Christmas is just around the corner, and in our house that means it’s time to assess our toy situation. We recently decluttered a massive amount of toys, so I’m pretty picky about what I allow back into the house (nonetheless they’re still breeding—where do they all come from???).
We’ll do another decluttering session soon before the Christmas décor comes out, and the kids will help me decide what they truly still love and play with and what we can do without.
I’m already fairly certain how it’s going to go. All the little prizes and fast food toys they’ve picked up over the last few months will be sure to go. So will the broken toys, the incomplete sets, etc. And I will certainly make my case against anything that makes noise.
But there are certain types of toys we always keep: building toys. I know from experience that even when we put them away for a while, they always spark fun and creativity whenever they come back out. Here are a few reasons why they’re so awesome. Building toys:
- Improve fine motor manipulation and strength
- Enhance spatial awareness
- Encourage thinking and reasoning
- Involve focus and patience
- Spark the imagination
- Build confidence
- Help develop problem solving skills
- Encourage children to use their minds instead of relying on technology
- Can lead into pretend and imaginary play
- Introduce math and science concepts
- Encourage cooperative play
(See this article for more info)
Send that to Grandma in case she needs convincing!
Another thing that’s great about building toys is that, while they can take up space during use, they’re actually relatively easy to clean up. We can leave a set out for a short time—in a designated area—but after the kids have lost interest, we put them away. They go back in their appropriate container on a shelf or out of sight until they’re ready to come out again. If we find a stray piece we can just return it to the container. Overall, if you can train your kids to help out, building toys create relatively less clutter!
We have some favorite building toys in our house that are a lot of fun for both boys and girls of various ages. I thought it would be useful for Christmas shopping—keep this list for yourself or pass it on to relatives who need some guidance (so you don’t end up with piles of junk you’re just going to want to throw out a month later).
10 Awesome Non-LEGO Building Toy Sets
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