With the temperatures firmly in the negative degrees this morning, I am more grateful than ever for the choices we made regarding the toys we bought the kids for Christmas this year. We tried to stick with toys that were open-ended and encouraged independent play, and I think I can declare our mission a success!
They each got a castle, plus some good guys and animals. Em got a beautiful Ostheimer family and Jax now has a full regimen of Playmobil soldiers to accompany their Melissa and Doug characters and Em’s dollhouse. Not to mention some extra special gifts from some extra special friends–
a real He-Man and She-Ra doll for each of them! Em needed a female superhero and Jax was lucky enough to inherit his Uncle Chris’s old He-Man. Add all this together with a dose of potty training for the big girl (and a Spiderman costume for her bro), and I had some awesome fun on my hands! All I had to do was leave them to their own devices, add a big cardboard box, and observe two kids playing happily together.
There were rescue missions, picnics, tea parties…these toys are a godsend! Add a cool key for jail breaks–
–and a touch of classic stories, and the kids were suddenly reenacting the story of Stone Soup. Awesome.
The payoff for encouraging the kids to read, play together, use their imaginations, and have independent play was worth it! Watching them play so well together is all the reward I need.