I have a neighbor who has a flower pinwheel stuck into the soil outside her door. Whenever I take little Fox out for a walk, he stops to admire this decoration. (He is starting to understand the idea of wind, and to gesture when he notices it blowing.) He gets very excited when the breeze sets the flower twirling. I remembered seeing pinwheels during a recent visit to the local 99 cent store, so I was thinking about buying one for him. Upon reflection, I thought that if he had a pinwheel of his own, it would become ordinary and he would no longer experience the thrill of passing the neighbors'.
I think about this idea whenever I take him on excursions with me. When we're in a store, he may be excited about all of the colorful toys he sees, but I want him to find fun in just looking at them. I don't buy him a new toy each time we're out. If he becomes animated, pointing at various delights, I talk to him about what they are, perhaps let him see what they feel like, but we don't need to own them. I want him to learn to enjoy the potential, the anticipation, the imagining of what each thing could be like. I want the idea of them to hold some magic.