Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The Importance of Play
I came into the living room this morning and found The Little carefully setting up this play scene on his craft table.
The toys are a mixture from fabulous Etsy stores and Holztiger.
Stacking Elements from
It wasn't until The Little was born that I gave much thought to the importance of play. I dutifully registered at Target and Babies "R" Us for supplies and toys - not knowing the evolution and metamorphosis our parenting choices were about to undergo.
gnome friend from
Shortly after The Little was born, there was a huge scare world wide about toxic levels of lead in mass produced toys. I began to look into safe toy choices and found joy, simplicity, and safety in naturally made toys. The more I read, the more I was convinced that natural, open ended toys were the way to go. We slowly began a plastic purge in our home - replacing mass produced toys that often break after one or two uses with sturdy wooden, wool, and cotton toys.
Cow toy from
An added benefit on this journey? Since I am the one who is home with The Little all day, it became important that when he asked me to play with him that the toys be beautiful, energizing, and open-ended. I found I didn't want beeping, flashing, talking toys vibrating in my ear all day. The quietness of our home has become a refuge. A safe place to allow our imaginations to take flight.
It doesn't mean that we don't occasionally have a plastic toy wander into our environment. It doesn't mean that I take issue with him playing with plastic toys in other environments. But for our home? I wanted a place without all the loud, glitzy entrapments that the large toy companies would let you believe you need for your child to be healthy, happy and adjusted.
Watching my son set up play scenes, cook with acorns, use a pine cone as a hair brush - these are the things that inspire not only him, but myself as well. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Yours in the joy of natural play,