Much like how sugar just seems to accumulate in our house from various well meaning bank-tellers and check-out-clerks we also have a good amount of small toys that just appear. They come from prizes won at school, pridefully cherished right up until the moment my child gets off the afternoon bus and walks in the house at which time I find the "prize" next to the crumpled worn socks of the day in the front hallway. They are hastily grabbed in a hard fought scrum of children scrambling for the innards of a pinata at a party. They are begged from the edges of parade floats and given after finishing one's nuggets and fries. They spontaneously appear in the bottom of my purse and in the floor boards of my car, in the pockets of the children and underneath the couch; these hot wheels and whistles, tiny bottles of bubbles, Frisbees with insurance agents phone numbers on them, squirt guns, packs of just three crayons, maze books, necklaces, temporary tattoos, gum-ball machine rings, rubber lizards, inspirational wrist bands, plastic frogs, tops, fuzzy moustaches and various plastic eggs that crack open to reveal something gooey, sticky and guaranteed to dry into a giant crust of gross on your mother's carpet.
As I find these items I've been throwing them all in one place, along with the missing dice, legos, meeple, marbles and playing cards that will only be important when they are missed. They go into one giant bowl in my dining room. Twice this year it's overflowed and I dumped it into a grocery bag with the intention of handing it back to a teacher to give out as prizes again and then having it instead collect dust in the hall closet. Upon walking past the overflowing bowl again today I realized the most incredible solution! Halloween. If you get to my house to trick or treat this year, you could get a candy or you could get a little balsa wood plane, or Alvin the Chipmunk on a skateboard. I hope you don't get the goo filled egg.