Dr. Toy: Basics Are Better

It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new children’s toys and products in the marketplace. You have more to think about and consider then ever before. Before you feel overwhelmed, consider the importance of basics. What did you enjoy playing with as a child? Your child will enjoy those toys, too.

While you search for the new toys, keep in mind the ones you still remember years later. Do you remember the fun of playing with Etch-A-Sketch®, Slinky®, or a yo-yo? I can still recall the fun of trying to pick up all the Jacks on one bounce. Do you recall Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head®, Tinker Toys, ERECTOR® sets, and your Lionel trains? Can you still swing a HULA HOOP®? Use a jump rope? Pickup Sticks? These are just a few of the basic toys that can make it to your child’s Toy Hit Parade.

What makes a toy a classic? What qualities endure? Teddy bears never go out of style. They grow with the child. Beautiful dolls from Raggedy Anne to American Dolls come in all sizes, colors, and styles to last a lifetime. Puppets are great fun, plus they help your children learn and improve communication. Books are essential and open up a world of possibilities. Marbles develop enduring skills. Chess and checkers improve logic. Bubble pipes are always fun, especially at bath time. Beanbags can be tossed inside on a rainy day. Board games, blocks, and Slinky® never lose appeal.

So while you feel pressured to buy the newest, shiniest, most impressive new high tech products, remember that your child always benefits from low tech and the basics. Your child, like mine, will enjoy hearing about the fun you had with a toy. They want to hear about your electric train and learn about the model town layout you and your father built. Your child will want to imagine the doll or dollhouse you cherished.

When you can easily recall how you felt about your toy friends, it is easy to understand the special place toys have in your child’s life. Take time with your child to visit a local antique toy show. Enjoy the magic of yesterday’s toys. Play is a tradition never out of date. Great old toys are always new.

Let’s play!

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