Monday, April 6, 2009

Joys of Toys: Boys

My kids have birthdays just about exactly one month apart. Ben's is first...he turns THREE this Wednesday!

And let me say right away, Happy Birthday (on Wednesday) to Ruth & Aaron! If you don't get your presents on time, know that I did think of them at least a week ago. Ben accidentally "stole" his auntie & uncle's birthday, so I'll be paying for that for the rest of our lives.

We are having a Thomas themed party on Saturday for 6 of his buddies. Yes. We will have SEVEN 3 year olds (or approximately) here that morning. God help us all. "Birthday" to Ben has come to mean a couple of things: "party", "train cake", and "new toys". Let's talk about that last one a bit more, shall we?

As is evident from the party theme, Ben loves Thomas. I don't know many boys who don't, in fact. Ben has been indulged with two sets of train tracks, one called Take & Play (smaller, plastic tracks, metal trains) and the more classic wooden set, although not the Thomas brand. I like the idea of the Take & Play for travel to Aaron's family out West. Our little man also has Thomas bedding on his toddler bed, board books, movies, a sweatshirt...and now, two bigger books - think the Berenstain Bears sized books.

Now, once upon a time we had a couple of these. But Mommy kept dozing off while reading them because they are FILLED with railway terms. It was like reading a textbook or something....boooring. But apparently all the little boys love that stuff. So we picked up a couple at Once Upon a Child (if you're a mom and have never been there, see if there's one in your area!)

Now, as much as Ben loves Thomas - and really, it's a very wholesome show, gentle & teaching - I have no objections - he also really, really loves cars. Hot Wheels, generics, and yes, CARS the movie. Our kids are nothing if not suckers for merchandising. And so are we, because so far we have bought him the movie (he's only actually seen it once...I have a feeling that will change. Very, very soon.) a set of board books, and a couple of Avon body paints for the bath. Target also had Cars socks in their dollar aisle, so I bought him his first pairs of "fun" socks there last week - no waiting for the big day to wear them!

Cars. also, for me is not an issue - I've seen the movie about 3 times (again, about to change...) - there's nothing scary, no issues to avoid, and it's actually a good movie! I wish there were not quite so many items plastered with its images, but otherwise, I'm good with it.

Ben is also into guns. I'm not sure how, but he has figured out how to point one and make the appropriate sounds. And let's be clear: HE DOES NOT OWN A TOY GUN. And we're not in a hurry to change this, Grandpa. He doesn't have any GI Joes, watch any TV shows that have shooting, or read any books about guns. His father doesn't own a gun, and I don't recall him watching Grandpa target shoot...So for now I'm blaming this fascination on his friends and McDonald's Happy Meal toys, which are frequently characters from shows waaay above his age level. It's either those or another Ronald McDonald bath toy, folks.

Items that have been used as a gun by Ben: golf club, ping pong paddle, block, fingers (the classic), napkin holder from kitchen table.

One of MY favorite toys is the Little People collections...I may have a slight compulsion regarding them...if I see a deal on one, I almost literally can't resist it. The kids have the house, farm, parking garage ($1 at a garage sale!), and now a railroad (ebay deal!). I meant to give it to Ben at Thanksgiving, but decided to wait for an opportune, being housebound during a flizzard? (Flood + Blizzard. Can't claim credit for that one!) I brought it out and it's been a big hit. Little do the kids know that there is ANOTHER set downstairs that they've never seen - Main Street of a town. And it has a couple of vehicles with it - $5 at a garage sale! Aaron is seriously questioning my sanity. But don't worry - they are not all available to play with at the same time.

My mom has several of our old sets at her house, and the kids adore those as well. Gotta admire the longevity chops on those Little People.

Ben also enjoys some non-typical boy toys: Littlest Pet Shop (more about this in my girl toys post later...), baby dolls, and of course, stuffed animals. Especially Leah's, it seems. Books are always a winner, too, as well as balls and things to hit them with.

So far, we haven't found too many things that we (me) are opposed to - unlike with girls toys....

What toys do your kids love/hate? Or, what do you remember loving when you were little?


Aaron said...

I hope it goes without saying that once he turns 5 he will be inundated with lego.

Aaron said...

Actually, mom and dad got me this set when I was 3:

There's a LOT of tiny pieces in that too, maybe ben just needs the challenge of a serious lego kit?

Lyz said...

Oh yes - forgot to mention Legos! Ben likes the car that Leah makes with her girly (pink!) set from Uncle Dave. I think he needs a year or so before getting his own. Or maybe I need a year before I start stepping on them.

Noel said...

Back in the olden days, say the Windows 95/98 era, there was a Little People program which was a favorite with my girls when they would sit on my lap or knee to reach the mouse.

We liked "Cars" so much we took the whole family to get some kicks on Route 66.

I think the girls still prefer Thomas on PBS to "Meet the Press" on Sunday mornings before church.

Blue Castle said...

My boys are loving the fact that my dad has a BB gun, and he's teaching them to shoot it. I have to admit that I've been having fun with it too. :) Just label us bad, evil, parents.

Joanne said...

We were much into Thomas and Cars too. But now, Marcus is very fascinated with Transformers and Batman and Friends, and having a Bumblebee mania. Lego is a favorite in my household too but I am trying to limit that until he knows not to throw away the pieces when he's frustrated with it.

Katie Anderson said...

Mr. Trace loves everything Ben does...I think it may be a Meberg gene... He has seen his Grandpa Anderson's guns and has a fascination with western movies. Ugh, John Wayne, seriously? More of those crazy movies?

We are hoping that our near potty-training son will enjoy his new big boy undies with the Cars and Thomas theme. Thanks, Target!


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