Often when out shopping, we encounter a toy we had when we were young -- and our children get very interested when we wax nostalgic. (Heck, someone's in on the secret; there are whole catalogs dedicated to these very toys.) Somewhere, we're sure, you have a few of your very favorite toys from childhood -- items continually saved from garage sales, closet cleanings and the like. Be they stuffed animals, beautiful dolls or a mint collection of classic miniature cars, these treasures will represent something special not only to you, but to your kids -- if you share them. So, dig your favorite treasures out of the attic and set up a special play date with them and your children. (If your playthings are still at your parents' house, this is a great activity to do on a visit to the grandparents.)
What you'll need:
Your favorite toys from childhood
What you'll do:
Set out your special treasures in the family room or one of the kids' bedrooms. (As a precautionary note, if any of your old toys have small, loose parts and your children are under three, save those for another time.) Introduce each toy and tell your children when you got it, why you loved it so much, special stories about it and so on. Let them ask you questions about when you were a kid as well. If your children have special stuffed animals or dolls, let them "introduce" their playthings to yours. If you've got a racetrack, train tracks or a dollhouse, set it up with the kids as you did as a child. After your play date, consider allowing each child to have one or more of your toys for their own, or keep them in the playroom. Girls might love having one of Mom's dolls on display in their room; boys might find a special space on their collection shelf for Dad's Hot Wheels cars. Yes, we know you can get a lot for any of those items on eBay, but some treasures are more valuable when kept where they're loved.