A toy should be 10% toy and 90% child.
I love this quote and have found it to be so true. The less a toy does, the more my children play with it. The less defined a toy is, the more it is incorporated into their play in different ways. Cardboard boxes, ropes, blankets, and kitchen bowls are the true treasures.
I am continually surprised - or maybe impressed is the word - at how fluid children's play is and how their props morph right along with them as they move from one scenario to another. A blanket starts out as a blanket, then turns into a sled to pull a little sister across the floor, then serves as the roof to a fort, then becomes a cape - no, a bonnet, for a fairy, then is used as a sack to carry pretend food, then is turned upside down and tied to the pretend food to be dropped from the top of the stairs as a parachute… and on and on.
A bright red fire truck, complete with ladder, lights and siren? It can only be a fire truck.