I woke up this morning from a dream that recalled childhood memories of racing toy cars. What ensued was a trip down memory lane to the crawlspace, looking nostalgically through boxes of old toys.
Like most kids my brothers and I had our share of fights, but most of the time we really enjoyed each other’s company. I think this was due in large part to the decisions my parents made for our recreational activities. They invested in a variety of hands-on toys that fed our imagination and creative instincts and allowed for the development of friendly competition, and they imposed careful limits on our computer usage. We created space-opera worlds for our legos. We played baseball with marbles and stuffed animals. We built battleships out of k’nex and staged massive battles with army men. And we grew in our imagination and bonded through these experiences. I think it’s sad that in a society as affluent as ours, more and more kids are missing out on these kinds of experiences for computer games that supply all of the narrative and lack the excitement and creative possibility of hands on play.