I Got Rid Of Most Of Our Toys {And What I Set Up Instead}


Want to know what my kids play with?

Not the millions of toys around here.

That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but seriously, my daughters spend about 99% of their time reading books and playing with random things from around the house. Recently Philomena spent an entire week in this pantry organizer and was “seat belting” herself and baby dolly into it. They would then read and scootch around in her “car.”


One day last month Ethan and I commented on how we have SO many toys and they were just all over the place but never being played with, stored in these messy blue bins that the girls wouldn’t bother sorting through.

Our messy, cluttered before

You all know from my post about not lying to my toddler how much I like Janet Lansbury, and something she recommends is having really simple play areas with mostly open ended toys, displayed in a way that makes them easy to see and access. (Open-ended toys are items that don’t have a concrete purpose of how you are “supposed” to play with them, and definitely not a ton of “educational” toys with a bunch of battery operated functions.) Some of the items we chose are Janet’s recommendations, and some I found just looking around on Amazon.

I gathered up this mess of toys never being touched and sold them for a few bucks on my local Facebook buy-sell-trade group. I kept select things like the blocks, the barrel of monkeys, the wooden train, the toy farm/animals, and a few other favorite items, but otherwise I got rid of the rest.

This wasn’t even half of what went out the door. Part of me felt guilty, but the fact is if something is never being touched it just doesn’t belong. However, notice the little hands eagerly pawing through things once they saw they were headed out the door.

Then I set about picking out new toys and a new cubicle shelf from Amazon.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites

I Spent Money On New Things?!

I know, I know, me buying things new?! This almost never happens; I’m the Facebook-marketplace-thrift-store-garage-sale queen. I never buy things new if I can help it. However, we did have a couple hundred dollars given to us for the girls from my aunt and uncle for Christmas that we hadn’t used, so I thought I would invest it nicely in this new set up, getting high quality toys and a good shelf that would last a long time, and enjoy the ease of just ordering them without scouring thrift stores or making stuff myself.

And here is what we have now:

The full blue bin in the middle has Zelie’s favorite teethers, plush books, and baby things.

I love how neat and clean this looks in comparison, and almost instantly the girls play with what we do have a lot more with the easy access to them.

(We bought this 12 cube shelf and these green bins)

These toys and items overall require imagination to have fun with them, and it’s been a blast watching the girls explore them for the last month and come up with things to do with them all.

Philomena had a new babysitter this week whose mother texted me afterwards saying how her daughter was so surprised how imaginative she was, and how easy it was for them to come up with games with these toys, without relying on screens or electronic toys.




Below I am going to highlight some of my favorite items, and I’ll have a full list of everything we have at the end that you can click to see on Amazon. (For things we already owned I just found the closest match currently available).

Play Scarves


This 6-pack of play scarves by Simply Sweet Fabric are really high quality. They are quite large, and make great capes, dancing scarves, pretend picnic blankets, and whatever else the girls come up with. They’re nicely hemmed and don’t fray.

Hand Kites


These pretty hand kites are fun to run around with, hang off of hooks, dance with, and Philomena pretends the ribbons are water and gives her stuffed animals showers with them!

Metal Mixing Bowls


This set of five metal mixing bowls have been stacked, filled with blocks, used as a target for these high quality bean bags we bought for tossing, clanked with spoons for music, and served as bath tubs for baby dollies so far.

The lids also make perfect plates for pretend picnics!


Hair Rollers

Bright and colorful hair rollers stack, they roll down the slide, they are pretend cups or food, fun for the baby, and a bonus is they give me a workout finding them rolled under the couch or chair.

Musical Instruments

We added a twelve pack of colorful shaker eggs and this wood guiro toy to our tambourines and other instruments. The eggs may be the girls’ favorite things. They shake them to music, they shake them for fun, they toss them in the metal bowls, they roll them down the slide and more. The gurio isn’t the best quality or length for making the neatest sounds, however it is safe for Zelie, and right now I like keeping everything baby-proofed.




This 6 foot colorful parachute is a blast for the girls when Ethan and I shake it up and down over them, but it’s also a favorite for building forts!

Containers and Bags

I didn’t actually purchase any of these various spoons, bags, bins, and containers. They came from around the house and are some of the girls’ favorite things. They love to sort out the other toys with these.

The Full List


Not pictured here are some puzzles, a craft bin with paints/markers/crayons etc., Philomena’s toy vacuum and broom, and her kitchen and play food in her room. Otherwise these are all of the toys we own now, and it is working great for us at this stage.

Classic Wood Alphabet Blocks
Shaker Eggs
Play Parachute
Wooden Stacking Train
Wooden Activity Cube
Monkeys In A Barrel
Plastic Hair Rollers
Metal Mixing Bowls
Metal Measuring Spoons
Musical Instruments
Bean Bags
Hand Kites
Play Scarves
Shape Sorter Cube
Magnetic Drawing Board
Plastic Bowling Pins
Baby Stacking Cubes
Velcro Ball and Mitts
Fisher Price Farm and Animals

Zelie and Philomena love the new space


8 thoughts on “I Got Rid Of Most Of Our Toys {And What I Set Up Instead}

  1. Enjoyed this little tour. We have those same play scarves and love them. The biggest positive change we have made with our toys is to rotate. 😀


  2. Love your set up! I have a similar problem right now. We are moving and I plan to purge the toy chest for sure. I recently packed up half the toys and now my toddler’s blocks are more accessible, and she’s been playing with them so much more!


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