Google+ Bree Bronson's Babies: Toy story

Monday, December 17, 2012

Toy story

The upcoming christmas makes me think the huge amount of toys the kids will (again) get. In three and half years I've developed an opinion about which toys are good, which are simply rubbish and which are something between. Sure enough, it depends a whole lot of the kid what's interesting to them and what's not but I think I've got a clue on the basic idea.

What I've noticed is that many toys don't interest the kids more than five minutes after which they don't simply play with them or they use them in most creative ways to do something else than the manufacturer intended. These toys don't leave any room for imagination and they're planned to do one thing and one thing only. Surprisingly many are also of horrible quality and I'm not even going to mention here the dozens of chemicals many toys release.

So here are my tips for the thinking adult who would like to invest in a good toy. These ones work nicely with both our three-year and one-year-old (who are animal enthusiasts, so that theme is present a lot in everything).

1. Duplo/Lego

Leaves all the room in the world for imagination, although many of the packages are planned for building a sadly limited setup. Luckily the kids don't have a clue about this.

2. Wooden Brio train

As a kid I envied everyone with the wooden Brio train. I still love them and the kids do too. There's a huge variety of different parts and track sets you can buy or just to stick with the basics. The nerdy parent (read: me and Husband) can also get a battery-driven locomotive. Sweet.

3. Schleich animals

For any animal-lover kid these animals are a real treat. We have dozens of them and the kids (ok, me too, I'm bad at biology) actually learn a lot when playing with them. The animals are well made, they look good and the selection is huge.

All the above-mentioned are in brilliant shape after years of active usage (some Duplos and Brio trains we actually got second hand) and parts that are bought when I was a kid are compatible with ones Father Christmas brings with him this year. That's something I put my thumbs up for. On top of these we have a lot of books, some cars, two dolls, some teddy bears, puzzles and a few other toys. One of my guidelines has always been that there mustn't be too many toys lying around. Somehow the kids don't know what to grab if they're swimming in a toy sea.

This year Father Christmas will bring at least books, Duplos, snow shovels and clothes. And a lot of crap I wish would have stayed in the store. Then, when the kids are tired of playing with the plastic monsters and they're just in the way I will donate them to charity or the children's hospital in all silence. Buhaha.

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