Trying to Raise a Star Wars Fan? Here are some age-appropriate tools for Toddlers
If you were at an impressionable age (read: -5 to 15 years) when the original Star Wars trilogy came to theaters and grew up a big fan, you have probably hoped of one day sharing your Star Wars passion with your own children. Of course, you wouldn't dare let your little one touch your original Kenner toys from the 1980's, so what other play options are there for the toddler and preschool years? Read on for toys that do the job for the 2-4 year old range.
Some Basic Aids
You can get Galactic Heroes figures in packs of two, Stocking Stuffer packs of three, or inside the bigger Cinema Scenes. The best variety of Cinema Scenes can be found at Toys R Us, and they are all fantastic, featuring anywhere from four to nine principal characters from the movies reinacting a scene. For example, the Jabba's Sail Barge scene has Princess Leia in the slave outfit, R2-D2 serving drinks, a few members from Jabba's band, Jabba himself (the only way he will ever look "cute"), and Luke Skywalker on a skiff with Boba Fett. The boxes are part of the scene too; in this scene, the boats are a bit raised and when you fold out the bottom of the boat, there is a hole with teeth around it to represent the pit monster.
By far the most important of these scenes it to get your hands on one of the Galactic Heroes Millennium Falcon replicas. Again, this is a fairly accurate and highly durable Millennium Falcon with sound effects that little fans will love. It has been a favorite in my house for nearly a year, which is something that does not happen often with toys.
If your child is past the toy-to-mouth phase, you can try some LEGO Star Wars minifigures. While they are manufacturer recommended for ages six and up, most of the pieces work well in small hands. We have two magnet sets of three minifigure characters from the series, and my son loves to play "pshoo pshoo" with them as well. I should note here that he was never given these toys to play with: he managed to reach them after someone had left them out, but they are all still intact and he has not put any of the pieces in his mouth. Please use your own knowledge of your child before deciding to purchase these for them.
There are extra reinforcements in the form of media as well. In all honesty, the original trilogy is a bit slow-moving and "unflashy" for preschoolers, so I've introduced my children to the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie and series. The basic stories are more accessible to little ones, and the art is much more visually stunning, so they hold my two year old's interest much better than the 'live action' movies.
Finally, for extra reinforcement, there are two wonderful board books for little Star Wars fans: Spaceships and Heroes. Of the two, Heroes is definitely the stronger choice, as it introduces the main good guys of the two trilogies: Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Chewbacca, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi and the good Anakin. This is an excellent primer for beginning fans.
These are all items that are big hits with my two year old and all have stayed in good condition, so if you are looking for ways to get your littlest ones 'involved' with Star Wars, these toys and books should help!
Joined:Nov 26, 2007
Caffeine-addicted, Phineas and Ferb lovin' bibliophile
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