This has been the year of downsizing at our house. So! Much! Stuff! How did we accumulate so much? No trendy KonMari methodology here; just some good old-fashioned purging of items we don't use anymore.
My closet was first; next Andi's; then 20+ totes of baby clothes I'd stored away for a rainy day. I gifted several of Tory and Aden's gently-used baby outfits to friends and family with newborns and it filled me with delight to see those sweet babies wearing tiny outfits I'd once loved.
Next up, TOYS. I'll admit, I'm the culprit in wanting my children to have every single toy on the market. We have a pink Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, for example, but my brain keeps telling me Aden needs his own blue Little Tikes Cozy Truck. Isn't that excessive? They also make a gas pump for the little cars, and wouldn't it be adorable to have one? (Ahh, make it stop!)
There are some toys Tory and Aden absolutely adore and play with often. I'm totally fine with those things taking up real estate in our house so long as they're being used. I thought I'd share some of our favorite toys for anyone looking for winners in the toy department this holiday season:
Fisher-Price My First Dollhouse
Hands down, THE BEST toy we've ever purchased for Tory. She received this dollhouse for Christmas in 2013 and has played with it non-stop since then. Like, every single day for hours at a time. Tory loves the little dollhouse family and affectionately calls them "Mom," "Dad," "Big Girl" and "Baby." Sometimes, the dollhouse people even sleep with her tucked into bed at night. It's fun for me as a parent to listen to her imagination run wild as she plays. I also like how sturdy the pieces are (no small parts) so Aden can play with it, too.
Fisher Price Learning Home
This toy has seen a lot of mileage in our house, too. Tory received it as a first birthday gift and it continues to be played with by Tory, Aden and every other kid(s) who happens to visit our home.
Pottery Barn Anywhere Chairs
Tory and Aden each have one of these over-sized kid chairs and they LOVE them. I'm not sure why exactly, but the kids play with them everyday. They tip them over and build forts underneath them; they sit and read books in them; they fight over who gets to sit in which chair (even though they're exactly the same).
Disney Dusty the Plane 4-in-1 Ride-On
Aden received this as a birthday gift last year, and it's been a great transitional toy. We keep it inside the house, and he used it in the rocking mode with safety belt when it was on the younger side of age one. We've since removed the base and now he tears around the house using it as a ride-on toy.
Melissa & Doug Princess Dress
Tory received this princess dress last Christmas, and it's my favorite of all her dress-up clothes. The material is soft (not scratchy) and sturdy (no rips like many of our Disney-brand princesses dresses quickly aquired). It's definitely held up to many hours of play. Best of all, Tory can pull this dress on and off by herself.
Disney Magic Clip Princesses
These Disney Magic Clip princesses have been a top toy in our house this year. Tory plays with the tiny princesses in her dollhouse, carries them with her in the car and on airplane trips, and totes them to the cabin on the weekends.
I love the holidays, but I am already dreading the amount of *stuff* we'll collect when it's all said and done. (Total princess problem, I know; don't I sound horrible saying that?) I have a feeling there'll be another round of purging and donations in 2016 to make room for all the kids' new toys and gadgets. At the same time, I'm also excited to see what new, fun things they'll receive.
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