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Abigail 07:34 PM 08-20-2010
I'm just curious what toys you have available for the children to play with on their own terms without adult assistance. This is for toddlers and preschoolers. Infants have their own "zone" with infant-only toys.

My quick thought list would include:
Books (Not in the toy section though)
Balls (In small buckets/trays or a crate)
Blocks (Wooden and foam...different shapes, sizes, and colors)
Dolls w/accessories
Smaller stuffed animals (Dolls and stuffed animals would sit along a shelf)
Medium sized vehicles for driving around on the floor
Duplos....no legos just so duplos are larger and many ages enjoy them too!

Puzzles would be available, but only 10 at a time and they would be located near the table as it's a table activity/quiet activity. The ones available are all wooden and most have pegs. The boxed ones are put away as those pieces will break easier if they are not cared for properly or if a 2 year old grabs the cardboard-like pieces...they can use the wooden ones.

Games would be put away in a cabinet because that requires more supervision and assistance with reading and group participation.

I do have little people and a house and accessories...do I leave this out all the time or rotate it? I will also be getting barbie and had the same question about leaving them out or rotating them? I'm not sure what to put on the top of my 2-shelf unit or to leave it empty for them to set stuff on.
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ninosqueridos 08:02 PM 08-20-2010
I think you have a great list - I should have done a bit more planning like you!

I haven't purchased barbies because my younger toddlers (12-18mo) will still put things in their mouths and those accessories can be choking hazards. Even a couple of my 2 year olds will occasionally try to stick a little people person in their mouth.

Balls haven't worked out well for me....I only keep a couple in a drawer accessible to all the kids.....but sometimes I end up removing them altogether because they get a little crazy and I prefer to have them play with balls outside.

The Little People big vehicles my dcks LOVE (buses, dump trucks, firetruck, airplane). I keep all of my Little People in a bin close to all the vehicles and boxes (cardboard "bricks"). The kids build all sorts of structures and then put the little people in and around them - so cute.

Good luck
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juliebug 08:09 PM 08-20-2010
mine love the barbies but i just take the accesories out
kitchen with playfood, dolls and there clothes.
blocks, and cars.
our new one is a magnifing glass and they just adore that!
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Abigail 10:05 PM 08-20-2010
The Little People I have all fit PERFECTLY in a 10 gallon rubbermaid storage container from Wal-Mart. They are the chunky little people with arms--the newer version. I have about 12-15 total characters, a general two-story fold-in-half house (No batteries required! ) but also 3 vehicles which DO have sounds, but if they bother me, I'll take out the batteries. I will not have electronic toys, but these vans/camper will still do their job without batteries. It's called the imagination creation, LOL...yeah, I just made that up, but it will still serve it's purpose as a toy without being electronic. I don't want any hand-held battery operated toys, BUT if I come by a leap frog education one that is supervised one day a week or something then I would look for one second-hand, just not a priority.

Anyways, I actually purchased a lot of the Chunky Little People from someone on ebay and they combined shipping from $3.99 per small set to a large flat rate box for less than $10 shipping total. I then got about 60-70 little people maybe more, ha ha, and then choose which ones I wanted as some were repeated and decided that the 12-15 I have are PLENTY. Then I took a picture of all of them and listed it on Craigslist for $1.25 you pick and sold all of them to two different buyers the first week! In the end, I paid less than $5 total for all those little people and I got first pick!!!! Like my way of being frugal????
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QualiTcare 10:11 PM 08-20-2010
well, it's not a toy, but kids that age LOVE to dress up.

it's really cheap and easy to make a dress up area. they love to wear grown ups shirts, shoes, purses, etc. just raid your closet.

also just having a table with paper and crayons will buy you all kinds of time.
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Abigail 10:24 PM 08-20-2010
Originally Posted by QualiTcare:
well, it's not a toy, but kids that age LOVE to dress up.

it's really cheap and easy to make a dress up area. they love to wear grown ups shirts, shoes, purses, etc. just raid your closet.

also just having a table with paper and crayons will buy you all kinds of time.
I do have coloring books and crayons...working on the whole "supply each child with their own box" or just keeping the supplies together in general to hand out thing. Coloring books and art supplies are kept away since the one year olds can be in the same area to play, I don't trust that they can be kept away from grabbing at the crayons if they're available all the time.

I definitely want a "house area" with a kitchen and baby areas with strollers/high chairs or whatever I find second-hand that is decent.

I also want to have a "dress up" area too! I am thinking about purchasing two mirrors to put one of each wall in a corner at their level, I just am worried about purchasing the wrong type or mirror to keep it safe. I also can't decide whether to keep the dress up things in a chest/seat in one type thing to be multipurpose or if I want hooks for some of the items and still use the chest for the rest or how far into organizing it I will go.

