Due to the lurgy descending on our household, it not being particularly easy to find anywhere fun to go on New Years Eve with a small party person in tow, and us not really being that fussed we spent New Years Eve helping the Small Person to build an internal combustion engine from a kit bought for Christmas by her godparents (who understand that she isn’t the type of small person who plays with dolls). It was quite a good kit as it happens, with instructions just bad enough that it was something of a challenge, but not so bad that you give up and abandon the thing.
It’s quite difficult to find toys that are a challenge – or that leave some creativity up to the child – these days. Even Lego seems to be mainly big chunks of plastic with a few bricks to stick on the top of your castle/space ship/ Harry Potter train – although they do seem to be starting to bring out some of the kits that I remember building as a small person. I worry about the next generation … how will they ever be able to construct flat pack furniture if they haven’t been confounded by cryptic instructions from an early age?