It’s that time of year again. The time when the most obnoxious toys come out to play. I hate toys that make noise. There are gentle musical toys and those are okay. But, I’m talking the giant Buzz Lightyear that screams “to infinity and beyond!!!” over and over (from my basement, where I have hidden him much to my three year old’s chagrin. He keeps asking for Buzz, I just keep giving him an innocent look and making a comment about keeping better track of his toys). I much prefer imaginative play with things like cars and building blocks. The only noise they make is a ventle vroom coming from my one year old’s mouth (that, I can handle) or the occasional clank of wood on wood, which brings back waves of nostalgia. We didn’t have all those noisy toys and electronics when I was growing up (before the dinosaurs according to my six year old). But, I digress. I’m not here to talk about noisy toys (though I could go on as you’ve probably gathered). I want to talk about imaginative play and toys worth the investment.
I wish someone had sat me down and told me exactly what kids wanted to play with when I was a new mom. They don’t need 80 million squinkies, a singing guitar, or playsets with 5 billion tiny parts. The toys that every family should have are much more basic than that. I can break it down into 3 categories for you.
2. Play that simulates real life like baby dolls and play food.
3. Things that go “vroom” but only when your child makes that noise.
Yep. That’s it. Boy, do I wish I’d known we didn’t need those giant rubber dinosaurs and a bed full of beanie boos ten years ago. It would probably have saved a lot of yelling, some tears, and a little bit of my sanity. So, if you’re a new mom, please listen when I tell you: “Step away from that light up electronic toy robot” (that was me two Christmases ago- major fail!). Get yourself to the wooden toy aisle and close your eyes and take in the silence. You’ll thank me later!
Now that you know what to buy, let’s get down to what we have pictured here. Cubbie Lee Toys has a wide selection of brightly colored, high quality, wooden toys at reasonable prices. I was super excited when I found this shape sorter Noah’s Ark. I love all the details especially the mama and daddy lion set and the sweet dove they included. They really thought of everything when they came up with this one. The top is removable and all the pieces stow inside. Baby Hey J attacked it with glee when we let him loose in the office. He played with it for a good 20 minutes straight and cried when we packed it up (for St Nick’s day- stay tuned for my top picks this year).
I think my favorite part of these toys is that they each incorporate an important life skill, from cutting with pretend fruit, to shape sorting, to matching with a chunky puzzle, and learning letters with building blocks. They also have some very reasonably priced train sets and much more. Don’t take my word for it though, head on over to Cubbie Lee Toys to check them all out.
With the world so full of stimulation from electronics and our fast paced lifestyles, it’s nice to slow down with imaginative play. Plus, I’ve learned, if you plan your purchases wisely and buy high quality, useful things, life becomes a little less cluttered.
Wooden Toys: c/o Cubbie Lee Toys
***Cubbie Lee Toys sent me products for my honest review. I was not paid for this post nor was I influenced in any way to give them a positive review. All opinions herein are my own. Now go shop, because they’re a great small business, I don’t even get a cut for saying that, I just like their products!***