Years ago, I remember a neighbor talking about her sister. She didn’t allow her children to have any type of toy guns or weapons, but she said that didn’t stop them from playing any number of cops and robbers and battle games. “They used anything that was remotely shaped like a gun,” she recounted. “A hair brush, a microphone, a stick…they made ‘guns’ from blocks and clay.”
I can’t remember the context of that conversation, but it stuck with me…thinking about kids’ ingenuity, their creativity, and their determination. I also wondered if there was the lure of a “forbidden fruit” at play. I didn’t know the details of that situation, but my guess is that there could have been, given the subject matter.
To date, our girls haven’t fashioned any guns. As I type this, I’m wondering if they’ve ever even heard the word “gun”…but this little anecdote still came to mind a couple of weeks ago.
I don’t have a hard-and-fast rule, exactly, but so far I’ve shied away from electronic toys. The girls’ kitchen makes a few sounds, and they have a couple of play phones that require batteries, but we otherwise don’t have any Leap Pads / iPads / iPods / electronic readers…I don’t even know the terminology.
It’s never been an issue…the girls don’t know they’re missing anything…so there’s no “forbidden fruit”…at least not yet.
(And I don’t intend to hold that line forever. Of course I want my girls to have an appreciation for technology. I know I would be doing them a huge disservice if I withheld it for too long. I’m just trying to gauge the time that’s right for our family.)
Still, the girls see me on the computer, and they have long pretended to “type”, usually banging their fingertips on the trays of their high chairs.
Recently, Baby A took her game to the next level. “Look at my computer!” she exclaimed one day.
She now assembles this configuration of puzzle boxes pretty regularly. It cracks me up how intently she looks at the screen, the determination with which she pecks out emails.
And, not to be outdone, here is B’s version (since her sis had already claimed the coveted puzzle boxes this particular morning)…
The phrase “Necessity is the mother of invention” came to mind for me…but then I decided – in the case of our girls – maybe it’s more like “Deprivation is the mother of invention” in this instance.
Yes, my poor "deprived" children...HA!
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