Monday, May 15, 2017

Tiny Toys

Tiny toys are absolutely everywhere in our house. Blind bags, collectibles, play sets, whatever you want to call them. If they come in various sizes of packaging, there are mysteries as to what you might get, there are commons and rares and someone opens them on YouTube, my girls are obsessed.

We, seriously, have them all. Multiple sets. All the series. I have indulged them and brought them to Toys R Us on the day the new series released.

Yeah, I'm an enabler. It's sad. I know.
 And more. And more. And more. Trust me. We have them all. In fact, we just spent a long time cleaning and organizing Madison's room, and these toys were a big part of why we had to do that. They are both a fantastic bribe and the bane of my existence.

They do handle them a little differently.

Reagan is more of a collector. She likes opening, she likes amassing her bounty, she likes sorting, she likes trading. For her, it's about the volume. And the opening. She loves to open and see the mystery.

Madison is a player. Yes, she enjoys keeping every single list from every single type of tiny toy and checking what she has and how rare they are, and quickly becomes obsessed with getting more and more, but for her, the real lasting fun is in the playing.

Sometimes they are the toys of her dolls or stuffed animals. Sometimes they take over her dollhouse. We've even found a way to bring them with us in the car or in my purse by creating an on the go play place with an Altoid tin.

I should hate them. Plenty of parents do. In fact, Shopkins were my under-8 girl go-to birthday gift, until I was actually asked to stop. Because if you have managed to avoid the Shopkins ridiculousness, you certainly don't want it introduced into the environment.

But I don't. Tiny toys, annoying as they can be, actually have some pretty cool pros.

1. They encourage educational concepts.

I swear, I'm not reaching. Sorting. Counting. Graphing. Math. Reading. Without any prodding from me, they've done all these things. Reagan still sorts by color most of the time, but Madison sorts by type, by how common they are, by which category they fit into. Then she calculates which ones she wants, which packages are more likely to contain them, and strategizes how to get the best chance with her limited funds.

2. They encourage imaginative play.

My girls can be screen junkies (to be fair, it's more My Town and less Amazon video, but still, it's not a point of pride). But when it's time to play, Madison can play with these sets for hours. She creates all kinds of tiny worlds and sets them up. It's definitely cool to watch.

3. They're perfect bribes.

All kids have their currency. These things are cheap enough where I don't mind picking them up little by little and keeping a stockpile to bribe the girls with. Good behavior, extra cleaning jobs, whatever I need, a blind bag can buy me.

So I'm firmly in the tiny toy camp, and I'm defending them until the end!

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