Tiny Toy Troupes
- What: Miniatures
- When: 5 years and up
- Why: Irresistible, wide range of interests and ages
- Where: Amazon or your local craft or game store
My kids have a new obsession: miniatures. They first discovered these types of tiny toys at the craft store, when we stumbled upon the miniature aisle. All three of them, at ages six, eight, and ten, became mesmerized, and subsequently blew all their savings on as much as they could buy.
The beauty of miniatures is that kids can find something for almost any interest. My ten year old history buff got trees, ground cover, and artillery to flesh out his Army Men collection. My eight year old set up a produce stand complete with fruits, veggies, and tiny tables. And my six year old, who loves farming, chose animals and food items.
We’ve also found miniatures at our local gaming store. Meant for Dungeons and Dragons and other role playing games, these tiny figures come unpainted or pre-painted. My two youngest kids don’t care much about the actual games, but love the tiny figures and accessories. My son got a pre-painted farm set, while my daughter got an unpainted royal set, then spent the weekend painting them.
The kids use cardboard to create tiny scenes and move them around more easily. The tiny pieces store easily in a bag or bin between play sessions. While my kids love to set up on the floor, beware the tiny pieces. One misstep and an entire scene can be devastated. Pets also have a tendency to tear through the scene when agitated, so tabletops and other surfaces tend to work better, even if they have less room to spread out.
You can get almost any brand, and my kids certainly don’t seem to care. They love picking them out in person. The gaming store carries Wizkids, and you can get a variety of their products online as well. The craft store has their own brand, called Artminds. So far both brands, despite their tiny size, have held up well, with no broken bits or other defects. The brand does not matter to my kids as much as the selection and variety of tiny toys available.
If you want to get your bigger kids into toys that don’t take up tons of room and have a lower price point (they can fund their own collections), look no further than miniatures.