A fight broke out this morning between my 2 and 6 year old over a toy. It was about as intense as their fights get, started off with shouting and screaming and ended with a block hurled at someone’s head and the tears that followed. Both children needed a talking to and a bit of comfort, but after some creative negotiation they were reunited and returned to playing cooperatively again.
But what was this toy that could cause such a fuss between two usually peaceful siblings?
It’s an old hand-me-down toy that came from my kid’s older cousins. It was given to my son 5 years ago and it was already well worn (and probably well loved, judging by my own children’s fascination with it) and it has always surprised me how adored this toy is.
It was loved by my son before he even knew what it was or what it was for. As a toddler he would just wander around with it in his hand – for hours. It was like a weird hard plastic rectangle comforter.
As he got older he started to play with it as it was intended, and I would say from then on it has had practically daily use. It’s the best toy I never bought.
It makes me think about ALL the toys that the children have and barely, if ever, play with, yet this toy is so inexplicably popular.
I could have brushed this off as just being my son’s own personal attachment to the toy, but one day when our daughter was about 1 year old, she toddled into the room, clutching it in one hand and it immediately reminded me of her brother doing the exact same thing at the exact same age.
This toy has been through some battles too. About 4 years ago I stood on it and it made a loud, resounded CRACK. When I looked down and realised what I stood on my heart stopped. I’d broken a piece off the side and the plastic had whitened from being bent too far under my weight.
I would have thrown it in the bin but my son’s hysterical begging to keep it stopped me.
Thankfully it’s remained functional and intact since then.
So, what IS this magical toy?
It’s a large mega block.
I’m not kidding.
Have your children ever become attached to a toy in a way that doesn’t make sense to you?