Toys for Thinkers

In honor of Black Friday (which I will celebrate not by going out and buying junk, but by staying home and sorting through all the junk I already own) I want to say a few words about toys.  Please enjoy this delightful one-minute dose of nostalgia, posted by my cousins at Z Recommends:

That's what Legos used to be about: creating something unique, special, unexpected.  That's why they were (and are) such a fantastic toy.  On the other hand, if you're looking for Legos, you can also buy this:


As much as I think Frank Lloyd Wright's descendants deserve every penny they can milk out of his genius, I draw the line at paying $40 for a set of bricks that can really only build the Guggenheim Museum.  More and more of the Lego lines are like this -- brand names like Star Wars and SpongeBob, with so many specialty pieces that there's no imagination involved, just a one-time setup so it can sit on a shelf and grow dusty.

If you must buy toys, please, please get something that requires thought and creativity to enjoy.  I have several such toys in my studio, and they rarely fail to keep the attention of even the wiggliest little ones.  Besides which, they're pretty.  And they don't make any noise except the pleasant kind that comes from little hands going about the business of creation.