The Handmade Children

Inspired

I was inspired by Nanny J.O.A.T's hub as well as getting ideas as I wrote my own comment to her hub.  This one is dedicated to her.  It is an extension of what she has wrote, with another angle on how to keep children entertained and to wean them off of technology.  I would definitely recommend reading her hub as a prequel to this one.

Nanny J.O.A.T.'s What To Do When the Batteries Run Out.

The Proposal

Nanny J.O.A.T. raised valid concerns in her hub What to do When the Batteries Wear Out.  Children's toys are almost entirely electronic.  Their babysitters are the T.V. and the computer and the video game systems.  Even the crib toys give excuses to keep the baby in the crib longer for the parent's peace of mind.  Her fantastic proposal is to get them into things that are *not* technology! That, and be the guide for your children, rather than letting crib toys, tv, etc, to be the guide.

I have another one to go with that.  Be the hand in your child's life.  Nanny says be the one to calm the children rather than letting soothing toys do so.  I propose that from the time of birth, be involved.  Make things for them, make things with them.  For the children already older, no time is too late to get started.  Thus, the handmade children, not the children of technology.

This means being hands-on.  I like the word 'Handmade' because with parents and community being hands-on as well as the children, getting involved in creating things in their own world, they also handmake their own Self.  I think this in itself is more important than anything.

Simplicity In Itself

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Child with goop.  Picture from craftvoyage.com.Hand-sewn breakfast from indierocket.com.Handmade puzzle from blueberryforest.com.
Child with goop.  Picture from craftvoyage.com.
Child with goop. Picture from craftvoyage.com.
Hand-sewn breakfast from indierocket.com.
Hand-sewn breakfast from indierocket.com.
Handmade puzzle from blueberryforest.com.
Handmade puzzle from blueberryforest.com.

The Movement

There are a lot of parents out there that have discovered things they can make for their own children.  As a result, they have made their own small profits by selling those for other people's children as an inspiration and a goal to be involved with them.  If you can't make things, you can support those parents who do and use their products to entertain and teach your child.  In a way, this has become a community, a village, with the sole intention of helping to raise today's children.  Etsy.com has become one such community, out of several others.

Not only is this brilliant, it also gives parents something to do.  The parents of these children of this generation are just as bored as the spawns are.  The frustration of this sad economy we live in gives way to the terror of unemployment.  I believe giving these children something handmade, something you have done yourself, is a cheap, almost priceless, and high in quality.  Quit promising them something you can't really afford and give them something they'll remember for years to come as we all survive this economy.

Things you can make for children or help children to make are easy to list: Wooden puzzles, dolls, costumes, science kits, goop, musical instruments, wall decor, hacky sack, treehouse, stuffed animal, figurines, woven or sewed dishware, block sets, memory games, and many more.

Also, for infants; create slings, improvise materials to use to hold a child while doing housework, make decorative diaper covers or cloth diapers, make textured and colored handpuppets for tactile stimulation, create little soft worlds they can crawl through or roll upon, make blankets with interesting things sewed onto them for their entertainment, and many more.

Remember, you can also support parents who make those things and get the wonderful handmade items for children of any ages.

There are also movements that include intermittently turning off the tv so kids can go outside or interact with the parents.  This reduces the electric bills as well as prompt parents and children alike to really use their brain to eliminate boredom.  I think a great idea would be to have the tv and the computer off (parents and children included) for a set amount of time out of a week, and use those times to play board games, to go outside, to create things with pottery, paint, playdough, clay, and many other mediums, to go to a park, to write a play to make for youtube video, to start dialogues, to read together, create puzzles and solve it, and many other things. 

One such fun time is dress-up.  I've noticed my stepdaughter still enjoys playing pretend.  She will play House and have a set plot to go from.  Her father and I will participate.  She also will do a show for us with her dolls, making up stories on the spot as she moves them through the motions, and sometimes she will have us participate with other dolls.  She also likes pretending to be a career woman or the house mommy or a pet.  Alternatively, the boys will dress up in military outfits and re-enact civil wars, with the critique and support of their father (who has phenomenal memory in regards to all things history, like dates, people, weapons, etc).  They play with their clay, molding into what they call clayman inspired from youtube videos, and make up war stories and scenarios these claymen are thrust into.  They also like imitating German words and finding out what they translate into, which is where I come in.

I recall days I learned math, chemistry, science, and English from the simplest things when I was little.  I noticed gravity on my own when swinging and speculated upon it.  I got involved in cooking, making koolaid, shopping, and making lists of things I needed or wanted.  In remembering that, I enlisted the help of the two younger children one day in making dinner.  When it was time to eat, they both proudly said they helped make it.  They also described how they did it.  One child helped make dry mix, another child helped make wet mix, both helped me get the chicken covered, and so forth.  They still remember how it is done and what things were called and why we do things a certain way.  They got their hands dirty and loved it!

Get Hands On!

I'm not necessarily saying rule out technology completely.  Video games and PC games actually do stimulate things that simple things can't.  For example, survival in war, aviation, driving a car or a tank, etc.  Internet also provides ideas for hands-on things to do, like making videos for youtube.  Their ideas on claymen were sparked by these videos.  It also helps us with information like translating German words from their toys or games into English.

But do balance it out.  Get them sparked on things to do with their hands and have them learn from what you can do with yours.  Teach them that boredom should not occur from lack of technology, it simply occurs from lack of imagination.  They can learn what imagination truly does for their own world.

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Comments 6 comments

Nanny J.O.A.T. profile image

Nanny J.O.A.T. 7 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

Well, will you look at this! I'm speechless! Totally speechless! Thank you for the dedication... I shall immediately henceforth and forthwith return the favor back on the batteries hub....Dang! a dedication!

*snoopy dance!!*

You took my little idea and brought a whole new dimension to it - way to go!!!!


Sunny Robinson profile image

Sunny Robinson 7 years ago from Tennessee Author

*blush* You inspired me! I can't help it. I have a feeling we'll be co-conspirators on a lot of hubs. Your reply to my comment on your hub - I'ma get to that right away but I just want to say for the record that you gave very good tips.


Raven King profile image

Raven King 7 years ago from Cabin Fever

Hi Sunny. Good hub. Nanny Joat recommended this hub. This is a nice way for families to get together and spend quality time rather than being a zombie in front of whatever electronics.


ralwus 7 years ago

Great hub. Kids need to be inspired by parents, grandparents and other family members as well as through reading about the wonderful things in our world. I was sparked as a youth by empty thread spools and string and watching dad make things with his bare hands and simple tools. I was intrigued with mom's sewing and crocheting as well as noodle making too. Gardening was eventful as I learned of many bugs.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Ok -- ya got me fired up to try more inventive ways of spending the morning than listening to Dora the Explorer shouting everything at the top of her irritatingly cheerful voice!


Sunny Robinson profile image

Sunny Robinson 7 years ago from Tennessee Author

Oh you can do so much better than listening to Dora the Explorer for sure. My youngest likes to make up songs and do her own 'adventures'. I hope you tell us what you end up doing! After reading your stuff, you'd probably do something hilarious and creative.

A lot of us always need ideas and prompts to get us going. I'm personally stuck in a rut right now and need to dig myself back out for their sakes. Writing this and reading Nanny's hub inspired me to be serious (and fun) about this. ;)

So, turn off the Dora and get to Explorin'! Lol.

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