Quality versus quantity in the toy box


Probably the best parenting book I have ever read, meaning the most practical and tangible effects after implementation, is Simplicity Parenting (many thanks to The Chic Planner subscriber, Mallory for recommending it). If you have children, I highly encourage you to read this fabulous book; it literally is life-changing.

One of the points so well articulated in the book is to reduce children's toys. Not only reduce them, but to be intentional about the kind you purchase and allow in your home. I have always been a fan of simple, wooden toys, but this book helped me figure out why: it's because they aren't fixed. You can manipulate them and make them come alive. Toys that are fixed are the ones with all the bells and whistles that do everything or have some kind of character or theme attached to them. I love it when I see my children using their imaginations and getting deeply engrossed in their play.

In our house we have reduced the amount of toys that are left in our living space and their bedroom. I bagged up a bunch of plastic stuff and have it sitting in a closet to use as a toy library of sorts. Once I took the majority of toys away, I saw that my children really did play with the same things over and over every day, and the rest of the toys they just made a mess with and didn't really play or engage with them. In our home, the two toys that are played with every day is this wonderful toy kitchen and our wooden Thomas the Train set. We don't have a train table but just some tracks that are built differently each day.

It really was so liberating as a parent when I realized that my children don't need much to keep them happy. Just some good quality toys that meet their interest and that they can each interact with in a different way.

What are some of your favorite quality toys that are played with on a regular basis?