These are all the toys and books Hao Re owned exactly 2 year ago, when he was 1 year 3 months old (Xi Yu was still in my comfy big tummy :-)) Only 1 out of 8 "pigeon holes" was meant for books. The rest were for toys, of all sorts. Out of these toys, about half of them were from families and friends, gifted to Hao Re as his new born or 1st birthday present. My hub doesn't like to get bulky toys, unless it's really good for the kids, else he won't agree to buy bulky toys. Hao Re has enough to be entertained.
All toys and shelf in 1 shelf
We love this shelf we got from IKEA. We think it's good to be used as the toy/book shelf for the kids. They can take any toys and books from the shelf anytime they want. It helps us to make the living room neater. When we are really busy or tired, we just dumped all the toys/books back to shelf without arranging them nicely, but the room still looks reasonably neat. They are also "accessories" available if you want to add a drawer or a door to the "pigeon hole". We love this shelf so much, that from then till now, we have had 2 units of the 4x2 shelf (the one above) and 1 unit of the 4x4 shelf (like the one below). And the shelf is quite durable and it's not expensive too.
Okay, back to the toys and books.
Naturally, we have bought more toys and books over the past 2 years. We still don't buy much toys (the kids get "compensated" by lots of outdoor play instead). Most of the addition were received as Xi Yu's new born gifts and 1st birthday party gifts, and a few were Christmas presents from friends and colleagues (though we don't celebrate Christmas at all, we still received Christmas presents from the kind souls). So the shelf has been expanded to double its size! Now that we are doing the "Good boy chart" with Hao Re, he has to earn a new toy by collecting x number of good boy stars. So we expect the expansion of toys is and will be very slow. Hopefully we don't have to expand the shelf anymore. I should say, we won't expand this no more. When it's running out of space, those babies/old toys would have to make way.
Books, we buy. Books are always good. So books have expanded from 1 "pigeon hole" to 4 "pigeon hole" and there are certainly more to come! I think not for long, we would have to get another 4x2 unit just to store children books. Hao Re is very much into stories now, there isn't a more suitable time to encourage him to read more and to cultivate his love for books.
Most of the toys are kept in the IKEA shelf in the living room, and the bulky ones kept at the balcony.
Note: Not included in this photo - Hao Re's bicycle, all the slot-in and jigsaw puzzles, and their collection of DVDs.
Talking about more books to come, I have just received some new books last night. This is the first time I tried ordered from China. Now that I have seen the quality of the books, I am sure going to order more books from them! For English books, we sometimes get from the local bookshops, sometimes from Amazon, and sometimes from Bookdepository. I hope we can get a good collection of Chinese and English books for the kids. I ordered some for myself too, very happy :-)
New collection of Chinese books (those at the left bottom corner are for me, hehe), ordered from a China online bookshop, Dangdang!