We recently undertook a rather overdue cleaning of the boys' toy room, and ended up not only with a cleaner space, but also some new favorite toys. Underneath all of the dress up clothes, cars, science experiments and LEGO (of course LEGO!) they unearthed a box of Lincoln Logs.
They spent a good part of the afternoon building wilderness outposts and trading shacks, saloons and corrals.
As for me, I got to thinking how much these older toys still grab our kids attention (when they have the time and space to explore them). When I look at the toys that kids go back to over and over again, they are simple, durable (and often made out of natural materials), plain, and flexible. You can make almost anything with them if you put your mind to it, rather than a toy or game that can only be used in one way. They also get the kids relying on their imaginations to create the story line, rather than acting out the latest Disney movie plot.
I guess it is an extension of the toddler who plays with the box more than the new toy, right?
So if we know this, why on earth is there still such a market for restrictive, cheap, plastic toys? Do we forget? Do we not trust what we all know to be true? Or are we also taken in by the advertisement champagnes of the biggest toy companies? Whatever it is, my goal is to stop it. I don't have the money to waste on toys that they are not interested in, and the boys happiness is more important than what commercials tell me they need.
As for now, I think that we have some Tinker Toys around here somewhere...