Posted in Keeping Kids Creative, Sideshows, Susan's Family Day Care

Calling all imaginations…
There is an alarming trend in kid toys in recent years. I’ve watched 2-year-old toddlers receive toys that made no noise, did not light up, and did not ask them to play. The kids are tossing them aside people. The same can be said for greeting cards that contain no money…junk, in the eyes of modern day youngsters.

Yes, some of those electronic toys are cool, but Lincoln Logs are really cool too. Play dough factories are insults to the imagination. Playing with just a few tools and your hands is a fascinating enterprise. A wondrous transformation from a 2 dimensional to 3 dimensional plane is waiting to be awakened in kids. A cardboard refrigerator box makes the grandest spaceship. Threading macaroni on yarn is the best jewelry maker. Just plain making bubbles with a wand allows so much room for creativity.

Greeting cards should NOT contain anything but a message. What ever happened to, “It’s the thought that counts.” ? We are creating the glitz and glam, that’s barren of imagination.
Fewer toys, no batteries, and more thoughts are needed desperately!
Don’t go crazy and throw all the “new” toys out. I suggest that you hide them and bring them out after the kids have had their share of pretend time.
Two tin cans on a string made for hours of fun when I was a kid. I really feel a pang of loss when I see kids with “real” cell phones as toys.

If I were to recommend one, over looked activity, that will bring back a sense of wonder to childhood, I’d choose puppet making. Anyone can make a puppet from a sock or wooden spoon. You’d be very surprised how little they have to resemble Kermit to evoke fun and imagination. Try drawing a face on the inside of your thumb. Making “Thumbkin” talk can make for discussions that will amaze you.
Try drawing in the dirt with a stick. Try using only one color when painting. Make any inanimate item have a voice. NOW, watch the fun and ideas flow!

Imagination is the strongest sense that we have. Don’t let the kids in your life let theirs die.