In the same way that we can all remember our favourite toy as a kid, parents usually want their children to experience the same joy with those toys that they did. Did you have Cabbage Patch Dolls or My Little Pony? Did you collect Forrest Families? Were you constantly terrorising your sister with a slimy stretchy hand or collect Micro Machines? Do you have a box of your toys in a cupboard somewhere or do your kids get to play with them? One of the hot trends identified at this year’s Spielwarenmesse was Retro Mania – toys that we grew up with and toys that look like they come straight from the 50s!
The first was this new and improved version of the Tamagotchi – and I was shocked to think that this is a retro toy. Tamagotchi’s sparked a craze in the 90s. 17 years after their first release they are now available as Tamagotchi Friends. Bumping them against each other allows them to communicate, they can go on “play dates” and have an iPhone and Android app.
The next retro toy was a mini radio which the child can assemble – and it really works!
Or how about this stove from Grandma’s?
IMHO I don’t really think that a digital take on an old toy qualifies as a retro trend, but what if the toy was digital to begin with? What do you think?
If you’d like to take a trip down memory lane, why not visit this blog for slinkies, snap bangles and sticky hands?
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 can you do with your Bilibo? Who can you be?
What toys would you nominate as classics? All suggestions welcome, and happy playing!