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9 open-ended toys that won't clash with your decor, mama

I have a confession: I hate most of my kids' toys. There are a few notable exceptions (a pretty dollhouse, a neutral play kitchen, to name a couple) but for the most part, the toys they are often gifted fall under two categories: obnoxious and ugly.

The real problem, as any seasoned parent will tell you, is that I live with these toys. I live with them scattered across my living room floor. I live with them hiding under the dining table. I live with them tucked between couch cushions and nestled next to my water bottle on the coffee table.

The toys are everywhere.


And cleaning constantly was starting to become a drain on my happiness as a mother. Instead of enjoying playtime with my daughters, I found myself preemptively dreading what would come after—the mad dash to clear everything away and hide those primary bits of plastic in bins and boxes.

There had to be a better way. So I made a shift and started buying (and requesting from well-meaning relatives) only well-made, beautiful toys that were as pretty to look at as they were fun to play with. Toys that I don't even mind (much) when they're left littered across the rug or sprawled across a bedspread.

It can be a challenge to find toys that won't clash with grown-up decor, but here are picks that my kids love as much as I do.

Janod play kitchen

Janod play kitchen

More than anything, the toys that take up significant real estate are the ones you want to feel at home with your space. This minimalist kitchen set is maximum on fun with a cooktop complete with LED and sound effect.

$152

Father's Factory Polaroid style wooden toy camera

Polaroid style wooden toy camera

Heirloom-quality and Montessori-friendly, this charming wooden camera is perfect for encouraging budding shutterbugs—and pretty enough to display when playtime is over.

$52

Slumberkins alpaca snuggler

Slumberkins Alpaca Snuggler

A stuffed animal even a neutral-loving mama can appreciate, this unbelievably soft Alpaca lovey is perfect for nap time snuggles (and the cozy ivory fluff blends seamlessly with any decor style).

$44

Janod elephant rocker

Janod elephant rocker

With soft colors and clean lines, this is the sort of rocking toy I can get behind. The back rest and protective barrier can be removed once your kiddo gets a little older ensuring it will stick around from baby through toddlerhood.

$165

Hijinks hooded cape

Hijinks hooded cape

Let their imaginations run wild (without putting a damper on your decor) with this incredibly cool cape that will inspire hours of open-ended, imaginative play.

$45

Wise Elk wooden ice cream car

Wise Elk wooden ice cream car

With its soft colors and durable construction, this sweet wooden car serves as a stacker and a rolling toy to encourage milestones without being an eyesore.

$13

Mary Meyer musical elephant plush

motherly plush elephant

This plush elephant pulls double duty. It's perfectly charming on a nursery shelf and snuggly soft for little one's playtime. Even better, wind it up to play "Minuet No. 1" by Bach and create an instant nap time ritual.

$27

Monti Kids Montessori activity gym + play kit

Monti Kids activity gym and play kit

Montessori toys naturally lend themselves to a clean and minimal aesthetic. This beautiful wooden activity gym comes with 11 simple toys (and video instruction!) that will jumpstart your little one's Montessori play and learning.

$297

Janod scooter balance bike

Janod scooter balance bike

Okay, so technically this is an outside toy, but when you look this good, you get to bend the rules. The retro-inspired look makes this the coolest balance bike on the block. Also, I'd like one in my size.

$121

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