While looking for “natural” toys for Little T, I remembered the mini-palayok (clay pot) set that I had as a child. My cousin and I would actually light a fire and cook some rice in it… together with some leaves and flowers. I further traveled down memory lane and recalled a small broom I used to have, just perfect for my small hands.
Last year, I searched for these toys from my childhood. Good quality palayok sets are hard to find in Manila and we bought our unglazed clay pots in Batangas province. Child-sized versions of the walis tambo and the walis tingting can be found in Manila market stalls. These are real brooms used to clean small spaces like the back of stoves.
Little T is very pleased with her real toys. She spends hours “cooking” in her clay pots, filling them with sand, grass blades, leaves and flowers. She sweeps the floor and is very proud that she is actually helping and doing some work. I am now looking for a child-sized dust pan as she is struggling with the regular-sized one.
Recently, I was tempted to buy a wooden cooking set that I saw. It has a two-stove burner and an array of pots and pans. It looked great. I really wanted to buy it. Compared to the palayok set, it looked… posh. But we don’t need posh. I was looking for “natural” and the palayok is as natural as the soil it is made of.
The walis tambo and the walis tingting are made out of coconut leaves and tiger grass, respectively. Together with the palayok, they make inexpensive, natural, and easily available toys for our kids.