Saturday, December 8, 2012

Toys! Toys! Toys!

One of the issues that concerns my husband at times when it comes to little money and kids is providing them  things they want, not just need.

I had this outfit for my dolls...
It is a fair concern, and one that does come up nearly every day for most parents in the US.

I can't say that this is a big concern of mine, however.

It isn't that I don't want my kids to have things they enjoy or desire. It is simply that I don't think that kids have to have those feelings of "I want I want I want". Myself and siblings rarely had that. Neither did my cousins.

It wasn't that we were weathly - rather far from it. And I know that it helped a lot that we were homeschooled and did not have that peer goup pressure on a daily basis of "fitting in" (more on that topic later).

We thought this one was sooo cool
When I look back on my childhood there are a few things that stand out as awesome. When I ask my husband, and indeed, most of my friends, it is the the same for them as well.

1. Books it was impossible to ever ever ever have too many books, but the library was just as satisfying.

2. Barbies. one of my aunts only had boys and she loved to buy her 5 neices Barbies, and all her accessories for Christmas. I have a tub saved for my little girls.

3. Stuffed Animals seriously loved my stuffed animals more than dolls. My three favorites were a cat named Samantha, A seal named Aurora and a rabbit named Heidi-Kate. 

4. Giant Boxes! What kid didn't love giant boxes to make forts out of? Having a dad that could bring them home was AWESOME! 

5. Legos while they were pretty much always given to my brother, I can't imagine a childhood without them.

For my brother, cousins and husband the breakdown goes a bit like so:

1. Legos

2. GI Joe

3. Paintball guns and equipment

4. Sticks and dirt clods for battles

5. Video games

The games we played at kids often involved gathering up all of our little toys and setting up "shops", designating money and utterly distorying the living room for days.

Telling stories, So many nights my brother would sneak into the room I shared with my little sister, or we would go into his and tell whispered stories that we made up.

We also played ouside a LOT. Sometimes parentally enforced, often times voluntarily.

Ultimatly I suppose my point is this, I'm more concerned with raising happy, imaginative children who are able to entertain themselves then I ever will be with the "stuff" they have. Of course I want to be able to buy my kids the latest and greatest... if it really is the greatest. I really don't want to raise them to rely on constant stimulation from something new to play and have fun. I do not want to have children who are truely bored because, surrounded by heaps of toys and gadgets, they can't think of new ways to use them.

The toys we had as children were fun, I'm glad we had them. When I think back, however, I don't recall disappointment for not getting a specific Barbie doll. I remember how my parents set up a cheap shelving unit with doors to be a pretend doll house - because (as I now realize) they couldn't afford to get us a real doll house. And it was just as fun, my sister and I did not miss out or feel we were lacking. My parents did a great job, and I hope to do the same.

What toys from childhood do you remember?

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