If you have children in today’s society, your child’s room is probably overrun by toys; toys of every colour, shape and size, noisy, or quiet and plush. Many of them are appropriate only for a certain age group or considered desirable by only one gender. Others have such limited function that children tire of them soon and they become yard sale fodder. There are, however, some toys that are pure genius, either because of their uniqueness, simplicity, or versatility.
What could be simpler than The Pet Rock? Gary Dahl invented the Pet Rock in 1975, using ordinary rocks to produce pets that were care-free. Who would ever have guessed they would become a sensation and make their inventor a millionaire? “Stranger than fiction.”
The Slinky was invented by Richard James in the early 1940s. As a naval mechanical engineer, James accidentally discovered the entertaining qualities of spring steel that allowed it to “walk” down a flight of stairs, still the favorite trick of the slinky today.
Silly Putty, based on silicone polymers has many talents. It bounces, but breaks when given a sharp blow, can float in water or form a puddle if left for a time. Again, its invention was unintentional, accidentally discovered while researching rubber substitutes for use during the high demand of World War II. Several claims to its invention have not deterred the public, particularly children, from enjoying the results.
The Plastic Crayon Holder was invented by Cassidy Goldstein, age 12. Who better than a child to think of a way to preserve and easily use broken pieces of crayon? The invention is simply a plastic tube into which the whole or partial crayon is inserted.
The wooden Baleros, a favourite in Latin America, but sold everywhere, is a simple ball and cup toy that challenges the dexterity of its users. The toy was invented many places around the world with small variations.
Toys need not be complicated to be enjoyed by children and adults alike. These and many others have stood the test of time. Maybe it’s time for another yard sale, parents!
DinkiesPosted in Uncategorized