Playroom Favorites

Playroom Favorites

Published by Courtney Ebner on Jul 31st 2019

It’s one of the most asked question of Avi and I is “How do you find the toys that you carry in your shop?”
Our answer, “hours upon hours of research. It’s honestly one of our most favorites aspects of our work.

Our second favorite is seeing the toys that we’ve spent all that time finding bringing joy to the children that become the players of them.

Here I’m sharing with you my top 10 toys for an open-ended playroom.

This set is typical of what we see in a pre-school or kindergarten classroom. They are proportional blocks of different shapes and sizes. Block play encourages hand-eye coordination, problem solving and logic, which are crucial in a child’s development.

One of our most popular toys from Grimm’s, this 12 piece rainbow is an incredibly versatile and open-ended toy. The set can be used as a stacking and nesting toy. The pieces may end up being used to build a tunnel for cars, a marble run, dwellings for dolls, a cozy hideaway for fairies or really just about anything your child can imagine.

The wobble boards can be a rocking balance board, a seat, a safe haven, a bridge, a house, a step, a slide, a yoga aid, a fort, or a dinosaur! Your aren’t sure exactly what to do with it? Don’t worry, your kids will. These boards build strength and balance as well as creativity.

A light tablet is such a fun addition to a play space. Children are drawn to the soft light and better yet tend to stay focused and stay at the light table for a long while. You can use the tablet for color exploration, literacy, math, or drawing. You can use different materials such as colored acrylic shapes, paper and rainbow blocks. Again as with all open play toys, the list goes on!

Pikler Triangle

I only wish I knew about a Pikler Triangle when Charley was a toddler. She very much needed help with muscle development, balance control, being brave and developing confidence. This climbing toy would have been perfect. AND! It collapses which is great for small spaces.

With some imagination, this toy is a great addition to blocks, a dollhouse or other building toys. You can sort or stack or talk about colors or counting. The different shapes and sizes strengthen fine motor skills and with the endless ways to play with it, this toy gives young minds the chance to keep learning through play.

Oh how I love these lock boxes. They come as a set, but you can take the individual boxes off the tray if the entire collection is too overwhelming. Each box has a shape sorting element, a lock and door and on the opposite side and an acrylic window for object permanence. So much bang for your buck!

Patience. That is what this toy is all about. Place the marble on the top and watch it take it’s time down the run. It circles a few times on each level before moving to the next and then for the big finale… it plays some notes at the end before falling into the tray. It’s beautiful and simple and the kids love it too.

Can a set of square blocks be satisfying? Well this one pleases me so. The colors are exquisite as is the quality of play they provide. The set is a wonderful addition to the afore mentioned unit blocks. They work beautifully with other Grimm’s pieces as well as the nins-rings-coins from Grapat. If the 100 block set are too many blocks you can also trythe 36 Cube Blocks or 36 Pastel Blocks.

Tegu blocks are wooden blocks with magnets. We love them at Norman & Jules because of their learning through play properties. Want to build a bridge? First you’ll need to figure out which pieces will actually attract and then you’ll need to work on the balance. Unlike other magnetic building toys, Tegu requires patience and planning. Their recommended age is 1+ but we do find that 3+ is more realistic for actual building.

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