Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Toys that get played with

Sometimes I've been wildly wrong about the toys that my kids (Peter, 2, and Kenny, just turned 6) would like to play with. Actually, more than sometimes - often. Very often. It's especially frustrating when there's loads of adoring reviews for said toy on Amazon, and it barely nets a half hour of playtime. So, below is a list of toys that actually get a lot of playtime from my kids.

Toys that get played with:

Magna-doodle.
This will get left for long periods of time, but it always gets picked back up again. It's so convenient, too - you can do your drawing and writing anywhere you want, without worrying about markers and crayons in the living room.

Duplo legos
These are great. Even my 6 year old will still play with them, and my 2 year old loves them. They're so much easier to handle for the kids than the regular legos, and since I got 2 big bags for almost nothing at a school rummage sale, we have tons and can make huge structures.

A box of plastic animls
These get taken out again and again.

Another box, of little cars
You don't need a ton - a little shoebox sized plastic bin of assorted matchbox type cars gets taken out frequenly.

Some stuffed animals
Again - you don't need a ton. I went through recently and purged all the stuffed animals except what fit in a good sized plastic bin. Nobody ever missed anything.

A ride-on toy
We have a little 3-wheeler only for indoor use. It actually gets a lot of use (when it's not in toy jail for banging into walls and doors).

Toys that do NOT get played with:
Blocks. I know this is one of those classic toys that every kid needs to have, and Peter will happily play with them when I take them out, but he never takes them out on his own.

The complicated Star Wars type Lego sets
These are frustrating. Kenny loves them, and they get assembled (with the help of a parent). And they get played with for a while, and pieces gradually come off and go into our "general" Lego bin. And then you have hundreds of highly specialized pieces that are very difficult to use in general building, scattered in a big Lego bin. Don't get me wrong - Kenny still likes them, but he mainly digs out the little figures and plays with them. Your mileage may vary - I hear some kids keep these complicated sets together, and play with them all the time. FYI - for a while, I tried keeping these in their original box, so the pieces wouldn't get mixed up with the other ones. That was just way too much work.

Train table
We had one of these for Kenny. He had some fun with it, but it lost its luster very quickly, and then was just large piece of furniture that took up space. I know some kids absolutely love trains, but Kenny wasn't that interested. Maybe we'll try again with Peter. I think that I won't get a train table, though - I'd just get a box of tracks, trains, etc., to put together, that we could put away when we need the space.

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