The importance of toys

A still from the Smyths advert, demonstrating the importance of toys.

One of my favourite films is Time Bandits. There are several reasons for this, but the main one has stuck with me since childhood. There is a moment near the start in which the toys on the little boy’s floor hint at a significant later scene. What looks like an untidy bedroom at first glance is a carefully arranged treat for the eagle eyed.

As well as being insanely cool – yes, I know I’m a geek and am fine with that – it really captures the importance of toys. Children use them to express themselves, improve communication and develop storytelling skills among many other things.

I love watching Dylan and Xander while they’re playing together. The games they play and the conversations they have are really funny. They like to assume the identities of their favourites. Albeit in some unusual settings.

For example, Darth Vader and The Incredible Hulk had lunch together last week. Very civilised. Also recently, I found some soft toys dangling by their tails from the underside of the top bunk. I asked Xander what was going on. “They’re being Ethan Hunt” he said in a very matter-of-fact way. Evidently, he has seen the new LEGO Dimensions trailer once too often!

Even though she is still very young, Amelie is exploring the idea too. As well as her cuddly toys, she has a few favourites to play with. These include DUPLO animals which double as dummies if she misplaces hers!

No wonder polar bears are endangered. Naughty Amelie!

A photo posted by Tom Briggs (@diaryofthedad) on

It’s always good to see them playing with toys instead of screens. We like to do our bit to encourage them too. Neither Kate nor I need any persuading to join in with them. Especially with LEGO and Mashers. We even create the odd surprise scene for them…

Xuli immediately regretted her decision to steal Groot’s hat. Yes, we may have been drinking…

A photo posted by Tom Briggs (@diaryofthedad) on

With toys in mind, the new Smyths advert is out now. It features a young boy, a plethora of popular toys and a new take on a Beyoncé song.

I, for one, think it’s really inventive. It shows off the extensive Smyths range nicely and through the eyes of a child. You can watch it below.

What do you think of the ad? Do you encourage your kids to play more? And, finally, do you play with their toys while they’re asleep?!

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.


  1. Davina

    Yes! My eldest wants to play with technology (can’t even tell you how much this stresses me out), but my youngest loves getting a ton of toys out and will play for hours. Earlier this week we got his tray of building blocks out while his brother was at school and we made a tower using every single brick, then he demolished it. This activity went in for a while and we both had so much fun together.

    Also, I collect Monster High dolls (I think it’s because I don’t have a girl and I’m making up for it. Or something) and occasionally set them up for inventive photo ops. I’m an artistic person, so I find this somehow really creative and calming.

    Aaaaaand you think I’m a total weirdo now, don’t you?

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