Just like in the rest of our lives, there is no magic answer. No quick-fix solution for all our educational toy needs.
We keep buying our children toys, hoping, somehow, that the current object of our desire will be the one.
But the truth is much more prosaic: there are a few, essential, toys which support children’s learning.
Occasionally, a child encounters a toy that resonates with them. They become obsessed with it, playing with it for hours. With each new toy we buy we try to recreate that excitement and engagement. But the truth is, we don’t know what a child will connect with next.
All we can do is offer the basics.
Ostheimer figures are pared down to their essential elements, giving them a grace and beauty that's hard to match.
The toys you will find here are less obvious, less ‘exciting’. But children return to them many times. Often these toys provide the building blocks for other activities, sitting in the background, playing a supporting role, e.g. blocks, fabric, a plain doll's house, simple wooden figures. They can be used to extend other play materials. Blocks can build the city that favourite vehicles race around, be 'cooked' on the hob of the play kitchen or be the gold bars of a pirate's treasure.
If your child is used to playing with noisy, fast-paced, stimulating toys, don’t expect them to to embrace these toys immediately.
We’re not suggesting you remove all the old toys and make your child go cold turkey! But it is important to spend a little time helping your child to explore the creative possibilities of the new items.
Over a number of days you will notice your child slowing down, thinking more creatively.
A simple silk or cotton square is a wonderfully versatile addition to the toy cupboard. Make a sling or bandana, wrap up your baby doll or build a den. A piece of fabric has myriad uses.
What One Hundred Toys is NOT
At One Hundred Toys we don't say that you must only buy our toys, that all other toys are somehow bad.
Children will always love the cheap plastic freebie that comes with their favourite magazine or that funny novelty gift they picked up on holiday.
Instead, buy a selection from the 100, so that you know you’ve got your bases covered. Then, when thinking about what to buy your child for their birthday or when you’ve just come out of the museum and are herded through the shop, you can just buy them the dinosaur that you know they’ll love, without having to worry if it has any educational value. The essential building blocks are already in place.
Encourage open-ended play for creativity and focus
Understanding schema play in toddlers
Independent play and why it matters
Insider Guide: Small World Play and Language
Tell Almost Any Story with Just a Handful of Figures