How I learned a little souvenir can make a big difference
Whenever I go out of town I promise my daughter I’ll bring her something back. It’s a sort of consolation for me leaving her for a couple of days. She can’t stand when I’m away, and now I even catch her “writing letters” and saying prayers demanding that I take her with me whenever I go out of town. She and I have traveled on many trips together, but when we can’t, I try to bring her something back. And recently I discovered this means more to her than I had ever realized.
A couple of months ago I went on a trip to Aurora, New York to take a tour of Fisher-Price, the classic toy brand we’ve known our whole lives. Although the company is a household name, getting inside their doors and seeing behind the scenes is something that rarely happens. This was a big deal, and I’m still in shock to see my face and hear my voice on their website.
I am honored one of four bloggers chosen to be an FP Insider. Along with myself, Adrian from Dad or Alive, Chelsea from Someday I’ll Learn, and Rachel from Rachel Cooks met the people in charge of imagining, creating, and developing the toys and baby products I use and love in my own home.
You hope that the companies who make the products you use in your house would take every effort to make sure the toys are safe, and I saw first hand that’s the case with Fisher-Price.
So here I was in this wonderland of toys from the last 80 years, recognizing many of them from my childhood. From the Big Things Puffalump, to the Chatter Telephone, and Doctor’s Kit–I couldn’t avoid thinking of my kids and what fun toy memories they may have when they’re my age. Especially when there is so much technology now.
Before leaving Buffalo, I stopped at the toy store and stocked up on souvenirs for my kids. I bought a Little People bus for my son, a soothe and glow seahorse for my daughter who hates the dark, and a doctor’s kit for them to share. I only traveled with a single carry on bag, so I shipped the gifts home and searched for a tiny gift that I could pack in my purse.
I ended up buying a couple Little People animals. A zebra for my daughter who loves animal print clothes, and an elephant for my silly son.
When I called to tell my daughter I was on my way home and that I had a surprise for her, she was so excited to see what it was. The funny thing about preschoolers is they are unapologetically honest. I had no idea what she’d think of the teeny toy. When I arrived and pulled her tiny gift out of my purse I didn’t know how she’d react, and I especially didn’t expect her response.
She squealed! Snatched it from my hands and proceeded to kiss it and name it (she is now known as Real Zebra). A couple months in and my daughter still loves the little thing and tucks it in her bag to bring with her when we go out.Just having something to show her that I was thinking of her when we were apart was enough to send her over the moon. It’s helped me realize even more how something small can make a big impact in a child’s life, and how it doesn’t take much to completely make a child’s day.
This is just the beginning of a conversation I’ll be a part of between parents and Fisher-Price. You can join in by using the hashtag #FPInsiders on Twitter. Ask questions and we’ll be checkin in with answers. I’m excited to share some of the parenting lessons I’ve learned along the way, as well as advice for new moms and dads, and of course more of my own stories.
What are some of your children’s favorite toys big or small? And some of your favorite toys from your childhood?
Tags: childhood memories, Fisher-Price, travel
Such a neat experience! My mom actually lives in East Aurora, so we’ve visited Fisher Price too while visiting her & just seeing the huge toys outside was enough to bring back some amazing childhood memories. Though my favorite FP toys were the little people! Heck, I still love them!!
That is so cool that you’ve been there too Andrea. I showed my mom the video of our tour and she remembered toys from her childhood. We love the Little People too. We actually mostly have the princess versions… Go figure.
Loved your recap and the sweet photos of your daughter! Let’s go back! 🙂
You’re so sweet Rachel! We totally should go back. I wanna see the waterfall too!
I saw a Fisher-Price post about this partnership yesterday on FB and thought it was cool that you had traveled to my neck of the woods! I’m originally from the Buffalo area and have family in East Aurora. In fact, my cousin just got married and used old-school Little People (the choking hazard ones!) as part of her place cards…so cute! It is a great brand! There’s your “in” for getting your kids to be models, by the way…I have many friends whose kids have gotten gigs there! It’s a perfect fit 🙂 Anyway, it’s such a great little town and while I’ve never been to the HQ itself, I have been there for one of their parades where the giant versions of the classic toys roll down the street. So fun!
That is so cool Amy! That little town is so special. I love that your cousin incorporated the Little People into her wedding! So awesome, haha (my wedding wasn’t nearly as clever).
Ok so I have to say… As soon as we walked into the little kids model rooms I was like “OMG MY KIDS NEED TO DO THIS!” But they use local kiddos. Though it’s tempting I don’t think we’d be able to Buffalo 😉
So neat to know I was in your neck of the woods! Let me know if you’re ever in mine 🙂
PS: And so funny you read another post yesterday! You have good taste in blogs 😉
This is so sweet! And what a memorable opportunity!
This girl… she melts my heart 🙂 Definitely a cool experience.
I thought you were a toy snob and only liked wooden toys? This is very conflicting because it’s sponsored. I myself prefer to give my kids toys that aren’t over stimulating a la fisher price.
Me a toy snob? Oh heavens no! I do prefer wooden play food though. In her play kitchen we use Melissa and Doug 🙂 I also prefer toys that aren’t too over-stimulating, but we have a variety from iPad games (quite visually stimulating) to dolls, blocks, musical toys, cars, and puzzles.
Also, though my partnership as a Fisher-Price ambassador is sponsored, I’d never write about a company, or product I personally can’t stand behind. And I will always strive to share my experiences from my personal perspective. The toys I brought/mailed home for my son and daughter which I mentioned in this post were all bought with my own money and picked out by myself (doctor’s set, little people bus, the zebra and glow animal) and they all fall in the category of toys we like to play with 😉
Moo is all about American Girl and My Little Pony right now. My son is into anything Thomas & Friends related. As a child my favorite toys were dolls. I played with my baby dolls until I was 14 and was not afraid to carry them around in public!
Congrats on being selected as a Fisher-Price Insider!
That is so cool that you were able to go! What a neat experience. 🙂
It sounds like J’s love language is gifts. 🙂
Thanks for sharing! Most of the items there are low in quality. But the ones in your list are both useful and not often “brutally used” by our dogs so they’ll surely last longer than they usually do, which is good.
Seeing the pictures bring back old memories of toys!
It’s like reversing the time. Would really plan to visit this place some day with my kids.