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  • Timeless Toys

    July 29, 2009

    I did not have a lot of toys growing up.  I know. Break out the tiny violin.

    I had a hand me down Chatty Cathy.  I had some of the lesser Barbies – Midge? The redhead with the questionable reputation whom no one talked about.  Nothing was proven, mostly rumors.  I did have a Chrissy doll that I loved.  I had a Lite Brite that I loved.  My brother had the Spirograph which I coveted.  But among the three of us kids, we didn’t have a lot.

    Sean on the other hand.

    Like most families in America, our toy box runneth over.

    And here is the great irony. Sean plays with about 1% of the toys he owns. However, he would wail and fuss were I to relocate the other 99% toys.

    The toys that Sean loves most are ones that we have picked up at garage sales or were passed down to us. They are the least complicated, least expensive, require no batteries and have held his interest from ages 2-6 and I expect, into a few more years.  And they are toys that his mommy and daddy love to play with too.

    They are:

    1) Tinker Toys

    2) Leggos

    3) Wooden Blocks

    4) Plastic toy tools

    5) Plastic animals

    6) Matchbox cars

    7) Play-Doh

    Now there is another category of toys that Sean loves, that are not really toys and they are:

    1) 6-ft step ladder

    2) sheets

    3) empty boxes of any size

    * * * * *

    I’m sure everyone’s Top 10 Toys list looks a little different. If you were going to recommend the top three or four best toys to a new mom,  what would be on your list?

    65 Comments »

    1. Sally says:

      I have always preferred toys that do not require batteries so the child can use his or her imagination.

      July 29th, 2009 at 9:33 am

    2. Allison says:

      Do Mamas and Papas count? I’m assuming this is a “inside” list, so I’ll stick with that. Though the only necessary outside toys I can think of, would be a bike, a ball, and a swingset combined with two little feet.

      I love timeless toys ( preferably wood) and hate electronic ones, no imagination.

      I like your list, and chuckled at the toys that aren’t really toys. My son would add bungee straps, dog leashes (they have a hook!) and anything else you could hitch together. When he gets older it will extend to dental floss(it’s really strong!) and duct tape.

      The only thing I probably would add, but not really necessary is dress up cloths. Cowboys, firefighters, doctors, cook, ect. We have little to none dress up cloths, and it hasn’t effected my kids. They are forever playing hospital or some other such game. I’ve always wanted to buy colored silk scarves as well. So open ended and creative.

      Do books and art supplies count as toys? They are a definite must.

      July 29th, 2009 at 9:43 am

    3. Rebecca in Colorado says:

      #1 – the Discovery Toys hammer and colored ball set that has matching holes for the balls to be pushed through and then zig-zag down the ramp. I acquired mine for $2 at a garage sale. And was accosted by a mother of twins who saw it and just hadn’t picked it up yet. And she really needed it because her twins would always fight over the one they had!

      #2 – Paper Dolls

      #3 – Legos & K’nex

      July 29th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    4. Skip says:

      Sean is the go-to guy — he’s the expert.

      A big empty box with flaps would be a starter. Something to crawl into and close the door behind you.

      Wooden blocks would be a first buy. Our grandchildren make cities, towers, forts, you-name-it out of a set we’ve had for over forty years. They populate the places with matchbox toys and plastic little people of a similar size.

      Of course the most fun is to let Papaw build the tallest tower possible, and then they gleefully knock it down.

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:15 am

    5. Quinn says:

      For my kid, it’s been scarves. She got several large silk scarves six years ago. They’ve been dress-up for her, dress-up for the stuffed animals, dress-up for the pets (briefly), accessories in other games, hammocks for stuffed animals, attempts at room redecoration…two actually wore out.

      Scarves, I say. Scarves.

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:38 am

    6. KIm says:

      Oh wow, I had totally forgot about the spirograph. Oh how I loved that thing!!! That was by far my favorite toy and the lite brite. Thanks for the reminders!!!

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    7. Pam says:

      Our very good friends had their adoptive baby boy born just yesterday. They are parents after 8 long years of disappointment. Besides getting a really cool outfit for Max, I am going to look for any toy with ‘little people’, preferably the school bus. Those LP grew quite a bit over the years, they’re great for chubby little fingers to chew on.

      I will also give her the link to your blog since she is now a proud Antique Mommy…a bonus gift.

