I was writing a post on wooden toys for another blog I’m trying to get off the ground (got to find something to do with my excess time, ha) and it got me thinking about my ‘policy’ on toys.
Since Isabel’s birth I have insisted (quite vocally, surprise surprise) on natural toys. Wooden blocks and puzzles, handmade dolls, traditional crafts. Cheap plastic toys tend to be so prescriptive — you can only really play with them a couple of ways — whereas a big tub of wooden blocks can be stacked, can be made into buildings, thrown at the cats … (only half joking)
Not everyone has listened to my requests, of course; we’ve received noisy plastic tat and hideous mass-marketed stuffed toys, but I try not to let those overshadow the likes of the colourful Grimm’s rainbow, her traditional rocking crib (irony) and the adorable wooden breakfast set that Karl’s mum bought for Christmas.
Isabel has a collection of some very nice — & even some very expensive (nearly £50 for that rainbow!) — toys but I know that they’re going to last. The best thing about them is that she can get as much out of them as she wants (talking both creatively and time span) and then they’ll still be up for the job with Oliver. If we have a third, they’ll be great for him or her too.
I couldn’t see her playing with a Barbie over her Boris doll (above), or a plastic Peppa Pig (or whatever craptastic cartoon character is popular right now) instead of her wooden lacing beads. It takes every bit of my willpower not to spend a fortune at shops like Little Woodlanders on etsy.
The toys we’ve received that I don’t like? Well, let’s just say the local charity shop does OK on us.
My name is Jem Turner and I am a toy snob.