Friday, June 7, 2013

6 Heirloom Toys You Can't Do Without

Anyone who's been to my house can tell you what a sucker I am for heirloom toys. They're like little works of art designed to make everyone happy. It's true, they can get pricey, but sometimes it's worth spending a little more to get something solid that will last. (It's kind of like splurging on a great pair of blue jeans rather than a dress you can wear once a year.)

I've narrowed down the list to the toys that are worth the extra expense. While you're browsing through it, keep an open mind about "girls' toys" versus "boys' toys." I say there's no such thing!

I hope you enjoy this list of some of our household favorites (in no particular order)...

1. Lincoln Logs
Admit it: you played "Little House on the Prairie" with these. They're so versatile. Build a city or one big log-mansion.

2. Dollhouse
A great dollhouse is fun for any child - don't rule it out for a boy. (Although I think a classic dollhouse would be perfectly fine, there are also "boys'dollhouses available.) Oh! And don't forget to invest in a good how-to build your own dollhouse furniture book.

3. Blocks
Every children's toy chest needs a good set of blocks. Personally, I like the plain wooden variety. But if you want to jazz them up, paint them in chalkboard paint. Then your little ones can enjoy drawing all kinds of fun designs on them that can vary with the game of the day.

4. Knitting & Sewing Kit
Every child should learn how to sew and knit. (For the how-to aspect, you can invest in a good book, or there are plenty of free tutorials on YouTube.) It's such a fabulous life skill. It exercises fine motor development, critical thinking and problem solving, and even math! There are several methods of knitting - finger knitting is great for beginners. After that, move on to a French Knitting spool, and finally knitting with needles. This kit includes it all.

5. Marble Run
Encourage your little engineer with one of these sets. The possibilities are endless, so each playtime offers a fresh take on the same toy.

6. Easel
A beautiful easel is such a great tool. Be sure you invest in one that is dual sided with both a dry erase and chalkboard. Storage is good to have for art supplies, and a place for a roll of paper is nice to have too.