Thursday, April 7, 2011

big box of toys

When she turned three, there was this mental border I crossed in thinking of Bean as a toddler to thinking of her as this compact preschooler-child-person. It happened mostly because of the common "for ages three and up" warning on toys.

Not that I'm running around the toy aisles willy-nilly grabbing items off the shelves that previously I had considered out of Bean's depth only a month ago---- but what I have been doing is thinking of one word: LONGEVITY. Not many toys have it. They are awesome and fun and So! Darn! Fantastic! for about five minutes---- and then they sit in the bottom of the toy basket forever more.

I've done my best to avoid Quick Toy Death, but as Bean is at this weird precarious age between toddler and school-age, where she is more interested in her stuffed buddies than a doll, where she likes to play with Little People, but will only do so for about ten minutes and then loses interest--- I'm trying to figure out her Toy Personality and I'm failing a little. She's just not a dolly girl. But she does love to play mommy to Elmo or Olivia or her blue monster Hurp. She also loves tiny things: so even while she's ignoring the full-sized dolls in her bedroom, she carts around Strawberry Shortcake in her pocket - laying her down on tiny pillows and underneath equally tiny blankets next to small plastic figures of Elmo and Oscar the Grouch. She still loves the play food and dishes. They were great choices a year ago and great toys even now.

So what do you think? It's not like I have a birthday to shop for (we gave her a tricycle that loves but doesn't know how to peddle--- and if anyone wants to clue me in on how to teach a three-year-old to peddle a tricycle, that would be awesome). But I'm just curious. Toys on the brain, I guess. And thinking of Christmas about a million months away.

In your experience - whether it's your own or with your kids, what would you say are the best toys for lasting beyond five minutes for a three-year-old?


Rose said...

My experience with kids shows favor to things that let kids be creative. Things to build with (there's so many out there to build with... pick your favorite). I love seeing my kids latest creations. "Look at my (fill in the blank)!"

Bird said...

So I have two thoughts:
1. It's really hard to predict which toy they ate going to live because they are 3 and define logic.
2. My parents bought Fussbot a Playmobil "Safari"
set and it has been AMAZING! It's got all the little action figure-y animals and people that he can then use as he desires but also has a set in which they play (green base w some trees and rocks etc) so it can also give their play some structure. Also it has a car piece which is a requirement for any to to enter our home. But overall versitile and fun.

Jayme said...

My boys (who are almost two, not three) currently seem to enjoy twigs and sticks from outside, instead of anything we've paid for LOL

Alicia said...

I agree with Rose on creative things, and Bird on making predictions.

Overall, I give all toys very low marks. I think kids just really don't LIKE them. Even though they think they do. My kids play with almost none of their toys, but they're constantly on the floor somehow anyway. They just never actually PLAY with them. Well, I take that back. They play with them for <5 minutes, and then I think they're like, "WTF. This is boring."

When she's just a TINY bit older, you can play GAMES, which all kids seem to love. We got Griffon a game called Busytown for Christmas (so, right around 3 1/2 at the time). VERY GOOD. Alice is probably ready for it. It's non-competitive, and the whole family can play (it's even kinda FUN). Just be prepared to alter your standards for what constitutes a "mystery." I have lots of recommendations for older kids' games too; Busytown is probably the only one I've seen for the 3-year-old set.

Anything creative... dress up, old phones, glasses, drivers licenses, etc. Art stuff. Sidewalk chalk. Make homemade play-doh (doubly fun with the *making* part). Gardening stuff.

tearese said...

Have you tried building toys, like legos? Right now my almost-two-year-old loves them, but the older two (3 and 5) also enjoy creating things with them. Elora has loved anything creative, like crayons, water colors, colored paper, etc.
Plus, strange things may become a hit. We had these $# nerf rocket toys, and my kids quickly ruined the foamy part of the toy, but have figured out how to make trumpet noises out of the plastic part, and they use them as instruments now!

tearese said...

oh, that's $3.