There are things I want to give to my daughter: happiness, safety, self confidence. I hope to share with her my love for the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the nostalgia for lands I have not visited yet. I wish that she will learn skills I never had: to play an instrument, to dance, to swim. She will surprise me with passions I do not share, and I will do my best to learn from her how to appreciate them. I will maybe try not to teach her derivatives and integrals, at least before she finish primary school — however, she will get to listen my bed-time stories about the standard model, and how just 4 forces are enough to govern all our universe.
There are other gifts I want to donate her: critical thinking, a sense of justice and a vivid imagination. It is a big challenge: I do not know her yet, but one thing I know for sure. She is going to be a smart kid. Her imagination will be the playground for her ideas: the place where she will learn how to build connections, create and recognize patterns, push the limits of what is already known. (Yes, I know, I am describing the requirements for completing a PhD. After all, aren’t doctoral students nothing more than little kids playing science?)
Toys are fundamental!
Toys are fundamental! What is she going to play with, as a little child, will help her imagination to grow — or will kill it. Toys should allow her mind to develop free of constrains, they should unleash her potential, and ultimately allow her dreams to fly beyond the limits of all known universes. Seriously, toys are so important, that we (Bella and I, together) are selecting them with the greatest care.
So, here are the toys we would love for our daughter: they are colorful, made of wood or knitted organic cotton, certified against harmful substances, and gender-neutral. (Well, yes, she will get a lot of LEGO, of course! But here there is more!)
Sebra is a Danish toy maker.
I love their knitted elephants. More of Sebra toys are here: www.babyshop.se
Ferm Living is another Danish brand. They have a special collection of items for children. Love their pillows, bedding sets and other interior design objects. More on their website: www.fermliving.com
Franck and Fischer
A third Danish designer is Franck and Fischer. How can’t you get crazy for these knitted animals? The home page is franck-fischer.com
Janod is a French maker of wooden toys. With the exception of LEGO — we would like our girl to have a lot of toys made of wood. And these ones created by Janod are among the most beautiful. Love the circus, the space rocket, the robots, and the trolleys. Love them all, actually. Here is their site: www.janod.com
BRIO is a Swedish company, founded in 1884 in Osby, a small town located not far from Malmö. They create some beautiful wooden toys: cars, helicopters, airplanes and trains. Oh, the trains! What is more magic than a wooden train? Here BRIO’s home page: www.brio.se
bObles is all a different category. These are not just toys, but a full collection of ergonomic tools to develop both imagination and spatial awareness. Another Danish company. On the other hand, Danes invented LEGO. So what else do you expect? Here is bObles website: bobles.com