In a day and age where children are drawn to the latest branded and battery-operated toys, as an occupational therapist I’m searching for classic toys. By classic, I mean toys that in their simplicity afford children multiple developmental opportunies – for gross and fine motor skills, creative and imaginative thinking, perceptual development, sensory exploration, role playing and interaction with others.
History has given a few obvious classics. Building blocks can be so much more than towers. They can be cars, gates and trains. Villages and cities. Snakes and elephants. castles and dungeons. Pathways and roadblocks. Another homemade toy is the cotton reel – which can be turned into anything from wheels to french knitting.
Today I would like to introduce to you the Bilibo. This is a dome-shaped bucket/recepticle, with a wavy edge and two holes. It’s hard to describe for you because it’s not a “thing” that we are familiar with. In it’s very uniqueness comes the challenge – what is it? What can I do with it? How do I play with it? And through these questions, the child starts to explore the essence of play. Although not a classic, it will be lauded in the future for its unique contribution to development in a technologically focused world. To read more, go to http://www.bilibo.com
What toys would you nominate as classics? All suggestions welcome, and happy playing!