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October 8, 2010 / MrsH

Favorite Toys: 12-18 Month Old

The attribution of creativity has shifted away from children, who come by it quite naturally, to the efforts of executives in toy company boardrooms, who claim the power to “develop” and “stimulate” creativity.

~Kim John Payne, Simplicity Parenting

We have far fewer overall toys than most families, and significantly fewer plastic toys.  We try to not go through batteries so quickly by having only a handful of noisemaking, whistleblowing, lights flashing, types of toys.  Actually, none of them have lights.  And those toys are generally not our Little One’s favorites anyway. The best toys, or at least favorite toys, for our young toddler include:

  • Kitchen set – in our kitchen, we have a very tiny plastic play kitchen (soon to be replaced with an equally tiny wood one).  She also has a basket in one of the cabinets that holds a range of kitchen utensils: spatula, ladle, whisk, measuring cups and spoons, etc.  We try to rotate these somewhat regularly.  A small box of play food completes the set.  She especially loves this cake and frequently serves us slices of it.
  • Her own baby doll.  She’s enjoys pushing her around in our Middle One’s doll stroller (to his great chagrin).  Recently, I’ve caught her nursing, feeding, and bathing baby, as well as putting her down for a nap.
  • Books, especially No, No, Yes, Yes by Leslie Patricelli.  She’ll alternately shakes and nods her head, depending on which page she’s on.  Too cute!  She also “reads” books with lots of animals, making all the appropriate noises.
  • Trains or anything else the big kids use.  She’s always up for a game of “chase the zhu zhu pet,” and has a special fondness for putting on her big brother’s shoes, as they’re just the right size that she can do it independently and still walk around fairly well.  She also has a set of household cleaning supplies, including a small broom/dustpan and dusting cloths.  They get used daily.
  • Art supplies such as crayons, stickers, and pencils.  I haven’t braved the paints yet but no know that it needs to happen soon.  She’ll love them.
  • Building toys.  We rotate a set of blocks (focusing on having her build with all identical cubes, rather than the full set), mega blocks, and Duplo.  She loves these and can spend 30 minutes completely absorbed in her buildings.

Notice a pattern?  These are toys that invite her to use her already existing imagination, rather than trying to “develop” or “foster” it.  It’s already there!  So we strive to keep our toys somewhat plain, multidimensional, and few in number.  Our toddler is thriving.

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