Where Has Their Imagination Gone?!

Now that our holiday celebrations are over it’s time to relax and enjoy all our shiny new stuff! My kiddos happened to get some gift cards from family and so we decided to trek out like all the other crazy people yesterday and do some ‘left over’ holiday shopping. This year, due to my sons speech delay, we tried to keep his toys old school (puzzles, no batteries) in order to ‘force’ him to have to use his words to create play, rather than using the toys sounds/words to create play. As we were browsing the aisle of the toy section trying to find fun stuff to spend his Christmas money on, I was generally disappointed. While you shop for your kids toys, have you ever stopped to realize how many toys (whether you’re buying them or not) require some sort of power to be able to play with the toy? Most department stores carry very little ‘imagination required’ toys (as I call them). I know that kids will use their imaginations even with toys that do have batteries and make their own noises but gosh, why aren’t we flooding the shelves with more toys that don’t require batteries. Not only that, as a mom, I cringe when I see toys gifted to us that are loud and noisy and have a lot of flashy lights and buttons. I’m not trying to down play battery operated toys, I’m just disappointed in the lack of ‘imagination required’ toys available for a reasonable price these days! I’ll never forget one of my daycare kids brought me a toy once, he had been pushing the “buttons” on the toy to get it to turn on with failure, so he brought it to me for help. Our conversation followed as such:

Him: “How do you turn this on?”
Me: “it doesn’t turn on, there are no batteries”
Him: “well can you put some in it?”
Me: “No, it doesn’t take batteries, it’s not that kind of toy”
Him: “oh.. well what do you do with it?”
Me: “whatever you want, use your imagintation”
Him: “oh.. well that’s no fun”

He then decided that toy was no fun and moved on to something that ‘required batteries’. It just blows my mind that at the tender age of 3, kids know what batteries are! I think kids these days are becoming more and more reliant on toys that play for them rather than toys to play with.  We live in an age of electronics, I get that, but I would love to get my hands on some toys circa 1950 and let me kids have a blast! I am on the hunt from this moment forth to try to eliminate MOST battery operated toys in my house. I hope to be able to find some great, yet fun, toys that require 100% imagination! Stay tuned!