Monday, June 8, 2009


Our living room was hit by Hurricanes Olivia and Jesse for the umpteenth time. They have accumulated LOTS of toys in their short lives. We surveyed the damage and cleaned up the debris with a large dust pan (bought just for that purpose). We scooped up stuff and deposited it in storage buckets. We corralled all the ping pong balls and golf balls. We reshelved books. Meanwhile, we had a discussion about which toys seemed to be their favorites. We've discovered that the best toys are the simplest ones - things like balls, blocks, boxes, trucks, and dolls.

We got a new freezer the other day. One of its best features was the box it came in. First it was a post office. Now it's a house for the kids. Olivia takes wonderful care of her baby doll, while Jesse drives trucks around the living room. They both love blocks. And Jesse is obsessed with balls. "Ball" was his second word ("Mama" was his first).

Last week we went to the recreation center for a puppet show, only to discover the schedule had changed. The presentation was now a geography lesson by "Professor World." You see where this is going, right? We walked in to find a 4-foot globe. Jesse pointed to it and exclaimed "Ball!" He does the same thing in the produce section. They're not cantaloupes, oranges, apples, and onions. As far as he's concerned, they're all balls.

For birthdays and "just because," Olivia and Jesse have received tons of fancy toys that light up, make noise, spin around, and do other silly things. They play with them a little, the novelty wears off, and they're banished to the toy shelves. There they sit, played with once in a blue moon, while the boxes they came in are worn out from play. I try to keep this in mind when I give gifts. For her first birthday, I gave my niece some books and edible treats (snacks saved her mom some grocery money and didn't take up room in the house for very long). For her second birthday, I gave her a bath towel with her name embroidered on it and a dress.

Stick with B's and you can't go wrong - books, balls, blocks, and boxes.


  1. I just love the idea of B's. I wanted to share a cool idea I started. Take most of the toys out of the room. Leave 3-5 toys per child for about 2-3 days. The other toys are put into a special closet that becomes a store. The toys are on display where they can be "traded" or "bought." The old toys are then either put in the store or taken to a new play area, like outside.
    We used to go "shopping" at my aunt's house when we needed things for sewing, crafts, toys, or cooking. It was always fun & we often forgot about the things we had. We always looked forward to going shopping there. In fact, last year we went to visit & I went "shopping" for some gift wrap. Saved money, used things she already had & was fun.

  2. When I was little, I had this HUGE (well, huge to a 2 year old :P) fridge box that I played with for EVER. I decorated it, my dad cut out windows and a door, and it was named "Kathy's Kastle". It was the! I have such good memories of playing in that box by myself and with friends. Boxes are AWESOME =D

    I love the store idea too!