"…when we work together, we’ve got the right stuff!"

I’m not a big fan of “Licensed, Character” stuff.
Not that there’s anything WRONG with that! [/Jerry Seinfeld]
Toys, clothing…I know it’s all a racket. Get my kid hooked on Sesame Street, slap Elmo on a sippy cup and charge an extra buck fifty. Well played, Madison Ave…but, I’m onto you.
Having said that, I am chagrined to admit that were you to search our home, you would find the random piece here and there. I’m not COMPLETELY heartless to my son’s desires…but, neither am I going to allow him to grow up duped by Marketing Execs into thinking that he NEEDS these things. (I know, I know…I’ve always gotta be difficult…)
Liam, thankfully, seems to enjoy many things in life and has yet to “obsess” over any one thing. I pray daily that this continues! Thomas was great, but he didn’t freak out when he got a different but perfectly nice train set for Christmas. (We told him his engines were Thomas’ cousins, Bubba and Earl.) He enjoys many different TV shows, but if Mama and Daddy decide he’s watching something else – or nothing at all – he’s okay with that, too. We rotate around here…which is another reason I see no need to invest heavily in “specific paraphenalia”. (Not that there’s anything WRONG with that!)
Now, lately we’ve put a show called “The Wonder Pets” into rotation. It’s a very sweet show with endearing characters and good lessons. On recent trips through Target, he’s noticed the Fly Boat for sale – the tiny superheros’ preferred method of transport – and has expressed an interest. Pictured below, the Fly Boat, complete with Wonder Pets, goes for roughly twenty two clams:

Now, frankly, this is a bit below Liam’s “toy level”, and probably marketed to a slightly younger age group. But, how can you blame him – they’re damn cute. I know from experience, however, that the WANTING is normally far more palpable than the GETTING of these things. It takes a very well designed toy to hold a Pre-Schooler’s interest an hour beyond the removal of those twisty-ties in the packaging. So, I decided not to cave.
Instead, I kept my eye open for parts…to incorporate into what I hoped would be a teachable moment.
Take a partially complete Junior Erector set from a Kiddy Consignment store (two bucks), a plastic diner basket (three for a dollar at Target), cardboard, construction paper, markers, tape and a page from a coloring book, and you have OUR version of a Fly Boat:

The fun we had making it, and the lesson learned

to not be afraid to try to “do it yourself”?


I don’t think he’d trade it for the real thing now if you offered the switch.

Oh, and don’t forget!

5 Responses to "…when we work together, we’ve got the right stuff!"
    June 8, 2009 | 10:44 pm

    Just Awesome! Stopping by from SITS!

  2. soda158
    June 9, 2009 | 12:22 am

    raya sunshine: that's the wonder pets?
    mommy: yep, my friend phil made it.
    raya sunshine: phil is good at makin' stuff, probably.

  3. kimert
    June 9, 2009 | 3:59 pm

    Thanks for stopping by!!
    Gotta say, even as much as the Wonder Pets bug me (it's the baby talk), I LOVE your version of the fly boat!!! It rocks! :)

  4. Robert
    June 9, 2009 | 5:27 pm

    I'll go on record again by saying you deserve a "Mother of the Decade" award. The time you spend with Liam and the projects you come up with for the two of you to share are going to be the best learning tools he will EVER be given. You need to teach once he's in school. Many children will benefit from what you can give them.

  5. Carrie
    June 10, 2009 | 9:41 pm

    You're an awesome mommy! Oh, and pretty darn good friend too…:)

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