This morning I tackled the kids' playroom, which was a complete disaster. I've noticed over the past 3-4 weeks that more and more they are avoiding the playroom and tending to just hang around me upstairs while I'm doing various chores. I don't mind their company, but they are generally pretty good about entertaining themselves and have historically spent a lot of time in their playroom so I figured they are getting bored with their toys.
It was a good chance to take stock of the toys we have and weed out some of the ones that don't get played with anymore (or never really did). We actually did a good job of not going overboard for Christmas so we don't have a ton of new toys that got integrated into the mix. We do have, however, quite a few toys that the kids have outgrown or just aren't that interested in.
So anyway, I filled up two garbage bags - one to throw and one to donate - and re-organized all the toys and put them away. So now we have a clean playroom, but we really need some new toys for the kids to play with.
So here's where you come in. I need suggestions for good toys. Pacey and Brighton are 5 and 2 1/2, respectively. Toys we already have (or have tried without success) include: Duplos, blocks, balls of all types, cars and a race track, trains and plenty of railroad track, art supplies, stuffed animals galore (which no one plays with), a couple of baby dolls, puzzles, plenty of dress up items, a (crappy) play kitchen with food and a few games.
I went to Target with the kids to look today and we left without anything because I just couldn't figure out what to get. The only tv shows they watch are Dora, Diego and Curious George. They love movies but I'm not really wild about movie tie-in toys. I'm not into gun/weapon toys. I think that lights-and-sounds have their place but in general get boring really quickly.
For both kids I am considering this wooden castle and some figurines to go with it, but Brighton's birthday is in May and I want to get her a dollhouse. I don't know if that would make this redundant? Or maybe we just start creating a neighborhood?
It's been so long since I really played with toys, I have a hard time separating my own feelings about toys from how the kids will see them. Both kids make a beeline for the pretend play areas in their classrooms, but haven't seemed very interested in the kitchen, etc we've had here. Pacey's typically more into figuring out how things work and likes toys that have lots of different "functions." He seemed really into this Batcave toy at a birthday party recently but I worry that it was just the novelty of it. He doesn't know who Batman is, so I wonder if he'd really engage in any pretend play with it versus just discovering the functions and then being done with it.
Other things I have considered but not pulled the trigger on and would love any feedback include:
A dollhouse - anyone have one they love?
A Tag reading system
So, tell me what gets played with at your house, and how much of it is independent play vs. needing adult interaction/supervision.