Step Away from the Toy Aisle or What Babies and Toddlers Need for Play

One thing I love about the mothering path I am on right now is the idea of simplicity.  One area in which this has been manifested is that of baby toys.  Because having Wigeon was like starting over, we had donated most, nearly all, of our baby items to charity.  As I contemplated which items I wanted to have available for Wigeon to explore, I’m glad I came across this quote from You Are Your Child’s First Teacher:

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy toys to provide a rich environment for your toddler.  Making accessible the items in your home, plus a few free or inexpensive items, such as a ball and a cardboard box, will provide your child with hours of valuable exploration…Remembering how much your child like to imitate, you will find that adult objects are probably more fascinating than many toys designed for children.

I also like this simple list of play items for the 1-3 year old I found on Marsha Johnson’s Waldorf Home Educators Yahoo Group. (I modified this list by combining items.):

  •         wooden chew toy/rattle
  •          several soft balls
  •         playsilks
  •         one cottony stuffed thing to chew on
  •         snuggly blanket
  •         a nature table to observe
  •         a set of wooden blocks
  •         one soft doll, no features, with blanket and cradle
  •        baskets of smooth sticks, shells, nuts in the shell, stones
  •         stacking toys (wooden ones are nice)
  •         small truck or car
  •          stick crayons
  •         six small board books, classics
  •         one nice hand made hanging mobile

Some of you may be asking yourself, “Won’t my child get bored with these few items?”  I read the perfect response to that on the Bending Birches blog today.  PLEASE link over and read the entire comment about the fact that boredom is an adult concept – it’s that good!  (It’s the second paragraph down and written in bold.)

I also found this wonderful post about  “Un-Toys” .  This blog is going to shut down soon, so it’s a good time to pop over and print off the PDF.

Also, some of you may have seen this article about the five best toys of all time.  It’s so funny, but so true!

What have been your children’s favorite play things?  

Happy vernal equinox and thanks for reading! 

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