Monday, October 15, 2012

Lincoln Logs

Every now and then I try and pull out a different toy. Something to keep the twins busy for --oh, I don't know -- five minutes? (Just kidding.)

They do seem to need constant stimulation, and switching out toys can switch things up a bit. The other day I started thinking about some toys I had put away and remembered Lincoln Logs. The twins are possibly a little young for them, but I figured that if I built something with them, they might get intrigued by them. Buddy Twin is a LEGO/Thomas train builder-kind-of-kid, so I knew it might appeal to him especially.

Well, it went over... OK. We have a giant Lincoln Log set that has all the traditional wooden pieces, as well as a newer set that has some plastic pieces and is intended to build a schoolhouse. The schoolhouse has a plastic slide, and that was the coveted piece by both children. And then Buddy Twin tried to build a track for his Matchbox cars out of the logs and roof pieces, which is fine with me, since he was hard at work on a project, even if it wasn't a log cabin.

Later that day, as I was putting the twins in bed, I could hear wooden pieces being sorted through downstairs, click clack click... (And Bunny Twin heard it above the bedtime stories: "Lincoln blocks, Lincoln blocks!" she said with one ear in the air.)

When I finally got the tots tucked in, I came downstairs and I found this:

Ah, Big Girl. "I knew exactly what I going to do when they went to bed!" she said.

Lincoln Logs are such a classic, classic toy. They have been around since 1916, and interestingly, were invented by architect Frank Lloyd Wright's son, John Lloyd Wright. The idea came to him when he was watching the building of Tokyo's Imperial Palace Hotel, which was created with "earthquake proof" interlocking pieces. He named the toy after Abraham Lincoln, who began his life in a log cabin. Apparently they reached the height of popularity during the 1950s during the Davy Crockett era.

The package says they are for ages 3 years and up, and clearly we know that the process of building with blocks is a great activity for little minds. It's about creating, problem solving, thinking things through -- that sort of thing. All positive exercises for toddlers.

I'd like to add to our "log" collection. If I had my wish, Santa will bring this for Christmas:

I love this one because of its Laura Ingalls Wilder cuteness. It's even called the "Little Prairie Farmhouse!" I swear they pick these names on purpose to match Laura Ingalls Wilder: The schoolhouse set we have its called the "Walnut Woods Schoolhouse." Um, Walnut Woods? How about "Walnut Grove," right people?

Speaking of girls playing with Lincoln logs, they don't have to be pink for little girls to love them. The plain old logs clearly inspired my oldest, and yesterday I was looking at this 1926 advertisement:

The ad says that girls like to play with them too, to build houses as well as furniture for their dolls. I loved the thought of log picnic tables and stump stools for dolls tea parties.

I'm hoping the Lincoln Logs continue to get a workout in our house, along with the LEGOs and trains, and American Girl dolls.

And in case you are feeling inspired (like I am!) here's a great party idea based on Lincoln Logs:

This party was so cute and original. I even love the food ideas -- lumberjack breakfast, anyone? Future birthday party for twins? Possibly!

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