School is starting and we are doing our first “Playroom Tour!” Check out what we actually have in our playroom – these are the toys which have passed our safety and quality tests, and have passed the kids’ own tests as well. There are photos and a video tour, as well as item names and descriptions. Come see what’s in our playroom!
I do have affiliate links throughout the article. We’ve bought these items with our money and appreciate your support!
Our home is about 1400 square feet outside San Antonio, Texas. The kids currently sleep in our bedroom so they got the formal dining room in the front of the house. Since they don’t have their own bedrooms, that means that 99% of their toys are in the playroom. We do have their books in our family bedroom, and their dress-up box in the living room.
Toy Storage Organizer
This toy organizer is a recent addition to our playroom – as our kids have gotten a bit older and have more sets of toys, or smaller items, we needed a smart way to keep them off the floor. This shelf comes with all 12 bins you see in the photo and can be bolted to the wall with the childproof belts.
Mater Monster Trucks
Based on the Netflix short “Cars Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales”, these are the characters from the monster truck mini episode. They’re simply made, so not a lot of the intricacy (and frailty) like the Grave Digger we also have. These are cute and my toddler really likes them.
Techege City Crew Trucks
This trio of trucks from Techege is so clever! I love them – the street sweeper, cement truck, and agricultural truck are friction powered, and designed for little ones. But what stands out to me about these guys is the detail. They’re a tried-and-true durable addition to our vehicle menagerie.
Kids II Cars
Finishing out our car collection is this duo of O Ball Rattle N Roll baby-safe cars which we got at Target. The wheels make sounds due to the little balls inside, and the top half of the car is a bendable plastic which is safe for chewing and grasping. We’ve had these for almost four years and they’re still going strong. I love simple toys like this!
Lamaze Soft Books
I’ve collected a lot of these books by Lamaze over the years because they’re adorable, clever, and safe to hand to a fussy baby or a teething toddler. The first one, Peek-a-boo Forest, is my favorite!
Star Wars Books with Sounds
We got How to Speak Wookiee and How to Speak Droid books with sound as Christmas gifts and they’re absolutely hilarious! Nothing like a quiet playroom followed by a Chewie roar or a sequence of beeps. The text is original, and anything kid-safe that’s Star Wars is good in my book.
These toys have stood the test of time with my kids! We’ve had them a long time and love them still. Smart Max are building blocks which use magnets, so they’re easy for little and big kids alike. The spheres attract both polarities, while each color has only one. These toys are lightweight and durable as hell (read: withstand being thrown across the room), and are really fun to play with. You can also get the Power Vehicles sets for your older kids. My 4 year old loves using the original rods and spheres to make all kinds of trucks!
Step 2 Canyon Road Train and Track Table
This train table was a gift from Daddy and I to our children this past Christmas; we wanted a toy which didn’t make noise and was big enough for our two children to play with at the same time. This table is large and low profile so even little ones can stand at it and participate. It also comes with a solid white tabletop which you can place over the permanent tracks to make a flat surface for activities. (This table does come with a few plastic trains but the trains themselves are crappy quality, so we just threw them out and got some used wooden ones.)
Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair
My kids love this little chair. It was a present for my daughter’s first birthday and it’s the perfect size for her! The seat lifts up to store little toys and the buttons play songs and stories. The “Smart Stages” is from three levels of sounds and songs, which can be changed with a flip of the switch on the side of the chair arm. I like the low profile and wide base as I feel confident it won’t topple even with my daredevil little girl. And it’s super easy to wipe clean.
My Pal Scout
Oh, Scout. This poor abused toy has been in our family for years and he’s still kicking. He’s a programmable, talking stuffed animal made by Leapfrog (the reading people) who sings songs and plays little games with your child. Use the included cable to hook him up to your computer, and customize everything from your child’s name to their favorite things. Wipe him down when he gets dirty and he’ll last for a really long time.
I have to add this little guy in here because I love Daniel Tiger. He’s a large plush but plays little excerpts from the show when you press the button in his hand. My son was attached to this toy for a long time! It says that this toy is for ages 3+; my guess is because of the watch on his hand and his sweatshirt strings, so as always watch your child carefully when they’re playing.
