Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Bob's Top 5... Toys

Harry is your typical 'boy' I suppose. He is completely vehicle crazy (cars in particular, but anything with wheels or wings will suffice) and spends every spare moment racing or playing with his cars. However, he does also enjoy his other toys - he loves pretend play and seems to concoct detailed scernarios every night at bed time with his 'animals' of which we hear snippets over the baby monitor. Sometimes he even seems to be doing it in his sleep!

So, here are Bob's top 5 toys of the moment:

1. Die-cast cars - he speicifically likes the ones that are definable makes and models. He dislikes others - dismissing them as 'just a toy car'. Top favourites at the moment are his Mercedes A Class and his new Ferrari. He has ALOT of these cars as he does get one every now and then for being a good boy during the weekly shop. I'd rather buy him a car for 67p than sweets or chocolate, so it works for me! The exception to the favourite makes and models of cars are his 'Cars' cars (are you keeping up with me here, lol!) - Lightning McQueen and friends. He loves to pretend play with them, talking, racing, playing hide and seek - you name it - these guys have all the fun! Sometimes I despair of his obsession with cars, but playing with them has taught him so much! First he learned colours, then numbers, then some letters. He now knows all the car logos and what they mean, so definitely understanding 'reading' - he knows lots of specific models, and remembers them - able to point them out in different colours and styles. He bamboozles me with his knowledge sometimes, able to name the old and new Nissan Micra for example. So, I guess his obsession has taught him a lot of useful and transferable skills!

2. Brio Train Set - Harry's love of his Brio train set is enduring! Some weeks it is all he wants to play with, and he asks for it first thing in the morning and plays with it all day - some days he plays with cars instead. I love the Brio trainset, although it can be quite tricky to understand the specific rules of whatever Harry has chosen to play on any given day. Daddy and I compete with making the best tracks, and it is a great toy to add to each birthday/Christmas. The train set will probably be making its way up to Harry's room when it is finally complete as it will probably be one of those toys that he won't appreciate Baby Archie playing with quite yet! The Brio set has really helped Harry's fine and gross motor skills what with the intricacies of fixing his tracks (which he has to do himself more often than not since Archie has come along) and the careful avoidance of breaking the tracks in the first place, which is no mean feat!

3. WOW Toys - These are another enduring favourite in our house. We were first introduced to them by my sister who bought a couple for Harry's first birthday. The men are a great size for small fingers, and are - in my opinion - a better size than Happyland/similar for little ones to play with. All our figures have names thanks to Harry - named after friends and family, and he always remembers which are which! We have a fair few now, and they are quite big toys, however, once again they are smaller than some of the other play systems so not quite as bulky to store. The larger toys are interactive - for example the rubbish truck has bins you can lever into the back, and the combine harvester feeds through hay bales. Most of the toys have a very satisfying 'driving' noise and they are of the push and go variety - some of the smaller ones, like the quad bikes and motorcyles don't. Harry will play for a long time with these and I feel that the inclusion of the 'men' is good for his imaginative play (although he does also have great conversations with his cars!)

4. Tom - Harry's favourite 'cuddly' for play time has to be 'Tom'. I looked everywhere for a little boy doll. I wanted more of a 'playmate' for Harry than a baby doll. I was remembering fondly the doll that my nieces and nephews used to have from Boots that had a rucksack, hat and removable clothes and was kind of like an explorer. However, I couldn't find anything similar in the shops (it was at least 15 years ago that I remember this doll, so I guess I will forgive them for not making it any more!) Then whilst in Spain in a shop called 'Imaginarium' we found Tom. Harry immediately took to him, although he was quite young at the time. It's only recently that he has become a real 'firm favourite'. Tom now shares Harry's bed with some other favourite cuddlies and we often take him out and about in the baby carrier (this is so cute!). Harry brings him downstairs each morning and I think it was a real comfort for him to take a friendly face on holiday.

5. Doggy - OK, OK, toys that I have named for Harry show I am not very imaginative, I know! I have improved though - my own baby doll was called 'Lucy' because I couldn't think of any other name! Harry also has Donkey, Monkey and Mouse! Doggy is the first and favourite though. He has had him since he was born - another present from my sister Amy. He retains a cuddly milky smell from many baby cuddles. When we were going through hell and back trying to get Harry to sleep, Doggy was one of the sleep aids we tried. It never really worked for him as a little baby, but as he has grown older it is a definite comfort item. We said from the start that Doggy was to be a bedtime only toy. I didn't really want Harry to take his 'special' toy out and about where he could be lost. Doggy stays in Harry's bed all the time and has only ever been downstairs when he has been ill. I particularly love these Jellycat cuddlies, they are so so soft when new and are just the right level of snuggliness. Archie currently has one in his bed too which we are hoping will one day give him the same level of comfort.

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