Saturday, 11 September 2010

Toys that we like

Previous post had me thinking about what kinds of toys NP plays with, and why it is that she likes them. And you know what? The stuff she likes is the stuff we show interest in with her. Not just her mom and dad, but her grandparents too, the people she spends her time with. What a surprise?!

Her most favourite thing of all time? Trains. Usually Thomas, but not always. Every single member of her family has encouraged this interest by buying her trains, playing with them, taking her on train rides and talking about them. Her favourite thing to do during a day at home is to take out the top draw of her toy box and empty the whole lot of cars, trains and other vehicles onto the floor, then delight in organising them!

Second favourite, her gazillions of cuddly toys - she has 'a family' including Baby Little Spongebob, Big Mommy Spongebob and Daddy Patrick. Again, her whole family know how much she loves her toys and we all talk about them regularly. These toys are her bedtime entertainment mornings and evenings, she tells them stories, looks after them and projects her fears of badgers and squirrels onto them. Mommy normally eats the badgers these days though.

Another fave is probably musical instruments, tambourines, bells, keyboard, annoying noisy toys. Know why? Probably because there's a bunch of our real and toy instruments lying around, to-wit: 3 guitars (acoustic, electric and bass); my flute, recorder, rock band guitar, drums and mic; a box full of hand-held percussion items and an upright piano.

Otherwise, she likes anything she can make stories up with, little characters that she gives directions and a continuous monologue of their daily lives; or books. This kid devours books. It makes a librarian's daughter proud.

So I find it difficult to agree when people say that young kids decide on their tastes without influence from their family. The stuff she likes are the things we've encouraged, the stuff she gets excited over are the things we get excited over. She likes Star Wars because mommy is only too happy to oblige with the 10th re-watch of Return of the Jedi. She's not the picture of girly-girlness, that's for sure.

Nevertheless, she likes wearing jewellery, hair clips and painting her fingernails. Course she does, it's fun, it's like dressing up. Everyone likes dressing up. I never really bother with playing that kind of game with her, besides getting decked out in crazy outfits or making a hair cut a fun game. But she sees me get dressed up and spend ages in front of the mirror so I'm obviously modelling behaviour for her, even if I don't wear make-up. Thus, even the things I don't actively engage her with, if she sees me doing them, she wants to do them too. Thankfully, I have a little control over that and can modify my own behaviour by considering how it looks in her eyes.

It's going to change when peer pressure becomes part of her life, but all we can do is keep talking and challenging her. Until then, I know I'm going to get plenty of enjoyment from playing with the toys we both enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment