In November I shared a list of Oliver’s favourite non-toy playthings, so I thought it might also be fun to share some pictures of Oliver’s actual toys.
We are fairly selective about the toys we allow into the home. Clutter stresses me out, and I have no desire for our décor to be Fisher-Price themed. If it makes me a mean mother to not want to have multi-coloured plastic tripping hazards scattered throughout the house, then I guess I shall wear that label proudly :).
In choosing Oliver’s toys, we always try to stick to those that are non-electronic and that encourage open or creative play. There are some very compelling developmental arguments for this approach, but mainly, I have to admit that electronic toys drive me insane. I’d far sooner listen Oliver’s excited yelling or the sound of him banging on a drum than to listen to electronic beeps and bings. Foregoing electronic toys also has the added benefit of eliminating the need to replace batteries… ever!
Now that Oliver has outgrown his infant toys, I try to choose toys that are not necessarily specific to his particular stage of development, but that can adapt and grow with him through various stages. We limit the quantity of toys by requiring that any new acquisitions be able to be neatly and easily stored in Oliver’s room. Often this means enforcing a “one in, one out” policy.
I wouldn’t say that Oliver’s toy collection is “minimalist” by any stretch, but he definitely has fewer toys than the average North American 18-month-old. Residing in an apartment in downtown means that our living and storage space is at a premium. We don’t have a play room, and by necessity, much of Oliver’s play and recreation takes place outside the home. Since we don’t really spend a ton of time cooped up in the apartment, this approach of having fewer toys works well for us.
Oliver’s toys are kept in his bedroom, with the sole exception of his arts and crafts table (is that even a toy?) in the living room. We don’t discourage him from bringing his toys into other rooms if he wants to play outside of his bedroom; however, they are always returned to their proper place when he has finished playing.
Without further ado, here are some photos of Oliver’s toys:
In addition to the above, Oliver has a pop-up play tent (stored in his closet and brought out for an occasional treat), a small basket of hand percussion instruments (also stored in his closet because they are fragile), and a couple of rocks. Oliver loves to pick up rocks on our daily walks. We allow him to keep two rocks at a time, so if he wants to choose a new one, he has to leave one of the old ones behind. He usually keeps the same rocks for several days or weeks, until he accidentally loses one.
I always love to see what interesting toys other children have, so if you have a blog and would like to share some photos or descriptions of your child’s toys, please feel free to add a link to your blog in the comments below.
If you don’t have a blog, I’d love to hear a little bit about how you choose your child’s toys.
Which toys does your child prefer? Which toys do you prefer :)? Do you have any guidelines for how you choose toys for your child, or do you take a more laissez-faire approach? Does your child have few or many toys? How do you deal with unwanted or excess gifts?