Friday, October 10, 2008

Favorite kid toys

I like this idea of posts about my favorites. I wanted to share some of our favorite kid toys. Though we have down sized and gotten rid of some of our toys, these are some of the girls all time favorites. (This is for you Ginny)

These are Calico Critters. We have looked at these in specialty toy shops for over a year and hadn't gotten any (they are pretty pricey). The girls had some spending money on a trip and each got a "family" of Calico Critters. We don't have the doll style houses, so they set up house in their wooden tree house (last years Christmas gift ~ another favorite).

You will notice most of our favorite toys encourage imaginary play. These Calico Critter remind me of one of our favorite kid videos (I only have it on VHS, which doesn't do me any good since I don't have a player anymore) called Brambly Hedge. That is by far, one of the BEST kid videos.

These are what we call Felt Friends (actual name Felt Kids ~ hard to find a link that has them in stock). A good friend of ours (hi Mommy G) got us hooked on these back in California. They also tend to be pricey, but you can find them on sale at places like TJ Maxx. I love to pick these up when I find them inexpensively and give them as birthday gifts. Great for taking to church or meetings when your kids need to play quietly. The board has a plastic pouch that attaches with the felt pieces inside. We have a good collection now. It is fun to act out stories on the story boards (I included the back of one that show some more themes ~ not just girly themes).

As the kids have gotten older, we have started sorting toys in bins. One of our favorite bins is our music bin. I often have my eye out for interactive toys on sale. Once the dollar store had great wooden instruments. They were great and we stocked up. Our music bin is often pulled out for a march around they yard for a parade, or lately the girls love playing the lap harp.

This is our vet station. Ordered it from a catalog and it has been a big hit. They take care of lots of injured animals and even hook them up to the IV. Love the X-ray part and it even lights up. Does require some batteries (we have never had to replace them in the 3 years we have had this).

This last one is a big favorite. Our wooden toys. They seem to be coming back into fashion. I have noticed them in so many stores. When ever little ones come to our house this seems to be the toy of choice. Tissy loves tea sets and has a little collection. Again, I love how these kinds of toys encourage creative play. I like the collection from . Melissa and Doug. (they also carry a great line of puppets)

Oh, one more...the doll wardrobe. Picked it up after Christmas sale at Target and the girls put their AG doll clothes in it.


Ginny said...

Thank You! What is cool is that Jonny built the boys a similar tree house years ago, and they have never played with it-so it is being passed to Lark. I was thinking of doing the same thing-buying a family of calico critters and then using that tree house for their home. It seems a little more appropriate for little animals anyway rather than a big plastic house. I am going to start looking for those felt sets too. I have been wanting to hit TJMaxx-now I have another excuse.

Annie said...

How adorable the wooden toys are! I've always loved the Calico Critters houses, but I just don't "do" anthropomorphic. I REALLY wish they had nice little PEOPLE for those houses! If they did I'd play with them myself!

Shane, Greta, Seth and Gage Owens said...

Thank you for your sweet, encouraging words on my blog! You are so sweet.
I am praying for your "wait" too!
Love you!

Lee and Bev said...

Cris - a lot of effort in this post! So many great pictures and comprehensible explanations of the toys. You are a master at promoting creative play. Again - what a great mom, wife, friend and woman of God you are! Bless you!

Wife to the Rockstar said...

I love toys like this also! Thanks for the great ideas!

Susan said...

I like the old fashioned wood toys...some things never go out of style, huh? I'll have to remember those Calico Critters for future presents...(shhh "Christmas is a time for secrets"

pearly1979 said...

I LOVE Calico Critters growing up. I didn't actually have any, but the girl across the street had a ton of them and a doll house. We played with them constantly!! I loved, loved, loved them. When I saw them in a store a few years ago I had to get a set for Anastasia, she has never really played with it, but it sits on her shelf. So many good memories. One time we were playing on her porch and a boy from my class walked by....we got up and ran in the house to hide because we were "way too old" to be playing with a doll house. ;)