Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Toys Worth Buying

With Sissy, our first daughter, we didn't know anything about toys. We bought practically everything Fisher-Price put on the market between 2002 and 2005, and if we didn't buy it, the grandparents did. Both of us come from single-parent homes where money was tight, so when we had Sissy I think we subconsciously decided that she woud never have to "do without" something that other kids had. Unfortunately, that mindset resulted in an overwhelming amount of toys, most of which never got played with. With that in mind, here's a list of toys that actually worked for us:

Fisher-Price Ball Popper -- I can't find anyone, adult or child, who doesn't love this thing.

Stuffed Animals -- depending on the child, these can lead to hours of imaginary play

Puzzles -- wooden puzzles are educational, long-lasting, and fun

Play Food -- the wooden variety is sturdiest, but check around the web to find felt food patterns

Blocks -- for younger kids, the bigger the block, the better!

Art Supplies -- a no-brainer

Fisher-Price Piggy Bank -- my 2 year-old is still going strong with this; good manipulative toy

Add a baby doll & stroller if you've got girls, or a cars and trucks with a road-map rug for boys, and you're set!

It's really hard for parents not to buy into the hype of the latest "developmental" toys being marketed today (& don't even get me started on video games!), but the basic toys are always the best. Fundamentally, what young kids like to play hasn't changed in generations. Head on over to We Are THAT Family for more tips and inspiration!


  1. We've gotten all of those on your list. But stuffed animals are completely worthless in our house--we have boys and they could care less. However, I'll add that dress-up costumes, particularly of the Superman/Batman variety have been quite a good investment too!

  2. Isn't that funny? I never played with stuffed animals, either, but my daughter has dozens and plays with every one. And it's great that really cool dress-up stuff is available for boys have to pry my nephew out of his Batman outfit!

  3. Great list! My girls have loved the classic toys the best. As you mention, art supplies are always a winner here!

  4. Great list. My daughter also loves her play kitchen.

  5. I have 3 kids ages 6, 3, and 2 and your list is right on. The ball popper and play food are huge hits!!

  6. This is a good list! I say less is more as far as children's toys, and I'm all about toys that require imagination.
    Blocks are my favorite! I was blessed to find a huge batch of nice wooden blocks on craig's list for only $2 a couple of years ago!
    The other thing is dress up clothes! I have 3 girls, and there is a constant parade of princesses decked out in dresses, jewelry, crowns, shoes, and purses around here!

  7. i let my mom do all the toy buying. she knew more about that stuff then me.