Consumer Products

The Road to Rochester: Pots and pans

Throughout October, Kidscreen is taking a peek at each of this year's 12 nominees for the Toy Hall of Fame. And yes, pots and pans are among 2014's finalists. Does it sound a bit off? Think of the cacophony toddlers create with their first musical "instruments."
October 24, 2014

Throughout October, Kidscreen will take a peek at each of this year’s 12 nominees for the Toy Hall of Fame. Located within the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY, the Toy Hall of Fame has the most comprehensive collection of toys, dolls and video games in the world. Among its inductees are the Frisbee, Raggedy Ann and The Game of Life.  Today, we look at perhaps the biggest outlier of this year’s finalists: Pots and pans.

What they lack in age range as a toy, pots and pans make up in international breadth. Parents across the globe see them as cookware, but preschoolers see something else. They can clap the lids together as symbols, turn the pots upside down to use as drums or even wear them as hats.

“It’s a plaything that even toddlers—before they can speak and barely crawl—recognize as an everyday household item and its possibility as a plaything,” says Christopher Bensch, chief curator of the Strong Museum.

It may sound unusual to have cookware in the Toy Hall of Fame, but its inductees already include items like the stick, the cardboard box and the blanket—all everyday objects that have spurred creativity in kids. And of all those toys, pots and pans can make the most music.

The three main criteria for induction into the hall of fame are (1) longevity, (2) recognition or icon status, and (3) encourage learning, creativity and discovery. This year’s other 11 nominees are: American Girl dollsbubblesFisher-Price Little People, Hess toy trucks, Little Green Army Men, My Little Pony, Operation, the paper airplane, Rubik’s Cube, Slip ‘N Slide and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The two inductees for 2014 will be announced on November 6.

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