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You Still Have Time to Vote!

For 2012’s worst “Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children.”

Wow.

Destructive is such a strong word, as is oppressive.

What are some of these dastardly things?

Hmmm, you’ll find a Lego Friends product, as well as a Fisher Price toy, and even a ball.

Personally, I kind of hate all of the “smart” Fisher Price toys.  They creep me out.

Voting ends December 5, so hurry!

 

 

Glinda’s Picks from the Amazon Hot 100 List

Yup, it’s here.  That magical time when we struggle with whether to buy something online or in the store.  For me, online wins about 98% of the time.

So, in no particular order, here is a list of my toy picks from the Amazon Top 100.  Enjoy.

This is pretty much everywhere this holiday season.  I don’t know how it compares to apps on your smartphone, but at least it is something that is theirs and theirs alone, which has something to be said for it.

You can NEVER go wrong with Lego.  NEVER.

I think this toy wins the title of longest name.  But kids sure do love them some Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

If you’ve got a kid in the right age range, remember what I said up there.

No matter what you think of the feminist aspects of this toy, it is selling like hotcakes.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with bringing an app to life in your own home.

My own little person cannot get enough Little People.

Very clever toy with a gazillion things to do.

The duct tape thing is SO hot right now.  It’s a little ridiculous.  But I am all for encouraging creativity.

We have this here and it is very cute indeed.

Another good outlet for all that creativity.

I have so far resisted the siren call of these little babies, but I may not be able to for much longer.

Yet another toy where it is impossible to go wrong.

The newest Imaginext set for the holidays.

OK, I kind of want these for me.

 

Why Board Games are Still the Best

As a child, I can scarcely remember an occasion when a meal at my grandparents was not followed by a round of Clue or Connect 4.

It is a crying shame that traditional board games such as these are being replaced in our children’s lives by computer-based activities. I find it hard to imagine my children sitting down with grandma for a few games of Need for Speed or FIFA. This is why it is important to keep the games of our childhood alive through our own kids.

How many happy memories do you have of family games of Scrabble as a child? Arguing with your sister over how you spell queue or keeping an eye on granddad to make sure he isn’t cheating again creates real closeness between family members, and it seems a shame that this is being replaced by the largely-solitary pursuit of computer gaming in our children’s lives.

This may all just be me thinking with my nostalgia-tinged glasses on again, but I have always enjoyed the tactile quality of board games too. There is something quite satisfying about the elaborate setting up games like Mouse Trap needed before you could get down to the serious task of playing them.

Despite this, without doubt my favourite board game ever has to be Cluedo. I think I loved it originally because my sister hated it and I just wanted to be contrary, but after a while it took top spot on its own merit. Whereas in many board games your success is as much down to chance as it is to skill, Cluedo required cunning and strategy, and a Cluedo victory always tasted somehow sweeter than any other.

I know my children are both asking for computer games this Christmas, but I am going to make sure I get them a classic board game each too. Then, when the turkey is bare and the crackers have been pulled, I will make sure we all stay around the table and have a huge family game of Monopoly.

It is childhood moments such as this which you recall fondly as an adult pulling a dusty game out from the back of a cupboard, and I hope by creating the situation for my children they may repeat this process when they are older.

Monday Teeny Poll

90% of you do not agree with the rather heavy-handed tactics planned by New York City to promote breastfeeding to new moms.  While I think we can all agree that it would be ideal if everybody could breastfeed, the harsh reality is that no, not every single mother can breastfeed.   Whether it be due to health conditions, failure to latch properly, failure to produce enough milk, or simply having to go back to work, breastfeeding is difficult for many.  To assume all mothers should breastfeed exclusively is to not live in reality.

Today I’m sort of excited about this.

My Daughter’s Favorite Toy? The Kindle

Sad, isn’t it?

Sure my daughter likes to pretend to feed her dolls, build amazingly tall block towers, and terrorize the neighborhood in her Cozy Coupe, but no toy evokes the frenzied response of an addict quite like the Kindle.

It has been quite disconcerting to observe the ease in which she has figured out all of the electronic devices in our home.  She was doing things on my cell phone that I didn’t even know it was capable of doing.  And far too easily she learned how to slide the little arrow over to unlock the Pandora’s box that is our Kindle.

Of course there is nothing bad on it, as it is primarily for our son, but I can’t help but think I am somehow neurologically altering her by exposing her to the Kindle.  That I am betraying thousands of years of evolution just to make my life a little easier.

But it is sometimes the only thing that will keep her sitting in one place for more than five minutes.   And I have to admit, it isn’t a foolproof method either, as I found out at our year end meeting with our homeschool educational advisor.  I don’t normally take her to my son’s educational meetings, but this time I had no choice, and it turned out badly for all involved.  When the advisor turns to you and tells you that she will be praying for you and your strong-willed daughter to get through this difficult period, it definitely gives you pause.

Maybe I am the one who is addicted to the half hour or so of quiet that I get when she sits with the Kindle.

If there’s a 12 Step program for it, I’ll be the first to sign up.

But for some reason, I think I’m not the only parent who cheats a little with the ease of today’s electronics.

Well, if I’m wrong, then just go ahead and lie in the comments to make me feel better.

 

Things I Love: Imaginarium Bouncy Horse

This toy is practically perfect.

It is beyond sturdy, (my 9 year old can ride on it quite violently and it holds up just fine) is low noise-producing, (unlike that damn cat piano my sister bought) and it promotes physical activity.

If you’ve got a 2-3 year old, look no further for your next toy purchase.  We got this as a gift for Christmas, and it is used a LOT, which is saying something for a two year old with a short attention span.

They only sell this at Toys R Us, so accept no substitutes.

Toys I Apparently Should Never Have Gotten Rid Of

Care Bears, selling for $1200

Pound Puppy, selling for $5000

Furby, going for $500

Cabbage Patch Kid, yours for $2000

Stretch Armstrong figures (God, who didn’t have at least one of these and beat the crud out of it?)  $17,800

 

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Lego, I’m Disappointed

You may have heard by now that Lego has come out with a new line designed specifically for girls.

And you know, I’m good with that. I think that even though the concept of Lego is universal, not every girl wants to build police cars and assault vehicles and whatnot.

But this?

This seems just a bit too genderized for me. I don’t have a problem with having things like the tree house or the pet house, but why oh why does everything have to have pink and purple? Could they have not launched the new sets with regular colors?

This is an old advertisement from the 70’s (I think) in which the girl, admittedly a bit tomboy-ish looking, is holding a creation built out of standard Lego bricks.

What happened between then and now?

I had my own Lego sets in the 70’s, and granted, it was a “house” set with a kitchen and living room, but I loved it. It wasn’t pink or purple or glittery, and yet it was one of my favorite toys.

Imagine that!

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