My friend Melis was over last week and I can't even remember how it came up but somehow Play-doh was mentioned and I immediately had to confess that I never had Play-doh while growing up. Gasp!! I know. I jokingly said that I played with dirt, rocks and paper blow-up balls, which really isn't too far from the truth. You see I grew up in the Philippines and my fondest memories of childhood include, playing dress-up with my sisters (they used to put loads of makeup on me and dressed me up in silly outfits - picture blue eyeshadow and lots of teased hair), making dirt-cakes, laying out big rocks in the middle of our unpaved road hoping to unbalance unsuspecting tricycles (small taxicabs powered by a motorcycle), and following my older brother and his friends (uninvited of course) down the road near the railroad tracks - eagerly awaiting the next load of sugarcanes, hoping for some to stick out just far enough to grab. Then I turned seven, we came to America and I was quickly introduced to Cabbage Patch Kids, My Buddy, Plastic charm bracelets and Barbie Dolls.
As I'm writing this post in our living room, I can't help but notice that I'm surrounded by Emma's ever-growing collection of bright plastic toys. Although I must say I've been really good about not buying too many toys. Most of what she has are either hand-me-downs or gifts from friends and family. Plus I've been good about boxing up and donating a few things here and there. By the way, this isn't a post against toys and material things, coz lord knows it'll be a whole different ballgame once she actually starts asking for things; but just simply a really round about way of sharing my recent discovery of clear plastic cups. Yep. Plastic cups.
I think it's very easy to fall into the trap of buying things for the sake of developing our baby's skills, especially being a new parent and all. Again, don't get me wrong - there's no bigger fan of this atrocious mammoth of a toy but sometimes it's nice to know that two plastic clear Solo cups can keep her entertained long enough for me to peel carrots or empty out the dishwasher. Emma loves playing with these cups. She bangs them on her high-chair tray, claps them together, helps her stretch her arms and fingers and even works her eye-hand coordination as they automatically roll around on her tray. Oh and of course she's slowly learning that mom will always be around to pick them up no matter how many times she drops them. And always accompanied with a very enthusiastic (with hands up in the air) "uh-OH, where did the cup GO"!
So I hope I'll discover a few more household items along the way that I can add to my arsenal of "developmental toys"! Have you had any luck with any non-toy toys? I'd love to try them out!