Child Play

Long ago, before daughter was born, I remember going to Toys-R-Us and going a little crazy myself.

We had just found out the gender of our baby. No, not illegally, we were in the UK then, and was overjoyed to know that we were to have a daughter. I wanted to go and buy all sorts of stuff, but somewhere, the cautious me, stopped the frivolous me. And I had read of people who had been told the wrong gender, so decided not to jinx it. Yes, I know, I am a little crazy:-)

We ended up buying gender neutral beddings and nursery accessories that day. Since that day, Toys-R-Us has beenΒ  a regular haunt, but we never bought too many things. Most of daughter’s toys are gifts. We do buy her stuff, but it is very controlled. And truth be told, she is perfectly happy too. She’s happy enough to window shop, and come home empty handed. Although, I have to say, the one place where it gets difficult to get her out without buying anything is a book shop. But, that’s a different story for a different day.

We realized quite early she was more fascinated by mundane things than her actual toys. Pieces of paper, cardboard, ribbons from gift wrapped presents, a shiny piece of gift wrapping… And she could play for hours with odds and ends. She once made a picture of a friend of hers with her assorted odds and ends. If you knew her friend, you would admit that there was a definite likeness.

We would find thermocol ripped into pieces, paper cut into tiny pieces, driving us crazy sometimes. Why couldn’t the child play with regular toys for a change? She would, but in her own way. The dolls house would have all sorts of inhabitants, the toy laptop would become the check-in desk at the airport.. All sorts of stuff.

I have to admit, it makes me glad that she lets her imagination loose. That she finds can think beyond what the toy manufacturers must have envisaged fir their toys.

We had been to a lake in Wayanad. As we walked the path by the lake, daughter found ways of entertaining herself. Jumping on the uneven pathway, she created ‘levels’ and rules for herself. She went up to ‘Level 4’:-)


Watching her play, finding ways of entertaining herself, I feel so grateful. Grateful that in the midst of technology and toys of all sorts, she(and most other children) still plays games that are so natural and so intuitive. That anything can become fun, if we let it.

19 thoughts on “Child Play

  1. Delightful!

    We too have actually stopped buying toys for Diya (the best that we do now is to get the jigsaw puzzles for her.)

    Oh and I love the pic!!

  2. What a lovely, lovely, lovely post, Smitha! Totally loved it! πŸ™‚

    Poohi is such an adorable darling!

    I always love seeing kids play with routine household stuff, instead of fancy toys, gadgets or video games. I love it when they invent games of their own, and let their imagination run riot. I hope I am able to bring up my own kids that way, too.

    BTW, you should go to Sutradhar to buy some unusual learning toys for Poohi. I bet you and she will love the place. πŸ™‚

    And, I totally understand the going-crazy-in-toy-shops bit. I go quite batty when I am in a toy shop myself. πŸ˜€

  3. that pic is cute.. she is jumping haah? Adi is also somehow fascinated with crafty (recycle items) and art things than the electronic gadgets.. I am glad that ways.. πŸ™‚

  4. Poohi is typical like how we were as kids no, not much into TV and computer no ??
    Nothing like playing in the sand and mud, daughters hardly play like that. Maybe in summer we can go out and play in the garden but as of now finding it tough to keep them away from playing in the snow.

  5. nice pic.. glad that she knows to enjoy by herself.. .. good na.. i dont know what bunty is going to like.. right now she likes playing with her kitchen set.. and her soft toys.. :)..

  6. Sigh! what a lovely post…I wish R could entertain herself like that..she doesnt need expensive toys..she is happy with the covers and utensils and pieces of paper, but is always wants someone with her…she is practically ‘demanding’ a sibling now..we have a major meltdown yesterday with her asking me why I cant give her a baby sister!

    But I loved loved loved that picture..and oh TGND gave R a beautiful picture story toy from Sutradhar I think it was wonderful adn R still plays with it πŸ™‚

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