Saturday, January 22, 2011

A question

The other day, I was watching Anne put together a puzzle for kids.  She was making sure all the pieces were there before sale.  She asked if I had done a lot of puzzles as a child.  That set me off down Memory Lane and the answer was 'no'.


We had a big adult puzzle set up each Christmas.  It was a new one each year and always had lots of sky/water reflection because that was the challenge my Dad enjoyed.   Everyone in the family could take part but it was really his holiday treat.  I don't remember there even being puzzles for children but I suppose there were and I never had any. 


So, then, I started thinking about all the different toys that kids have today.  Tons and tons of toys are available and many are 'educational'.  Those are the cool ones to me and I know if I were a kid now I'd love them.

 
But, I kept coming back to the question of necessity.  Were our brains under-stimulated when I was little?   I always had books but only a few.  It's probably the source of my general dislike of re-reading a book.  When I was older (10 or so) I had immediate access to a small rural library which satisfied any literary need I had then.  

I'm sure there've been studies done but I've never seen any discussion on this.  I wonder what more my generation could have achieved if we'd had all the educational stimuli that today's children have?  Or did we have better-developed imaginations?  And is there a kind of  trade-off?

Just wondering...

6 comments:

Ginny said...

I just love these toy pictures you've taken. Especially the Lego one, it's very artistic. Well, I always thought we had a better imagination living bck then, because we were forced to make things up. But who knows? I still remember periods of being pretty bored. For the girls, I have both the old fashioned kind of games, but also a lot of computer games, like the DS and such. I think some of each is nice. Strangely, neither one of them really play with dolls.

Maria said...

I think you were healthier and happier. There was less mess to clean up because you had fewer toys, less stuff to worry about breaking. And because you had fewer of those indoor toys you were probably more likely to be outside where you could play with the sticks and rocks and flowers. Or just lie on a blanket and watch the ants go by. It is the fresh air that I think is the thing kids miss out on! Don't get me wrong I love the toys. They are wonderful, especially the good wooden ones like that roundhouse you have posted. But do we need them?

Rose said...

I hope it's a trade off, since the children of today will be in charge of my world tomorrow. But I'm afraid that a lot of kids have lost the ability to just be, and to make up their own fun, and therefore, have lost a lot of creativity. But who knows? Maybe it's just a different type and every generation worries about what was lost. Great discussion question! I may even try it with my eighth grade students!

cindy said...

If I had to take an educated guess I think we were better off, think about it for a minute, no batteries, no need for a 25 page manual, standard education, easy to work, lots of natural wood, less toxic, street hockey-hid'nseek-who's it- cops and robbers. No we had it better the repetitive toys were even new all around like Mr. Potato Head who would ever have guessed he didn't have a body in my day and we had to use a real potato. Actually that was before my day, cough, cough.

Anonymous said...

I think we were better off in those days, learning to stretch our imaginations in games of make-believe. Fewer pieces to break meant fewer frustrating waits until our father came home from work to fix things for us! I don't remember being bored, even in the summer - there was always a good book to read if your friends were off somewhere else!

-Teresa

Gill - That British Woman said...

a question that indeed needs thinking about.....

Gill

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