Some of you may know that my business journey started because I was struggling to find toys that my kids would love for a longer than a day. They had so many toys in their cupboard that they just never played with.
I remember looking at all of the toys on the floor one day, wondering why they weren't being played with and I realised that I didn't want to sit down and play with them either.
I have wasted soo much money on toys, for them to not last, only be useful for a certain age or for them to become junk in a cupboard.
Have you ever looked at your kids toy collection and wanted to through it all way and start agin? I know I have, and in some ways I kinda did. I've often thought about what I would do differently if I could turn back time and be a first time mum again.
Here is what I would do... Here is what I have learnt...
1. Baby's do not need ALOT of toys.
They are just fascinated by the world around them. But here is what I would start with if my kids were under 6months old.
- A ball. Some sort of textured ball.
- Fabric High contrast book or flash cards.
- A teether, maybe 2/3. My personal favourite is the the Jellystone Teether stacker.
- Play silks.
- A snuggle toy (get 2, incase on gets lost or they change the designs).
- A good play mat, or rudie nudie mat. You will spend a lot of time on the floor.
- A good hat. I love bed heads.
6 Months - 1 year.
- Jellystone silicone stacking cups. They are a bath toy, great for stacking, they wobble. You could even hide things in them. Or just something for stacking.
- Closer to 1 Years, a good set of wooden blocks. My kids were older so we started with magnetic tiles but if they were younger I would have invested in a good set of blocks. I like Serenitoys or Once A Tree.
- More books.
- Camelback & B.Box have been our favourite water bottles.
- Don't be afraid of DIY.
1 Year and older.
- Large Animal figurines.
- John Deere tractors and CAT trucks.
- Honeystick Original crayons. This is also something we have.
- More books.
- A busy book.
- Some puzzles.
- Bunnings have these wheel burrows and kids size brooms, spades, etc that my kids love.
- A baby doll if your kids like them. My son does but my daughter prefers her soft toys (eg. She dresses her stuffed toy unicorns in baby clothes).
- More things for pretend play. We brought the Fisher & Pikel Little People and they still get used by our kids. Also, pretend food.
- A bucket and spade.
3 Year Plus
- Magnetic tiles.
- Mini Animals figurines.
- Grapat loose parts.
- Lego when they are a bit older.
- Cars, trucks & vehicle.
- Paint Sticks and Honey stick crayons for art supplies and to create DIY activities.
- Things around Numbers & letters.
- Reusuable Colouring Mat.
I find around 3 years they really start to develop their interests so it really depends on what they are into. But having some open ended toys will work well with other toys and continue to allow them to use their imagination.
There would probably be other things I would add in along the way but these would be my essentials that would grow with them as they got older.
Sensory/Messy play also has many benefits and can really change things up for you but I will do another blog for sensory play essentials.
As a general rule...
The more the toy does the less the child does. Toys that are powered by their imaginations and not batteries, generally speaking, will keep them more engaged because there is more for them to do and their imagination isn't limited. I also find that they talk more to you because they want to explain what is going on. It's also easier (and more exciting) for you to join in and play with them.