When it comes to books and toys, there are certain classics that almost every child has at home, or will come across at preschool or the library. Toys like Legos and books like Peter Rabbit get passed on from parent to child, and friend to friend; as times change, their appeal persists.
Then there are the toys and books that are everywhere because of a passing craze. We'd like to think that the early years of childhood are immune from fadishness, but that is hardly the case. Chances are that the toy your small child most covets is the same junky, trendy item that every other kid at the park is playing with!
There are also the it-books and it-toys of the moment. The talented new authors and illustrators whose books we snap up for birthdays and holidays. The brilliantly designed new toys that parents can't wait to get into their little ones' hands.
And finally, there are each family's offbeat favorites. The books that no one has ever really heard of, but your kids want to read over and over again. The games that make your whole family laugh, but that no one else knows how to play. The toys your little ones are obsessed with, but that elicit puzzled looks when you mention them to other parents.
These offbeat gems are part of what makes a family special and a childhood unique. They also speak to each child's distinctive personality and interests. We're sharing our children's favorite oddballs with you during the next two weeks, not to start trends, but to spark ideas and to offer a glimpse of how other families do it! Stay tuned....
The best family board games are those that include multi-age players, hold the interest of kids and adults alike, and keep everyone on their toes. Max the Cat by Family Pastimes is all of those things and more. Players put Max on his rug on the f... read more
This week, we're taking a look at some of our favorite articles from the past year. This article was originally published in September 2010. Preschoolers are known to be quite intense in their likes and dislikes, most especially when it comes to co... read more