Toys for Birthdays, Toys for Christmas,
Toys for Education???
After being at the local toy store and being over whelmed by the quantity of junk they call toys as well as the lack of quality toys I have decided to awaken my blog from a deep sleep.
Toys, there are many different ideas and theories out there about them. In sharing some I have encountered, you may be surprised. Hopefully challenged and led to think deeply about what toys you are purchasing this holiday season!
When I first got married, I thought, we wouldn’t “waste” money on toys! Have you ever thought that? Wow have we come a long way! Then as my daughter got older, I was introduced to the idea that “a child’s play is their work.” Wanting to “invest” in their education and keep the children stimulated I decided to try to purchase and encourage family members to give gifts that were proper play that would also educate.
Then as the family grew larger and the amount of toys grew larger, I wanted to simplify… so we buckled down and donated massive quantities of toys. It felt so good! And it forced me to have to start putting tools in my children’s hands more often, rather than just toys. We’re taking about a broom rather than a buzz lighter year action figure!
I have heard older women give talks on this topic, some even encouraging to not have any toys at all, rather have tools appropriate for children to use. Help them to contribute, be productive! Now, do my kids have toys? Oh yes they do! But the toys are a reward to be played with when their work is done.
Most of our toys (most of them) have purposes. I feel like I am constantly weeding out toys that seem to have no point– as you know it could be a full time job. The kids are aware of their purposes. For example, stuffed animals… recently I heard a talk given on this topic of dolls vs. stuffed animals… I thought it was so insightful I want to share it with you.
In our current society there is a huge push for a humanistic view of animals. People view their dogs and cats as their children in some cases. Now, let me just say if I offend you here I am sorry… but dogs and cats aren’t human. They are dogs and cats, not babies. We have a dog, we love Moses, but he is a dog. So lets relate stuffed animals to dolls in the same sense we do dogs to babies. Are they ok for kids to play with, for sure, but as a dog. If a child’s play is their work, I believe it is also an element of education. I propose a child’s every day play trains them for their every day life as an adult. If they play with stuffed animals as people, then there is a chance they will have a humanistic world view when they are older. If a little girl plays with a dolly, she is practicing being a mommy. If she plays “house,” she is praticing being a home maker. If a boy starts making guns out of his legos its because God created little boys to grow into men who have an innate desire to protect and provide for a family; which is also a good thing.
So let me encourage you, as the holiday shopping begins, pray about what gifts you buy your children and other peoples children. Be purposeful and think about what the toy is really going to teach them. Is it going to teach them productive play or will it end up in next years donation box? I have been down this road enough times to know how easy it is to make mistakes in gift buying.
Here are a few websites to help you out:
Plus online shopping is so much faster and easier!
Keepers of the Faith— this is a new company I just discovered and LOVE it- go here first
These are the main companies we like to support and enjoy being blessed by the products they sell.