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April 26, 2012

Deprivation is the Mother of Invention

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!


If you haven't entered my GIVEAWAY from Usborne Children's Books, I invite you to do's open through Sunday, April 29...good luck!


cat said...

We decided that up untill 5 there will be no computers etc for the kids. After that, one has to get with the tech, and they do in school too. And believe me the Princess was not one step behind her friends - it is second natured to them

Mandy said...

I love the creativity! LOVE IT! Emma is thrilled with anything technology based and it is really making me question my no tech stance.

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

I missed ya Girlfriend!!!

I also thought I would not be a mom of Leap Frogs and "noise" but in all honesty, a lot of my kids toys are super educational and I'm ok with "that". They actually got "kiddie Lap Tops" for their B-day but they are still in the box for a later date.

It's a fine line we walk as parents...darned if we do and darned if we don't!


Johanna Baker said...

How cute!!! Love how creative your little girls are. :)

Mine don't know what guns are either. One of their buddies has squirt guns on their deck. The girls call them shooters. :)

Julia said...

I had a freak-out moment last night. Our neighbors bought the girls a bubble gun. Ahhh! I don't think our girls have any reference for guns either, and I'd like it to stay that way. The "gun" really doesn't look much like a gun----I'm trying to figure out something else to call it.....bubble maker?

I'm all for leaving room for imagination too! :)

Barbara Manatee said...

Clever! J&S didn't get Leapsters until age 5 and I debated even then whether to get them...probably would not have if they hadn't been passed down from a friend. They all like to play on my or Dad's iPads and my phone but I limit their chance to quite a bit.

And yes...I will not allow any guns/weapon type toys here yet Jacob has already learned how to turn toys into weapons thanks to friends at school. ugh@!

Marcia (123 blog) said...


I saw a felt laptop on Pinterest (I think I pinned it under kids or if only I could sew) and that is the furthest I'm prepared to go for a LONG time.

My kids are also "deprived" LOL