Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The cheapest toys are the best

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Jenny shares her thoughts about kids toys...

I was thrilled to learn recently about the newest entry into the American National Toy Hall of Fame: the stick.

“Curators said the stick was a special addition in the spirit of a 2005 inductee, the cardboard box. They praised its all-purpose, no-cost, recreational qualities, noting its ability to serve either as raw material or an appendage transformed in myriad ways by a child's creativity. ‘It's very
open-ended, all-natural, the perfect price there aren't any rules or instructions for its use,’ said Christopher Bensch, the museum's curator of collections.”

This is quite a contrast from the latest toys and gadgets for kids that are being advertised for Christmas… such as Kota the Triceratops, a “life-size” baby dinosaur that “comes to life with realistic electronic sounds and motion” available now for only $299!

As a cheapskate parent, I find this news very reassuring. Sure, I’d love to have the disposable income to shell out for Kota – and don’t tell my 4-year-old that such a thing exists or I will never hear the end of the plaintive pleading! – but I know in my heart that my little girl will have more fun and make greater leaps developmentally by using her imagination to turn a cardboard box into a fort, a string into a lasso, a coffee filter into a crown, and a stick into a sword.

But of course, my kid will not find a stick in her stocking this Christmas! More on bargain shopping for quality holiday gifts next week…

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  1. Anonymous2:10 pm

    I saw Kota at Costco this weekend. I shielded my daughter's eyes, and felt sorry for the poor dad who was trying to get his two boys off the thing.

    The toilet paper/paper towel cardboard roller should also be in the hall of fame - cheap, accessible, all sorts of possibilities.

  2. Thanks for your comment! I totally agree about the cardboard roll -- my daughter has spent many happy hours using it as a telescope!

    LOL re: shielding your daughter's eyes from Kota -- I feel the same way now that it's being advertised between shows on treehouse tv.


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