As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Toys at Gran's House

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post in which I placed myself in the (tongue in cheek) category of Grandmother Blog.  I thought I'd follow up with a few grandmother posts.  


My mom had a drawer in her spare bedroom dedicated to books and games for the grandchildren.  She would tuck in coloring books and crayons, an illustrated Bible story book, Tiddly Winks, card games, simple craft supplies, and (always) books.  The grandchildren knew to go and take a peek in the drawer when they came for a visit, for the contents would often be refreshed.  (Most often, they were refreshed because Mom would give to the child something that she thought they enjoyed.  My children still have several books that started out in the Gammy drawer, but left her house with a happy child.) 

Oh, and Mom still keeps that drawer stocked for her great-grandchildren!

Because I am a grandmother who still has a child at home (there is only 20-month difference in my youngest child and my oldest grandchild), I have always had a larger selection of toys at my house than the average grandmother.  That is gradually changing though.  As Bekah (11) grows older, many toys have been weeded out of the collection.

Several toys, however, will remain...a few standard "grandmother toys."

I keep a small basket for baby/toddler toys under the pie safe that is our school cabinet.  My own grands delve into this basket every time they visit...mostly the babies and toddlers, but not always.  Inside are a set of stacking cups and some rubber keys (that date back to Kati's babyhood), some homemade bean bags, Fisher Price binoculars (dating to Ryan's childhood!)...and then there's Mike.  Mike, a McDonald's Happy Meal toy, seems a little out of place in this basket of sweet, classic baby toys, but all the babies love Mike.  Maybe it's because his skinny green arms and legs are easy to grab, or maybe because his mouth and his one eye open and close, or maybe just because he looks friendly (does he?).  Whatever the reason, babies like Mike, so Mike stays.

Another kid favorite at Gran's house is the Magnadoodle.  Almost any Sunday afternoon will find one or another of the children writing a message, drawing a picture, or playing a game of tic-tac-toe on the Magnadoodle.  Unlike an Etch-a-Sketch which requires a great amount of coordination (I am impressed with anyone who can draw even a simple picture using an Etch-a-Sketch), the Magnadoodle has a magnetic pen which "writes" on the screen.  It even has a few shaped magnets (triangle, circle, flower) that can stamp an instant design, so even the smallest child can create something.  If anything should happen to the Magnadoodle, I will make an effort to replace it because it has brought such creative fun to the children at all ages.

Then there's the block basket, filled with Duplos and wooden blocks and a few odd pieces such as a little plastic fire truck and a vintage Fisher Price Little People woman.  This is another keeper.  You just can't beat blocks for classic appeal, imaginative fun, and creative play for both genders and all ages.

Those are the basics.  These are the toys that I plan to keep available for my grandchildren, visiting children, and, maybe someday, my great-grandchildren.

I also have a shelf in my laundry room that has some children's games, puzzles, and coloring books, crayons, and markers.  These aren't kept out in the main living area, but we often will get out one game at a time or a coloring book and crayons out for a child who needs something to do.  (The older children can reach these items and know that they can help themselves.)

On the lowest shelf of the dining room book shelf are two baskets of board books that the littlest love to read or have read to them.  My mother gave Bekah a set of Nursery Rhyme board books for her first Christmas.  I have absolutely no idea how many times I have read each one of those books, but the number would be phenomenal.  Truly.

Fellow grandmothers, what "grandmother toys" do you keep at your house?

Non-grandmothers, what toys do you remember playing with at your grandmother's house? 


  1. Oh thank you for the reminder about the Magnadoodle...I want to find that one. I have all the usual toys and books and games. They're everywhere and not centrally located. I need to do better with that. If one of the grands parks a toy somewhere in the living room, I leave it there so he can find it the next time. I've had a green safari jeep parked on the tv stand for months. I recently found it on top of a stack of books and thought that it must have been moved for a change, but no. Now I find that John likes to stage the little green jeep, too.

    You and your mother sound like very wise women who love their grands a whole lot.

    My grandmother saved many of my mother's things, including her paper dolls. Oh how my sister and I loved playing with those...usually the movie stars of the 30s and 40s.

  2. I'm not a grandmother, but we have a special basket of toys that we keep in the cabinet below our living room bookshelf. It is mostly assorted farm toys and a book or two. We pull it out when we have company, especially babies, so that they don't have to go far from their mamas to play.

  3. I enjoyed reading this post today, Cheryl. (We are iced in once again on a Sunday morning!) We've recently added another new grandson to the family and I am trying to clear out outgrown items like clothing and toys.
    It is hard for me to choose which will stay and which will go - I'm probably more attached than most of my children!. For sure the wooden train set and the wooden blocks stay. As do our collection of older little people.
    I also keep a basket of board books on our living room shelf :) I am working hard at letting all other things go, weeding down to a few of the best. Thank you for sharing with us, it's helped me make some decisions!


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