My sister and my 2 ½ year old niece visited me recently and as they were flying over from the UK, they couldn’t bring that many toys. Being a doting aunt, I do have a selection of toys which I have bought since my niece arrived and so there wasn’t any boredom. I have always loved toys and still find it difficult to pass any good toy store without going in for a browse! I had a fabulous dolls’ house as a child which my dad had made himself – I used to get a new storey for Christmas every year until it was three storeys high. Looking back, it was a very 70s affair with brown and orange wallpaper and orange settee but it did also have working lights with little light switches and a kitchen with a sink and stove. I loved it!
My niece, like all children of that age, has an enormous amount of energy when it comes to playing and over those few days I was woken up with toys already in hand. Role-play is becoming important and she loves “going shopping” – my sister and I both loved pretend shopping as kids, probably because we were imitating our parents.
These days, I enjoy wandering around flea markets looking at antique toys and my niece already owns some 60s and 70s Playmobil that I have found on my travels. So many of the toys and games I see today have become so much part of a throwaway consumer society that it is doubtful any of them will survive the next year, let alone centuries like some of the items I have found in the archive.
We probably all still have an inner child who loves to play and most of us live it our in the presents we give to our kids, nieces and nephews and our friends’ kids. Just don’t hog the Lego!