Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Baby Toys

Over the last several months I have been doing a lot of research on a variety of baby-related products and such.  I know that no amount of research will really prepare us, and that every child is different, so the best laid plans may go awry, but I still like to know what I want to be able to do, to have, to try, and my reasons for doing them.  It’s kind of like my teaching philosophy, really.  I know what I’m comfortable with, and I work from there to meet the needs of my students.  That’s kind of what I’m doing here.  I have a few posts planned, but this is by far the most fun—the baby toys.  Clearly, we won’t have all of these things or use all of them, this is just a smattering of what I’d like to try.

First, a disclaimer.  I don’t like most kids toys.  Being in the toy aisle at Target kind of stresses me out.  Everything talking, moving, and primary colored plastic.  Most of it looks like junk.  And in the words of my father-in-law, “No kids needs all the plastic crap commercials try to sell.”  Andy and I are on the same page here.  We didn’t have plastic crap childhoods.  We were both raised with toys that were real, that served a purpose.  Even now, the toys I remember the most were my John Deere tractors, the large wooden train set, and our play kitchen.  And the books.  Oh, the books.  I find myself being drawn to toys that don’t look terribly modern, that definitely have some throwback appeal.   So without further ado, here are the toys that I find myself smitten with these days.

This rocking moose from IKEA might be one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.

rocking moose

We actually bought this rattle at IKEA last weekend and Baby C is going to have to fight Ollie for it.  I love the quality of IKEA’s soft toys.  Oliver actually has a small mouse and a large rat from there, and they are some of the only toys he hasn’t been able to destroy.


We got the stacking rings while at IKEA too, because I think they are so much nicer than the plastic kind (and they were only 5.99).


The next several toys are from a company called Plan Toys.  They are seriously awesome (Mom—I think you will love these…and the next company t00).  All of the toys I am linking to are from the website, which has a seriously awesome selection of all things baby.  Andy and I are seriously considering registering on this website.

First up is this baby car.  It’s a nice, basic push toy.


I think this stacking tree will be great when the baby is older. 


This dancing alligator might be my favorite of all.  It’s a pull along toy, and it dances and clacks.


These last toys are from a company called Melissa and Doug.  And I think they could be my BFFs.  Seriously.  These toys are stinking awesome.  They remind me of the toys my mom used to have in her kindergarten room at the school she taught at when I was little.

This giraffe grasping toy is kind of awesome.  Honestly, I think that Andy and I would like playing with it.  I showed it to Andy, he totally agreed.   He likes things you can twist and contort into different positions.  That’s really not supposed to be dirty.  Please don’t make it dirty.


There are TON of these wooden puzzles for sale from this company.  This is just one example.  I love playing with these with the kids in the preschool room at church.


This magnetic wooden alphabet would be totally awesome in a few years too—much cuter than the bright plastic versions.


Who hasn’t played with one these?  Seriously awesome.


Do I even need to tell you how awesome I think this is?  A kids sushi set.  Oh heck yes.  This is a  must have item for the Cook house.


There are others, obviously, but these are my favorites as of right now.  What do you think?  Anything missing?  Do you think I’m nuts for not liking plastic? 


Shannon E said...

Sometimes I think we may have been separated at birth... I was just looking at a link in my email for "25 best baby toys" before I checked your blog.

Wooden, retro, simple and cool are my toy philosophies as well. I love Doug and Melissa. Quite a few of their items are in my Amazon shopping cart for babies Christmas presents.
The dancing Alligator was actually in my cart at, but I decided against if for some reason I don't remember.
We bought the classic Tupperware shape sorter... I watched baby stacking his rings ON the post yesterday, normally he just hits them on things. It's so awesome to see his coordination develop. And I'm liking the rocking moose... maybe...

Things suggested for the first few months:
-black and white image cards (one of the first times baby smiled was looking at these, babies are mesmerized by them)
-mirrors to look at "the baby in the mirror"
-an egg shaker (best $2 ever spent!)
-and of course a mobile

You'll also want to find some great stacking cups.

Ashley said...

I kind of love that we share a brain...I just wish you weren't all the way far away so we could find these things together :)

And I instantly started looking for the things you suggested...and have them bookmarked :)

Also....I think we're only going to be home on the 24/25 this year, but we'll be in Indy for a few days after we have to figure something out. I don't want to miss you guys again!