These toys are pretty damn essential in my opinion. Duplos are basically Legos for little kids, as they have larger pieces. But the endless possibilities are the same! We have about four sets together in a big box so kids can play with the construction set, the zoo, the farm, or the basic set. After your kids have been sick, spray them down with a kid-safe bleach solution or throw them in a soapy tub for easy cleaning. I know we will be a Lego household for years to come … My 34-year old husband still has sets!
V-Tech Go! Go! Smart Wheels (various)
These toys make a lot of sense. They’re big and blocky so that little hands can easily grab them, and the bright colors are nice to look at. We have the Choo Choo train set with its own tracks, which are compatible with the car tracks by V-Tech. Each vehicle has songs and phrases (which personally make me insane, but my kids love). My son has more patience with these tracks than with the old-school wooden ones that came with his magnetic trains.
Step 2 Easel
This is one of the top performers in my house right now. I love this easel! It’s sturdy and easy to maneuver, featuring one side that’s a magnetic whiteboard and one that’s a chalkboard. I appreciate the yellow tray which goes all the way across, and the paper-holding clips on both sides. This easel also comes with some magnets (not the ones pictured). Now my kids can’t fight when they both want to color.
V-Tech Smart Wheels Fire Command Rescue
This is another V-Tech set which works with the train and car sets I listed earlier. This is a cute two-story fire station which has a manual elevator on one side and a slide on the other. I like the little bell alarm, though I don’t understand why there’s one huge firetruck. This set isn’t played with as much anymore so we will probably get rid of it before Santa makes his yearly visit.
Green Toys Rocket (red and blue)
What a fantastically simple toy. This Green Toys Rocket is not only made of recycled materials, but it’s safe for little ones. I love toys that inspire imaginatino without being complicated or overstimulating. It comes with a red and a blue astronaut, and the top piece comes off like a smaller module.
This is an incredible dollhouse-style rocket! It’s detailed and adorable in its design. It features a manual elevator and spaceship residents (2 astronauts, various droids, and an alien) as well as their furniture and supplies. This rocket also has a top piece which detaches. Note that it’s called a “Four Stages Toddler Rocket” but there are quite a few small pieces, so be watchful.
Playskool Millenium Falcon
My husband saw this toy at a used kids’ store and had to get it! It opens up Polly Pocket style to reveal the inner workings of the Millenium Falcon. It comes with Chewie, Han Solo, and R2D2. When closed, it can be carried with a handle.
Because we’re super cool parents, we threw our son a Moana/Maui birthday party this summer, and this toy was a big hit. It’s large and rather loud, but man it’s so cool I want to play with it. It lights up and makes the magical sounds from the movie.
WowWee Tipster Robot
This was Santa’s main gift to my son last Christmas! He wanted a remote control robot that could do tricks; we wanted a toy which would be educational and safe for his little sister. This robot has various modes, including a building mode. He comes with a cannister and some small pieces like ladders which he can stack and manuever.
Step 2 Kitchen and Storefront
I swear there isn’t a Step 2 bias in our house, it’s just the way things have turned out! Our son actually got this play kitchen when he was 1.5 years old, because we wanted to have “imagine-able” toys ready for when he started. This is a smaller, simpler kitchen than some, but it comes with utensils and dishes and food, and also has a storefront portion. The affiliate link I’ve listed is for the closest thing Step 2 currently makes, as it looks like our model is no longer sold. We’ve bought more play food over time, like the Melissa and Doug cookie set and their wooden food group set, and store the extras in that bin on the floor.
Our Harbour City play rug is huge and gorgeous. It measures 5’x7′ and is non-skid. I love that it’s so cushy and it’s nice to look at even if the kids aren’t playing on it. While it’s beautiful and very well made, it’s a lot more expensive than other non-skid rugs of comparable size.
I think every parent has some version of these foam mats at some point! We actually put ours under our floor rug to give the kids a bit more cushioning from the tile floor. They’re affordable and versatile, no matter what kind of flooring you have in your play space.
Don’t forget to childproof any space which your kids will be using: be wary of sharp corners, put guards in all outlets, and crawl around on all fours to see the room from their perspective. We also bolt furniture to the wall with these anti-topple belts.
To see which toys I encourage my kids to play with – the ones that inspire imagination (and don’t require batteries) – check out my recommendation review here.
Let me know which of these things your kids have or would love, and look for my next playroom tour in early 2018!
And here’s the video version of the tour, taken while my kids were napping. 🙂