June 21, 2007 12:02 PM   Subscribe

For a museum interactive, I need to choose popular kids' items of today related to the following categories: Book, item related to school, doll or figure, indoor game, and outdoor game. Your suggestions?

This is part of a history museum exhibit, in which we have small collections of reproduction toys, books, etc. in those categories for each of 10 historical time periods. For example, in our Victorian basket, we've got a Louisa May Alcott book, a copybook and steel nib pen, a china doll, Chinese Checkers, a reproduction 1870 baseball, glove, bat, and rulebook, and a search for animal motifs in the house decorations. For the 1950s, we've got Little Bear, Dick & Jane and a composition book, Mr. Potato Head, Slinky, marbles, and hula hoops.

The idea is to create an introductory basket that will have fun, familiar items that kids who are 4-10 years old today are likely to recognize. We hope that'll help bring home the similarity to toys of the past.

I'm not up enough on modern day kids' pop culture to know what some good choices are. In general, we should probably stay away from the blatantly faddy stuff (Bratz dolls come to mind) but we do want things kids will feel are part of their own world.

For the book, Harry Potter was suggested. Any other ideas?
posted by Miko to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Agree with Harry Potter. One of those charts where teachers put stickers as rewards. American Girl doll. Nintendo DS. Mini trampoline.
posted by ferociouskitty at 12:15 PM on June 21, 2007

The book absolutely should be Harry Potter!
Indoor game - a handheld video game like the Nintendo (maybe you can get a broken one donated?)
Outdoor game - soccer ball
posted by metahawk at 12:17 PM on June 21, 2007

For an indoor game, any of the most recent hand-held gaming systems would be good, like Nintendo DS or Playstation Portable... Or trading card games like Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh.
posted by amyms at 12:17 PM on June 21, 2007

Unfortunately, the doll should probably be a "BRATZ" doll.
posted by hermitosis at 12:31 PM on June 21, 2007

Item related to school: backpack with wheels
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:31 PM on June 21, 2007

Outdoor game would be paintball. At least based on my 15 year old. Either that or a Razor scooter or skateboard
posted by Gungho at 1:24 PM on June 21, 2007

American Girl doll is way better than Bratz, IMHO. My nephews were really into Pokemon, so that might be a good choice. Harry Potter is definitely a good choice but you could also go with "Goodnight, Moon" or "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie," which younger kids might more readily recognize (I dont think four year olds are necessarily reading HP in the same numbers as say, 10 year olds).
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:29 PM on June 21, 2007

oops sorry didn't see the 4 to 10 age. In that agegroup you may want to include a pair of Wheelies. While they don't exactly fit the categories ALL the kids have them.
posted by Gungho at 1:34 PM on June 21, 2007

After working in schools for a while, any out of date pc being forced to carry...

I think almost any 4yo is going to recognize the cover of Harry Potter though, at least as much as any book.

And school wise, since it seems to fit the other periods - one of those little translucent vinyl 'ziploc' packs, with colored pencils, the cheap disposable mechanical pencils...
posted by pupdog at 1:36 PM on June 21, 2007

Parent of a six year old here.

Doll: Polly Pocket. (official site, but noisy)

School item: Erasable markers.

Indoor game: Handheld game really is the obvious choice, I agree.

Outdoor game: Super Soaker.

Book: Eric Carle's books, and, if you want to go a little older, the Magic Tree House series.
posted by gnomeloaf at 1:51 PM on June 21, 2007

Book: Please, I beg you, don't put Goodnight Moon in there. That book is awfully overrated. When I compare it to classics like "Where the Wild Things Are", I cringe. My boys read the Harry Potter books starting in 3rd grade, so I think they fit the age group. For younger kids, though, there's Cam Jansen.

Doll: The problem with Bratz or Polly Pocket or American Girl is that the only appeal to girls. As a mother of boys, I immediately thought of a Star Wars action figure.

School item: backpack on wheels is right on target for me.

Outdoor game: soccer ball or super soaker, either one.

Indoor game: Nintendo DS game is IT right now, but my son just loves his handheld Connect Four. Some kids like those virtual pet ones.
posted by misha at 2:48 PM on June 21, 2007

school item: plastic pencil box in a neon color
doll: barbie and ken
indoor toy: ipod (my 8 yr old granddaughter won't put hers down)
book: Rainbow Fish or anything by Eric Carle
other ideas: matchbox cars, DVD cases (Cars, Nemo, etc.)
posted by rcavett at 6:56 PM on June 21, 2007

Goodnight, Moon is NOT's just meant for kids younger than four. It helped two of my children go to sleep, so I think it's just fine.

As an alternate indoor game, the Pokemon card game might work well.
posted by lhauser at 10:14 PM on June 21, 2007

Goodnight, Moon is NOT's just meant for kids younger than four. It helped two of my children go to sleep, so I think it's just fine.

My Mom can talk about taking shopping trips to Walmart and put my sons to sleep, but that doesn't mean shopping trips to Walmat make a good read.

Other books intended for kids younger than 4, like Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar or Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are or Can't You Sleep, Little Bear or Love You Forever or...well, just about any other book than Goodnight Moon would be my choice, sorry.
posted by misha at 4:10 PM on June 24, 2007

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