Decluttering kids toys is a hugely popular fad right now but it can be hard to figure out what is worth keeping. Having kids on a budget: How to choose the best toys for kids.
Too many toys can have very negative effects on their play, make a lot more mess, and they can steal your time. Watch your children to see what they play with the most. If your kids are anything like mine, you’ll find that the super cool, awesome, flashy, and highly marketed newest toy on the block looses their attention rather quickly. So think carefully about your purchases and try to stick to toys that have staying power.
It can help to put toys in a few basic categories to see whether or not they are worth keeping around.
Something to Build
Some of the most popular are Duplo, Lego, wooden blocks, and Frontier Logs. You don’t need one of every set. Just choose a couple that may appeal to your children. Lego is the best for kids past the “in the mouth” phase so my recommendation would be to get Lego and, if you choose, one other set. And you don’t need to buy all the special Lego sets either. A random bag of Lego found at the thrift store can bring hours of creative fun. (And girls love to build too, though they may build houses instead of race cars). This is how to choose the best toys for kids.
Something to Imagine
Puppets, play silks, and dress up clothes can provide endless hours of creative play for children. Leave the play food and pretend dishes. Real bowls and spoons are often much more fun. Puppets can be hard to find but we bought this awesome puppet set
for my boys. They aren’t as good quality as some of the more expensive brands out there but the variety and price made up for that. Play silks are hugely popular and you would be surprised at how children use them and I’m sure that all little girls have wonderful memories of dressing up in our Mama’s fancy clothes and dancing around the house in her high heels.
Something to Create
Art supplies like Crayons, paint, different kinds of paper, scissors, and glue. Save the stickers from calendars and those free promotional stickers that come in the mail. Hit up the dollar store or pretty much any place around the beginning of school to stock your supply closet. Although the ready made craft kits can be fun (and simple for those of us who are lacking the crafty-gene) kids really appreciate just being given a few sheets of paper, some glue, and a pair of scissors. Or hand them a small notebook and pen (does anyone else have dozens of those free promotional things laying around?) so they can draw or write as they desire.
Something to Read
No home is complete without living books (a high quality book that engages the mind and captivates the heart). Kids are typically attracted to books with real pictures instead of cartoonish ones or stories that they can imagine they are a part of. Some of our favorite non-fiction books are the Usborne Encyclopedias because the small blurbs can open doors to more questions. I love to direct friends and family to Amazon’s WishLists when it comes to birthdays and Christmas but most of my great finds have been through local homeschool moms who have either given or sold (at huge discounts) some of their outgrown books. Garage sales and thrift stores are other great places to find inexpensive yet high quality used books. You can also ask your local library if they ever have sales of books they no longer need.
There are some things that will fall outside these categories and that’s fine. For example, my kids got Rescue Bots: Heatwave for Christmas and they have been played with daily since then. They are plastic and TV characters and break many of the “perfect toys for kids” rules but they are loved so they stay. So follow the guidelines but remember that they are not hard and fast rules. And get rid of some of those toys so you children will finally have the freedom to use their imaginations and have some fun!
If you’re looking for a few more tips on how to buy toys for kids, get some advice from a mom of 7 who has really figured out some secrets for shopping differently as a mom.