New toys

When our kids were little, the family room was full of toys. Thomas train sets, Rescue Heroes, toy fire engines and dump trucks, teddies, and dollies, and so much more.

Despite being determined not to fill our house to the brim with toys, we had a lot of toys. And yet, whenever there was a holiday, or a birthday (or a rainy Tuesday in July, let’s be honest here), a new toy or two would make its way into our home, much to the kids’ delight. Mine too, truth be told, since nothing makes Mama happier than when the people she loves most in the world are happy.

Often times, the toys served a dual purpose. Board games that taught math skills and money handling. Playmobil that taught careers and adventure loving and opened the door for many a conversation on values, behaviours, and life in general. Musical instrucments for noisy play that set the foundation for the wonderful musicians they have become. Those wonderful science kits from the Young Scientists’ Club. And the LEGOs…Oh, how we love those!

Over the years, the toys changed. Some have stayed constant – the Playmobil sets, the science kits, and of course the LEGO blocks. Others were around for a very short time indeed — well loved at the time, but not for long, like Rescue Heroes, play kitchen, and Pokemon cards.

Lately, the nature of our toys has changed. Imaginative play is slowly being replaced by sports and books and video games. Craft kits have been replaced by drawing lessons thanks to Craftsy and YouTube. But most surprising of all has been the latest obsession: baking.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that I bake a lot. Cakes and cookies, squares and brownies…the kitchen is one of my favourite places to spend time.

As a result, I have quite a few toys in my kitchen, though there are a few still on my wishlist. Most recently though, we added three new toys to our stock of kitchen things: A meat slicer, a dehydrator…and this:

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We came across it at Canadian Tire and both kids instantly started chattering away in that very earnest and somewhat frantic and wildly pleading way they haven’t used since they were rather a lot younger. It was clear in an instant that this was to be one of those toys that would see a thousand hours of use in just a few short days, and then quite possibly, having been used to exhaustion, be then soundly ignored for weeks, and then months, and maybe even years.

But they were so excited at the possibility of owning such a thing, explaining how the band teacher for years has done something similar, and how awesome it is, and how they could do it all by themselves, and it would be AWESOME!!!!!!! (Though I’m not sure there are enough exclamation marks in the entire world to express exactly how awesome, so you’ll have to use your imagination.)

So we bought it. (It was on sale, after all.) And it was put to use almost immediately, much to their delight.

To my delight, too, since they are now of an age where they can be completely independent in the kitchen, trustworthy with sharp edges and hot surfaces, and confident that they can follow a recipe.

So what is our new toy? It’s a cake pop maker.

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They’ve already made at least two dozen cake pops, and they have plans for more, though we have run out of sticks. And sprinkles. (Oh, the horrors of not having enough sticks and sprinkles!)

The way I see it, though, is that a cakepop without a stick and covered with a little bit of sugar glaze or powdered icing sugar is rather remarkably similar to a Timbit, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities, as far as I’m concerned. Though I will have to figure out how they get the jam in the middle of the raspberry jam ones.

I think, when the kids have decided they’ve had enough of this particular kitchen toy, I just might have to play with it myself.

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