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Secretly, Toys are meant to replace parents

There is an epidemic sweeping across America and it has devastating effects on our children.
The problem: over-stimulation.
The culprit: education.

That's right. In the name of educating our infants and toddlers, companies are marketing to parents that a particular toy engages the senses with "bright lights" and music, engages fine motor skills such as "pushing a button," and "Introduces baby to cause & effect relationships, problem solving, balance skills & more!" 

As Katie and I have seen presents given to Isaiah, or shopped for them ourselves, I have been overwhelmed with how many vibrant colors the toys come in, how many are battery powered, how many play obnoxiously long songs at unfortunate volumes (let's be honest, you can only stand to hear the same sequence of poorly pre-recorded midi songs so many times before something inside of you snaps), and cheaply manufactured parts.

I want to open my own lines of toys called "Stix" (to encourage phonics as well as poor spelling). Stix will be a company that only sells earth-tone wooden toys. No flashing lights, no battery powered speaker chips, no colors that can only be found naturally in the Great Corral Reef...Just. Plain. Wood.

What ever happened to figuring out 50 uses for a 3 foot long stick in the backyard??

Perhaps I am a calloused parent, or perhaps I am uneducated in my limited knowledge of proper methods of developing genius babies, but I am pretty sure that there is such a thing as over-stimulation. If we continue to expose our children to bright lights, noises, and brilliant colors then at a certain point they will expect that amount of stimulation and anything less will dull them. How many cases of ADHD are legitimate and how many are self-learned because of battery-operated toys and handheld smart devices? And how many young adults are resultantly growing up with a better handle on customer service via chat or email instead of phone or in person? How many incidents of multi-tasking while driving are intrinsically related to that toy you had as a child? How many episodes of Sponge Bob have been responsible for occupying a child's afternoon instead of playing outdoors with a parent nearby?

I say it's time to start a revolution. Down with fancy toys! Up with tupperware drum kits! Down with app-driven play time! Up with make-believe!

Long live the imagination!


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