The Joy in a Simple Toy. - The Magic Onions

The Joy in a Simple Toy.

Yesterday, I wrote about how we are trying to live simply in our big city and about how it’s not always the easiest thing to do. When you not only have a Target on every corner but also a Toys R Us, a TJ Maxx and a Ross, it’s really hard not to buy the remote controlled speed boat for your little boy, especially since it’s only $10.

But, if you have consciously chosen to simplify your child’s life, NOT buying this racy toy is much more of a gift to him. ‘WHY?’ you might ask. For me, the answer lies in the possibility that by giving him this high tech toy to play with, you might be taking from him the joy he could be having in the more simple things around him.

We planned a trip to our local Nature Center which has a softly meandering river that snakes it’s way around the trails. We often prepare for our walk by making a boat from nature bits we collect around the yard. Today, we made a simple raft from sticks and yarn.

Teddy cut the sticks to the right length.

And I helped him tie them together to make a simple raft.

We set off on our boating adventure and launched our raft.

We were delighted when we discovered that it floated. 

We found a long stick and spent a good while pushing it this way and that in the water.

We played for a long time in the fresh air and the water with our handmade boat.

THIS is the experience I’d rather Teddy have. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with playing with a remote controlled boat. What I am saying is that I’d rather my 4 year old find the joy in a more simple experience with a stick and a raft he has made with his own two hands. And I’m also not saying I’ll never allow him to play with a remote controlled boat… but I will always actively encourage him in the more natural, authentic, experiences whenever I can.

Blessings and magic,

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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. What a wonderful way to spark imagination & creativity. My boys – who love all things that go – would love this!

  2. hand made boats are the best!

  3. Loved this, thanks for sharing!

  4. So well put. You said everything I’ve never quite had the words for!

  5. Thanks for sharing! Teddy certainly must have felt proud with such accomplishment of building his own toy. I always love to see their pride. . . it’s certainly not a feeling they experience when they get a toy of the store shelf.

  6. This is creative energy at it’s best!
    It was was once presented to me like this: if we offer our children everything they could ever want when they are children, what then will they have left to strive for when they are adults.

  7. Wow! I love the concept of letting the boy create it than buying a remote control toy. It is seen in his eyes the sparkling joy upon playing his simple toy. Pretty Impressive!

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