I found this a little late for this year’s Christmas purchases, but I’ll be looking at this list over the next year as I clean out more of our mass-produced toys and bring into our house a significantly smaller number of quality-crafted, creative toys. (That Goodwill pile just keeps growing and growing!)
It never ceases to amaze me that very few of the toys that come into our house through birthdays and Christmas actually have lasting play-value. I cleaned off the basement toy shelves a year ago because I was tired of all the boxes being dumped. I now rotate toys, but only a few of them are played with consistently. The legos may wander all over our house, but I’m always finding at least one of the kids building something with them. The trains are another favorite, particularly with the space available in the basement for laying out elaborate track designs. The $5 Tonka truck has seen a lot of work in the outside dirt pile. The eggies are a big favorite with my two year old along with the erasable drawing pad.
The plastic garage is hardly ever touched, nor was the farm or the ark or the circus truck. The mailbox has fallen apart twice now as did the cash register. Most of the toys that mimic life just aren’t that interesting.
My four year old was concerned that he would miss the toys that were put away, but frankly he enjoys his favorites even more because he doesn’t grow weary of them or get overwhelmed by too many choices. Reducing the clutter and sticking to the toys with the most play-value has been so beneficial to the kids. And I spend a lot less time cleaning up stuff.