I very rarely have the feeling that I am getting old. More often, it strikes me that there are things that have happened/been used/discovered in my lifetime of which my son (14 months) will have no knowledge. The blog Krulwich Wonders talks about this concept with regards to sounds. But there’s more where that comes from…the toys he plays with (in some cases, modeled after real “technology”) are seen as outdated devices, has-beens, and in some cases, extinct.
1. Toy Phone– One of my son’s toys is this old favorite…and every time he drags it around, I can’t help but see how truly obselete this really is. I don’t see that rotary phones will make a comeback; he does really like our iPhones. He improvises, carrying around the remote like he is chatting on the phone. I’d like to think that demonstrates creative thinking. That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.
2. The Berenstain Bears. We have the whole family at Grammie’s house in stuffed form- Mama, Papa, Brother and Sister. They are looking a little ragged, but it’s nice know that these fuzzy folks have not completely gone by the wayside…but they aren’t as “hot” as they used to be. The Berenstain Bears and the Great Honey Hunt used to be one of my favorite books, and I hope that my son can see them as good examples, if not a bit dowdy.
3. Old Toy Clock – this guy is made out of wood, and winds up to show the hands moving around to the music. My son calls it a “tick tick,” and it certainly does that. But most “clocks” don’t make those sounds these days….most don’t even have “faces.” How will kids learn to tell time? Will they even really need to anymore? Will they have to know about big, little, and second hands? I wear a watch, and so does my husband – at least our child will know what that looks like.
4. Kermit Doll: Thank goodness my little guy has been around to see the rebirth of the Muppets. Jim Henson and his crew demonstrated such magic and creativity with the creation of the Muppets that they would raise the standard of children’s television. While I have seen recent episodes of Sesame Street, and it’s quite heavily animated, there are still older Muppet shows and specials to pique my son’s interest. With the new release of The Muppets (which is fantastic, and everyone should see it), it’s nice to know that a whole new generation can appreciate how great these creatures are.
It would have been nice if my kid hadn’t ripped the pupil off of Kermit’s eye, though.
5. A record player. Grammie and Grandpa Bill have a record player and a ton of old records (even one that my dad listened to when he was my son’s age). What I think is neat is that Jameson knows that music can come from a record player, a phone, a CD player and a computer. I recently heard that CD production is stopping in 2012; music may be all digital in the not-too-distant future. Nothing can make my kiddo groove, though, like records at Grammie’s house.
I think it’s fine, really, that some of these toys have gone by the wayside. However, I am grateful that my son can experience some of the things I grew up with; it’s nice to know that, although he probably won’t need to dial a rotary phone or look at his watch, he will at least know of a time when those things were an important part of life and how we communicated and played.