Saturday, June 28, 2008

Favorite Toys

As a mother of four, I've watched my children latch onto favorite toys. Each one so far has had definite preferences from the time they were very tiny.

Naive mom that I was, I assumed that because A-- was a boy, he would like cars. Not so. He ignored every car and truck I put in front of him. A-- loved fans. I mean he really loved fans. And extension cords. He was the only 2-year-old I knew who had his own fan and his own extension cord. One of his favorite games to play was to hook together as many extension cords as possible, plug his fan into the very last one, and then plug into the wall. For some reason, he found it fascinating to get the fan as far as he possibly could from the outlet and then turn it on. He would do this at my parents house for hours. (They have a huge lawn and lots of power cords, so he could get the fan pretty far away.) He also had a baby doll ("Baby Gus") that he played with a lot. Unusual toys for an unusual kid.

S-- was the Matchbox/Hot Wheels car kid. He would spend hours when he was just tiny "parking" every tiny car he could lay his hands on. At first I was worried that he might try to put the cars in his mouth (choking hazard), but he was too consumed with lining them up. We found some books that came with little cars that quickly became his favorites, especially the "Wash Me" book. It came with a tiny VW bug car. In our house, to this day, VW bugs are referred to as "Wash Me Cars." S-- was obsessed with Wash Me Cars. Eventually, he outgrew little cars and moved on to Legos. Good for him, not so good for my bare feet. Have you ever stepped on one of those pieces with your bare feet? Ouchymama, that hurts.

T-- came along and picked up S--'s cars, but his preferences were on a slightly larger scale. We found Little Tykes to be a good resource for him, until he decided that forklifts (pronounced "fork-fifts") were where it's at. (Have you ever tried to find a toy forklift? Yikes.) Luckily, I found a really nice wood one last year for Christmas that he absolutely loves.

As for little J--, who knows? Will it be cars? dolls? power tools? I can't wait to find out.

So why blog about favorite toys? Well, because I, too, have a favorite toy. I've had it for as long as I can remember, and I still have it. And it's still my favorite.

I have a thing with marbles and marble runs. I remember being fascinated by them when I was very tiny. There's a picture somewhere of me and my younger brother at Christmas with these marble toys (his was blue, mine was pink). They were plastic columns with sections that had marbles inside. You could move the marbles from compartment to compartment, as I recall. I loved it. Sadly, it no longer exists. But I still have my Tumble Tower. I still play with it.

So how about you? What was your favorite toy as a kid?