11 October

Tips for tots

Here are some present ideas for small children;

  • Classic toys: blocks, dolls, dolls’ beds, wagons, teddy bears, rubber ducks[1]
  • Books (You could get a crate load from your local op shop if the parents don’t mind second hand things)
  • Outside toys (sandpit shovels, balls, small gardening tools)
  • Play dough[2] (make your own) with a little rolling pin and biscuit cutters
  • Plastic farm animals, small cars
  • Percussion instruments (although you might want to clear this with their parents if you want to stay on good terms with them)
  • Torches (they adore them)[3]
  • Swing (the old plank and rope model still works as well today as it ever did)

Also, since tots usually love lots of presents, a plethora of little stocking stuffers usually goes down well.[4]

So much more than just a chunk of plank and a hank of rope.

I had my first social club committee meeting today. The young things were a little wary of me but were relieved that I wanted to be treasurer.[5] The Christmas party was the only item discussed[6] and the rumours are true: they’re planning a black tie, burlesque cocktail party and now they want fire eaters, red velvet draped around the room and carnival masks for all the guests. If the three experienced, pragmatic old-stagers couldn’t talk them out of it, I do not know what I am supposed to do.

[1] Not that I have ever seen a rubber duck made from rubber.

[2] My friend Jill forbade her son William play dough because he ate too much of it. (“I know it’s not toxic,” she said, “But it spoils his appetite for dinner.”)

[3] They adore them so much that you should consider equipping them with rechargeable batteries.

[4] But do filter out the choking hazards because small toys sometimes go down too well with small children.

[5] They told me that they’re all ideas people, as if that exempted them from having to deal with day-to-day matters. I assume that means that they’re all living at home with their parents, otherwise they’d know that even the most creative adults still have to choose between cleaning the toilet or living with a stink.

[6] I was going to say “on the agenda” but there wasn’t one: ideas people won’t be tied down by papers.

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