Creative Play Toys

My kids don’t sit still for long.  And I really don’t think kids need to sit still for very long.  They need to be up and moving and have lots of time for play.  One of the most important aspects of our homeschool day is our play time.  My kids have a few favorite toys that are used just about every day during their free play.

We love Lego Duplos.  I haven’t been brave enough to buy any regular Legos (choking hazard much??), but we love the Duplos.  We have all kinds of bricks and even have some of the princess sets.  I have a new Lego city or Lego creation on my living room floor every day.

Who can beat regular wooden blocks?  My kids use these in conjunction with their train set, their Legos, and their other foam blocks.  These blocks make a great highway for their matchbox cars and a good houses for Playmobil people.

Curly got a play kitchen for her second birthday and the kids have loved it ever since.  They’ve prepared me every type of delicacy and served me from their plastic plates.  I’m their favorite customer and they all love to crowd around their kitchen and make pretend messes.

We have a Thomas the Train set.  Who doesn’t have one of those sets with all the expensive wooden pieces??  Well, my kids love this set and create crazy-shaped tracks running across the living room floor.  Usually the track winds through their Lego and block cities and takes their little trains from the kitchen to the hall.

Curly and Bee have sets from the Calico Critters – one house and one play house, along with lots of little critter families.  All the kids enjoy playing with the little animals and their tiny furniture.  Even Tiger and Ladybug get in on the action.  We won’t talk about the one time Tiger stuffed a casserole dish up his nose……..

We have these strange blocks called Dado Cubes and Dado Squares that interlock.  These wind up in elaborate structures and skyscrapers that adorn our living room.  These are the buildings for the Duplo people and the parking garages for our little trains.

 My kids have recently discovered Playmobil.  My hubby hates them with passion – he has to put together all the sets with their 2 million tiny pieces.  But my kids love the elaborate scenes and all the tiny details.  The Playmobil families are neighbors of the Duplo people.  They are my neighbors too, not by choice; I’m the one who steps on them in the dark!  

Dress up clothes are another favorite at our house.  We have everything from Peter Pan to princess dresses to gymnastics outfits to firemen jackets.  The kids dress up in every conceivable combination of clothing and put on elaborate plays and shows for me.  It’s actually quite impressive!

My kids love to camp out – in our house.  Yes, we have two different play tents – one pirate ship and one school house tent.  We sometimes put those up and the kids use them for tea parties, to make a pretend library, to hold their restaurant, or to simply relax in.  Many a fun plan has been hatched inside those flimsy tent walls.

Tiger has a tool bench with all kinds of pretend tools and pretend foam “wood” pieces.  The kids spend hours building new creations.  They also go around the house and fix every door, window, and piece of furniture for me.  They are quite proud of their skills!

I love that my kids have the freedom to create, to dream, to imagine, and to be active all throughout the day.  They can take many play time breaks between our studies and our reading time.  They have so much extra time to just be kids.  I’m fairly certain that they learn more through their play times than they do during our school times.  I am thankful for our choice to homeschool so that we can give our kids many opportunities to simply explore through play.

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