The Handmade Children
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.
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 ItselfClick thumbnail to view full-size
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
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.
Unplug and Live!
- Etsy :: Your place to buy and sell all things handmade
Buy and sell handmade or vintage items, art and supplies on Etsy, the world's most vibrant handmade marketplace. Share stories through millions of items from around the world.
- Kill Your Television TurnOffYourTV.com
Articles, quotes, essays, and poetry on turning off the tv. ;)
Educate yourself on toxic toys and look at the healthy stuff!
- Make your own baby sling!
Free Baby Sling Pattern! It is so easy to make your own baby sling.
- How to Make Handmade Puppets | eHow.com
Teach yourself and your children how to make puppets. Making it is half the fun as playing with it!
- Unplug Your Kids
A fantastic blog! Author says: Living a TV-free life with three kids.
- Crafts for Kids: Arts & Crafts Ideas: Free Printable Coloring Pages for Children\'s Activities f
Crafts for Kids Resource including Arts & Crafts project ideas for children, free printable coloring pages, creative art activities for kids, Articles about Kids and Art, and much more about Trash to Treasure Crafts from Household materials.
My stepkids loves the hard kind that still can be moldable but doesn't melt. This is their favorite.