Thursday, November 12, 2009

Toy Ideas

The train, top, rattles, and the nested toys..

I used to love my childhood toys, the lakka pidatalu I used to call them, the cooking set, the touch of color. Those were the toys from Etikoppaka. A wonderful place. I once heard about an organization which collects unused or used and stored-away toys for children in orphanages, slums, etc. and felt okay, why do we need to do that.. why dont we gather books, clothes, or money and get them educated. How wrong was I ? When I see the glow in my daughter's eyes when she sees or plays with a toy, when I see the school kids come play with my daughter wholeheartedly with her toys and feel really really grateful for that, I realize why. That is CHILDHOOD, the joy, the unadulterated happiness that comes with small pleasures, toys, that is... I have decided that I would go ahead and give away all the kid's toys once she grows up keeping just a couple of them for keepsake.

Toy selection is a huge task, but the traditional wooden toys made out of non-toxic tree dyes, and vegetable dyes are the ones that I prefer for the kiddo apart from the whole range of educational toys from Fisher-Price or Funskool.

On one hand, it would be like encouraging the handicrafts of India and on the other, it is good for her to chew on or play with which she does most of the times and yeah they are washable too..

I got her first rattle from Kalanjali, a bit too expensive is what I felt later on when I got the same from the local exhibition the other day for another kid... the rattle that cost me 150 at Kalanjali, cost me just 25 in the exhibition. Was there any difference, minimal if any. So, I would say, do visit those handicraft exhibitions and help the craftsman rather than feed the already rich mall owners.

Also, I personally prefer wooden/cloth toys rather than the plastic ones.. green parenting :).. but you can ask me what is green about cutting down the trees and making them into toys... point!! BUT I would rather have my kid lick/suck/bite on non-toxic dye toys than the plastic ones, which can cause lead poisoning or something like that.

The nested Indian dolls... the set of 6 nested in each other, love this one..

I remember playing with mud, sand, pebbles when I was a kid storing them in each doll :). However, for the LO I take out the last 3 and give the remaining set, 'cos I am a little scared she might choke on them. It is very much affordable too 150/- I would say is a steal for the amount of work put in for this one... and yes, the train cost me 180/-, the long rattle 25/-, and the round rattle was from Kalaanjali that cost me 150/-... and guess what the tiny toy in the first pic is, it is a top :) at 10/-. How lucky LO is, I remember the days when I used to make a top or get one made by my granny used black clay and a broom stick stem (cheepuru pulla).. but yeah, the joy of a hand-made top is altogether different :).

PS: Originally posted in my personal blog, I paste it here 'cos it might be a reference material :).

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