I need to be organized, offer a variety of "stations", but keep in mind the ease of clean up for the kids to do it themselves but also how quick and easy I can clean it after the daycare closes. This includes making sure I have enough space between large objects for my vacuum cleaning the fit without needing to constantly move things! I'm terrible, I know! ha ha.

Balls might be best outside too, but might have one or two larger(about a foot tall) plastic ones inside might be good for a group activity with rolling the ball to a friend.
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QualiTcare 10:29 PM 08-20-2010
you can get those mirrors at wal mart that are like $8 a piece - they're full length with a plastic type trim around the edges. they have a hook on the back so it can hang on the wall, but ive always used a drill and drilled them to the wall with screws. they won't go ANYWHERE. you can also flip them around and screw them close to the baseboard instead of hanging them straight up and down - that way the babies can look too.
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Abigail 10:34 PM 08-20-2010
Originally Posted by QualiTcare:
you can get those mirrors at wal mart that are like $8 a piece - they're full length with a plastic type trim around the edges. they have a hook on the back so it can hang on the wall, but ive always used a drill and drilled them to the wall with screws. they won't go ANYWHERE. you can also flip them around and screw them close to the baseboard instead of hanging them straight up and down - that way the babies can look too.
I'm not sure if the mirror has to be a certain type so it is not breakable? I have to follow licensing rules, but when I look online at childcare supply stores they charge and arm and a leg for mirrors that are 2-3 feet square. Did you drill through the plastic frame then? I had one of the tall skinny mirrors from Wal-Mart going the long way across my bathroom at my height because it had funny phrases etched into the glass that were "positive" about your self image, lol, but funny too. I think I had 6 of those little L shaped things to screw it in, but you could always turn those sideways and make it fall if you wanted to.
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CherylS 11:28 PM 08-20-2010
Checking to see if I can post. Was having problems.
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SunflowerMama 04:37 AM 08-21-2010
Originally Posted by ninosqueridos:

The Little People big vehicles my dcks LOVE (buses, dump trucks, firetruck, airplane). I keep all of my Little People in a bin close to all the vehicles and boxes (cardboard "bricks"). The kids build all sorts of structures and then put the little people in and around them - so cute.

Good luck
These are my kids too! They love the little people vehicles and make awesome castles and towers with the wooden/cardboard blocks and then add the LP.
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momofsix 05:29 PM 08-21-2010
i have a large roll of freezer paper that I bought at sam's club-if were ever having a rough day, i just roll out a huge piece and give them all crayons/markers and they LOVE it--they all work on the same paper and make whatever they want.
my kids also love magnadoodles, besides all the other stuff mentioned
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Abigail 02:53 AM 08-22-2010
Originally Posted by momofsix:
i have a large roll of freezer paper that I bought at sam's club-if were ever having a rough day, i just roll out a huge piece and give them all crayons/markers and they LOVE it--they all work on the same paper and make whatever they want.
my kids also love magnadoodles, besides all the other stuff mentioned
What is Freezer Paper? Where would I find it at Sam's?....going there this week.
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melskids 07:00 AM 08-22-2010
Originally Posted by Abigail:
What is Freezer Paper? Where would I find it at Sam's?....going there this week.
its right with foil and saran wrap.....we love it here too
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Abigail 11:35 PM 08-25-2010
Originally Posted by melskids:
its right with foil and saran wrap.....we love it here too
Picked some up today! What works best on the freezer paper for the kids? How large of a sheet do you give them? Thanks!
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DanceMom 06:37 AM 08-26-2010
Everyone of my toys is safe enough for all ages. I have no small parts around..I throw them away before I put them out.

Blocks, cars, instruments, books, dolls, barbies, play food, computers, stacking, sorting, little people, little people houses, doll houses, stuffed animals, balls, Hula hoops, basketball hoops, push toys, pull toys, coloring books, paint, magnadoodles - you name it , I have it and I cant wait someday to get rid of it all
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countrymom 06:41 AM 08-26-2010
musical instruments, sure they are loud but the kids LOVE them.
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JJPlaycare 07:45 AM 08-26-2010
I have found out that a rotation of toys works best here! I usually only have about 5 or so "toy" things out here to do at a time!! Like currently we have, match box cars with a track and rug to drive on, dolls and all the accessories (crib, bottles, clothes, blankets etc), little people and all the houses and vehicles and such and a tool set out here!! I find that the lesser things you have out and available the better they play!! I use to have it all out here all available at any given time, they didn't play with things as long and the mess always got overwhelming! Now during naptime I circulate toys in and out about once a month or whenever I see them getting bored with what is available!
I always keep our art stuff available, they can color/draw whenever they would like, but the toy stuff rotates in and out and it is like Christmas in here about once a month, the kids love it and no one ever gets overwhelmed and they play much nicer and for longer periods of time when there isn't so much to cluster their minds when chosing what to play with and the mess is much more tolerable!!
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Tags:games, shelf, storage, toys, toys age appropriate
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