Did I mention I’m thinking of becoming a minimalist? Thinking of it.
In the meantime, I wanted to share some favorite playthings around here. (It’s a process people.) But I am learning to be mindful of how my kids play and what they really use. Then I only keep those things around. So the following items are favorites that made the cut – beyond the assorted stuffed animals and dolls and endless amounts of scotch tape and cardboard, they play with these products.
I also have to mention that our makeshift playroom looks an awful lot like a homeschool classroom. When Sophia had all of her world maps hung, a guest actually asked, “Oh…is this where your Mom teaches you school?” Hardly. It’s where that girl teaches me.
In that light, up first we have….
1. The Pretend and Play School Kit.
This was a huge hit for Sophia’s birthday this year. It includes miniature worksheets, awards, and hall passes. The carrying case sold me – it can all be packed up, contained, and will travel.
2. Talking Tubes
Think old fashioned tin-can telephones. These are super fun. They got these for Christmas and sat in the back of the minivan talking to us in the front seat. No batteries, no wires, and they’re virtually unbreakable.
3. Short Stuffs
This kit creates stuffed animals, bringing together Sophia and Olivia’s two great loves. But because they are no sew, and use velcro, they can make and remake all sorts of stuffed animals over and over again. For a Mom who likes the idea of crafts much more than crafting, this concept is a dream come true. LOVE THESE.
4. Color By Dot Pages
We have tons of coloring books, but the color-by-dot system here adds a great angle. Olivia especially, who has been a bit more hesitant to color and write, thoroughly enjoys the challenge of picking out which colors each page needs and filling in the spaces “correctly”. The part of her that tears through puzzles finds these very satisfying. And the pages progress from one color to nine at the back of the book. (I find these therapeutic. Just follow the directions, and TADA! a great picture.)
5. Go FISH Cards
Every night, before bed, Travis plays Go Fish with the girls using these cards. The first time I heard Olivia ask “Daddy do you have any chartreuse?” I about died. The cards are durable and cute and teach colors such as jade, indigo, warm red, and cafe au lait.
Think paper dolls with fabric – making endless combinations of outfits. I really enjoy these. Oh that’s right, it’s supposed to be about the kids. They do too and this will be great for our upcoming spring break trip!
7. Wooden Blocks (very original)
This classic is the real deal and the blocks are heavy, and when a tower falls on the wood floor, they are LOUD. But I do believe that the best toys are the multi-dimensional, mult-functional ones and blocks are still king. To prove it, two nights ago Travis and I sat on Sophia’s bed to watch a Princess Extravaganza lit up by the spotlight of the iphone flashlight, and taking place on a soundstage of blocks. We do our friends Melissa, Doug, and Walt Disney proud over here.
Those are a few of our favorites that I hope to hold onto, even as I continue to purge, and read essays with titles like “Do you really need a couch?”
Hope your week has been lovely and, like me, you spent the day enjoying some Vitamin D and Girl Scout Cookies, both vital to health and wellness. Happy Spring!