Saturday, June 13, 2009

Checkout Girl

Cherub's absolute favourite birthday present is this gloriously pink cash register from her Grandma. The older girls had one that was used for years in shopping games of increasing complexity, but it has now lost everything but the ability to open and close. This is the new, super-duper updated version from the Early Learning Centre and it allows her to do everything a checkout girl would do - scan the items (a little button makes the appropriate bleeping noise and registers a random price), make announcements through the microphone, pay by card (cute little chip and pin device), and of course make that cash register pinging noise when the drawer is opened. And it came with a shopping basket, some plastic / card groceries and play money. She is in heaven. The rest of the family (and all of Next Door's) are now beginning to groan when they hear "come and play shops!", but still ...

I find choosing presents for Cherub a bit of a challenge, and it is only going to get more so. With the older two we always looked for toys that would have lasting play value. Over the years we built up collections of Lego, Junior Meccano, beanie babies, dolls' accessories, play food and tea sets, simple musical instruments, all of which have lasted well. We have a nice dolls' house that we restocked with toddler friendly furniture at Christmas. And then there is the Playmobil. We discovered Playmobil quite early on, and it became our standby - if there was nothing specific they or we wanted to get, we would add to the Playmobil collection, and we would suggest it if someone asked for gift ideas. We now have a very impressive collection. As a result, Cherub is pretty much set for the next several years. Apart from the cash register, the only other standby that got used to destruction (or rather, to the point where too many bits had got lost) was a much loved doctor's kit.

I have noticed I am more inclined to buy things for Cherub that I wouldn't have considered for the others, and to think disposable. I have always loathed noisy, electronic toys with a passion, but gave Cherub this little toy laptop for her birthday. She found one in a toybox in the reception area at the gym and latched on to it. I reckoned the games were just at the right level for her for the next year or so, that I can tolerate the noise for a while, and when she is done it can be passed on.

However, I would love to save myself from a succession of noisy, disposable toys by finding something else that she could collect over time, as Angel and Star did with the Playmobil, and I am wondering about Sylvanian Families (ETA: aka. Calico Critters). Anyone have any experience of them? Or any suggestions for something else collectable?

7 comments:

coffeemamma said...

We have the North American version of Sylvanian Families (Calico Critters), and all of my kids have loved them. My youngest (8yo) plays with them even more than her Playmobil, and her 13yo sister will still plunk right down and play along :-)

coffeemamma said...

I should have mentioned that we discovered them when the 13yo was five, and the younger ones began playing with them (and adding to the collection) when they were three.

The Bookworm said...

Thank you, Coffeemamma :)

jdostalik said...

Hi Kathryn,
We love our Calico Critters here, too. We purchased a little carry-along house with assorted critters, clothes, furniture and toys and have not been disappointed. My four year old and seven year old play with it together. I am hoping to expand our collection this Christmas!

Karen E. said...

No Calico Critters here, so can't share a reaction, but I can share my reaction to Cherub playing with that cash register: gasp. She is so cute. :)

Anonymous said...

My just 9 yr old is right into Sylvanian Families now, having ignored them for some years. She loves to make clothes for them and to make shoebox doll houses for them. As she also loves to play "teacher" I found a schoolhouse on ebay...it is a huge success. Personally I think the new prices are way too high, and the new designs lack some of the charm of the old style.

hylabrook1 said...

I love the Calico Critters, and so did my children. Alas, our Scottish Terrier loved them even better -- just not in the same way.

Nancy