AMAZINGLY SIMPLE – I see what you are playing with…

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I have four kids and I enjoy minimalism.  (This doesn’t have to be an oxymoron.)

I have “toyed” with taking all of my kids toys away. See here, here, and here.   I have decluttered.  I have instructed begged asked family members to stop buying toy gifts.  I have tried to resist the impulse to buy them myself.  I have made rules about toys entering our house.  However, we still have tons of TOYS!  I am happy that we don’t have as many as we used to, and I am planning to have less in the future, but, this is where we are now.


What I have learned from the ultimate science fair project of raising children is that toys are like art.  They have to be carefully curated, you usually get what you pay for, no one cares if you get it second hand, a fad is not as good as a classic, and less is more.

To give you a REAL picture of a carefully curated collection, I am listing all of our toys here.  All of the kiddos have books, legos, and dress up stuff even if they aren’t pictured.  I will list by child, but know that I methodically split these toys up to encourage sharing.  You will also see that the number of toys available decreases with age.

aaaaBabyman (age 4)  – Pictured here with all of his toys.  (I am not counting the photobombing kitten.)  Listed starting on the top left:

  1. Train set Sevi (in pink basket) – Sevi makes the best train sets that also include lots of other modes of transportation for a huge boost to the play value of these sets.
  2. GarageMelissa and Doug – The portability and durability of this toy won us over.
  3. Vehicles – Melissa and Doug (planes) and HABA (tractor) – Babyman wants to be a farmer when he grows up.
  4. Blocks – Wood (in basket) Bought these at a garage sale fifteen years ago and still a favorite toy for all ages.
  5. Super Heroes Nano (in metal container) – These die cast figures are fun for my super hero loving family.
  6. Dinosaur Ride on Rocker – Earlyyears – I have never seen another one of these.
  7. Rolling Push Toy – Wood – A favorite here.  I don’t remember where it came from.
  8. Doll House and Peg Dolls – Etsy – Finding a small, quality, wood, dollhouse that wasn’t “girlie” and I could afford took some time, but it was worth it.  This one can be dismantled and folded flat for storage.  I couldn’t find the same one but this one looks neat.
  9. Pushing Car Walker Wagon – HABA – Baby through older child everyone likes this car.  It is strong enough that my kiddos push all their books, their toys, and each other in it.
  10. Stuffed Friends – Various (In push car) Books – Various (Yes, he has more than three)
  11. Silks, Camera, and PhoneSarah’s Silks and HABA (in metal bucket)
  12. Animal Figures – Schleich (in rope basket)  I might need a new basket for these as everyone would like more variety and they get tons of use for both play and “school”.
  13. Doll and Bed – HABA (doll), me (bedding), and my DH (bed) – This is the dolly that took a little vacation.  These dolls take “baths” in our washing machine on a regular basis because they are so loved and they still look great.
  14. Mickey Mouse toys – Fisher Price (in wood house – made by Babyman) – Old school.
  15. Puzzles – Various (all wood)
  16. Duplos (not pictured) – LEGO

bbbbbbL.L. (age 8) with all of his toys – The white tubs are from his IKEA Trofast wall storage

  1. Doll bed – Wood – Family heirloom
  2. Stuffed animals and dolls – Various
  3. Doll high chair – Childcraft – A great little wooden toy.  We actually used this for our real babies.
  4. Dr. Kit – HABA – Cloth and paper doctor tools
  5. Car racing ramp – My DH
  6. Kitchen set – Janod (set), HABA (food, servingware, grocery bags), Melissa and Doug (food and mixer), and Creative Playthings (metal dishes, pots, pans, tea service) Although this kitchen set is missing its original shelves, it has held up well to my really rough on toys kids.
  7. Wash, dry and Iron SetMelissa and Doug – This gets a lot of play in my house – which is funny if you realize how little I iron.
  8. Shopping cart – Melissa and Doug – This was made for pretend, but has held up extrodinaraly well to real children pushing around real babies.
  9. Sushi and Pizza sets – Alma’s Designs – I’m not sure if this company is around anymore, but these are great toys.
  10. LEGOs – Lego – We have a rule that L.L. can keep as many as fit in this container in his room and the rest are put in storage – A couple of times a year I let his switch them out if he wants to.
  11. Doll clothes and accessories – Various
  12. Musical instruments – Various
  13. Transformers and Die cast cars – Transformers (Playskool) and Hot Wheels (Mattel)
  14. Fidgets and Chew toys – Various including Antsy Labs (fidget cubes), and ARK (chew toys)
  15. Mr. Potato HeadHasbro

0505191735aDude (age 10) has slightly less toys. (Climbing wall made by my DH and mat from IKEA.)

  1.  Stuffed animals – Various – some weighted
  2. Doll (not pictured) – HABA
  3. Domino Race Set – HABA
  4. Stilts – High Rise Stilts – I couldn’t find this company online.  These are nice and sturdy “Romper Room” style stilts.
  5. Erector set – Meccano
  6. Panda Bamboo VillageLakeshore
  7. Discovery Magic Set – Melissa and Doug
  8. Sensory toys – Various
  9. Figures – HABA and Etsy
  10. Die Cast Cars – Hot Wheels

aaa.jpgFifi (age 16) has the fewest toys.  Most of these she has had for over 10 years.  I’m still not counting the kitten.

  1. Stuffed animals and dolls – Various
  2. Etch-a-sketch – Ohio Art
  3. RC cars – Top Notch Toys (TNT)
  4. Yoyo – Duncan – The best Yoyo’s all come from Duncan
  5. Finger puppets (In center) – The Unemployed Philosophers Guild – Magnetic Personalitites
  6. Die Cast Cars – Hot Wheels
  7. Set of Jacks – Don’t know
  8. Marbles – Glass

Those are all of the toys I could find in our house.  I didn’t include craft or handiwork supplies, board games, puzzles (except for the baby), tools, or bicycles, sports equipment and other outdoor type toys.  I can share those in other posts, as I think they are different than toys.

What do you think?  What toys are we missing, that you couldn’t live without at your house?  How do you keep the toy situation under control?  Do we have too many toys?  Or too few?  Let me know how you feel in the comments below.

The AMAZINGLY SIMPLE way to a well curated toy collection.






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