Saturday, January 28, 2012

the time we spent $200 on toys

Sometime ago, I discussed the environment we prepare for J.  Based on Montessori principles, we want to provide organized, beautiful toys made from organic material depicting the real world. Unfortunately, this is not always easy to execute.

So much junk is marketed for children.  Without knowing any different, families purchase these cheap, unappealing toys because they are educational!  And fun!  With lights and music!  Our nanny, all with good intention, gave J the ugliest, most hideous piece of plastic that blares inaudible counting and letters.  He wasn't interested in it, to be honest, and it's shoved deep inside our closet.  

If you are anything like me, you frequent many online toy companies to see what is out there.  The affordable toys?  Crap.  The beautiful, handmade, gorgeous toys?  Yeah, no way can we buy those.  As a general rule, I avoid Toys&BabiesAreUhs.  A multitude of useless material is thrown into the face of parents without any purpose or need.  However, upon perusing the toy section online of this company, I found animal figurines made by the company Schleich:

OH. EM. GEE.  While they are plastic (sigh) they are beautiful and well-constructed.  What a great way for J to play, learn language, and be immersed in reality!  I wanted to buy them all but these, too, are expensive and T forced me to stop filling the cart at around $200.  

When the first of the animals arrived, I gave it to J.  Slowly, a huge grin emerged on his face and, using his pointer finger, he touched the nose of the animal.  Clearly, he approves.  He now crawls all around the house carrying one in his hand.  

Lastly?  They're patriotic!  I mean, c'mon.  Look!  A bald eagle!  Perched on the back of a golden retriever!  USA!  USA!  USA!  ( Okay, obviously I did that.  They're not really attached nor do they come together.  I'm just looking for shits and giggles. )

What toys are you comfortable purchasing and giving to your child?
Any amazing finds you wish to share with us all?

These opinions are solely my own and I have not been compensated by any brand or company.  However, I am not above that.  If you want to compensate me for an AMAZING review - let's talk!  :)


Lina said...

I feel like the first step as a nanny is to figure out your parents' philosophies and ideas, and fit yourself into those. Just my two cents. (Though I do believe it was well-intentioned.)

stephanie said...

We have lots of toys... the only grandkids on both sides of the family and living 600 miles away. Grandparents, aunts, uncles they all spoil them! That said we have our fair share of plastic cheapy toys but our favorites are Melissa & Doug. They hold up well and are reasonably priced.

E @ Life on a Quilt said...

@Lina - I totally agree. We didn't expect her to give us anything and were so touched that she thought to do so. Yes, it would have been nice for her not to "waste" her money by aligning it with our philosophy - gifts (especially from caregivers) are so tricky! But oh so sweet!

@Stephanie - Our family also lives incredibly far away. We started an amazon wish list for J so they can purchase "pre-approved" toys. I know it sounds kind of finicky but it works! And yes, we definitely have a lot of Melissa and Doug over here. :)

Megan Stilley said...

I love Melissa and Doug or simpler toys of the sort. But my family kind of went ape shit at Christmas with crappy, colorful, noisy, plastic toys.

E @ Life on a Quilt said...

Megan - Yep. Well-meaning family members are wonderful! What they fill your house with is not. :( I find the Salvation Army a great place for all of our "unused" toys. :)

Emily said...

Love Schleich! They carry them at Target in Lawrence and Topeka. I actually bough several for my husband a few years ago because he likes toys too.