I love toys!!!
I love the toys that we have to play with at our house. I think I might love them just as much as the boys do :).
I would definitely have to agree that we possess way too many toys in this house, but each and every one of them gets plenty of attention.
With little boys in the house, cars are certainly a favorite. Not a day goes by that ALL of the cars aren't taken from their places and driven around for hours. I especially love how each boys has special cars that he loves and also how well they manage to share and play together with the cars.
Blocks are another favorite here. We have wooden blocks, alphabet blocks, and mega blocks (big legos). Blocks are a great way of encouraging imagination! Brady loves to build gas stations and barns, and Logan loves to "drive" blocks around and build towers to knock down.
My boys also get lots of use out of their tools and doctor kit. These toys are also great for imagination! When the tools are out everything in the house gets "fixed" and the boys wear their hard hats. Stuffed animals get thorough check-ups when the doctors kit is out!
I also can't forget to mention the play kitchen. Who doesn't have fun playing with food?
And don't get me wrong--as much as I love to play with my boys and their tons of fun toys, I also love the more educational side of things. For this purpose, Brady plays some preschool oriented computer games with Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Clifford, and Veggie Tales themes. He has made some major improvements in his math, reading, rhyming, shape recoginition, and sorting skills. So fun to join in with too! We also have board games, play doh, coloring books, painting books, and TONS of books for educational value at our house.
One of my favorite things to do to educate Brady is our "school sessions". School at our house right now basically consists of a Hooked on Phonics program. With this program, Brady has learned his letters and letter sounds, how to rhyme, and words that start with the same sound. He is wrapping up the program now, as he gets ready for the world of "real school" now.
I love television too. I know I'm not suppose to, but I say who cares? You'd drive yourself nuts if you listened to everything you heard. My children have learned so much from the television. We don't watch too much of it, but it sure comes in handy at times :). We mostly watch PBS, since the other stations seem more geared to older children. I have never seen any violence on Sesame Street, Clifford, or Word World (a very neat show that teaches about spelling and words).
The best thing about all of the toys in this house, you ask?
I haven't bought more than 2 or 3 of them with my own money! Our children sure have been blessed by our family, and we are so grateful for each and every gift that has been purchased.
Children are only little for a short time--I say give them all you can to foster their imaginations and expose them to a variety of different ways to play.
Toys do not have to cost a lot. Forget the expensive toy stores--their products are no better than other stores. Plastic is as safe as any other material and it costs a fraction of the price. And as far as durability, kids outgrown their toys fast enough the way it is, is it really that important that your toys last for 20 years? Probably not :).