Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hello, my name is Michelle...

...and I'm an educational toys addict. Well, addict may be too strong of a word. I mean I can stop buying dvd's that feature singing puppets teaching the history of ancient Egypt anytime I want. And those blocks that randomly shout out the names of dead composers while playing their most famous musical works...those aren't educational...I just like the colors. And the hand held game that teaches advanced calculus, well...uh...that one is harder to explain. Ah, is that the sweet sound of denial I hear?

Yes, I have a problem. I bought into the mass marketing hysteria that tells parents that if we don't buy our kids the most advanced, newest technology toys then we are dooming our children to a life of intellectual inferiority and that their inability to read at 18 months or solve for x in kindergarten or recite the great works of Shakespeare while simultaneously analyzing the orbit of Neptune in middle school will be all our fault because we didn't spend $50 on a talking platypus that teaches the Dewey decimal Spanish.

Well, no more. I'm taking a stand here and now. Educational toys are great and I'm not tossing out the ones we have, but I'm not going to feel guilty for not doing flashcards at dinner time or for refusing to pipe Mozart into their bedrooms while they sleep.

Sometimes playtime should just be fun. Toys don't need batteries and graphics and loud buzzers to be educational. Tinker Toys, crayons, dolls, plastic dinosaurs...all fun and both battery and pressure free. And anytime kids use their imaginations should count as educational time. Our world would benefit more from a generation that can imagine new solutions to old problems than from a generation of children who have forgotten how to play.


  1. You are STILL an extraordinaily gifted writer!

  2. OK extraordinarily gifted too ;]

  3. Thought I'd make you feel good by telling you what I'm doing here today. ;) I have a friend on FB who just posted some pics she took while on a museum expedition with her son. You guessed it, he ran right up to the mummy and began bonding. :) So I was here to get the exact title of your blog post so that I could share it with her. lol