Toys can get so annoying so quickly. Since having children, I’ve made it a point to avoid big box toy stores in all price. Even the toy aisles at super markets are a giant eyesore filled with battery-operated, commercially driven, nasty vinyl toys.
Toys don’t have to be that way. They can be adorable, informative, decorative and entertaining for children. Here’s a little group of toys which fit most (if not all) of those requirements. And all are below $80, to boot. — Melissa out of I Still Love You
Brainbow Wooden Toy by Little Sapling Toys – $30
This isn’t only a great toy, but I see this as a fantastic contemporary art piece that will stand out in any contemporary home. I would put this in the bottom of a bookshelf with plenty of breathing space for kiddos to get inventive and unleash their inner David Smith.
Alphabet Teethers – $20
All these teethers are absolutely stunning. No one would understand your little one enjoys to slobber all over it. The ampersand might be my favorite.
I’d like to get my entire last name in these teethers, or heck, the whole alphabet. These are just as entertaining as wooden blocks!
XYZ Alphabet Blocks – $30
These aren’t your traditional snooze-fest wood alphabet blocks. I really like the sense of comedy and fantastic design exhibited here: S is for Sunburn, for example, and Y is for Yoga.
I really have these in my home exhibited within my coffee table ornaments. My daughter Penelope enjoys to play with them and I love having them on screen. Organize your last name from the letters or a fun message for visitors to find!
Wooden Matryoshka Memory Game by Wee Waldorf – $15.95
These stunning hand-stamped, hand-colored wooden disks wouldn’t just be adorable on screen, but help your little one with memory and recognizing his colours.
All these are clearly made for play, but I would be tempted to group them for a sweet wine glass trivet.
Elephant Piggy Bank by Arks and Animals – $17.95
Introducing animals to house decor adds a whole lot of depth. I would place this stunning elephant on screen on a lower bookshelf so it’s readily accessible for your wee one. The dark wood makes it look really grown up.
I believe this could be a great accent piece in a house with more tribal elements.
The Land of Nod
Wolfgang Amadeus Jr.. Red Piano – $79
I’ve always wanted a miniature piano; what in miniature is simply that much more adorable, no?
The bright red color along with the stunning lettered logo on front would result in a great decoration piece for a house and a fabulous learning toy for any lucky kid. Insert a daring tufted miniature bench for your little show stopper.
Nature Blocks – $44.95
Sometimes I’m fine with vinyl, bright-colored toys, but it is so refreshing to see toys whenever they choose a more natural, organic approach.
I really like this set of nature blocks. It still allows children to explore balance and fine motor abilities, but includes a nice homey aesthetic to it.
Levitating Globe – $39.99
Collect globes? What a fun conversation starter and way to get children excited about science and geography! This kid-friendly globe disguises itself really well as a special addition to your grownup house.
I would place this on the coffee table or on the bottom half of this bookshelf for simple kid accessibility.
Magnetic Mosaic – $40
This is the best toy to encourage making art. I would mount this on the fridge or a wall in my kid’s room and let them possess entire artistic freedom over the arrangement of magnetic tiles.
Plan Balancing Cactus – $22
I really like this wooden toy — it’s an ideal creative block set to quit sitting around the home. It’s got the natural beauty of a genuine succulent, but the performance of a toy.
I would place this sucker at a faux pot or flat dish in my coffee table and decorate using it as if it had been a live tree… my kid just so happens to rearrange at will.
Sand Tray – $25
Again, another toy that’s stunning and always changing with your kid, encouraging art and literacy. Your child can create his own contemporary Japanese garden scenes or work on his first letters.
I would display this at the kitchen dining area or a place with tile or hardwood flooring. I wouldn’t want to risk getting salt or sand stuck in the rug! I would also pair this box with smooth river stones (possibly ones located on a family nature walk) plus a little fork or”rake” for creating fun textures.
Handpainted Hobby Horse by Painted Pony Shop – $75
This Etsy shop has a lot of hand-painted hobby horses. I think that they’re so cute! They pack a good deal of personality and I would not be embarrassed to have one of these propped up against the wall in my entryway.
Learning Materials Workshop
Dwellings Color Prisms – $39.99
This could be my favorite find so far. This pair of mylar blocks and color filters isn’t merely beautiful, but helps teach children the fundamentals of color and color theory.
Love this. This could have a permanent home in the center my table.
Bi-Plane Toy – $18.50
Here’s another great toy which may serve as home decoration. It is ideal for those pesky shelves. I really like that it is a wind-up toy. It reminds me of all the fun vintage toys I would play with at my grandparents’ home.
Wooden Mountain Range Stacker by Imagination Kids – $25
I reside just under the epic Wasatch Mountains and love seeing the sun come up supporting Mt. Olympus. This stacker reminds me of trekking all over the Wasatch front with my loved ones for a kid.
This mountain range stacker is a really cool toy and ideal for display, particularly if you’re pleased with your proximity to a mountain range too.
Creanimaux Farm from Djeco – $40
I wouldn’t mind picking up these adorable blocks round the home. They’re bright, easy and encourage creativity.
Wooden Pan Am Playbox Airplane Toy by worldwidemom – $15
Recall Polly Pockets? This is a much cuter version, in my opinion. Great for travel and for this mid-century obsessed parent.
Tom Thumb Child’s Money Register by Vintage Lancaster – $23
Decorate with older toys. I wouldn’t let my children play with something which may potentially have lead paint on it, but something like this sure will make a cute decoration on higher bookshelves.
Scandinavian Plush Toy Cat Softie by Jane Foster – $24
These printed kitties are absolutely adorable. Again, another thing I wouldn’t mind cleaning off the ground. It would be fun to get an entire monster collection heading for encouraging playwith.
Next: More toys for all ages