Nathaniel, my son, has no clue how lucky he is that I work at aMuse. I joined the aMuse family as the assistant manager of the Fells Point store over a year ago, and I now find myself surrounded (and tempted!) by toys on a daily basis.
Nathaniel’s 1st birthday falls in early December with Christmas following closely behind. That said, our house now looks like a third location of aMuse. I not only started excitedly buying toys way before he was born (and kept buying up until the last minute!), his grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends of our family are now aMuse fans and customers too!
When I look at the toys scattered across the house, I sometimes think about the very first toys that he really started ‘playing’ with. Two of our early favorites were the Winkle (renamed "the Atom" in our house) and the Skwish - both by Manhattan Toy Company.
The Winkle was attached beautifully to the outside of one of our baby shower gifts. It has many brightly colored pliable loops attached to a rattle in the center.
The colors are fantastic, and it has a slight rattle with many loops that my little guy loves to grasp and chew on. He’s been engaging with it in various forms from as early as 2-3 months old. It was also one of the very first toys he picked up and began ‘playing’ with himself. It’s approachable for a new baby because of its lightweight, large size and many places to put little fingers.
Now that Nathaniel is getting older, he’s playing with it in more complex ways. He loves shaking it as a rattle and loves banging it on any surface available. It’s also still one of his favorite things to chew on.
The Skwish was a ‘mommy purchase’ when Nathaniel was about 6 months old. We both love the colors and sounds. The fact that he’s able manipulate the unique molecular-like shape in any direction is endlessly fascinating to him.
The Skwish, like the Winkle, continues to grow with him. Since he has started crawling, he loves to bounce it on the floor and loves chasing it down - panting like our puppy dog the whole time! (Our lab/border collie LOVES to chase balls and Nathaniel is obviously enthralled...)
Much to our chagrin, Nathaniel’s first word was "woof." He loves to spend time in the dog’s bed in front of the large window and play with his toys. The Skwish and Winkel are some of his favorite things to bang against the window, and he sometimes launches them at our poor dog. Still in his constant state of teething, he continues to chew them up.
We love our Winkel and Skwish and look forward to getting them both for Nathaniel's newest baby cousin.