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:48 am

    8. Kay says:

      String has always been a biggie at our house. The day she saw PINK string at Home Depot I think some heavenly light must have shown down upon it! I STILL find pieces of pink string here and there in the closet.

      Pillows… what is better than a pillow fort! : )

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    9. Sarah says:

      flashlights are endless fun and as a child I loved them…a set of giant tinker toys that we built forts with, covering them with sheets….cicada skins, were free and made great armies…betsy wetsy, every little girl needs at least 1 baby doll and 1 teddy bear that can be her baby….

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    10. fern says:

      I still have all my kids leggoes–and my kids are 16 and almost (gasp) 20. I think they are the best toy ever invented.

      Also love blocks, masking tape, scotch tape, markers, playdough, toilet paper tubes, shaving cream, dried beans and funnels, water. And of course, stuffed animals.

      July 29th, 2009 at 11:29 am

    11. nicole says:

      We have a ton of legos and blocks, but they don’t get all that much playing time. I’m not sure why. I would say that buying things like Barbies, My Little Pony, Pet Shop is good, but don’t buy the accessories (for girls obviously). I grew up making my own Barbie houses and using my mom’s shoes as cars. My girls make up their own games with these toys that don’t involve the extra stuff. So give one or two toys to get them started, then let them figure out how to grow their play. Paper, markers, crayons, stickers, etc are very popular here.

      July 29th, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    12. Meg @ Spicy Magnolia says:

      Bring on the lists…this is awesome! I saved the email you sent to me awhile back with your favorite toys and refer to it often. Thanks for this fun post for a newbie momma. 🙂

      July 29th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    13. jean says:

      I would say that my son loved the wooden blocks, action figures with lots of movable joints and Leggos. He’s now 13 and still creates things with Leggos. Oh and folding chairs covered with blankets make the best caves, secret fortresses and hiding places.

      July 29th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    14. Amy says:

      My son’s list of favorites is very similar. He loves his wooden blocks, legos, tinker toys, matchbox cars and plastic animals. The things I would add to the list… his bin of Star Wars action figures/ships and a bin of vintage Fisher Price Adventure People (They were a childhood favorite of my hubby who found them on ebay.).

      July 29th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    15. MrsNehemiah says:

      Tonka trucks, the metal ones (garage sale) they last forever,are a great addition to the sandbox/dirt pile, and make a slight incline into a terrifying hill.(for mom anyway)
      cardboard tubes of various sizes, for swords and telescopes and megaphones.
      old socks make a great start to clothing for stuffed animals.
      Legos!
      Scarves, my cousins and I had a wonderful time with grandma’s scarf box.
      my boys at 11 & 12 have graduated to dad’s tools (I paint my tools bright pink to keep their little boy hands off them)
      the wheelbarrow and handcart have been great fun, every scrap of plywood makes it to the “fort”/junkpile
      plastic tubes and wire spools become circus objects.
      but what they really want to play with is the trackhoe. I have to go now and help my younger son fix the neighbors fence, he forgot to boom in before he swung the bucket.

      Mrs N

      July 29th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    16. Kathy Anderson says:

      My grandkids, girl aged 5, boy aged 3, live out of town but come to MiMi’s house several times a year. They, along with any other young child who has come to my house have always been perfectly happy playing with my 2 son’s old Fisher-Price Family Farm and also the Fire House set. All the pieces store inside and I am so glad I saved them. Talk about value for the money. In fact when I see them at garage sales I encourage the people to hang on to them. I also have some old wooden spools of thread they love to stack up and knock over and I have a large jar of marbles they love to sort by color or favorite or just knock around on the floor. It keeps them content for hours.

      July 29th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    17. Jamaica says:

      mmm, well, I have 3 boys, and a newborn daughter. I love toys that can’t impale my bare feet (I hate shoes) and anything that doesn’t squawk, beep, talking, cry, whine, moan, tinkle, or otherwise mimic the already deafening noise in my house.

      July 29th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    18. Antique Mommy says:

      I’m guess I’m the unofficial Lego spokes model, but I love them. I never had them growing up, maybe they weren’t invented yet. A couple of summers ago we went to the beach with two other families and rented this house. I went to the local Walmart and bought a big tub of Legos and on the rainy days, all the kids, ages 2-12 played with them, along with the adults. If had to choose just one toy, it would have to be Legos.

      July 29th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    19. JLI says:

      We don’t have a child to speak of (yet) as we wait for God to deliver us a miracle, so I can only speak from my own childhood.

