Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Best Toys

A four-year-old has about the attention span of... a three-year-old, and almost nothing can be done to hold his or her attention for more than a few minutes.

We tried everything from Guitar Hero ("Play this! Play this!") to knock-off Play-Doh (Fun Dough, maybe?). I even embarked on a Let's-All-Help-Kimberly-Make-Dinner Adventure, and somehow flour traveled from the table to Markus' clothes to the couch, and Dan had to get out the vacuum cleaner it was so bad, but there was plenty of running around and very little sitting still. Even the Powerpuff Girls and the Veggietales were no match for the itty-bitty attention span of a couple of young children. After trying all this, I got out the basket of knitted and crocheted toys and swatches I had stored in my yarn area.

I was absolutely pleased to see this soft, non-noise-making, flashing-light-less, homemade collection of acrylic yarn creations become the focus of attention for well over 15 minutes. Their mom got some sleep, I got some editing in while giving a few imagination prompts here and there, and the two four-year-olds were happily feeding hotdogs and popcorn to the bunny and turtle and putting the chicken's hat on the alien's antenna.

I've given away a lot more of these than I have left, but after watching them come to life for a while, I want there to be more.

Did you have a favorite homemade toy when you were young? Do you have a favorite now?

If you were playing with my basket of toys, what would you hope to find?


Steve Athanas said...

You know, it's interesting. As a kid, my grandmother used to make me a bunch of crocheted and knitted toys, and I never liked them that much; I always went for the stuff with flashing lights. It wasn't that I didn't like homemade things - I liked the blankets and pillows - just not the toys. Strangely, now when Danielle makes something I really enjoy it. The smaller they are, the more I like them. Odd, huh?

What you need for your collection is a small dinosaur.

Danielle A. said...

My Nana never made toys other than those curly clowns (which is the only pattern I have of hers!), so most of what I had homemade was mittens, hats, and blankets. However, my stepdad made us this awesome ramp for our matchbox cars out of a large speaker box (from those 1980's stereo systems). He propped the Little People Parking Garage up on a bookcase, then made the ramp and put it at the end of the parking garage ramp. We would crank the cars up the car-elevator, and then they would fly down the ramp and through the kitchen. It was awesome.