Are They Worth The Price Tag?
Before we even get into this blog post, let me say one thing very clearly. Your child does not need any toys. That’s right. A child does not need toys. A child’s imagination is a powerful muscle that can be just as easily exercised with some of mom’s scarves, a clean pot, and a pack of pencils to stack as it could with all the contents of the Amazon toy section.
We, like may parents, fell into the toy trap. The one that Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us (rest in peace) desperately wants you to fall into. The one that says that a certain toy will make your child play alone so you can have a cup of coffee, the toy that says it will teach your child to count to 10 or know all their colors and that your child simply won’t keep up with their peers without it. Very quickly we had a doll house, play grocery stand, play kitchen, reading nook, play table for cafe/family nurture play, and so many other large toys. Here’s the secret that I’ve learned. Too much stuff is exhausting. It exhausts the parents to keep up with the toys with all the picking up and mentally it exhausts our kids too.
Decision fatigue is a very real phenomenon. If there’s one thing Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Albert Einstein really knocked out of the park, it’s the fact that too many decisions clutter creativity, distracts focus, and exhausts us emotionally. Another time, we can talk about curating your kid’s closet on a budget. Today, let’s talk about being a designer of your child’s play.
Playstands are an incredibly simple concept. Create an open, unspecified structure that can morph into anything your child can imagine. There’s normally one to two shelves on each side (we opted for one shelf so it could primarily being a table, shelf, cook top, or counter for play), and then from there you can add a play arch, or hang up a scarf/blanket, or leave it open on top. (We opted for a play arch to make it a confined space that still had lots of headroom for our tall girl.) We chose to go with the Little Colorado brand. Mostly due to the fact that this is an investment piece for our family and fosters play between multiple children. We also love that all their products are handcrafted in the United States.
How Often Do Your Kids Play With Them Though?
Believe it or not, multiple times daily. We keep minimal toys displayed on the shelves so our almost 3 year old has easy access to everything. Yes, this does take some foresight. But, the time you don’t spend picking up a gazillion toys thrown all over the room is well worth a little curating up front.
My biggest surprise from getting these playstands? How many toys it has phased out. Our playroom no longer has a play kitchen, play table/chairs, doll cradle, we were able to get rid of our calm down corner/reading nook, and a safe place for building magnatiles or blocks for alone time.
Another fantastic find was this starry sky giant playsilk from Sarah’s Silks It’s the perfect size to drape across the arch of the playstands to give it an enclosed feeling while still letting plenty of light in.
How Much Do They Cost?
Remember how I started this post off by saying this is an investment? Well, I wasn’t lying. They can get pricy fast. The good thing is, there are some decent options for how to bring these into your home.
- Option 1: Build them
- Option 2: Look for a sale
If you or a family member is handy, you can easily find building plans to build your own set from sites like www.etsy.com. If you go this route, you have way more personalizing options and have control over the quality of wood/materials you use.There are many toys of this quality that you can depend on the fact they won’t go on sale. That said, I found our sale for an insane discount by buying during a 20% off sale from Magic Cabin. They had fantastic service and shipping was well packaged and secure.
- Option 3: Make this a gift for family/grandparents to help you purchase.
Have an upcoming birthday or holiday coming up? Instead of more toys your kids will be obsessed with for a week or two, try asking family for gift cards to businesses like Magic Cabin, Bella Luna Toys, or Amazon, to purchase the set that way.