by: Parent Advisory Board Member, Melissa Chapman www.thestatenislandfamily.com
My seven year old boy is extremely visual insofar as just seeing a particular painting, figure or even a snippet of a television commercial will inspire him to create his own artwork and rendering of said image. Which is why I do everything I possibly can to keep from taking him to a toy store, where like a moth to a flame, the seductive pictures of boys playing with trains and cars will have my son over a barrel claiming that each one of these toys is burgeoning with a magical world that is just “waiting for him to explore” ( I promise those are his words not mine-I told you this kid was crafty)… but I digress.
Case in point-a lovely toy company sent me a train set. The box it came in bore this wintry scene, of snow capped mountains and a bristling electric blue train traversing through a village nestled within these mountains while the kids on the box acted as conductors of said train. I have to admit, even I was taken aback by the sheer glory of this picture and I’m confident the experience it seemed to evoke within me- was magnified tenfold in that of my son. My boy took one look at the box and began to regale me with all the adventures he would take his characters on, on this magical train and how they too would whisk passed these whitened mountains and oh the hijinx which would ensue- well it would be legendary.
I tried to explain to my son, that this train scene he beared witness to on the box was not likely what he would experience once he opened said box; that these wintry scenes he expected to pull out of the box more than likely would be pieces of cardboard that would act as a back drops for his train scene. Of course not one to be deterred and far too influenced by the tantalizing pictures of fun filled scenes on the toy box, my seven year old gingerly pulled the train tracks out of this box along with those cardboard snows scenes. And then he continued digging into the box for more…until he looked and me and said, ” Mommy this is not the train set I thought I was going to get. Are you sure there are no mountains and snow in there?”
Lesson here parents-…beware of toy boxes that promise scenes of the great outdoors (oh and of ones that show a train moving on its own when indeed that train is NOT electric!) Not only will they more likely than not be disappointed, but then you’ll be stuck with one more toy in your house to attempt and find space for…and I don’t know about you but I’m trying to hoard less not more!
Follow Toy Insider Parent Advisory Member, Melissa Chapman on Twitter @MelissaSChapman
Learn more about our Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board here.