Toy Talk: Investing in Quality Materials

It’s no secret that I love toys! In addition to our expansive Discovery Toys collection, we also love to browse our favorite local toy store and the DoSeum gift shop for more #learningthroughplay fun!

One of the parent concerns I hear most frequently is the COST of quality toys. Here are five reasons why I don’t let price get in the way of great, educational products:

  1. Toys are part of our homeschooling curriculum. We frequently use our Unifix cubes, wooden blocks, and Busy Farm animals for hands-on math play.
  2. Learning on the go is important to us, especially when we travel.
  3. I factor in “cost per play.” We’ve had our Measure Up! Cups for five years ($3/year or 25¢/month) and we can look forward to at least a decade of fun with our Marbleworks set ($9.70/year or 81¢/month)!
  4. Less is more! Children don’t need a large quantity of commercial/plastic toys, but rather open-ended products that can be used in a variety of play scenarios.
  5. Toys are my splurge area. Some families spend money on extracurricular activities, special trips, or name-brand clothes–but play is important to our family!

Here’s a checklist I made to remind me of my priorities when I am shopping for toys:

Our toy-shopping checklist! Investing in quality materials matters to us.
What are your thoughts about buying quality materials?

Toy Rotation, Week 4

We’re currently having a “rest” week in our homeschool routine, so our girls have been BUSY playing in every room of our home. Kate also had a birthday this weekend, so there are a few brand-new toys in the rotation!

Check out this week's toy rotation picks! [Lone Star Signers]

Here are the toys my girls are loving this week:

Reminder: Lone Star Signers uses affiliate links, which means I may receive a small compensation if you purchase something through these links. This post is unsponsored and all opinions are my own.

Check out this week's toy rotation picks! [Lone Star Signers]

pegs + foam pegboard | Boomerings Activity Set
ABC wooden puzzle (similar)
purple discovery basket (including Mental Blox, bristle blocks, and velcro food)
pictured above: Melissa & Doug school bus set (and extra people)

Toy Rotation, Week 3

It’s been a while since I’ve shared our toy rotation picks here on the blog. (You can always keep up with our selections on Instagram using the hashtag #toyrotationTuesday!) The girls and I are three weeks into our new school year, so Kate is mostly playing with these toys independently near us. She also enjoys exploring with our math manipulatives after Addie uses them in a Saxon lesson.

See what we're playing with! Toy Rotation Tuesday #3 with Lone Star Signers!

Reminder: Lone Star Signers uses affiliate links, which means I may receive a small compensation if you purchase something through these links. This post is unsponsored and all opinions are my own.

Here’s what the girls are playing with this week, in addition to their drawing supplies in their room:

See what we're playing with! Toy Rotation Tuesday #3 with Lone Star Signers!

Giant Pegboard with rubber bands | Puzzle Pouch
bristle blocks | red discovery basket (including blocks and cups)
Caterpillar Gear Toy | straws & cheese container
Pizza Party | Body Amazing puzzle

Toy Rotation #2

Well, we are truly enjoying our simple summer! The girls and I have been sleeping in, reading lots of books, doing exercise videos together (since it’s too dang hot to go outside–and now it’s raining!), and diving deep into creative play. I’ve been making an effort to read more during the day while the girls play around me–I want them to see that reading for pleasure continues long past childhood! (Today I’m reading the Breathe study by Priscilla Shirer and Second Chance Summer.)

Yesterday afternoon, I pulled out our red, white, and blue manipulatives (beads, lacing buttons, pom poms, and gems) for the girls to use in their free-play time. I’m hoping to whip up a simple batch of white playdoh tomorrow for them to enjoy.

Kate “helped” me rotate the rest of the toys this morning. Addie asked me to leave the Lincoln Logs out for another week, so we added our IKEA train set to add a new dimension to their play. (They’ve also added two small dolls from their recent visit to the dentist office.)

See what we're playing with! Toy Rotation Tuesday #2 with Lone Star Signers!

Reminder: Lone Star Signers uses affiliate links, which means I may receive a small compensation if you purchase something through these links. This post is unsponsored and all opinions are my own.

Here’s what the girls are playing with this week, in addition to their toy kitchen in their room:

See what we're playing with! Toy Rotation Tuesday #2 with Lone Star Signers!

gems, pom poms, pony beads | lacing buttons
IKEA train set | Lincoln Logs
rhyming puzzle | United States puzzle (similar)
not shown: UNO cards, Unifix cubes

Toy Rotation Tuesday #1

We’ve been using a toy rotation system for about 18 months now. Each week, I try to remember to post a photo of our current selection on Instagram (using the hashtag #toyrotationTuesday). Many people are looking for specific brands, so I thought I’d do a quick weekly post here with links for your convenience. (And let me tell you, it’s really nice to have a visual inventory of our toys so the girls can pick and choose a new toy without having to go into the closet with me!)

See what we're playing with! Toy Rotation Tuesday #1 with Lone Star Signers

Reminder: Lone Star Signers uses affiliate links, which means I may receive a small compensation if you purchase something through these links. This post is unsponsored and all opinions are my own.

Here’s what the girls are playing with this week, in addition to their toy kitchen in their room:

See what we're playing with! Toy Rotation Tuesday #1 with Lone Star Signers

bristle blocks | Lincoln Logs
United States puzzle (similar) | Memory Moves
rhyming puzzle | number puzzle | nuts & bolts