SIMPLE” toys?
Many thanks to Mom Extraordinaire, Kristen Mitchell for compiling this great Top Five List. Add your favorites to the comment section for to others to read, or pass on your own list ideas to Katie, at Katie.Harding@gmail.com. We’re always looking for fun ad relevant Top Five lists from our readers!