Posts Tagged ‘Toddler Toys’

February 27, 2014

Stocking The Toy Closet

My baby is not a baby anymore. This point was made abundantly clear when we were in the 12 to 24 aisle in Target’s toy department a few weeks ago. The toys just didn’t seem capable of holding her interest, or any toddler’s for that matter. They were just small permutations over concepts she had already mastered: ball poppers, pull toys, toys with buttons and knobs that play different songs. I can see Nicki pushing every button a couple of times, before tossing the toy to the side.

I’ve been striving to make sure we always have toys for the next stage at the ready, but I don’t want to pay a lot. Nor do I want to turn my home into a giant playroom. Enter the toy closet concept.

The toy closet (also sometimes referred to as the gift closet) is not a novel concept. The idea is to stock up the closet with toys (or gifts) so you won’t be caught off guard should the sudden need for them arise. I have price watches and toys, and other gear, designated all the way up to 3 year olds so I can be ready and thrifty at the same time. We now have a potty (even though we have no plans to start potty training soon) and two “big sister/new baby” books (even though there’s no second baby in the making yet.) Hello huge price drop! At least percentage wise.

With a closet full of older toys, is I’m consequently cycling out new toys for her to try. I’m amazed at how quickly she can pick up things meant for much older children. She’s a sticker pro (both the permanent and reusable kind), and a mean crayon scribbler. She can handle toddler knives, and even an etch-a-sketch. We keep a huge 7000 sticker sticker book with individual tear out leaflets in the toy closet. It’s my go to toy when I need to distract her or keep her occupied.

Sure, sometimes she’s not ready for them and they go back to the toy closet for later. Sometimes even the toys for her age range come with accessories that need to be removed. Her baby doll came with a small pacifier toy that Domingo and I both deemed a chocking hazard. Into the closet it went.

My big mistake was not stocking up on Halloween customs from the inevitable early November sales. Nicki is so in to pretend play these days. Yesterday I picked her up from day care and she was wearing a monkey custom. A few days ago it was tinker bell. If she sees her party dress, or her super girl outfit, she insists on wearing them. She’s commandeered my fuzzy boa scarf, and I have to be sure to keep all fuzzy socks safely hidden. The most adorable thing ever? A toddler wearing crew length adult-size fuzzy socks that go thigh high! Oh well. I’m sure she’ll still be into pretend play and dress up in 9 months, so I can fix my mistake then.

The more pressing thing on my list is a booster seat. Nicki is starting to outgrow the high chair. She’s using cups and utensils, so it makes sense to move her to the table with us. She asks to sit in the chairs, she’s just not tall enough to eat at the table without assistance. Alas, I don’t think I’m going to get a deal on this one.

December 7, 2013

Black Friday Addendum

My order of the Step 2 LifeStyle Dream Kitchen was still on hold as yesterday, so Domingo and I decided to go ahead and cancel it. It didn’t seem likely to arrive on time, and our second choice of play kitchens (the LifeStyle Custom Kitchen) was on sale on Amazon. It’s a good price (the same price that I got the bigger Dream Kitchen, actually) and comes with free shipping which the Dream Kitchen did not. Not as good a deal overall, but still a good deal.

The Cottage arrived earlier than expected. Domingo and I had just gotten Nicki down for bed when the doorbell rang at 8 pm. The thing was huge, nearly as tall as our Christmas tree! We were debating about saving it for Christmas and setting it up early, that is, until we saw the box. I wanted Nicki to have a ‘big present’ under the tree, but not one the size of the tree! I was beginning to feel like we had gone waaaaaay overboard this holiday season.

This morning I set it up outside while Domingo watched Nicki. Actually, I set it up around them, working on the pieces they weren’t playing with. At one point Domingo had both side walls standing up with the windows open and Nicki was crawling through them and running around in circles. Even though all the pieces are laying flat in the box to conserve space, the assembled cottage didn’t seem nearly as obnoxiously big as the box. It fit nicely on our patio, with plenty of room to spare. Nicki has been tickled pink with it. In, out. Open, closed. Around again. She keeps asking to go back outside.

I think the cottage is going to win as my favorite black Friday purchase yet. With the park 15 to 20 minutes away, there are times when we’d like to get Nicki outside to run around, but just don’t have the time before we have to start dinner, or be some place. Now we can let her play outside and burn off all that crazy toddler energy.

Though not a Black Friday purchase, I’m also in love with my Dyson Slim. I bought it in October right after we moved and shortly before finding out it was going to be a Black Friday sale item. Normally missing out on a deal sours me a little on a product, but the slim is so cool I can forgive the universe for this one. I love how versatile and maneuverable it is, and have taken to holding it ‘gangsta style’ with the handle horizontal simply because I can. We got it so we wouldn’t have to bend over cleaning up all the spilled kitty litter with the hand vac, but it’s proving to be quite effective near a certain toddler’s high chair. I know, I know – I’m a mom, with a blog, who loves a vacuum. I’m a cliche.