Lately, I have been perusing the internet for Christmas toys. I rediscovered a long lost website whose toys I absolutely love to look at: Plan Toys. All of these toys have a real simple, "designerly", Scandinavian quality to them, and are all made from wood. Unfortunately, as with all good design, a lot of these toys are pricey, and I'm pretty sure if I did buy one, my son would not appreciate them as I would hope (most of the ones I love are kind of young for him anyway). So for now, they are eye candy. And don't underestimate the importance of good toys. Frank Lloyd Wright attributes his architectural success to a set of Froebel blocks his mother bought for him when he was nine. He feels they helped him to master geometry through play.
Here are a few of my favorites: