My daughter is now the proud owner of some bean bags. Within minutes of receiving them, she was behind closed doors in her bedroom. When I came to check on her, she was wearing a pink, fuzzy cat- ear headband and a flower lei. An old popcorn can was sitting in the middle of the room and her puppet theater was set-up. I was informed that she was fine and she was busy playing carnival. All said in a tone that told me I had best exit the room and let her get back to it.
This reinforced with me that it really doesn't take all those plastic toys to make a child happy. I told my husband last night that I feel like one of the biggest mistakes we have made so far as parents is to buy (literally and figuratively) into the notion that we needed to supply our child with a bunch of plastic ponies and littlest pets in order for her to have a play-filled childhood. I wish I had realized earlier that a few things like a handmade doll, a puppet theater and some simple fabric bean bags are played with far more than the junk that we have purchased over these past six years. And the creativity that comes from playing with these simple things amazes us daily.