Being mature about toy purchases, or at least trying to be – part 1
When my first one was born, I was excited about everything. Post partum highs and lows sent me on tough to turn back, instant gratification shopping sprees. All the late night nursing sessions would lead me to online shopping for stuff that we didn’t need, but looked so cute that it was hard to resist buying them. You can only imagine how many toys and books I must have accumulated over those initial days! Thankfully, soon enough (though my family might deny it!) sense prevailed and I started researching toys before splurging on impulse. I am quite proud about the collection I have accumulated over the last 3 years and glad that my sons enjoy playing with them. Though the younger one hasn’t gone beyond flinging them yet!
Here are a few tips that have worked for us in collecting toys that are both – physically and mentally stimulating for those tiny minds –
1) I love locally made/handmade toys and I don’t mind paying a bit more for these, because I know they are made with love and it always makes me happy to know that I am supporting and promoting local artisans/ businesses. A little bit of digging and research and we can always find such gems hidden around the corner!
2) I now ask myself the question – how soon will my kids lose interest in the toy? Will it work for both my kids and be sturdy enough to withstand the bashing it is destined to get? For this main reason I love blocks (wooden) and Lego (duplo). I bought a big box when my elder one was about 1.5 years and even today, it gets pulled out at least a couple of times a week. For me, that is an investment, not a splurge.
3) A kitchen set. Yes, I have two boys and they love everything to do with the kitchen and cooking. My elder son can spend at least 30-45 minutes (which is very very long in kid time, as I have learnt the hard way!) being busy cooking imaginary food. He has recently moved to asking for raw materials to make his pretend play a bit more real! We got him his own set of kitchen equipment when he was a little less than 2 years old and over time we have added to this collection to make an adorable little kitchen of his own. Of course, there are days when his kitchen turns into a parking lot or a racing track or whatever he imagines it to be and I have to stop myself from interfering and screaming – but this is a kitchen, you make food here, even if it is pretend!
I will continue with more puzzles/toys/ activities that have worked for us and also list down the things we bought which were a complete waste. Do drop in a word and share what toys worked for your kids so it can help us all build a more meaningful library of toys for our little ones!
***This post is in no way sponsored by any brand. The ones mentioned above are purely my personal suggestions***