Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The minimalist toy box in 10 easy steps

Before our little bundle of joy and various other bodily fluids arrived, I was determined to spend as little money as possible on baby stuff.  To that end, I scoured neighborhood parent's lists and Craig's list for deals.  And wound up finding a large variety of baby toys for next to nothing; I just threw them all in a bucket of soapy water (for the hard toys) or the washing machine (everything else), and figured that they were cheap enough to buy that if they didn't survive washing, that was O.K.

But for those who may not be so fortunate in finding used toys, here are some suggestions based on the few toys that my daughter has gravitated to over and over again from our considerable selection.  Presenting...the minimalist toy box (for ages 0-6 months):

1) a large open basket (this will help ensure that you actually put toys away occasionally)
2) a medium-sized, soft, light-weight ball (light enough that if it's dropped from a height of several feet onto baby, it won't hurt at all)
3) a large colored scarf (at least 2 feet on each side)
4) some small bells, like sleigh bells, that can be suspended; preferably a few different ones, so that they sound different when hit.
5) a natural rubber chew toy
6) a wooden rattle that can be either hung or held
7) a hand puppet
8) a soft mirror that can stand on the floor for tummy time
9) maybe one classic Lamaze-type toy that has 10 arms with different textures and rattle sounds on each arm
10) you--the most important thing in the box!  You can experiment with hanging toys, or rolling them, or dangling them, or wrapping them in the scarf and knotting it off, or playing peekaboo, or making the puppet dance and sing...your baby will love it all.

[so--what have I missed?  Leave your additions or subtractions in the comments!]

EDIT:  For those who might want to assemble this toy box as a shower gift, I've added some links to suggested products in the "Baby Gear" page, under "Toy Box."


  1. My daughter's favorite toys are my nose and my lips! Very cheap indeed but I can't do anything else than moaning and waiting for her to be interested by something else!!

  2. Ha, yes, I guess in that category I would also include: glasses, dangly earrings, and hair. Ouch.

  3. Very nice. Promote this blog post....