Advertising directed at children is estimated at over $15 billion annually – about 2.5 times more than what it was in 1992. This was stated here.
I’ve had this topic of conversation with several others in the blogosphere here lately and would like to touch on it a little more.
As I sit and write this a wee brown bear sits perched in front of me staring at the keyboard. You’ve seen Bear here before and I am under strict orders from Boo to care for him today. Meaning must rock him, give him ham and cheese and yogurt for lunch, set him down for his nap and play with him.
See, this is what this post is all about. Play, simple, creative, imaginative play. Do you remember this? I bet you do. I bet if you think back you’ll remember partaking in this phenomenon that is rapidy disappearing from our culture.
Think back to the things you did as a child? Did you listen to an ipod all day, did you spend eight hours in front of a computer, gaming screen or television, did you go outside, hop skip, jump, run?
Todays children are not doing these things and the number one result of this is childhood obesity. Have you heard about that? I think I may have somewhere.
Now we all have said it or something like it. “I could have just gotten them the box to play in”.
Now I am not perfect and suffer my own bouts of consumerism. I try to stay out of toy stores as much as possible.
Having just moved I had the burden benefit of packing up the girls bedrooms and putting there things in storage for a period of about six weeks. It then all went into the basement and gradually (yes, some of it is still there) started unpacking and organizing it into the new home.
Here’s what I found. 90% of the plastic, one time only, specific use toys the girls have, never come out of the closet. In fact, the majority of all their “toys” are not played with.
So this Christmas I am ordering from Etsy or handmaking all their gifts. Simple play things. Hardly any bleeps, blips or plastic.
Hopefully, they will be happy with this, we will see. So give yourself a break this year, buy them something simple, or just a couple things that they will REALLY, REALLY love. They will love you for it and if they don’t get that absolutely, positively necessary, I must have thing advertised on Nickelodean, believe me, they will get over it.
Here’s what the girls did with me this weekend. We made homemade playdough, played with it, did an in house scavenger hunt, helped me fill beanbags, played outside on the swings, read books, had a dance party, played outside on the picnic table, helped me make breakfast and lunch, visited with my grandparents, played dressup, played outside with the dog, collected acorns, took a walk, played with dolls, colored, went to the orchard,and watched Dora and the Snow Queen, The Minutemen on Disney and played on their favorite Bella Sara website.
See we don’t live in the 18th century, but they run, play, create, imagine and dream and then they crash and watch a movie.
And believe me sometimes the girls do need to just stop, settle down and watch a little TV or a movie.