Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Toy shopping

I know I've been getting a bit "off topic" lately what with being so busy on my soapbox (hey, I did call this thing "MamaRANDOM" for a reason!). How is the no buying new stuff thing going?..........well, I'm happy to report its actually feeling pretty easy right now. The trick seems to be not to expose yourself to temptation! - and now I'm just out of the habit of shopping in 'new stuff' places. When I do, I'm a lot more conscious in my purchases.

No, I can't claim to be pure - especially in the case of things for The Booba. He 'needed' a ride along toy recently (at a friend's kid's birthday party he wouldn't leave hers alone - and then when we got home he kept trying to 'ride' all his little toy trucks. It was too pitiful). I did find one at Salvo's but it was a little bit suspect in the safety stakes. So off we went to the toy department of a certain large department store, not my favourite destination.

Most of the kids I could see around seemed to be pretty whiny and miserable, and I don't think it was just a case of wanting all the toys they saw. That place made me feel pretty miserable too! - a sea of technicolour plastic bleating various hollow electronic ditties and leaching an artificial malodour. Hugely overstimulating yet at the same time completely devoid of warmth and soul. Feeling hugely optimistic I sought out the 'wooden toys' section. There wasn't one - other than a mealsy assortment of attractive but massively overpriced pull-along wooden dogs from Europe. When I finally escaped the department - flashing and singing ride along fire engine in tow - I felt exhausted and a bit hypocritical. But The Booba and his engine are inseparable.

I had a much more pleasant toy shopping experience recently when looking for a gift for my nephew in our local Oxfam shop. No plastic. Interesting colours and textures and a story behind each piece. And of course, not a whiff of a sweatshop. Nephew liked his little handpainted Peruvian tambourine and the Indian bells for tying around his ankles when he dances.

I've been making a few toys from upcycled materials lately for various babies' birthdays. I'm not much of a sewing afficionado so they don't bear terribly close scrutiny but I had a ball making them and the babies seem to have liked them. Just got a bunch more wicked fabric from the local opshop, so working on a few new designs at the moment...When I can find the camera I'll post some pictures!

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