In my early mothering days, I didn't pay much attention to which toys and clothing entered my home. But then I started to see how overly commercialized toys, gifts, and apparel, often linked to popular kids' television shows, began to infiltrate my children's play. Instead of allowing them to imagine their own play scenes with certain characters, they relied upon scripted actions influenced by media outlets and large toy manufacturers. I also noticed that plastic, single-purpose toys limited their imagination compared with simple, multi-purpose toys, like wooden blocks and generic figurines. I began donating bags and bags of lower-quality toys, thus simplifying our playspace, and noticed large gains in the quality of imaginative, child-conjured play my children exhibited. (I recommend the books Taking Back Childhood, by Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Born to Buy, by Juliet Schor, and Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne, to read more about simplifying childhood play and rejecting commercialized children's products.)
I now try to provide guidance and suggestions on gift-giving and then
Check back here next week for a generous *giveaway* to Bella Luna Toys, a Maine-based, natural, waldorf-inspired toy company, and replace those unwanted holiday toys with top-quality toys from Bella Luna!