As a mother, I’ve been through the days of “Gotta Have” toys and “I don’t have anything to play with” whining.
But I also have fond memories of a little boy sitting in the kitchen cabinet with an aluminum sauce pan on his head as a helmet and a bigger pan upside-down before him as a drum. With a wooden spoon to use as a drumstick, he amused himself for hours at a time.
We did things like make a tent by spreading a blanket over chair backs. Cut holes in an oversized cardboard box for a beanbag target. Crazy, innocent, fun things that didn’t cost anything but time.
Then there was the new garbage can my mother bought. Before she could put it to use, my son claimed it so he could imitate Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch. (My mother went and bought another garbage can; if that gives you any idea of how cute my son was popping out with a growl.)
With that sort of history, I couldn’t help but be intrigued when I came across an article announcing the new inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Would you believe a deck of cards and “The Game of Life”? Astounding! How low-tech can you get?
So I went back and looked at some past inductees. I think I like these people a lot. In past years, they have honored the stick and the cardboard box, the kite and crayons. Oh, yes, some of the fancier things like Game Boy and Etch-a-Sketch have made it, too, but oh, the glories of a place that acknowledges the contributions of alphabet blocks, red wagons and jigsaw puzzles.
If I ever get to Rochester, New York, I promise myself that I will visit the National Toy Hall of Fame. As I celebrate the joys of play, I’ll say “Thank you” to all those wonderful toys, simple and complicated, that make life so very much fun!
Chicago Tribune: National Toy Hall of Fame: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-toy-hall-of-fame-gallery,0,2593116.photogallery?index=ct-biz-playing-cards-photo
National Toy Hall of Fame: http://www.toyhalloffame.org/