Having the kids around means that the house turns into a war zone. Still- before the crazy ship lands, we clean the house from top to bottom. There's no real reason for the pre-clean. It's mostly illogical, but my dad (the science teacher) likes to say that it gives us a good way to measure the amount of mess the kids make. It creates the "control" -if you will- of cleanliness. Oh, Dad.
Since the kids are getting bigger (Isaac is 7?!) their interests are aging as well. That means that we've unpacked some toys with higher age ranges. The eldest boys can now sit through a whole game of Life or Monopoly (though the money counting still takes some teamwork). And I drew R's and L's on their hands and feet so they could learn Twister (Aunt Sarah is the reigning Champ!). It's exciting to revisit these old games. A couple of the boxes that came out of retirement this past weekend I had totally forgotten about.
Did anyone else have these large plastic building toys? There was a set with a robot head as well, but my sister and I only had the basic kit. We made shopping carts and race cars. I think this toy may have spurred my love of tools and building. I tried to do a little internet research on the brand but we only had a tiny torn piece of the box left. I do know that they are made by Jura Castor, and I think they might be French. I wonder if they are still in business. I know 4 kiddos who would love a set of their own. (And I know one Aunt who would love for her nephews to stop breaking all of her childhood toys before she has a chance to have her (non-existant) kids play with them, too.)
Check out these two of my all time favorite (and then forgotten, evidently) toys from childhood. Rami and The Mosaic Machine both inventions of the Italian toy company Quercetti. They say they are good for ages 4-8, which seems like a peculiar age range. But I am here to say that they are STILL fun for me to play. So, perhaps it should read ages 4-27? Rami is a particularly interesting children's toy. It teaches the basics of binary to toddlers. It doesn't have the bells and whistles and lighted screens of today's toy makers, but it kept the 7 and 5 year old occupied for a good while. Quercetti is still in business and has some really cool toy designs. I guess Italians really know how to play.