I taught preschool for a long time and PROHIBITED toys. They are just a pain and it really just becomes a -who has the biggest, bestest, most expensive toy contest.
What i loved seeing--
Nature items, --shells, leaves, pretty rocks, even skeletons and preserved butterflies
Photos of the family--
Ceations the children have made themselves-- I love when kids raid teh recycle bin and build robots or dinosaurs from recyclabes. craft things like sculptures, paintings, bead bracelets, that sort of thing.
Special but not too special momentos or collections-- money from a forgein country is cool, great grandpa's ireplacable pocket watch is not cool,
Fav books are fun too
It's nice if you practice with your little one so they know a little bit about the object. and can answer questions.