Today, my boys' favorite toys are yarn, clay and plastic cups.
They have spent hours wrapping each other in yarn and creating intricate "spider-webs" all around the house. The sounds of their laughter tickle my heart as I see the joy they've unleashed with their imaginations. Simple thread -- yet to my boys, it's all the need for active and creative play.
Same thing with the clay and plastic cups. I came downstairs after my shower to the sound of something crashing into the cups and cups cascading to the floor. The game? Bowling. My eight-year-old and five-year-old had gathered a bunch of our plastic cups and arranged them on the dining room table, bowling-pin style. Then, using the clay they'd been messing with all morning (previously, the clay had been a "snowman"), they crafted a "bowling ball." And again, with their imaginations, created an indoor bowling alley far cheaper than those they coveted in a Christmas catalogs.
Boxes are another long-time favorite. Boxes have been everything from snowmobiles to forts to rocket ships. (I will never forget my then-three-year-old's disappointment when his "rocket' failed to launch after his 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-0 countdown.)
Of course, my sons take part in more technological pleasures as well. They LOVE playing Command and Conquer on the computer and spend hours playing Star Wars Legos on their Wii. But sometimes, the simple things are best.