I feel like I'm constantly trying to keep on top of the children's toys. I keep a close eye on what they are playing with, rotate out things that have been pushed to the back of cupboards, and remove unloved toys to a holding area for a few months before passing them on to the charity shop. As part of this process I notice the toys that they play with over and over again, and the toy that has easily had the most play value in our house between both children has been the Duplo.
We have a large box of Duplo. There are bricks which were mine when I was little, a couple of new boxes we bought of plain bricks, and Mia has recently acquired a couple of the Disney Princess Duplo sets. They literally have this Duplo box out everyday.
When we go on holiday I pack a bag with just a small pile of bricks, a couple of cars and some people, and it can keep them both happily entertained in their spare time for ages. I sometimes wonder if I should just empty out the toy cupboard and just let them keep their Duplo. Even Harry at 6, much as he loves his Lego, will play with it for ages. I think it's more satisfying as he can build something larger more quickly, and he uses his imagination brilliantly to expand on the basic bricks.
What has really fascinated me over the last few years is seeing how differently Harry and Mia play with the Duplo. Harry has always been about the vehicles, he had a Duplo fire station and he drove the fire engines around and built cars. He's never shown much interest in the people that came with the sets. For Mia on the other hand it's all about the role play. She builds houses and a pre-school for her people, and she only uses the cars to transport them about. Especially now she has a couple of Disney princess people, she plays long involved games with them. I'm sure it's nothing to do with how I've raised them, it's just their natural instincts showing through!
What have been the favourite toy in your household?