Monday, November 8, 2010

Basically, We love these toys...

Toys, toys toys! I have to admit I get just as excited about new toys as my kids (sometimes more so… shhhh….) Bells and whistles can entice me sometimes, but what I really love are bright colors, remarkable workmanship and new things to imagine and play. I can look at play sets and dollhouses, fire trucks and baby toys for way too long online. Having a daughter and two sons just opens up the toy horizon even more. We pretty much drool over toys around here (and not just the baby!)

But, when it comes down to it, when you really analyze what my kids play with? The fancy toys don’t really add up to much playtime. And what they play with, oddly mirrors what I remember playing with when I was a kid.
I’m going back to the basics with this review – Blocks and play "silks."

When I was a little girl I had a box of colorful wooden blocks. I used to love flipping over the box, and building a little apartment with my blocks. I would make a dining room table and chairs, a couch, a bed. I have my old blocks to this day, and my kids do love to play with them. However, when we get out the blocks, they gravitate towards the cubes and sticks they got from Palumba. (Well, from Santa a couple years ago, but I have it on good authority that Santa got in touch with the folks at Palumba.)
My kids absolutely adore their Cubes and Cherry Building Sticks. They build towers, and bury treasure, and create little houses for their little gnomes.

Both the cubes and sticks work well for loading up a truck:
As a teacher, I have to admit, that one thing I love is toys that teach through imaginative play. The last time we played with the cubes and sticks, we played around with balance, and counting.
My 4 year old is currently very interested in letters, and cubes and sticks really do make great letters!
Speaking of imaginative play, Those sticks make excellent microphones:
Also, if you need to look at something "Way far away," they are just the telescope you've been looking for!
I would love to show you more pictures of the awesome things my kids do with these blocks, but the baby kept knocking them over… then picking one up that is to his liking, and chewing on it for a bit. Sometimes he does change it up a bit by banging them together to make a beautiful song.

They are really the perfect little blocks, in my mind. They aren’t too heavy, but they aren’t too light. They are made from real wood, and are actually quite beautiful! We have the set of 40 sticks (they also come in sets of 20 or 80) and the set of 25 cubes (they also come in a set of 50). Each set comes in a little drawstring cotton bag, which I always intend to use… but somehow clean up time doesn’t work like that around here!

Looking at the pictures, you may notice some play "silks." in the background. I have wanted play silks for my kids for awhile, but I didn't want to get real silk, since we try to stay on the vegan side of things around here. I have some cotton rainbow cloths, but was looking for something silkier, when I stumbled upon etsy seller, DreamSpunKids. Their chiffon play silks are light, flowing, and come in a great variety of colors. For the first set we bought (they come in sets of 6, 8 or 12), I picked a handful of bright spring colors, and most recently, I chose colors that reminded me of the fall:
Good thing. Otherwise, how would my children pretend they are autumn trees? Or volcanoes?
These play silks can really be anything. The kids dress up in them, tie them to chairs to make forts: whatever the kids can imagine. My favorite thing to do with them is to help the kids create play-scapes. Here is our lake under construction (See the spot of yellow and orange? That's the "burning hot sun!"):

Playsilks also make a fabulous back drop for plays, puppet shows, or concerts:
I may or may not have even convinced my husband to wear one as a cape at our son's Super Hero birthday party!
(I wore a blue one!)

We love having a bin of play silks in our playroom, and I highly recommend them as a must-have toy!

They aren't just toys though, my new absolute favorite use for them is as present wrapping:If you want to add some pretty special "basic" toys to your child's play room, I say give
Palumba's cubes and sticks and the play silk from etsy seller: DreamSpunKids a try.
The imagination and creativity of your child will shine through.

Happy Playing!

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