I was writing a post on wooden toys for another blog I’m trying to get off the ground (got to find something to do with my excess time, ha) and it got me thinking about my ‘policy’ on toys.

boris doll

Since Isabel’s birth I have insisted (quite vocally, surprise surprise) on natural toys. Wooden blocks and puzzles, handmade dolls, traditional crafts. Cheap plastic toys tend to be so prescriptive — you can only really play with them a couple of ways — whereas a big tub of wooden blocks can be stacked, can be made into buildings, thrown at the cats … (only half joking)

Not everyone has listened to my requests, of course; we’ve received noisy plastic tat and hideous mass-marketed stuffed toys, but I try not to let those overshadow the likes of the colourful Grimm’s rainbow, her traditional rocking crib (irony) and the adorable wooden breakfast set that Karl’s mum bought for Christmas.

Isabel has a collection of some very nice — & even some very expensive (nearly £50 for that rainbow!) — toys but I know that they’re going to last. The best thing about them is that she can get as much out of them as she wants (talking both creatively and time span) and then they’ll still be up for the job with Oliver. If we have a third, they’ll be great for him or her too.

I couldn’t see her playing with a Barbie over her Boris doll (above), or a plastic Peppa Pig (or whatever craptastic cartoon character is popular right now) instead of her wooden lacing beads. It takes every bit of my willpower not to spend a fortune at shops like Little Woodlanders on etsy.

The toys we’ve received that I don’t like? Well, let’s just say the local charity shop does OK on us.

My name is Jem Turner and I am a toy snob.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m with you on this one. We buy natural toys and wish for them as well but somehow plastic crap seems to sneak into the household anyway. We try to limit though. Also, I am probably a food and clothing snob as well. (: I want the best for my children and in our my/our opinion the best is natural and organic.

  2. says

    ME TOO, OMG.

    Wesley was terrified of noisy toys when he was smaller because he didn’t have any, and he couldn’t figure out why the toy was making so much racket or what to do with it.

    I won’t claim to own only Waldorf/Montessori/etc. toys by any means, but he’s got an abacus he likes to poke around with, and puzzles, and wooden blocks and the toddler Legos… very few licensed character things. I like stuff he can play WITH, not toys that play AT him.

  3. Mumblies says

    That is NOT Boris, it’s an imposter – I’ve seen Boris and he is always naked, that doll has clothes on. :p

  4. says

    that rainbow thing is ace! although I seem to remember Isabel being keen to knock it over when I was playing with it, er, I mean, admiring the craftsmanship/quality of it. yes

  5. says

    I’m a bit of a toy snob, too. I don’t care too much if they’re wooden or not, but I spend months before birthdays and Christmas seeking out the best toys that are developmental, educational and interactive. I have a couple of favorite toy brands that make safer, healthier toys, and I am not opposed to thrift-shopping for my kiddies for their gifts. I also make efforts that our toys don’t just hit the trash. I’ll hold onto things that are outgrown for years to find the right person to give them to. The number one question I ask before I buy a toy is: is this something I will take time to play with Angel with? If it doesn’t interest me, it’s not too likely it will interest him.

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