Back in May, in Arkansas, we all wandered into a Toys R Us so that my mother could buy a birthday present for Sydney, and then we all waited around for me, as I walked through every single aisle of that store, gasping at desperately low clearance prices on much of our favorite plastic crap--big-box niche stores aren't doing too well, are they? Whatever.
Matt and I were just about at an all-time low income-wise around then, otherwise I may well have stocked completely up for the girls' entire Christmas and next-year birthdays right then and there, but as it was my mother got a GREAT deal on a gigantically expensive Playmobil set with unicorns and fairies and all that crap on it for Sydney, Matt and I bought that Playmobil advent calendar that I'd been making cutesie eyes at last year AND the Playmobil Egypt set that Willow had been making cutesie eyes at for OVER a year (only there, at a third of its original price, was it actually affordable), AND we bought a Harumika fashion design kit on clearance, solely because it happened to include a Barbie-sized dressmaker's dummy.
The Egypt set was basically that kid's best birthday present ever, and the advent calendar will make its appearance next month, but the fashion design toy set went to sit on a spot on the activity shelves, and there it sat. For months. And months.
Stuff like that doesn't really bother me--unschooling philosophy is all about the "strewing" of awesome stuff here and there and everywhere, to be taken up and explored at the child's will, and so I have faith that all awesome stuff will eventually be made full use of eventually. The tangrams lived on a shelf for years before they came off of it, and now they're quite beloved. The obsession with cassette tapes comes and goes and comes again. The dollhouse is back in vogue. We still haven't made the model rocket, but we will. The sandpaper cursive letters have come out only once or twice so far, but they'll come out again. Perhaps next summer will be the summer of the washboard. I'm betting the instant snow powder will have its heyday soon.
And the fashion design kit, with its little Barbie-sized dressmaker's dummy? Syd just picked it up one morning, brought it to me, and asked if we could play with it. Its heyday is here!
A neat little component to the dressmaker's dummy is a slit up the back, with soft silicone edges, so that you can tuck your fabric in there to get the right fit. Of course, hot glue works well, too:
The kit itself came with about three pieces of fabric, which I imagine would make it a REALLY crappy toy in a home where no one sews. In our home, however--
We have a scrap bin, and we're not afraid to use it:
Syd spent hours making fashion designs for this dummy for two solid days, photographing each one for posterity:
It hits all her sweet spots--her creativity, her love of clothes and color, the enjoyment that she takes in dolls and other little toys: