Gearing up for Toy Fair next week- we are beginning to see some really cool toys being announced this year.
When I look at toys the very first question I ask myself is- will this toy call out to a child…’“play with me”? If the answer is no, I keep walking.
When I was a child my sister had a favorite- Little Lost Baby (anyone remember her??). We couldn’t go anywhere without her. Once we were on the road for close to an hour- traveling to upstate NY- when we suddenly realized my sister had forgotten her baby doll! The panic! So my Dad did what any parent in such a predicament would do- turned the car right around to go back and get her.
So what made Little Lost Baby so special? She called to my sister “Play with me!” You see, Little Lost Baby was both versatile and snugly- it was in essence what I describe as, yummy! She had 3 or 4 different faces that changed by a mechanism in the back of her neck. She would cry or laugh or coo…or of course sleep and with the exception of her face… the doll was soft and snuggable. My sister slept with her every night.
When it comes to plush toys- a child should be able to hug it, to love it, and to sleep ON it…even if it does cool things . This year you will see new plush items hitting the market, like Animal Planet’s endangered species line. These plush animals not only move and make sounds… they are a great learning tool for kids, making them aware of the animals that risk extinction…and the best part is– they’re soft! (Yummy!)
I have some favorite Toy Story toys that will be on shelves this holiday season. Some will call to your child for the yumminess and some will call to your child for the down right “coolness” -Like the new Toy Story Mr Potato Head- No matter how cool Mr. Potato Head is (and he is awesome), he is still the real deal that you can take apart, put together and change his expressions. Kids love that.
We saw some cool trucks calling to our little boys this past holiday season. They sang, danced and rolled to you when called like Tonka Chuck and Matchbox’s Rocky the Robot Truck -but the greatest part of these trucks? They can also be played with just like a regular truck, so if the batteries aren’t them, or a child wants to fill the truck up with dirt or toys- they can! These kinds of toys provides imaginative enjoyment for years.
Building sets have called “play with me” to children for years because it is like finding a brand new toy every time it comes out of the box. My kids used to love the playmobil circus set when they were younger. The big top would take quite a while to rebuild each time..but each time the kids would use the set to tell a different story. That’s the beauty of blocks- your child can build a castle one day and a city the next- changing out the characters & making their experience different time after time.
This year as our children get more computer savvy, we will be seeing more and more toys where kids can actually create and download their own apps! Manufactures know that computers are calling to our children each day, so they are finding new and exciting ways to incorporate that appeal into their toys.
So whether your child is engaging because of technology, creativity, or simply cuddling- the bottom line when checking out all of the cool new toys, like those being announced next week at Toy Fair is to make sure that toy screams “PLAY WITH ME”.
If the answer is “yes!”- don’t let it pass you by!
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