Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Who Needs Toys?

Several years ago, when Arwen and Eowyn were still small, I read an article by John Rosemond in our local newspaper that said children should only have ten toys each. I also read somewhere recently that it is best not to give your children toys, but give them tools. I can't remember exactly where I read it; I think it was probably in an issue of "No Greater Joy" magazine. Many would balk at this notion. Why, after all, how can Johnny enjoy himself and learn things without toys? I've found that our children enjoy themselves much more without many toys. They're always happiest when making their own fun.
Here I've put a recent picture of Frodo on his homemade tree climbing thingamabob. He used a rope, a belt, a pair of gloves, and let's not forget my Crapemyrtle tree! He was so proud of himself when he got to see the idea he had formed in his head become a reality by the work of his own hands. I wish we had a more sturdy tree for him to climb on, but we just don't have any good climbing trees here at the Shire. Even without good climbing trees he and Pippin find all sorts of things to amuse themselves. It could be boxes one day, or building a fort under a very large bush in our backyard the next. All things accomplished without the aid of toys. Untold hours of enjoyment without the aid of toys. Lots of learning without the aid of toys.
Don't get me wrong, they do have some toys. But, unlike a lot of American children they don't have enough to supply a small orphanage. We've gotten rid of hundreds of toys gifted by well meaning relatives, and will surely get rid of even more since they mostly collect dust while every box that passes the threshold becomes a celebrated boat, airplane or rocket ship. Who needs toys?

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