Four Easy Questions To Ask Yourself When Starting A Toy Collection

Ready to dive into a glorious world of beautiful, sustainable and environmentally-friendly toys? Perfect, welcome to the club! I have got tips for you on our favorite first sets that are safe for little hands, and where you can find them.

Transitioning from a standard toy collection can feel overwhelming. It is hard to know where to source your toys, which toys to buy first, and what is a smart purchase.

Here are a few things I analyze on each toy purchase:

  • Is this toy open-ended?
  • Can I use this in a play-based education way?
  • How can we expand vocabulary with these toys?
  • Is this toy designed for fine or gross motor skills?

When starting a collection with a little one, the size of the object is always a valid concern. Grapat Rings and Coins are perfect for the littlest user. They improve grip, they are the right size to use for fine motor activities, they’re great for color recognition, and they’re just big enough they don’t fit in the mouth! We use our Rings and Coins for so many things.

Our favorite Grapat Coin activity is a DIY coin sorting box.

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Another set that I suggest for those just starting out is Grimms Forests. This set has so many possibilities independently but I love it combined with the Grapat rings. The rings fit on top of the forest pieces which is a great fine motor activity! In addition to the perfect fit fine motor activity, we have practiced counting the number of stacked rings on each tree, color recognition by matching the color ring to the forest, and we’ve even played carnival-style ring toss games with them. The forest pieces are also a great addition to small world set ups.

Grimms Basic Building Set is one we pull from our collection so often. Emily from @buildingwithrainbows on Instagram suggested this set to me and we use it in so many of our setups. The variation in pieces makes building so much fun. The open-ended play that these toys encourage keeps them fresh in children’s minds. When you see the same toy block used as a firetruck and then later a giraffe, you’ll know you’re getting the most out of your investment. Some skill building toys can be so restrictive and kids can grow out of them so quickly; a set of blocks like the Basic Building Set is something that grow with the child’s play style. The Grimms Basic Building set has made its way into so many of our activities, too. We created a DIY shape-sorting box using these pieces.

My best advice for building your collection is to analyze what is important to you. Personally, I try to limit the number of items we have because the kids have a tendency to leave them out everywhere! The size of collection we have works well for us, because each of our toys has a purpose. I love that both children can play with the same toys and we are not confined to buying “age-appropriate” toys. Children are smarter than we often give them credit for, and we can learn so much from their open-minded play.

To read more about first toy suggestions and links to shops, head over to instagram and check out this post:

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