I've often talked about the role toys played in my development as a story teller. As a child I loved playing with toys, particularly action figures and the vehicles that were sold separately. The toys would be set up into elaborate schemes, and sometimes the plots would play out for days. I'd come home from school and pick up where I left off. There would be several story lines going on at the same time, with featured characters getting most of my attention. It wasn't until years later that I realized that these were the building blocks for writing novels.
Tomorrow I plan on opening a handful of action figures that I received for Christmas and I can't begin to explain how much I'm looking forward to that. Though I no longer use toys to create the stories that are in my head, they remain an important part of my imaginative process. Recently my daughter has begun to play with toys in earnest, and I find it fascinating to see how her imagination is starting to develop and take shape, and the way her toys are transformed into something other than the objects they are.
The moral of this post is simple: You are never too old for toys, and playing is never a waste of time.