(By special guest blogger Julia Goodell)
We live in a fast paced world, one in which we race to make things better and generally more complex than they ever were before. The toy industry, brimming with classic products, was quickly caught up in this process of kicking out the old and bringing in the new. Every year now it seems something comes out that makes us think “wow, I wish I was a kid again!”
That progress is good, but thinking back…what are the top toys your family cherished the most? If you had the chance back then to play around with the technology we have today, do you think you would have loved an app more than your set of wooden blocks? And do you want your kids to have similar fond memories that aren’t attached to a screen? I do. I have nothing against technology, but I think that it’s important we don’t lose sight of those classic toys we take so much pleasure from.
It’s nearly impossible to resist giving your kid your phone every now and again-when they need to be kept quietly entertained or you just need a breather, there’s nothing better. But to have them spend more time glued to a screen, no matter how educational the program may be or how entertained they may seem, just doesn’t do the same things classic toys do. Toys like pretend play food, animal and people figures, blocks, all of those kinds of toys help to truly develop a creative mind. Not only that, but kids learn through play, and I say the more hands on a toy is the better (especially ones that simulate a “real world” activity, like cooking or baking!)
Something to keep in mind…don’t mistake ‘classic’ for ‘old-fashioned.’ Take wooden toys, for example. They’re the epitome of a classic toy, but these days there are some super neat new twists being put on them that keep their character but add a different dimension for kids to play with.
I was raised in a family that limited screen time. My Dad was always nudging me out the door to play outside, sitting me down with a book, and generally putting up with my rants about how all I wanted to do was watch television. I am sure this is why I feel strongly about the importance of classic toys in the face of rampaging technology, and I can’t help but laugh a little bit. Growing up I would have given anything for screen time, but now I cherish time away from screens more than anything.
Now as the generations turn over, we can’t forget to pass on the importance of classic toys. Toys that swing open doors to the imagination and allow kids to step into new worlds of their own inventions. Toys that allow children’s incredible minds do what they made to do-imagine, pretend, and create!
(Thank you again to Julia Goodell from Best Toys Guide for this guest blog post!)