Have you seen this funny post on Greek Dad? I have to agree that the best toys are ones that are simple, have multiple uses and stretch kids' imaginations. Of the five on the list of best toys, String (I love that Jonathan Liu capitalizes "string") is by far my kids' favorite, especially for Bean. To document this, I just went around the house and snapped these 5 photos to support my claim:
Exhibit A: String from a yo-yo is used to tie the barn door shut.
Exhibit B: Ribbon is used to tie a bandanna to Mei Mei's walker toy and inside are two baby animals. For a stork? I dunno.
Exhibit C: Lanyard is tied to a bracelet around a dog's neck to make a leash.
Exhibit D: This is my personal fav.
Exhibit E: I have no idea what this is except that it needed to be controlled by computer (a computer keyboard was added later).
The best part about String is that it doesn't even need to be bought. In the above pic, the dark Strings at the top came from hoodies of mine, the green and yellow Strings came wrapped around bath towels my mom got the kids last Christmas, the green bracelet (around the white canister) came from an old key chain, the blue lanyard came from my previous job and the orange spiky bracelet (dog collar in Exhibit C) was a handout from a company cookout of my husband's a couple years ago. Each has its own history, kinda like ornaments on a Christmas tree, though DH and I joke about buying the kids a bunch of brand new String for Christmas becuase they love it so much. It's better for the environment to play with repurposed string anyway. That original post could just have easily been posted on Green Dad rather than Geek Dad.