As Jamie gets older and more interested in playing with toys, I've really been paying attention to all the "stuff" that's "out there". And as I wander the aisles of Target or Wal-Mart, I'm finding that there isn't really much I want to buy. Most of the toys today are simply full of "bells and whistles" and I don't like that you have to push buttons to learn something. What happened to creativity?
Last week I bought him a few toys at a garage sale. I'm constantly looking for older Fisher Price or Playskool toys that are in excellent condition. At my mom's house some of Jamie's favorites which were toys she saved from my brother, sister, and my childhood are this old Fisher Price train (minus the green car):
and this Fisher Price cottage. (Among many other vintage toys he also loves.)
Here's a great toy. I picked up 3 of these Creative Blocks sets for a $1.00! (not new in package, just the blocks & rods, but brand new looking)
There are a lot of educational toys out there, from great companies, however most of them cost big bucks. (Back to the old arguement that more money=a better education) So I'd rather check out craigslist, ebay, or garage sales for some classics at reasonable prices. Don't get me wrong, Fisher Price still makes some good stuff, we own the new Little People Animal Sounds Farm-which is a definite improvement and adorable...but there's something about those "old skool" toys where you had to make your own sounds and movements which I think is so much better for child development.
I've also been thinking about the commercialism and marketing of toys to children and to put it bluntly, I think it sucks. One of the worst offenders is Disney. I'm thinking about my cousin's daughter who has Disney Princess everything. Sheets, posters, lamp, dolls, clothes, cups, shoes, toothbrush...it goes on and on. I remember as a kid-sure I saw Cinderella and loved her-but I didn't own everything associated with her. I think it's wonderful for children to imagine and pretend and want to be a princess-but I think I'm going to try to steer my kids away from the commercial aspects. Be your own Princess! I say try because kids see this stuff everywhere including school, stores, friends homes, on clothing, cereal boxes, etc. etc. I imagine it's going to be a challenge.