Joel and I are big on toys that allow our kids to play creatively. We love blocks, legos, books, puzzles, art supplies, cars, playdoh, etc. We might have even given away a toy or two that made noise. :-)
Joel's aunt gave us a wonderful little car mat for Oliver that she found at Et Cetera. But it quickly started peeling off. (And Lily might have been a major part of that...)
I had just read a book on creative centers (for preschool) and one idea was to MAKE a car mat with a sheet. You just add a simple road and train track, and allow the kids to play with cars, trains and blocks on it. I loved the idea!
So the next time Lily started destroying the mat, I just let her.
We pulled it all off...
And made a simpler mat!
Then we made block houses and garages...
and even a few trees. (Just put little twigs into clay and let harden)
Now we have a little village that can be used however we want--and really encourages their creativity! And these blocks from Joel's Uncle Ed are entertaining for HOURS!!!