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toy overhaul

william2_15.2 william2_15.3 william2_15.4 william2_15.5

after surveying how william was interacting with his toys, i made an observation which prompted a big change. i learned that he had way too many toys and that he wasn’t really even playing with them. he would literally just take each toy in the playroom out at a time, look at it, maybe play with it for a bit and then throw it aside, moving on to the next toy. until our playroom literally looked like a hurricane came through.

so what did i do? i did a toy overhaul. i only kept toys that were wooden or had some sentimental value. i got rid of all of the plastic toys and toys that made unnecessary sounds. the only ones that i kept that make noise are his vacuum [because it is his favorite of all time] and his Hess truck collection.

what did i notice? much more interactive, imaginative play happened. for example, he had a plastic train set that he liked a lot. we would put it together quickly, he would turn on the battery powered train that went around the track a few times, then a few minutes later he would tear the entire thing up and destroy it. so i put that train set away and replaced it with a big huge basket of wooden train pieces and wooden trains. he will now spend a long amount of time putting all of the pieces together. he has a new found joy of trying to use every single piece of track and then loves giving me a train to play with. no automatic train singing songs. just us using our hands and silly noises to play trains together. it is so much better and he plays so much more creatively and intently.

this is just one example but i noticed that once i removed all of the plastic [they are always the first to break anyway] and battery powered toys, his play was so much more…what’s the word..playful.
also limiting the number of toys has played a huge role in this and we are all so much happier. less clutter. less to clean up. more to really play with and learn.

i have tried to start little collections of these types of toys for him so that going forward, rather then just buying lots of random toys, we can build on his collections. some i recommend are:

Shliech animals. they are so well made and so beautiful. totally display worthy. they are pricey per animal but if you start with a few basics you can slowly build until you have an entire zoo! and they will last forever.
train tracks and wooden trains. currently we have just the flat straight and rounded pieces but next time we need a gift for william, we can buy him the bridges and tunnels, etc.
-i plan on buying him wooden blocks soon because he loves his big legos [which are plastic] but they are SO loud. those were moved to our carpeted playroom and i will replace them with wooden blocks that he can color on, etc.
– trucks and little cars. i do not mind the little plastic cars and well made tractors. william loves them but i refrain from any that make noise [expect for the Hess trucks because they are great].

-wooden puzzles. we love the melissa and doug puzzles as well as their toys.

-and clearly books. we have tons of books but i move them around the house. i have a basket it his room, the playroom, our room, and the upstairs playroom. that way he is not overwhelmed with them all in one spot and when he does decide he wants to read he has a limited selection to choose from which helps in my opinion.

do you have any suggestions for well made, long lasting, must have toys?

 

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  1. Casey

    A great alternative to little plastic cars (although you said you don’t mind these) are Hape’s bamboo racers. Very well made, and they move super fast!

    April 8, 2015 • 9:38 am •