I must have driven my parents CRAZY when it came to toys as a kid. I loved the “I Don’t Want To Grow Up” marketing campaign by Toys R Us growing up and COULD NOT WAIT to get the giant catalog at Christmas time. I’m pretty sure I wanted almost every toy I saw on TV, too. I also remember which toys I loved the most: my Barbies, Legos, train set, and art supplies.
Before Isabelle was born, I read about a Mom who limits how many toys her son has to play with at a time. She puts great thought into the colors, texture, and sensory. She rotates the toys and books into his playroom. By rotating the toys, it always seems like he has new and exciting toys, it keeps things clean and organized for an OCD Mom (like myself) and helps reduce sensory overload. I took this article to heart but also told myself “Let’s be realistic.” I’ll share at a later time how we organize Isabelle’s play area at home and at my office.
To this day, I can count the number of toys we have purchased for Isabelle. The toys that I bought for her as a baby are still her favorite today.
- Blocks: that make crinkly sounds and have different textures. Perfect for throwing these days. She also got amazing blocks for her birthday that hold pictures. One of Isabelle’s favorite things is seeing pictures of her family, so these could not be more perfect.
- Beach Ball: A soft pillow like beach ball that also teaches colors has become her new obsession since she has started learning how to throw and pass a ball. This ball was also her favorite and helped her roll over from her back to her tummy when she was just a tiny baby.
- Puzzles: She has 3 puzzles, one that uses nobs, one that has doors and hidden prizes, and one for Christmas that she received as a gift!
- Books: A combination of baby-friendly books and traditional paperback children books. Luckily, our little one is a bookworm. We have purchased a few books for her but most of her books have been passed down from Daddy.
- Music: For Christmas, we got her a small xylophone and a dear friend sent her a drum with some other musical instruments. She also has two toys that play music when she presses a button. She loves being able to start her own dance party.
- Art: We are just breaking into the art world. Isabelle likes to color with crayons and likes using both hands to color. We supervise coloring as Isabelle is still in the phase of putting everything in her mouth. We got a great coloring book that works with water which is perfect when we are on the go.
For Isabelle’s birthday, she got a water table which will be perfect once it gets warm outside. She loves water! From time to time, I’ll fill a plastic tub container with water and sit her on the floor and let her go crazy!
Make your own toys!
As Isabelle starts learning and exploring more, I’ve been paying attention to the things that excite her: opening and closing things, putting an object in something and taking it out, being able to hold something in her hands. I picked up a dowel from the local hardware store and asked my husband to cut them into different sizes and round the edges. I put the wood “logs” into an animal cracker tote that had previously been used for the floral arrangement at her birthday party – mucho happiness!
It’s a good reminder that it’s the simple things that a child loves. Consider making a homemade toy for your little one, niece, nephew, bff’s child. Not only will they love it, but you will feel awesome seeing how much they love your thoughtfulness.
P.S. Felt something sticky under my feet while writing this post. Realize my slippers were sitting in cat throw up….#RealLife