The first few weeks of school is one of my favorite times of year for obvious reasons. But the part I probably love the most is the fact that I can now safely rid my house of all the toys, and pieces of garbage my kids use as toys, that seem to have gotten together and had little garbage toy babies throughout the summer.
As my kids have grown, I’ve never had too much of a problem with getting rid of their baby toys, especially anything from the dollar store, or Happy Meal toys, or anything that requires batteries. But when it comes to certain toys that are technically baby toys, there are a few that I hold on to, and not just in boxes piled up in the basement. No, these are toys I actually keep in the rotation.
I do this because even though they may be considered baby toys to some, they provide a whole different type of entertainment for kids as they get older. They’re able to enjoy these so-called baby toys in a whole new light.
MEGA BLOKS Basically every kid growing up today has had Mega Bloks. They’re great for little hands to grab and click together, making towers that can’t so easily be destroyed. A few years ago, I found ours in a bag in the basement, obviously having been ready to go to the consignment shop or a donation bin for some time.
My kids saw them and immediately started playing with them, even though they were way past the age for which these blocks were intended. It made me wish we had even more Mega Bloks so they could build a giant wall, or even a room where maybe I could hide to sneak eat the good snacks.
PLASTIC ANIMALS We have had plastic dinosaurs since before my oldest turned two years old. He picked up a little Brachiosaurus at the dollar store (I know, I know) that he didn’t want to part with, so I bought it for him (I know, I know!). Our collection grew from there and my kids still LOVE playing with their plastic animals and dinosaurs. They’ve never even made it to a bin in the basement ready to be donated.
MAGFORMERS We were a little late to the game on these, only getting them in the last couple of years. But I love these toys! I mean, my kids love these toys. We only bought them because they were playing with them at a friend’s house and were completely entranced. Any toy that can entertain my kids for hours is a toy I’m willing to have cluttering up my house, and magnet building toys are one of them.
POP-UP TENTS & TUNNELS I think we’ve had our pop-up tunnel since my oldest child’s first birthday. I love these tunnels and tents because they fold up easily, don’t take up a lot of room when they’re stored, and they are perfect for entertaining the kids on rainy or snowy days. Bonus: as the the kids get older, they can set them up and pack them away by themselves!
PLAY FOOD The play food sets from Melissa & Doug are an awesome investment when you have kids. We’ve had this Birthday Cake set since my oldest turned two, and it still gets pulled out and played with on a regular basis. My children frequently make feasts, or open restaurants and snack stands with all the play food we have. I just love how it brings out their imaginations even though they aren’t babies anymore.
Here are some honorable mentions:
I know that most of these toys are recommended for ages 3+, but I feel like we sometimes focus on the “3” and completely ignore the “+” part of it. I know that one day, my kids will outgrow all of their toys, but I feel like children today are forced to grow up so quickly. So for now, I love keeping some of these toys around, and I’m always amazed at how my kids use their ever-evolving imaginations have fun with them, whatever age they are.
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