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Toys for Kids: It Pays to Keep it Simple…

I was watching the boys play some time back and I realised that we adults like to complicate things when they can be so simple.

Example 1

We wanted to make Aristotle’s pretend play more enjoyable so we bought him toy food for his play cooking:

Play Food


It turns out that all he really needed were some plastic plates from IKEA and some assorted pom poms from the craft shop. The plastic box that I keep the pom poms in has become Hercules’ “picnic basket”. The pom poms are fruit, they’re special ingredients that go into a magical brew, they’re candy for the lolly shop, they can be anything you want them to be and they cost a fraction of the price of a set of pretend food. Of course, you’re not limited to pom poms – marbles (not for under 3 years old) and blocks are pretty versatile as well.

Example 2

Aristotle’s really into Star Wars. He wants all things Star Wars, including the mark of all Jedis – the revered Light Saber. We saw a Darth Maul Light Saber at Toys ‘R’ Us retailing at RM550. Of course, there are cheaper ones, too, but given how rough Hercules can be with toys, any toy that is designed to make contact with anything does not last long – if at all (let’s not even talk about the condition the boys will be in after they are done with each other).

It turns out, however, that all you really need are a couple of twisty balloons, a balloon pump, and a bit of balloon art know-how. This is apparently the most basic of sword designs:

Darth Vader

Of course they can get a lot fancier, too, but then again, we complicate too many things already so let this be a lesson in the K-I-S-S (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle.

Do you know what else is great about keeping things simple aside from the fact that it’s easier on the budget? It fosters creativity and imagination.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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