I get a lot of emails about our toy collection and I figured it was time for a post since it is almost Christmas. I love kids toys. Buying them is one of my favorite perks of being a parent. My boys are growing up and now requesting not-as-cute toys (ahem, Angry Birds) but they still play with the toys we’ve collected over the years and I’m really happy with our strategy for buying toys. Our philosophy was to invest in quality collections that are well-made, beautiful, and clever. In addition I make sure that we store our toys low to the ground and in clear storage bins so the kids can access them. There have been a few that I loved that they just didn’t play with. We gifted them to friends who use them all the time so I think it definitely depends on the child and their interests. I should also point out that I don’t for a second believe a kid will be better off with these toys than the kid who is playing with kitchen bowls and cardboard boxes. I just happen to have a weird amount of knowledge about these toys and wanted to share our favorites. Here is a giant round up of all our favorite toys (I’ve starred our absolute favorites.)
Vintage Robots | This goes under the category of “adults like them as much as the kids.” When I have to travel for work I usually pick one up to add to the collection instead of buying a throwaway toy at the airport. They aren’t great for little kids because they can break, now that they are older they play with them more. Before we kept them on a high shelf and would pull them down on special occasions. | Vintage Robots |
Schleich Animal Figurines | These are really well made animal figurines that are great for collections. We’ve slowly amassed a nice set of them over the years and the kids really love them. It’s great to add one to the collection (or use as a bribe) when you are shopping with the kids at Target. We have a set of dinosaurs and animals. | Animals | Dinosaurs | (animal photo found here)
Planes Trains and Automobiles | We got the little wooden cars years ago and they are still going strong. They are really fast little toys and one of my favorites. The fire engine we got in France and I think it is the perfect “classic” firetruck. The helicopter, plane, and rocket are a French brand they have started carrying in the US the last year or two. They are magnetic and super clever little toys, highly recommend them! | Wooden Parking Garage | Wooden Cars | Wooden Firetruck | Train Set | Magnetic Helicopter | Magnetic Airplane | Magnetic Rocket|
Dress-Ups and Disguises We have a collection of masks and capes and wigs in a big closet. I like the Melissa and Doug Dress-ups, decent quality for the price. We always keep wigs around and the animal masks we got in France but they sell some online. | Animal Masks | Super Hero | Glasses and Wiggling Moustache | Cowboy Hat | Pink Wig | Yellow Wig | White Wig | Brown Wig | Fireman Costume | Pirate Costume | Doctor Costume|
Art and Coloring Supplies | I still love the Ikea Art Easel and we’ve become huge fans of these coloring books since a friend gave us one for a birthday last year. We discovered this German chalk a few years ago and it’s the only kind I buy. The colors are amazing compared to the pastel colors we are used to. The Kid Made Modern brand is so great. My personal favorite are the watercolors. | German Chalk | Kid Made Modern Watercolor | Best Coloring Books Ever | Ikea Easel | Cray-Pas Oil Pastel Set|
Puzzles | I always make sure every toy has a place so this puzzle rack is a must-have. There are so many good puzzles out there these days. | KID O Shades Puzzle | Giraffe Puzzle | Alphabet Puzzle | Green + Blue Puzzle | Magnetic Letter Board | Cats Puzzle| Puzzle Rack
What am I missing? Do you have favorites that aren’t included here? We’ve never had board games (because of lack of space) but now I’m now the hunt for a great board game collection. Any suggestions?
That’s about it for now, there are a couple more categories I wanted to cover like stuffies and big toys but I ran out of juice. I will add them tomorrow!