Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Preface to My Favorite Toys

I have been working here for just about 4 years. I've had mom's tell me I should be a toy consultant, and sometimes, I don't think that's too bad of an idea. I love toys and playing. And I think that I have gained an amazing knowledge about toys, especially in how they have progressed over time. That is because many of the items in the toy library are the part of the original collection, when it began almost 25 years ago. I can see how many toys were ahead of their time.

Discovery Toys, for example, it's a great brand, highly trusted, but also, the toys are just different than others. They are multifaceted. For example, the Measure Up Cups aren't just stacking and nesting cups. They are also numbered, have animals engraved on the bottom, can be used for patterning AND they are volumetrically correct. I know a child may not appreciate all of these qualities, but the adult buying them sure does. Any toy that can teach more than one concept is pretty great, in my opinion.

I've seen Fisher Price change dramatically. Not only in their Little People brand of toys but also in their infant/toddler toys. In this collection, we have Little People that are small-wooden, small-plastic, chunky-plastic, "realistic"-plastic... For a short period of time I was seeing another version of Little People that were flexible, but they must not have lasted long. What also has amazed me, is that when you look at the small Little People, they were not multicultural, there was just white. Now they have a better representation, they even have Hanukkah play set (as well as a Nativity Scene, Christmas and Kwanzaa). The infant/toddler toys used to be very simple, and now they are electronic and noisey. They count, they say the ABC's. They speak Spanish! It amazes me.

Now that I have waned nostalgic about different toy companies and my love for them, I'll get to my point. I think I know toys pretty well and I know how the children interact with them. So in my next post, I am going to chose some of my favorite toys in this toy library. I do not have the most rigid criteria, by the way. Some are my favorite because because I know children love them, some for their educational purposes, and others, well, I genuinely like playing with them still :-), I think that says something.

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