Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dumb Kid Toys

The 86th Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Homeschool Buzz. If you take a look on the blog, you will notice some advertisements for magic tricks and other items such as joy buzzers that you may remember as a kid from comic books or other places. Seeing the pictures reminded me of the dumb stuff I was always ordering as a kid, first the Sea Monkeys--they died immediately--the magic rocks--they were kind of cool, the Joy Buzzers that provided hours of fun and finally, X-ray glasses that promised to let me see through clothing and spy on people. Yeah, sure. Most of the items I got through the mail were just a bunch of junk but the best part was imagining all the neat stuff I could do with them.

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Blogger TheBrainFromPlanetArous said...

Don't forget the NEW dumb kid toy... posting "First!"


PS - Love the column, Doc. :)

2:28 PM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger TheBrainFromPlanetArous said...

Ahem. Seriously, folks....

A few months ago I was sitting with a woman friend and her son. The kid was fussing about and mom told him to cheer up - his birthday was coming soon and that would mean toys!

The kids' eyes narrowed.

"Are they gonna be... edda... eddacashunul?" he asked warily.

I had to slap my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing. This gal is a dear friend but she's one of those dreadful Concerned Parents tutored by the worried upscale liberal NPR set on Constructive Playtime ideology. The kid has already figured out that 'eddacashunul' means pedantic, boring and NOT FUN.

(Which is not to say that educational toys CAN'T be fun; the best ones are terrific and often timeless. Play Rumis with your kids sometime and see what a blast it is.)

Her son loves... wait for it... trucks and guns. And sharks. And dinosaurs. And wrestling with bigger kids (and me.) He's absolutely mad for Rock Em Sock Em Robots, which horrifies his "anti-violence" parents who are certain that making two plastic robots smack each other leads directly to spousal abuse later in life...

2:48 PM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger Soccer Dad said...

About those sea monkeys.

3:50 PM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger Derek said...

I bought a sea monkey set to entertain my 3 year old a couple of years back. He loved it. They actually survived for about a week.

Along the way, we discovered that sea monkeys make great betta food. He quite enjoyed watching the fish chase after the shrimp.

6:01 PM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger Thor's Dad said...

The heck with ordering goofy stuff from comics - give me the toy soldiers Revolutionary war, Roman Legions, WWII - of course their quality reflected the cheap price (probably a little lead in the plastic) but they fueled my interest and love of history and I read more than one book a year because of them

3:01 PM, August 22, 2007  
Blogger N/A said...

In light of BrainFromArous comment about "eddacashunal" toys, I'm reminded of toy shopping for my three-month-old daughter. We're trying to get Christmas shopping done, and we're perusing toys that will be good for children aged six to eighteen months.

A lot of the toys in this age range claim to be educational. The most egregious was a rattle with several different textured bits that said "encourages thinking" on the box.

"Encourages thinking." Unlike all those other rattles which encourage vapidity.

The Missus and I are of the mind that play encourages thinking, not toys. A kid can get plenty of stimulation from a carboard box that she won't get from one of the hundreds of toys on the market that play by themselves on (I'm looking in your direction, tickle-me-elmo)

Of course, we won't be giving her a cardboard box for Christmas. But we will be giving her weebles. Because weebles are awesome.

If she wants something educational, I'll get her Legoes.

11:20 AM, August 23, 2007  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

I always wanted to get Sea Monkeys but for one reason or another it never happened.

1:39 PM, August 23, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Jack's Shack,

It's never too late. I read recently that the new ones last longer and don't die as readily as the ones we had as kids.

1:48 PM, August 23, 2007  
Blogger Ken Mitchell said...

When my son was little, we were careful to tell our friends that he was NOT to be given toy guns as gifts, and they all marveled over what good parents we must be.

Then one day our Rabbi had the common sense to ask "Why", and was shocked by our answer; No "toy" guns were allowed in our home, because ALL of the guns in THIS house were REAL.

5:29 PM, August 23, 2007  
Blogger Tully said...

Same rule in my house, Kenneth. My mother-in-law went from thinking I was enlightened to thinking I was an invading alien in one brief moment of explanation.

She got over it.

7:00 PM, August 23, 2007  
Blogger Eric McErlain said...

For years, I mourned that I never had a chance to order this.

8:05 PM, August 23, 2007  
Blogger Mojoski said...

Just had to speak up for the Sea Monkeys. I've had a set on my desk at work and they have lived for literally years. It's a cycle of life thing. Generation after generation. Seriously..

I enjoy them. Evidently they have become more robust over the years. All I do is aerate the water once or twice a week and feed them once or twice a week.

If you're considering trying them out, I would encourage you to. They are a cheap and fun distraction for those boring conference calls I sometimes find myself stuck on..


9:39 PM, August 23, 2007  
Blogger Jami Hussein said...

Do the kid a big favor and give him some lincoln logs, erector sets, cheap bags of green army men with jeeps and such. Tell his mom it will stimulate his creativity. Tell him to build scale size forts and castles and invasion routes. Then stand back and enjoy some peace and quiet while he's absorbed in building things and tearing them down.

11:33 AM, August 24, 2007  
Blogger TheBrainFromPlanetArous said...

Alas, even Lego isn't what it used to be...

Toy soldiers, though... forever!

6:31 PM, August 24, 2007  
Blogger SFC B said...

Legos are the single greatest toy ever invented. One of the major reasons I want to have a child is to have an excuse to buy Legos when they're old enough.

12:27 PM, August 25, 2007  
Blogger Tony333 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:14 AM, November 12, 2007  
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