      Must haves would be a.) sheets and any piece of movable furniture – who didn’t make tents then have sleepovers in them? b.) a bike c.) an old spoon, a plastic cup or bowl, a hose or faucet outside the house and dirt. LOTS of dirt. My friends and I would make “mud meals”, seasoned with “herbs” (leaves, grass, weeds) and put on the nicest mud meal you’ve ever seen. Play-Doh lends itself to this sort of thing quite well too. Mom or grandma’s costume jewelry and the old Matchbox cars are great too. Take a stroll in any antique shop and you’ll find all sorts of “throw-back” toys. Might be surprised to see what grabs your child’s interest (and yours too).

      I think one of the best gifts to give a child is a piece of your own childhood and the imagination that fueled it, then teach them how to use it. Otherwise, how can kids learn to be creative, what with all the electronic toys, video games and whatnot?

      July 29th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    20. Aunt Murry says:

      I have always kept a basket of items I would take when babysitting and those things that were included were:
      1. Legos (a small basic set)
      2. Crayons
      3. Coloring books
      4. Paper
      5. Washable Markers

      For little girls:
      6. Nail polish (the kid kind that just peels off)
      7. play make-up
      8. Plenty of baby wipes

      For little boys:
      9. Match box cars
      10. an odd ramp from some long forgotten race set.

      And if it was a particularly long session, I would break out the ballons for either paper mache or a water balloon fight!

      July 29th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    21. Chris says:

      I had a Chrissy doll, too! Mostly because I went by Chrisie growing up and it was very fun to have a doll who had my name (even if they spelled it wrong).

      My little guy LOVES his Little people garage with the spiral ramp. Our matchbox cars are lined up on there every day.

      July 29th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    22. Kathy says:

      My 3 1/2 year old son has a toy called “Magna-Tiles” that rocks. It is just a set of multicolored flat squares and two kinds of triangles with magnets embedded along the edges so that the shapes can be used as a 3-D building tool. We build rockets, churches, pretend ice cream cones / cakes / pizzas, garages for his matchbox cars, houses, and castles (using the equilateral triangle pieces as the prince and princess). Every adult I’ve ever shown the toy to cannot resist playing with it either. It was definitely worth every penny I spent on the set.

      July 29th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    23. Sarah at themommylogues says:

      Oh my goodness — right there with you on the 1% vs 99%. Anytime I try and weed something out, they notice. And ask about it out of the blue months later.

      My girls enjoyed the Fischer Price Little People for a very long time. Oddly, all they ever want now are stuffed animals. They have elaborate play schemes with them. They don’t seem to like dolls a whole lot, it’s all about the stuffed friends. And on rare occasion, Littlest Pet Shop.

      They’re 6 & 4, and if they’re not playing with stuffed animals they are all about the crafting. We go through rolls and rolls of tape. Crayons have multiplied all over our house. Blank white paper that I buy for my printer is always in demand. Playdoh’s a hit and we’ve got fancy accessories for it but they usually just mush blobs around.

      The only “spendy” toy they have ever been interested in is the VTech video game player. It has been my friend on the car rides — VTech, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that headphone jack. They have all kinds of educational games with the characters they love like Cars & Princesses. And I’m all for it because we’ve got plenty of creativity & imagination happening the rest of the time.

      July 29th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    24. Marie says:

      I love this post. Some day when you and Sean visit upstate NY, we must meet you at the Strong National Museum of Play, AM. 🙂 Home of the National Toy Hall of Fame. http://www.museumofplay.org/nthof/inductees.html

      Any and all cardboard boxes are the favorites here. We have to hide boxes that we don’t want decorated & cut up! As for me, I always wanted an Easy Bake oven. Instead of having one of my own, I got to cook by lightbulb at my cousin’s house!

      * * *
      I actually did have an Easy Bake Oven. I loved it because it was the only time my brother’s would have anything to do with me, if there was a chance they could get one of my tasty light bulb baked cakes!

      July 29th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    25. Kathy says:

      re: the magna-tiles above:

      I should also mention that they clean up very nicely into a very compact stack, so they don’t take up a lot of room when they are put away. They also travel well.

      July 29th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    26. MommyJ says:

      Don’t forget MagnaDoodle and Etch-a-Sketch. The mini ones entertain well in the car or quiet places.

      * * *
      We love our MagnaDoodle. It was a gift from an Aunt. We go in spells with it, playing with it a lot and then putting it away – and it IS great for the car!

      July 29th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    27. Debbie Owensby Moore says:

      I didn’t have many toys or books growing up either. Something my daughter has always used, and I would have cherished, is drawing paper, construction paper, writing paper and markers. My daughter has also spent a lot of time making things out of Popsicle sticks and glue. I guess the simpler the better!

      July 29th, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    28. Teri from Indiana says:

      1. A Ball
      2. Blocks…….any kind…..Cameron loved wooden one, Timothy loves the Peek-a-Boo Blocks
      3. Crayons
      4. All the scrap paper you can find. My blessings love paper. It can written on, torn, thrown at each other or eaten. Okay, I know it’s not nutritional but Timothy’s 1 & eats it.

      July 29th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    29. Janmary, N Ireland says:

      Almost identical to our list for our 4 year old son, but maybe add a magnifying glass and some batteries.

      July 29th, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    30. Pam D says:

      I suppose it would depend on the sex of the child; having a boy, my list looks much like yours. A good set of wooden blocks is a must. Tinker toys, lincoln logs, and wooden trains? Right up there. LEGOs? Top of the list.. the Duplos do well for years, and then they hit that point with the regular little ones to where they consume their life (and your floor). Bionicles, Star Wars, Pirates, blah blah blah… and just basic LEGOs to be made into whatever. Right now, I have a machine gun, a gallows (I know..morbid), some kind of rolling cart for a Bionicle (created by child, not by LEGO designers), and a box of all-white LEGOs because the next new project is to build an all-white castle; all of those are in my kitchen. It absolutely amazes me how a boy can take a pile of LEGOs and come up with so many creative, cool things.
      Oh, the other absolute necessities around here? Bug nets and containers; we have a LOT and have worn out more. Paper and pencils/markers/crayons, along with other arts and crafts supplies if possible. Little army men or other figurines who can become whatever they need to be. Fishing pole and worm can.

      July 29th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    31. Not The Rockefellers says:

      What my daughter loved and now loves

      When she was really little anything that had a tag…she could play with the tag on a throw pillow all day.

      When she was a toddler she was fascinated with pouring water from one cup to another. So the tea set was a no brainer.

      As she got older blocks became her thing, just plain wooden blocks. She’d build houses for her Disney figurines.

      Which brings me to figures of her favorite characters…Plastic figurines..we had Arthur, the whole Disney troop and Pokemon..

      Dress up stuff and costumes is where she was at, at 5-7 she loved to get glammed up with hats and scarves and boas and clacky shoes.

      Now she is ten and she really likes sketching and drawing and painting. She can stare for hours at the pencils and watercolors at AC Moore..

      I didn’t think your question would send me down memory lane. Whew.

      Peace – Rene

      July 29th, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    32. Kathryn in NZ says:

      For girls I would recommend a tea set. Mine still play with tea sets. For boys – a train set. My brother and I spent whole days at a time in the holidays with his train set when we were kids.
      My favourite as a child? the dollshouse my dad made for me. It is currently at granma’s, and all the grandkids have hauled it out and spent hours with it (boys and girls).
      And definitely lego and/or wooden blocks.

      July 29th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    33. Grandma to four says:

      I’m surprised no one mentioned a box of buttons and muffin tins to sort them: by size, shape, color etc.
      If you don’t have a box full of old buttons, you can buy lots of inexpensive ones, and then throw in a few special ones such as stars, apples, sports balls… Or shop thrift stores for a jar full.
      Of course this is for a child old enough to not put things into the mouth. It’s a great rainy day or quiet time activity.

      July 29th, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    34. k&c's mom says:

      Some kind of doll to love on.
      Something with wheels the child pedals or moves with his/her feet.
      A big ball to throw and kick.
      A sand box with great scoops and spoons.
      A small table and chairs to eat at, color on, make playdoh sculptures atop.
      Bathtub toys that float or you can collect/pour water out of.

      My now-adult children’s favorite things.

      July 29th, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    35. Janis says:

      Buy a little plastic grocery cart and raid your pantry of non-breakables. Set up a grocery store, complete with green bags and a cash register. We had a Barbie cash register with play money and a microphone. Yelling various commands on the microphone was always a big hit.

      As mentioned before, lots of art supplies. And I let them use the art supplies no matter how messy the outcome. Creativity can be stifled if we worry too much about cleaning up the mess afterwords.

      July 29th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    36. Iota says:

      Bottle of wine, couple of glasses, good movie on dvd, chocolates. Oh? for the CHILD, you mean?

      July 29th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    37. Shirley Cohen says:

      Someone gave our son the ‘wind-up’ walking shoes when he was just in the high chair. We traveled alot while he was small and it was the perfect size and price to tuck away a few new ones to keep his interest in the restaurants while we waited. I now have his collection of about 500 wind-ups in 2 cabinets in my workroom, I love them and have used them throughout my website http://www.makeroomforbabykit.com. He has lots of memories from them, but until he gets married, he’s just fine with it being ‘mom’s collection’. I still stay on the lookout for the unusual.

      * * *
      Y’all, if you are in the market for fabulous baby bedding, check out Shirley’s custom made stuff – gorgeous! Even if you are not, go look at such loveliness — http://makeroomforbaby.typepad.com/photos/bumper_gallery/index.html

      July 29th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    38. Minnesotamom says:

      1. Empty pill bottles (or Juice Plus+ in my case) filled with beans or rice; Anja used them as rattles as an infant and now “feeds” her own babies with them
      2. Crayons and scratch paper
      3. A cheap rubber ball (like the kind in the big bins at Target)

      July 29th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    39. Susan says:

      My vote would be for a toy that was made by Playskool in the 1980’s. Pipeworks was the most amazing toy ever made! I would give anything to have a set again! My kids LOVED them. They could build life sized anything from pvc type pipes and fittings! It was incredible the number of hours they spent with this toy!

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    40. Carrie says:

      My son (19 mos) likes a lot of non-toys – the broom especially. 🙂 Boxes are always a big hit, and chairs and especially couches to bounce on. As far as toys, the ones that capture his attention for more than 30 seconds are the ones that make noise – he has an electronic book that sings & songs & makes noises for each letter of the alphabet & I’ll get ten quiet minutes out of that one. 🙂 And also he loves books. They keep him occupied pretty well, too. 🙂

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    41. Carrie says:

      Did I forget to mention balls???? Yeah, any size or shape of ball is his FRIEND. 🙂

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    42. Carly says:

      I love toys and sometimes it’s really hard to resist picking up one here and one there (new or new to us) for our (thus far) only child. The ones we both loves the best are…

      1. Legos
      2. Wooden anything – especially foods and the like for playing “kitchen” and “store” and blocks of all shapes and sizes.
      3. Play-Doh
      4. Crayons, Color Wonder Markers, Tempra Paints
      5. Magna Doodle – my all time favourite as a child and I’m thrilled Jake loves it too
      6. Empty boxes
      7. Closets (they make great hiding places, elevators, and much more.
      8. Cars
      9. Sidewalk chalk
      10. Cabbage Patch Doll (“Baby Max”)

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    43. Amy Sue Nathan says:

      Since all the good stuff has already been mentioned, I’ll say what I would tell a new mom to stay away from.

      Anything with batteries that makes noise. Oh, and if you get them, take them to the grandparents’ house. They’re probably the ones who bought them anyway.

      * * *
      When we went on vacation, we stopped by my MIL’s house. She gave Sean a Tonka rescue vehicle, a little surprise gift to take with him. If you push button #1 it makes a very loud siren sound, button #2 “EMERGENCY VEHICLE! YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!” very loud, button #3 “HERE’S TONKA TO THE RESCUE, COMIN’ THRU FOR YOU!” verrrry loud.

      Since the Tonka car was tie-wrapped into the box, we threw it in the back and went on our merry way. Every bump we hit, it was ‘HERE’S TONKA TO THE RESCUE!” or sirens or “EMERGENCY VEHICLE! YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!” All very loud. All the way.

      I imagined that as we drove away, Memaw was rubbing her hands and cackling with glee.

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    44. Melanie says:

      When I was a kid, I loved the giant box of popsicle sticks…you could make roads for your matchbox cars.

      July 29th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    45. Ann says:

      My brother and I still play with wooden blocks and we’re both pushing 50. Let’s see…there’s the jumprope and one of my daughter’s all-time favorite toys (other than blankets and empty boxes and stuffed animals) is her Playmobile Ark. She got it when she was 4 and the boys down the street (who are 13 and 14) still get down on the floor and have a blast playing with it.

