shelf of toy reccomendations

2021 Toys and Recommendations

  • Emily 
Shelfie of the best toys of 2021

Are you ready for the holidays, or looking for some ideas?

I’ve pulled together some guides for specific topics–for these see buttons at end of post.

And here are some of the some of the pieces that were new to our family, or that the kids were particularly drawn to this year

The Drewart Pirate Island is a big hit here–its beautifully built, and suggests an iland, but is open-ended enough to be flexible, too.

If you’re looking for a castle or a vehicle, a catapult or a cash register, check out Drewart. The workmanship is phenomenal!

Drewart Pirate Island with Ostheimer Gnomes

Trees have been a big part of our play this year–I once said we’d never buy trees…and really they’ve enhanced our play so much! We love both the realistic ones, and the gem-embedded bauspiel. The green ones in this picture, are from: All Things DanaArt, Holztiger, Dadakacraft

The Bauspiel plus building blocks are really new to us–but WOW are they a big hit! The kids are always reaching for them, and keep asking for more–fingers crossed for Christmas!

Bauspiel slats in a box

Leonardo Sticks are a BIG hit here. Both the Basuspiel and the Grimms (US, Canada).

I’d strongly recommend either, but have a comparison of the two here

grimm's leonardo sticks

Boards and interesting geometry have been a big deal here this year. I’m so impressed by how much the simple shapes still hold on–the basics are important!! And the new stepped pieces from Papoose are gorgeous!

The Grimms (US, Canada) boards are wonderful. we use them for SO much!

The Glucksafer slats are another forever favorite, they’re in almost every build here.

Connetix Ball Run -- Building with Rainbows

Connetix have been such an amazing addition to play here. We love the new pastel colors–super excited for when we can get the pastel ball run too; the ball run is so gratifying! click here for: Classic colors or Pastel colors

The Mirus 100 board with engraved numbers was a game changer for us learning numbers. Its beautifully made, and slim enough to bring along for outside math lessons and adventures.

Abel blocks are beautiful, simple, and complex. They look so simple, and stacking a circle is straight forward and satisfying. Try anything else and the balance is a brilliant challenge. They’re also fantastic in flat lays and mandalas!

Just Blocks are another simple but brilliant set. the big blocks are great first blocks for very little people (hold the sticks until they’re past the mouthing phase) but the sticks are one of my kid’s favorite pieces!

Because they have both 4 and 5 cm sides, they integrate beautifully with both the 4cm Grimms sets and the 5cm Bauspiel and Papoose sets.

Grapat Tomten and babies are still big favorites with my kids (US, Canada)

Grimms Color Rally Charts were one of our first sets, but still used SO much (US, Canada)

The Bauspiel Rainbow is a total showstopper. Its amazing on the shelf, but even better in play. The pieces are huge and strong and easy to build with. And they make fantastic tracks for ball runs too!

The Magicwood Marble tree is beautiful to look at, listen to and draws in everyone who sees it, all ages.

The Ocamora tablets have been one of Miss6’s favorites this year. She reaches for them in almost every build

Ocamora Tablets

Stepped blocks–both Grimms (US, Canada) and Bauspiel stepped counting blocks are both on the daily play list for our kids. Both are really fantastic! I’ve got a comparison of them posted here.

Here are a few of the guides I’ve put together, if you’re looking for ideas for starting a collection, where to shop, or what to think about when picking sets

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