Like most parents, when purchasing toys for our little guy we tend to purchase ones that are past his age bracket--for example, this Christmas Dashiell is getting a number of toys intended for 2-year-olds, even though he won't be 2 until April. Mostly we want to get the greatest amount of use out of a toy, and want D to do activities that challenge him so he doesn't get bored. Well it turns out that sometime the toy manufacturers are right when they recommend an age group for a toy! Let's take Dashiell's backyard slide. The recommended age for this toy is 18 months to 3 years old. He received this as a gift for his 1st birthday from his Nana and Grandpa Hanson and Auntie Elizabeth. We set it up for him about 2 months later, so he was able to play with it when he was about 14 months old. Now, he did play with it a little, and he enjoyed it when he did, but it involved getting lots of help from mom and dad to get on it so he could actually slide, and despite my best efforts to show him how the periscope worked he just didn't care about it at all. So most of the summer I was feeling a little like it might have been a waste of money--yes I took lots of pictures on it and have posted many of them here, but that was mostly to compensate for the lack of actual interest D had in it. I was the one who suggested this toy, after all, so I had to make sure it at least looked like he really liked it!
4 months later--when Dashiell was right around 18 months old--he realized that he could climb up the ladder all by himself, which made this toy much more fun than it was when I had to help him up. Then last week he "discovered" the periscope and thought it was the best thing EVER, especially when I looked at him through the other end. So go figure--he's at the recommended age for this toy, and now he loves it! I'm not sure that he'll love it until he's 3 years old, especially since he's already too tall for it, but at least I no longer feel like like a heal for suggesting it to the grandparents as his birthday present last year!