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  1. #1
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    What's the best/worst large toy investment you've made?

    Best: My train table. I've went a step further on the basic train table and have cut more 'themed' wooden platforms to just place on top to switch it up. 1 layer has the train tracks screwed into place (my 1 year-olds kept taking off with the tracks), 1 layer has race car tracks screwed in place, one has a layer of Lego to build onto. I also use the table to put discovery bins on and also cover it with big sheets of paper for colouring, sheets of plastic for painting etc..
    Worst: A battery operated ride-on car. What was I thinking? Really bad purchase an indoor playroom...1 day of toes being run over and shins bruised (mostly mine!) was enough.
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

  2. #2
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    Mine was the indoor play house. Kids love it, takes up a lot of room, but keeps them occupied for hours. I hated having the train table. Kids ripped the tracks off all the time and hid them to the point where we could never find all the pieces. I too have tried the ride of toys but find the kids use them more as weapons to run over the smaller children so those have now been moved outside

  3. #3
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    My crew loves "role play" so the corner kitchen and tables and all the open ended dress up props.

    Other favorites are the block area which has a wooden house up top with storage for dolls,action figures, animals and beside storage for blocks, ramps planks, gullies and various vehicles and a trainset, various size balls, and instruction equipment and hard hats and laptops and joysticks for creating with.

    My light table is a favorite but I wish I had a full size one cause mine is more for solitary exploration or two kids who work well together in a small space

    I do not have any battery operated anything anymore to be honest - they make enough noise on their own without help and I prefer they use their imaginations oppose to bells and whistle toys that entertain them ... So other than flashlights for exploring light and shadow no batteries here ... I aim for open ended materials that can be used in many different ways - my storage is limited and I prefer not to have to rotate out too much - I have the staples that are always in the program and rotate puzzles, books and then add and remove things to the blocks and role play options .
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  4. #4
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    Best: Getting the entire little peoples town, including the track with the train (only two pieces that aren't ripped apart easily and can't be run off with. The farm, the castle, everything. I best part is that there is about three of every character or animal so there's no arguments that so and so has the toy so and so wants.

    Worst: My assortment of puzzles. The kids don't play with them, they just throw the pieces everywhere. Now I'm missing pieces to some very expensive musical puzzles (you know: where you put the last piece in and it sings to you) I need to re-think how I've set them up maybe. Put them out of reach and bring just a few down during motor skills time.

  5. #5
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlexFunCare View Post
    . Now I'm missing pieces to some very expensive musical puzzles (you know: where you put the last piece in and it sings to you) I need to re-think how I've set them up maybe. Put them out of reach and bring just a few down during motor skills time.
    I so agree on the puzzles...now, I've resorted to puzzles being a one-on-one activity.
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

  6. #6
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspired by Reggio View Post
    I do not have any battery operated anything.
    Ideally, I would love to get there eventually. Less batteries would be better for them, and better for us financially! Definitely going to check out what a light table is. I've never heard of it.
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

  7. #7
    Euphoric !
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    Anything that has small pieces like puzzles, games, sorting type toys are used at the table under supervision. I put these things out while I am busy in the kitchen making snack, lunch etc and they can come and play. Pieces do not leave the table.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamalittledream View Post
    Best: My train table. I've went a step further on the basic train table and have cut more 'themed' wooden platforms to just place on top to switch it up. 1 layer has the train tracks screwed into place (my 1 year-olds kept taking off with the tracks), 1 layer has race car tracks screwed in place, one has a layer of Lego to build onto. I also use the table to put discovery bins on and also cover it with big sheets of paper for colouring, sheets of plastic for painting etc..
    Worst: A battery operated ride-on car. What was I thinking? Really bad purchase an indoor playroom...1 day of toes being run over and shins bruised (mostly mine!) was enough.
    Oh great idea on the train table. That must have been a lot of work.
    We crazy-glued all the pieces down but for some reason kids are barely interested in it although it makes sounds, has the roundhouse and tons of trains and accessories. I sometimes think of taking the train table out of the playroom because I could get the space back.
    The only thing is that it does look nice as a selling feature when parents come but they don't know how rarely kids are actually interested in it.

    My best investment was a "my First dollhouse" toy that is available at walmart and is basically a small plastic dollhouse with a mom, dad, baby and you can add furniture and a grandma etc. It is around $45. Everything in the dollhouse is safe and too big to choke on. Everyone from 1-4 year old will play with it or put other toys inside it and play.

    The other great thing are wooden blocks and cardboard blocks and the Schleich farm animals and fence.

  9. #9
    Euphoric ! Sandbox Sally's Avatar
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    Best : three storey doll house w wooden furniture - taller than any toddler! Both the boys and girls love it.

    Worst: ride on anything

    I also have zero battery operated toys. I prefer open ended things, as do my daycare kids.

  10. #10
    Euphoric !
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    Even worse than ride-ons in the house is a rocking horse! Had to take that out right away before too many little fingers got rocked on My kids LOVE the train table, but the one I have is plastic and has the roads already built in, so there are no tracks etc. It used to have a bridge and a train station, but the kids kept pulling them out and they had small pieces coming unlodged, so I threw them away...all the kids love driving cars and trains around it. I would love to get away with all battery operated, noise making toys as well...I never buy them myself, but my own kids get them as gifts and bring them to the playroom...the Elmo guitar is the worst...loud and obnoxious...I think I need to hide it

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