Keeping up.

Every few months or so, whenever I notice how much Sadie has changed, progressed, developed, I kind of panic. About her toys. We’ve been very discriminating about what toys we keep in our home, in part because out house is quite small, but also because we don’t want her to be overloaded with plastic garbage. But I recently had what was probably my third moment of panic where I became practically obsessed with the idea that all of her toys were too babyish, that she’s probably bored out of her mind, and that we’re not paying close enough attention to helping her fulfill her developmental destiny (okay, that last part is admittedly a tad dramatic).

Is this happening to everyone else? Anyone?

I know the solution isn’t to rush out and buy a bunch of toys, but I can’t help but feel like her toy box needs a bit of a refresher. She’s always getting into something she shouldn’t in the kitchen, so I did get her some play food.

I’d really like to get her a play kitchen, but the wooden ones are expensive.

I don’t believe she NEEDS many toys at all, but what are other good toys for the 12-18 month range? The play food is actually for 3+, but there aren’t any parts small enough for her to swallow, so I suspect it’s because 3 is when they start “getting” the concepts this is supposed to “teach.” But I just think play food is fun. As in, I could amuse myself for hours playing with fake food. Hours.

13 thoughts on “Keeping up.

  1. Shannan

    I have this EXACT freak out too! Thank goodness someone else does too. But do you notice that toys for her age range don’t keep her attention for long? Aria is 13 months and I’m having a tough time finding toys that she will play with longer than a few days. I’m definitely going to scope out Craigslist for a little kitchen and play food. Any other suggestions?

    (P.S. LOVED the piece that Trevor wrote for OBM. It was SO sweet.)

    Reply
    1. Brooke Post author

      I know, wasn’t it the sweetest? I’ve actually been having a hard time finding toys in her age range that I’m willing to bring home. In addition to Fawn’s suggestion, I’ve had a friend in the past give me the suggestion of creating, within my own home, a rotation system. Say, three boxes of toys–each one would have one puzzle, one stuffed animal, etc. Then rotate those boxes in and out of the play area/storage every two to three weeks, which should be long enough for the stored toys to feel “new” again. The thing is, we don’t even have enough toys for this, I don’t think… We’ve been pretty stingy on the toy front. And I think I’m starting to feel a little guilty about it.

      Reply
  2. Shannan

    I just noticed that in your post that YOU were asking for some suggestions too. Sorry about that. I have to start reading closer.

    Reply
  3. Becca

    I freak out the same way!!!
    We actually found a very reasonable wooden kitchen at ikea.
    We have a nice set of wooden pots and pans (Melissa and Doug I believe)
    the twins enjoy “cooking” for us :)
    ikea also has a nice “rocking moose”, very simple, wooden – gift from their Grandparents so I’m not sure about price. We’ve been pretty happy with all of Ty toys we have from ikea. Only problem is that you have to to Dallas to get them.
    .-= Becca´s last blog ..Shopping trip =-.

    Reply
    1. Brooke Post author

      Yes, having to go all the way to Dallas does make it a bit of a problem. I like so much of their stuff on the website, but it’s a bummer that most of it can’t be ordered online.

      How’s it going with the crayons? I’ve been thinking about those, because I saw Sadie doing something (I can’t quite remember what or where) that looked like she might “get it,” at least a little. She’s still putting EVERYTHING in her mouth, though!

      Reply
      1. Becca

        We have had some fun with the crayons. Lots of scribbling-they are kind of getting the hang of it. But we have LOTS of “let’s not bite the crayon.” I do think they are starting to realize the crayons do not taste very good- that helps. I should note our “coloring sessions” usually only last a few minutes :) the fun part is putting the picture up on the fridge after, we have also used their scribbles to make cards for people. Their is a chance we could venture to ikea in the next couple of months. I will let you know if we go and you can place an order if you want to… :)
        .-= Becca´s last blog ..Shopping trip =-.

        Reply
  4. Fawn

    I hate to break it to you ladies, but it doesn’t get any better. From now on, your kids will never play with any one toy for more than 15 minutes at a time, and no more than 3 days in a row. At least, mine don’t.

    Booke, I have two suggestions for you. The first is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while and haven’t gotten around to initiating it: a toy swap. Don’t BUY more toys. Just gather up a few moms with kids of the approximate same age. Each of you box up a few toys you’re willing to loan out, and then every month or two weeks or whatever, you trade toys. You can trade in a circle so that when your own box comes back to you, it’s time to return those toys to the toy pile and box up a few new ones for the next trade.

    Suggestion #2: The latest trend is to make your own recycled wooden toy kitchen out of an old cabinet or chest of drawers. Check it:

    http://outofthecrayonbox.blogspot.com/2009/10/build-with-me-cute-thrifty-play-kitchen.html

    Best of luck with the toy battle.
    .-= Fawn´s last blog ..MOMcation 2010 Wrap-up =-.

    Reply
    1. Brooke Post author

      I’d be happy to see her even spend 10 minutes on something. Other than pulling food out of the pantry! I really do think we’ve got a lack of age-appropriate toys, but I think you’re onto something with a toy swap. If I could just obtain a handful of good toys and find other families who share our toy preferences (probably the hard part), we’d be all set.

      And thanks for sending the link to that tutorial. I’d come across it a while back somehow, but I’d completely forgotten about it!

      Reply
  5. Jane

    Hi,

    It’s my build your own tutorial that is listed up there. I highly recommend making a play kitchen sooner than later because it truly is a toy that grows with a child. My tutorial makes it easy I swear! I made my first one as a second birthday present for a little friend and she is four now. She has played with that kitchen a bit everyday since then. My kindergarten students *loved* kitchen area the most. Boys too. The sophistication of play grows with your child.
    .-= Jane´s last blog ..How I Turned A Picture Into An Embroidery Pattern =-.

    Reply
    1. Brooke Post author

      Yes! I was just talking to my husband about it. I can totally picture her little kitchen set up in our kitchen–we have a huge wall with a lot of empty space where I think it would fit perfectly. I’ve looked through your tutorial, and I think we can do it! We’ve even got a jigsaw. I’m definitely going to be keeping my eyes open for just the right dresser/cabinet.

      Reply
  6. Mindy

    Hey! I am sooooo about to get rid of this plastic kitchen at school! It is not the best thing, but she totally plays with it at school. It is actually from the toddler room-the room that she is moving up to. She will for sure play swith it. And if she doesnt then you can just give it back. :) She LOVES cups and random play foods so you should set her up a little “shopping/cooking area. That is perfect! Like I said today she loves blocks, the dancing Elmo-although I know you hate it! haha, and puppets. I bet if you got her a shopping cart she would totally dig it! Remind me tomorrow and I will send you home with that kitchen. It just got cleaned yesterday! and it is not ALL that big!
    .-= Mindy´s last blog ..This time 3 years ago =-.

    Reply
    1. Brooke Post author

      Why are you getting rid of it? It might work for us for the time being, while we find what we need to build a bigger one…

      Reply

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