I would love to know what other people – parents and others with kiddo experience – think about all the stuff that kid’s supposedly need. In my three weeks as a mom to a very-active, five year old boy, I can tell you that there are a handful of items in my house that maintain his interest.

One, is a Playhut set that I got on Freecycle. This, combined with pillows, cushions from our couch and a few blankets, entertains him for quite some time. The same concept could easily be constructed with boxes and duct tape (except that this Playhut thing folds up and makes a certain mama very happy).

The second thing that he loves to play with is our dog. I realize not every dog may be as willing to be bossed around by a five year old but Piper is a willing playmate (most of the time).

The kiddo would also love to play video games all day long but we limit those to a pretty short segment of time.  There are a few DVDs he enjoys watching but he usually gets bored with them after about 20 minutes and goes back to the “fort.” In rare moments, he will spend concentrated time with Legos or blocks, but I’ve only witnessed this phenomenon a handful of times.  He does enjoy books before bedtime. The current ones in rotation are The Jesus Storybook Bible, a few by Mo Willems & Karma Wilson, and Oh, The Places You’ll Go.

This post at Ohdeedoh talked about the items you don’t need for your baby but I’m wondering what you might not need for your pre-schooler. So, I’m curious…what are some must haves? What should we pass on?

4 thoughts on “Stuff

  1. For us, must haves are books and supplies for crafts. Eila loves to color, glue, cut, tape, and basically create. A jump rope is a new favorite, but our most used items are still the couch cushions and blankets. Blocks are fun for a different activity too.

  2. Things that John likes to play with: Playdough; cars; small toy animals (like the plastic/rubber kind that you find in bins in the toy section of target); balls of all kinds; games like Mr. Mouth & Hungry Hungry Hippo; Magna-tiles (and he isn’t much of a lego builder, but he loves these). Of course, once the weather is nicer, you will have a lot more options…John is completely entertained outside with sticks, rocks or at a playground, or just discovering and exploring…hope that helps and that you are having fun with the kiddo!! 🙂

  3. Here’s some ideas…have fun!
    -I second the arts and crafts stuff as mentioned above
    -Playdough….yes it’s messy, yes you don’t want him to mix the colors, yes it’s a pain to clean up…but it’s worth it. And it’s gonna get mixed eventually so give up on that fight. 😉 (ps, etsy has lots of playdough sellers)
    -Cars, trucks, (Thomas the) trains!
    -“Men” Action figures, whatever you want to call them…. I know this can be questionable because they can make the people hurt each other etc but if you check out most Playmobil(they have WONDERFUL stuff) toys you’ll find that they have skateboarders, bike riders, pilots etc, not just people that fight, KWIM?
    -A small “collection” of dinosaurs, frogs, bugs, animals, etc. You can usually find a tube of some assortment at Target or walmart(or check craigslist for “schleich,” cool plastic animals) that will have a whole bunch of one kind of animal and he can dump it out and line them all up and have general all around 5 year old fun.
    -Super hero capes like this one….

    If you just have a few of each of these items nicely contained, along with what you’ve already got, you’ll be set. Pass up all of the loud obnoxious stuff and get outside and play in the dirt, mud, sand, grass as much as possible!

    (oh if I could only live this in my own life! My house is a cluttered mess with all of my kids junk toys! Off to clean now.)

  4. The first full day we had our boys they were on sensory overload from all the toys everyone brought over. It was overwhelming for them (and us). They were 1 and 2 — almost 2 and 3.
    We decided quickly to limit the number of toys they played with each day. We limited the toys primarily to a Playschool toy with plastic balls, a bag of large lego like building blocks and a few cars, trucks, dinosaur figurines and trains. Depending on how things went each day we might change a couple toys out each night after they went to bed — and surprisingly to us — they never missed the toys we swapped out. It was amazing how content kids can be with just a few toys they really love.
    And as someone mentioned above, playdough was great at keeping their attention for a couple hours as well.
    And we found a basic GeoTrax train set that was great for their age. The wooden Thomas the Train set we originally got brought more frustration than joy when the train or track would come apart.
    One other thing that I was amazed by, the boys came in wanting to build guns with the building blocks but I told them right away we don’t build or use guns in our house — instead I showed them how to build a camera with the blocks instead. It was great to see them “shooting pictures” instead of each other from that point on.
    Keep it simple — it’ll help them appreciate the toys more — and reduce your frustration as well.

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