Toys for Tots

In this 21st century it seems like far too many kids are loaded down with toys and gadgets; especially young ones. However, it’s amazing how little children need to amuse themselves.

How many toddlers spend more hours playing in the pots and pans or Tupperware drawers of the kitchen instead of with the fancy new toy of the month/year you just bought? Have you ever been disappointed that the amazing new plaything you gave them for their birthday was abandoned in favor of the box in which it came? If only they could keep that innocence and ignorance of materialism longer.

What you need to do is give them tools, similar to building blocks, and let them construct their own house/barn/castle – particularly when they are young and have no preconceived notions or expectations. Let them experiment – sometimes the walls will fall down but they will learn to build better, stronger ones.

I recently watched a child of between 5 and 6 years old playing happily with an empty laundry soap jug. He was tossing it in the air back over his head to see how far it would land. It wasn’t the newest baseball, football, or even a ball at all, but an empty plastic jug. In the absence of a defined purpose, he was forced to use his own creativity to devise a way to play with the object, and appeared perfectly content with this imagined game. There was no sign that he was impoverished or deprived; merely placed in a situation where he had to use his mind instead of having everything laid out for him.

Are these children the next Einstein’s, Beethoven’s, or Picasso’s? Even the mighty Bill Gates didn’t grow up with a cell phone, mp3 player, or video game and he seems to have done quite well for himself. That’s not to say that the next generations won’t produce their own set of exceptional artists, musicians, and inventors, but in order to achieve the level of creativity required to be at the top of your game in any field, it starts with exercising your brain in new and different ways; by questioning everything; and thinking for yourself instead of accepting everything that is handed to you. If we can foster that imagination and creativity at a very young age, the possibilities are endless.

About musingmirror

A writer of many genres, always in search of creative inspiration.
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