“Hey, let’s make the baby do the magic hand thing. Come on, baby! Do the magic hand thing.”
Time for another “Top Five” list…and this time, I actually kept it to exactly five! Today I’m looking at my favorite children’s toys…and with one exception, they’re all toys I played with when I was a child, in addition to all being toys my children have enjoyed/still enjoy playing with!
- Little People–Fisher Price’s Little People were originally introduced in the 1950s. The barrel-shaped, armless, Little People I had (including those that came with the iconic house and the farm), looked quite a bit different from the chunky, more-detailed ones my children have played with, but the basic concept is still the same, and they’re extremely sturdy! They have been the basis for many hours of imaginary play!
- Lego–Lego is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the brick this year! Of course the Lego company has gotten bigger over those years, and the sets have become more complicated, especially as they have introduced licensed lines, but the bricks themselves really haven’t changed. As a matter of fact, it’s my understanding that the first Lego bricks, the Lego bricks I played with, and the zillions of Lego bricks in our house today, just waiting for someone with bare feet to step on them, will all work together. That is impressive commitment to standardization and quality control! I’m also not ashamed to admit that I’m still building with Lego bricks, as is Ryan, so this is one toy that is literally enjoyed by every single person in our house!
- American Girl/Beforever–What we know as American Girl today started as the Pleasant Company in 1986. I had one and only one American Girl doll when I was a child (Kirsten), and I still have her today. Bunny and Ladybug have…well, way more dolls, some they received as gifts, and some they saved their hard-earned money to purchase themselves. In addition to being very high quality (my doll still looks great 25+ years later!), they’re a great tool for learning about history. And not only do they encourage imaginative play, they also encourage reading, because you just have to learn the story of your doll! Like Lego, this is a toy that I’m still playing with, and I even added a second doll to my collection last year when the children gave me Melody for my birthday!
- Crayola–Crayola crayons have been around since 1903! I don’t know if everyone would consider drawing materials (plus all of the other fabulous arts and crafts stuff Crayola makes) to be toys, but I do. They inspire so many hours of creativity, and what parent doesn’t have a house filled with artwork created with Crayola? And there’s something special about the smell the first time you open a new box of crayons…
- Build-a-Bear–This is the most recent toy on the market to make my list (they were founded right here in the St. Louis area in 1997, and their first store opened in the St. Louis Galleria), and the one toy here that I didn’t play with in my childhood. The stuffed animals are high quality, and let’s face it, getting to make your own bear, make as wish on its heart, “wash” it in the store, and dress it is a lot of fun! Of course, it can also get expensive really quickly, but that’s true for pretty much all toys. If you’re feeling really crazy, you can even have a child’s party in store, and they even have a new concept called the Build-a-Bear Bakeshop where you can decorate cupcakes and enjoy other treats.
There are so many other toys my children have enjoyed playing with over the years…pretty much anything made by Fisher-Price, Webkinz, Leapfrog, Transformers, and My Little Pony to name a few, but these five are really special, and I hope they’re around for a long time to come!
Today was Build-a-Bear day at Busch Stadium, so of course we were there. This year’s stuffed friend was a Clydesdale, which was very exciting, especially to our resident horse fanatic, Ladybug!
Today was also Fredbird’s birthday, which meant that some of his mascot friends from St. Louis and Major League Baseball were there to help him celebrate. This is a really fun thing they’ve been doing for the last few years!
I enjoyed the view from our seats, even if we weren’t on the right side of the stadium to see the Arch and Ballpark Village.
We got to see John Lackey pitch his first game as a Cardinal:
And get his first win as a Cardinal, too!
Any day we spend at Busch Stadium is a fun day, but it’s especially fun when that day is everyone’s favorite mascot’s birthday!
This weekend, the Cardinals celebrated Fredbird’s birthday. As it was the annual Build a Bear giveaway day today, the one game we try to make it to every year, we were there when the gates opened!
Chickadee doesn’t need a ticket to the game yet, so she didn’t get her own Fredird, but Moose already had one at home, so he generously shared his with her (and she did not want to let it go)!
There was confetti:
And chalk art:
And, of course, we sang “Happy Birthday” to everyone’s favorite mascot. But the highlight of the game was the fact that Fredbird’s friends from around MLB came to wish him a happy birthday! (And he even got a chance to rough up the Pirate Parrot a bit…in a very friendly way, of course, while trying to hit his birthday piñata). They even brought him a present!
The Cards didn’t win this one, but it was still fun to be there for the party!