I may have mentioned this before, but Zoë is not really into traditional toys. And if she does like something she plays with it in a way other than it was intended. For example, Legos. She loves her Legos, but she doesn't usually build anything with them. Instead she sorts them by size. That can occupy her for quite a long time.
But really her favorite things to play with are little things like rubber bands, straws, and loose beads. I actually put rubber bands and straws in her Christmas stocking and she could not have been more thrilled -- that may actually have been the two best presents she got.
A couple of weeks ago I took her into Toys R Us to pick out a present for being a really good girl. In my mind I had set a spending limit of around $20. Without much hesitation she picked a bag of lanyard strings that cost $2.99.
"Mom, can I please get this?" she begged.
"OK, but only because you've been so good," I conceded. I almost felt bad because she could have spent more, but she was so happy to have those strings!
Of course, this is a pattern that I hope continues well into the teen years. Doubtful, I know. I'll just have to try and remember these trips to Toys R Us when I am buying her her first $100 sneakers or similar.