If you follow me on Facebook you know that I love to share my favorite toys. I don’t believe that children need mountains and mountains of toys. Instead I advocate that homes and classrooms should focus on well-made, open-ended materials that last for many years and span multiple developmental ages. Use this post as a resource for Toys for Children: Quality Over Quantity.
Disclosure: I was contracted by Mama May I to write this post. All opinions are my own.
When parents and educators contact me asking for toy and materials recommendations I give the same advice. Focus on a small amount of well-made items that will span multiple years. Yes, that small plastic figure from your kid’s favorite television show might get an initial WOW factor, but most likely it will soon be forgotten and not worth the money. While people are often initially hesitant about the price of the items I recommend like our wooden unit blocks, I believe that a few quality pieces will cost a lot less in the long run. When Jessica from Mama May I suggested that the Homegrown Friends Community would be a great fit for the products on her site I immediately hopped over to check them out. When someone says handmade, wooden toys I immediately come running!
TOYS FOR CHILDREN: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
I believe we play with our eyes first. There is a tranquil element to the Mama May I site that makes even the searching of toys a peaceful, enjoyable experience. The first toy that caught my eye was the gorgeous Shoot for the Rainbow. Much to my delight Jessica included this one in the complimentary box of toys I was sent. The rainbows are hand cut by Jessica’s mom (how cool is that?) as well as hand-dyed and packaged in house. If you believe in supporting local businesses this is the real deal.
Small instruction sheets were included with each toy. Instead of explaining the instructions I first added this breathtaking wooden rainbow and balls to our block shelf to see how my children would approach the new materials. Isn’t it just the best addition to our wooden blocks?
After my kids played for a day we “discovered” the instructions together and tried out the Shoot the Rainbow game (similar to croquet). Love that the wooden pieces could be used in such an active way!
Another favorite (and also a perfect addition to our block area!) are the Family Box Little People Playset. Charlotte adored that each wooden person had its own color coordinated fabric blanket. Charlotte was eager to create a very large home for her very little people.
While this set has a lot of little pieces my daughter takes such good care of the items. When a home or classroom has just a few higher quality items it is easier to keep an organized toy area and children are more engaged.
We were also sent the coolest Animal Action Game and it is the perfect addition to our soccer practice nights! Yes, you heard me correctly. There is nothing worse for two little sisters than having to sit with their mama and watch their brother’s soccer practice a Friday night. Enter the Animal Action Game!
All of the images and wording are original designs by the owner of Mama May I. As an educator I appreciate the use of sophisticated language with young children. When my daughter Luca pulled out “Scurry like a crab” we had the chance to talk about the word scurry and try out different body movements to explore the word scurry. You know I love learning that involves movement!
Okay, are you ready for the best part?
Jessica from Mama May I is offering Homegrown Friends Readers $15 OFF purchases of $100 or more using the code HOMEGROWN15. Offer good until September 28, 2015.
GIVEAWAY TIME! Want to have even more fun? Need a special gift for a birthday or an upcoming holiday?
HOW TO ENTER: Fill out your information in the Rafflecopter below. Comment with your favorite toy and stop by our Facebook Page as an additional entry (optional).