Friday, February 18, 2011


I talked with a friend yesterday and was really surprised when she mentioned that , as a teacher, she had asked her students to write a creative writing assignment, in 3rd grade, and they had no imagination and struggled to do so. This made me feel so sad for what we are doing to our children in this society. If you know me well enough, you know how much I detest many of the ploys thrown at children and their parents today to distract them from creating and using their own mind. For the most part, I am anti branded anything....I even have a hard time with lego themes but typically, my boys get the set, it breaks and then end up taking the pieces and recreating something that their own mind thought of , not what the directions dictated for them to do.

Why are our kids asked to grow up so fast? Why must they move from toys to electronics at warp speed? I want to treasure and embrace this period in their lives where it is innocence, creative fun. My boys run around pretending to be " Lion Detective and Sally Sheep and Money Mongrel" They have this entire story line that they play EVERY single day, multiple times a day, in the backseat of the car, in our home, in bed. They draw pictures of aliens ( or how they picture them to look in their own minds), Lion Detective. One of the most prized possessions that all three of my kids wanted was a notebook of their own to simply spend the day coloring, drawing and creating. What more could a mama like me ask for?

I will round the corners of their bedrooms and find all three sitting, playing legos together ( including Riah), building things out of magnetic blocks, playmobil, pop art jewelry and solid, plastic animals from Target. I asked them one day, why don't you take your animals outside and play in our "Serengeti" and they spent two hours out there imagining and creating their own world.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why we would take this away from our children. Why do they need an ipod, electronic EVERYTHING, stimulation beyond control to entertain them. I saw a mom going on a walk around the block with her two year old watching a movie...for real, does a two year old really need to be entertained on a half hour walk....why not point out the animals you see, the sounds you hear, let them hold a stick or pick them a flower....or let them just sit and enjoy the quietness, the stillness.

My advice is please, before you jump on the toy band wagon of today- just as many of you question vaccinations and the research behind the product ( ie who is funding it), think of who is mass producing our toys and what their agenda is, you will be surprised. From fifty years ago to today, most of the local toy companies are now out of business and Mattel and Hasbro control the vast majority of any toy that hits our stores. Look at the research and the reason behind such toys. Yes, barbie has changed a lot since her beginning days- but did you know that she was modeled after a sex toy in Germany for men and the mom who created her liked how it gave women more sex appeal. I am NOT anti-barbie; I played with Barbie. My point is do your research and do not walk blindly down toy aisles and say , oh this must be the new "educational" toy of the year. Give your children some Lincoln blocks, some books, play dough and imaginary toys that do not say or do anything so they can create and recreate. You will be allowing for our future engineers, doctors, parents, pastors, architects, police officers, etc to think and create in new and innovative ways, and not with mass produced ideas.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Hi, I just found your blog from a link at the KONOS forum. I am researching KONOS to begin next year (my oldest is 4). I totally agree about the toys. In our house we do not watch tv or movies, except for a few PBS shows. We have found that since our kids have never seen or heard the stories that go with the toys they are often gifted (I rarely buy toys), they are not pre-programed with how to play. For example my daughter's favorite doll is a Disney princess but to her the doll is a cowgirl, nursing baby in a sling, ballerina...
I love what their little brains come up with ;)
As far as electronics go I have found they can be a creative outlet as well, just not all the time and never on a beautiful spring-like day when we should be playing in the sun :)