Friday, 25 November 2011

What's in our Toy Box

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Today I thought I'd share some photos of the things we love to play with - like those 'What's in my Bag' posts that I always find myself really nosey interested in.

We don't have a toybox really, I like to keep Vin's toys separate and accessible so they are all in tubs and crates without lids. This way he can help himself and he knows where everyting belongs which is great for tidy-up-time.

I used to have what my friends called 'the facist toy policy' - no plastic, nothing flashing, no noisy american recordings etc. I have relaxed a lot now, we still have lots of beautiful wooden toys but I have made concessions when it comes to plastic.

Our music box - currently undergoing a bit of a makeover, some of the pieces got a little too bashed!

In my home I try to apply the William Morris saying 'have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful'. I made up my own quote for Vin 'have nothing in your toybox that you do not know to be fun or have learning value'.

(farm animals... and a lion?)

When I'm toy shopping or suggesting ideas for toys we'd like (note I say we and not Vinnie - oops) I always try to think of at least three ways we could play with something, I want all of our toys to be inspiring and open-ended. I'm sure this won't happen as often as he grows and has more input
so I'm making the most of it now.

We seem to gather collections of playthings, this is some stuff from our nature box

I <3 this wooden shape sorter truck we bought for Vin's first birthday, but I'm pretty sure it needs retiring soon as the kiddo's have probably outgrown it now

I love looking through these photos and seeing all the great colours - while I'm a sucker for good design and an aesthetic in your home (not that you could tell looking at my mish-mash house) I think childhood should be full of colour. I don't want my kid growing up in the kind of home you see on Unhappy Hipsters.

I completely feel for this fuzzy felt set, but when we got it home I found it was hundreds of tiny felt pieces and not really much fun. I have put most of the pieces away for now, and I keep meaning to make a simpler set of pieces to use with this board.

I think every little boy should have a trainset right? This is an Ikea version, but it's compatible (and looks just like) with the old-school Brio sets. I think we have three sets altogether, with bridges and connector pieces and crossroads to train those baby engineers.

This is just some of the vehicle collection. I read this article on crawling in preschoolers and now I'm even more happy to let Vin skid his cars along the floor as long as he likes!

We have a couple of random collections, like this bowl of balls and bucket of plastic scoops and shovels - these are the kind of add-in tools we use often in our creative time. Mostly the kids ignore them as playthings, but I will move them to the side of the play area if I think they could be incorporated somehow - then let them discover them if they want to.

Oh, the Beat Bot 6000 - this is one of those toys we had in our home before we even contemplated kids. It has a chip in it's back that plays Independent Women by Destiny's Child and the little robot dances and spins along. We have a couple of other retro robots back in storage, I can't wait to get them out and fill up Vin's room with the kind of stuff that inspired his dad and I as kids!

This is one of those beautiful wooden toys I mentioned. My mom bought this for V's birthday, and it is the simplest but most popular thing in this house. The little peg people slot in their seat and then they come out again. That is it, no flashing, no whizzbopping but the kiddos love it and scrap over it daily!

If there was ever a way to get over a plastic phobia, it was buying 104 piece playfood set! I bought this on the same day we got the teaset pictured up there ^ which made 136 pieces of plastic littered across my living room floor in one go. I have condensed the playfood down by at least half, and will add in bits as and when it gets bashed or lost (several plastic hot dogs already bearing teeth-marks)

oh yeah, we're kind of into dinosaurs... did you notice? Vin likes to sort them into collections, but not by period or type... by where we bought them... all the fossils from the museum go together, the large ones from the toy store go together etc... We also have a paleontologist, a torch that projects dinosaur pictures onto the wall and our dinosaur footprint fossils

I'm not sure if it's a boy thing not to be into cuddly toys, Vin has a few that I keep on the end of his bed but I don't think he's that interested in them. He has a mangy raggedy cat called Jess that he sleeps with (and used to carry around everywhere for a week or so) but the one he does love is this little guy...

Cc's mama made this for Vin's birthday, he called it Harry, I think it's the cutest. At night when we read stories Vin holds Jess and then he hands me Harry to cuddle while I read.

I always laugh when I realise Vin has more books that clothes... this is just a small sample of what I could fit onto the table. We have two specific reading times during the day (quiet time before nap and bedtime) and spontaneous reading whenever we feel like it. I have grand plans for a special bookshelf in Vin's bedroom, but for now there are books in every room of our house... and that's the way we like it.

Just so I don't feel too virtuous about all those books, here is his DVD collection - I don't mind films so much anyway. I think they are a great way to learn about stories, to introduce concepts you wouldn't normally bring up (the love of dinosaurs first came from watching Night at the Museum) and they're much better to practise focus than an hour's worth of five minute kid's tv programmes. Plus y'know, mama has to shower and eat and blog at some point.

So there you have it, that is pretty much everything we play with - you can check out our Sensory Tub, playdough and art space too

What is your kiddo's favourite thing to play with?

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