December 12, 2006 at 2:45 pm | Posted in simplicity | 4 Comments

free-play-2-1.JPGWhat is with toys these days?!? Most toys seem to be linked to children’s TV shows and movies, and restaurants. They are being taught brand names, and that fast food=fun! There are even plastic restaurant foods from McDonalds! If the toy isn’t promoting the latest Disney flick, it is promoting violence or encouraging mature behavior and appearance. Bratz? I mean, really?!? Have you seen the Bling Bling Bikini set?!? on earth would I want my child to dress like that? Do we need more Britneys and Paris’ out there?I like toys that can be used in many ways, and can be combined with other toys for more intricate and creative play. These toys will usually allow the child to be in charge of the play, not some electronic voice telling them what to do next, or if they got something right or wrong. Remember the old Lincoln Logs? Then they were just fun, we can remember childhood memories of good times with them. Now as parents we realize that playing with Lincoln Logs develops small muscle and hand eye coordination. You learn about the relationships of objects that help with the latter skills of math and science.Children learn so many messages through play. To only play competive games teaches them to view their playmates as opponents and that winning means their playmates must lose. Cooperative games teach children how to work together and respect each other in order to solve a problem or to reach a common goal. Isn’t that what kind of kids the world needs more of? I saw a commercial for a toy play table that makes the sounds of the airplanes and cars as the kids move them across the table. The mom is standing there saying “I can almost see their imaginations at work.” WTF? Part of using your imagination is making the sounds yourself! Being able to move the vehicles anywhere, including off-road carpet driving and not have to lose your ambulance sound! What about the medical helicopter rescuing the horse from the bottom of the fireplace ledge? Being able to build your own town, stock it with people and animal, have them all interact with each other in whatever voice you choose with whatever words you want, and then invite a friend to play with you? Priceless.For more info you can go to look at some alternate ideas at holiday survival ideas can be found at



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  1. That’s why I bought Ciarán a MapleLea Doll for Christmas.
    You can check them out here
    I think,lol
    ANYways,I wanted something natural and simple.
    And most of all decent.
    She has Barbies and Bratz too but she loves her dolls the best
    and THAT tells me everything I need to know:)
    I saw on the news this morning crowds of frantic parents rushing to snatch up toys and getting into fights ect.
    yeah…there’s the spirit. idiots.
    I’ll stick to simple “uncool” toys for my kids thankyouverymmuch;p

  2. Another “here! Here!” from WI for your thoughts.

    Watching my children spend two full days skateboarding across our wood floors and learning about balance, speed, momentum, concern for others, and even pain has reinforced that “trendy” stuff is a complete waste of energy, resources, time and money. They rolled on their backs with feet being the propellers. They rolled on their bellies “flying” through the rooms. They sat up with their knees bent and learned how to shift their weight to affect direction. They sat together and cooperatively figured out how to move that much mass. They chipped my kitchen door frame while learning to brake. All this done on my and my sister’s childhood Alf (remember that crazy cool space alien?) skateboards with bright pink and neon green wheels: old ratty looking things. They loved it and we loved it as I flopped on the floor teaching them and racing them riding on a board.

    They too see the bright toys and Bratz dolls and even though they’ve never possessed one of those dolls they know them by name. One good thing about the dolls is that even they have reinforced the ideas of propriety the girls have learned. R sees the dolls and everytime tells me “Mommy, she is not dressed appropriately”. She’s right, too.

    I believe part of the infatuation with electronic toys of all forms is due to our culture living at the speed of light. We don’t stop to smell the roses let alone stop to make engine noises for our childrens’ toys. It seems many working people are in environments where they are told what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and when to have it done by ….so it doesn’t seem all that strange that a child’s toy would do the same thing. Who knows, I may totally be talking out of my butt here.

  3. I hear ‘ya. I get disgusted every time I go to a toystore or the toy section of a store. EVERYTHING is propaganda for some show, movie, “brand name”. It sucks. Bad.

  4. You rock!

    I wish I had the energy to make stuff this year, but I just didn’t. I LOVE those snowflakes, though.

    You’re so creative. I love it.

    And hey, the Jew wants a snowflake ornament. 🙂 Pretty pretty please.

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