Arthur's faves at 17 months old
Fisher Price Classic Musical Teaching Clock
This a new version of a vintage toy...the kind of thing A's Mom and Dad go bananas over...and Arthur loves turning the knob, making the clock go. This is a repro of the original clock produced in 1968 up until 1983, and we dig watching Arthur play with the kinds of simple toys that thrilled the heck out of us until we got cracked out on Atari in the mid-80s. It's sturdy, a plus, although to be fair, Abot isn't very hard on his toys. And although the vast majority of Arthur's faves are "unplugged," so to speak, I can't underestimate the beauty of a toy that doesn't require batteries, its benefit to the environment, our bank account, our sanity. The number one coolest thing about this toy is that the tune, some delicate, cute little lullaby we don't recognize, is not only not annoying, but is soothing at naptime. Although we've only had it for a week or so, Arthur loves it to pieces and it's a pretty good chill out toy if he's too wound up and needs a little refreshing. The little hands on the clock move to teach a child to tell time, and images of a little girl on the side show twelve, three, six and nine 'o clock positions using her arms.
Fisher Price Little People
Arthur is CRAZY about Little People! And like Chloe Bedoe's mom and dad did, we are obsessed with buying them. We stand by our "second hand is best" mantra, so we have inherited plenty of Chloe B's Littles (thank you Chloe B!), but Arthur is so batty over them we have built an entire bizarre Little People village, which takes up approximately 1/6th of the open space in our Sears kit home living room floor, and we keep adding to the community (what can I say, they are friendly in Arthur Town?!). For their 50th anniversary, FP produced several sets of old school Little People. Maybe it's the whole reliving our own childhood thing, but we can't help ourselves. He has the classic schoolhouse and farm and will hopefully have the firehouse and family house to go with. But citizens of A-Town don't discriminate; they play together, classic and new alike. In fact, they even invited some other toys to play.
It was all well and good until the dinosaurs and the horses had a bit of a skirmish.
But the purple alien in the treehouse helped Strawberry Shortcake's little friend bring peace to the village over tea and cake, and later they all got together to make a stop-motion animation with Arthur's dad, which with any luck we will be posting in the near future. Little People are awesome for many reasons. They encourage imaginative play, and it is adorable to watch a 1.5-year-old talk to his toys. They are portable, which means they can travel to a friend's house when we come to visit.
Chinese toy drum
This thing has been a favorite for a long time, and we are happy to see its staying power. Arthur loves percussion, and we are convinced that percussion instruments are well-suited for introduction to infants and toddlers. They naturally love to bang on things! It took Arthur until recently to get good at using this little thing, but it didn't matter. The satisfaction he gets from hitting it right has always been exciting. I don't recommend this for all babies and toddlers (many will put the little balls in their mouth and it could be a choking hazard), but Arthur always uses it while attended by an adult, and responds pretty well to the "not for your mouth" rules...except when it comes to dog food, which is why the dog now takes his meals outside. Back to the drum...we took it with us to Bonnaroo along with several other small instruments to entertain him through the shows...worked like a charm.