      July 29th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    46. mythoughtsonthat says:

      1) blocks
      2) Legos
      3) water play
      4) sand play

      Can ya tell I’m a preschool teacher ’til the end?

      July 29th, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    47. Deborah says:

      We’ve been thinking a lot about favorite toys, because we’re moving across the country. I’m trying to limit our moving boxes, so all of our belongings are undergoing intense scrutiny. The Legos, plastic animals/dinosaurs and matchbox cars are definitely coming with us. The other two must-haves for my kids are our box of musical instruments and the Fisher Price Little People (we have the farm and Noah’s ark). Oh, and my son’s big plastic ball – it’s been used for soccer, basketball, kickball, and all sorts of made-up games.

      * * *
      We have a box of Melissa and Doug musical instruments that Sean loves, to which I’ve added a number of pieces, even an accordion. Because there is just not enough noise around here. And we also have the Noah’s Ark that we couldn’t part with either. And various and assorted balls. It’s really hard to narrow that list down, isn’t it! 🙂

      July 29th, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    48. HarryJacksMom says:

      If you are a Toy Story fan, TS3 is coming out next summer – yippee! Anything Melissa & Doug is on our list of favs. Tho I typically stayed away from electronics, our boys learned so much from those keyboard type thingies we kept in the car (for 1yo and up, I’d guess). Our top ten is almost exactly yours – a friend had tiny Tinker Toys (keychain size) give-aways at a party….your kind of goody bag 😉

      July 29th, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    49. Steffj89 says:

      hmmmm….
      as an infant young toddler the fisher price busy ball popper thingy that shoots balls in the air and then they roll back down the lil slides and pop up again…we wore out 3 of them with the first 2 boys they LOVED it.
      The shake n go speedway…we bought it christmas when our oldest was two and a half, he is now 6 all the kids love it and they love that they can shake the cars to make them go. it has been bar none the best 35$ i have spent since any of them were born.
      legos–they have their own space now because with the new lil one they arent allowed past the hall bath where i can gate the babe away. we have so many sets i have lost count and you can bet santa will bring more.
      hot wheels–we dont have any tracks just 487 or more cars. tho middle is pushing for the painting car wash for christmas and is liable to wind up with it since he has been asking for 8 months…
      he plays w/ the lil people that his big brother completely ignored and we have tons of sets old and new for a good variety

      things I hate–playmobil. I thought the toys looked so neat and had many people tell me how great….omg all the lil peices and hard to put together for lil fingers and ugggh…

      tinker toys are a fav @ nanas

      BTW on those big lego sets, there are several neat ones marked 30%-half off on the clearance shelves right now including the really neat crane. also some of the indiana jones ones were on the clearance aisle @ TARGET….
      Steff

      July 30th, 2009 at 1:53 am

    50. Yamile says:

      Playmobile, awesome toys!

      July 30th, 2009 at 2:01 am

    51. Tom says:

      My kid likes sprinklers. I bought him a rainbird, and he’s happy as the proverbial clam.

      July 30th, 2009 at 3:06 am

    52. Brigitte says:

      Ooh, other people have said it already, but my kid loves bouncy balls, all sizes and colors!

      She’s almost 5 and likes to engage in family board games now, I think more for the interaction with us than for the game (candyland, chutes & ladders, etc.)

      Her dress-up clothes come out whenever she has a playdate.

      July 30th, 2009 at 6:32 am

    53. Alice@Supratentorial says:

      Legos are by far the favorite here.

      One year for Christmas I filled a huge Rubbermaid box with dress up clothes. I hit all the post-Halloween sales and got a bunch of stuff including hats and funny glasses and other accessories. At the time my son thought it was just ok and liked the flashier toys better but this is still one of the things they play with the most.

      Playmobil is great. I like the quality of it and that it encourages them to make up stories of their own.

      My 5 yr old was never a big stuffed animal guy but my 2 yr old is. He uses them to do frequent “puppet shows” for me.

      By far however their favorite thing that they ask for every day is to play with the sofa cushions and their “favorite blanket” (an old comforter that they like to roll around in and use for all sorts of things).

      July 30th, 2009 at 9:15 am

    54. Nan says:

      Our list is about the same. But add “Dress-up clothes”. I have given almost everything else away, little by little, when the kids weren’t looking. You have to be sneaky!

      July 30th, 2009 at 10:14 am

    55. Great-Granny Grandma says:

      Tinker Toys were my favorite when I was little. Don’t see them much anymore.

      July 30th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    56. Jennifer says:

      I have wondered at the power of the little colorful “shape sorter” toys that keep the toddlers entertained in my church’s nursery.

      The babies that are too little to work out which shapes fit into which hole just take the lid off the bucket and drop them in one by one.

      http://www.fisher-price.com/uk/products/product.asp?id=3229

      July 30th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    57. Nikki says:

      I wouldn’t recommend these for a new mom, but my little boy (he’ll be 6 in October) loves a flashlight, a rope and a tape measure.

      July 30th, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    58. Kaela says:

      So true, my 4 year old also only plays with the 1%!

      http://www.willingtoriskreadytogo.com

      July 30th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    59. Heidi says:

      When mine were preschoolers I filled a big rubber maid storage bin with dry macaroni and pulled it out on rainy days. They both loved to measure, pour, dip, and dump out of that bin.

      Anything from Discovery Toys was always worth the investment (my friend was a dealer)

      Other than that, a plastic lawn mower from Dollar General, a simple tea set or homemade picnic set for pouring and serving, Hi-Ho Cherry O and Barnyard Bingo; a plain tablet of paper with crayons, colored pencils and markers.

      It’s a tradition in my family to keep a “tupperware cabinet” – where you can set a crawler or toddler down right in front of the open cabinet door and let them go to town playing with all the bowls, lids and cups. My two spent many evenings in front of the tupperware cabinet while I fixed dinner; and it’s so handy for tiny visitors if you don’t have lots of baby toys left.

      You can never go wrong with Legos. When mine were 11 and 14, they pulled our Lego shelf out during a two day blizzard and had a ball. A tiimeless toy.

      July 31st, 2009 at 4:06 am

    60. Heide says:

      I don’t think anyone has mentioned rubber bands, plus string and beads — good for all kinds of projects.

      July 31st, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    61. carrien (she laughs at the days) says:

      In case no one has mentioned this yet…

      For girls:

      Baby dolls, and something with wheels to push them around in.

      Wooden puzzles

      For boys:

      Duct tape

      Randomly shaped bits of scrap wood.

      July 31st, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    62. mary says:

      When my son went to preschool at 3 years old, he had the best teacher! We became close friends and she and I used to go to garage sales to get stuff for the school. She acquired really great dress up clothes. Real hats, aprons, boots, jackets, any kind of uniform, fabric that could be draped into anything. Real kitchen gadgets (not sharp) to use.
      His most favorite thing was the wood working table. She brought in scraps of wood and a bucket of nails and the smallest weight hammer that they sell. The kids wore eye protection and they were allowed to hammer nails into blocks of 2×4’s…..He loved this!!! When he was 5 and we had no money…we brought gift bags full of scrap wood, nails and a $5 hammer as gifts!! Little boys loved it!

      The toy shopping cart go a lot of use in my house.

      Duct tape…any kind of hand tools.

      He had a huge collection of Knex…he made lots of stuff!!

      Simpler times!!! He’s almost 20 now and works for a Contractor when he isn’t at college….Now he runs big power tools!!!

      August 2nd, 2009 at 1:26 am

    63. Sunday Sunshine 08.02.09 « Minnesota Mom says:

      […] Timeless Toys by Antique Mommy (read through the comments, too!) […]

      August 2nd, 2009 at 6:23 am

    64. mama speak says:

      Yeah, I’m late to the game, but why not. 😉

      I have two girls, so our list is a bit one sided:

      1. Anything arts & crafts (crayons & paper a must!)

      2. Kitchen stuff (they have a fully equipped play kitchen, but love to raid my drawers too.) The favorite game right now is Starbucks. Guess what’s on the menu?

      3.Push strollers/shopping cart (OMG! they love these)

      4. Dolls/stuffed animals (need I say more?) Someone has to eat at Starbucks

      5. Dress up anything (we have TONS of dress up stuff, but even then they will change it up be other things; a favorite is a cape that was their Daddy’s

      There’s more (Little People/Barbies/Loving Family, doll house type pretend play stuff) Legos, BOOKS! & purses. OMG the purses!

      August 6th, 2009 at 3:47 am

    65. Robbin says:

      You know – they did induct the cardboard box into the Toy Hall of Fame. I am not kidding.

      If you ever get to Rochester, NY – the Strong Museum of Play hosts the Toy Hall of Fame. And it is worth every single dime.

      August 7th, 2009 at 6:17 pm

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