I promised my mother that I would write about this; you just don't cross my mother, so I'm going to attempt the blog entry that was much better in my head yesterday even though my mind may be elsewhere. I did an entry about play value this summer and forgot to post it, so it sort of got lost in the shuffle. Here's the old entry for reference.
My interest today, however, is more about the different developmental uses for toys. A few examples:
The Boy got a toy laptop from Grandma when he was 8 months old. Occasionally, he would hit buttons by accident or bat the thing around a little bit. After a few weeks, we discovered that his favorite thing to do with this toy is to close it. I'd open it and turn it on, and he'd close it up again. This transferred into attempts to close the real laptops--usually a sign that he needs more direct attention.
This also prompted me to buy this Pop-Up Pals toy. It has 5 little doors that he can close just like he does with the laptop. We got a lot of mileage out of just opening the little doors and letting him close them. A few days ago, he actually discovered how to open some of the doors, which was terrifically exciting for everyone.
He has begun to use his walking toys for walking, which we figured that he'd do eventually. He used to just play with the stuff on the toys. One of the toys has buttons that make sounds. And, on the subject of buttons, The Boy holds phones and remotes as if he is texting.
A moderate annoyance about baby toys is that they all seem to have letters or numbers, colors or shapes, and they recite the new information at the touch of a button. I don't expect The Boy to know his colors by 18 months just because he has so many toys to tell him. Nor do I believe that the ABC song will be anything more than the ABC song for a few more years yet. I guess it's nice that all of this information is being thrown his way so that when he's ready to understand it, the toys can reinforce what he is learning.
Might this also be a reflection of our current society? Everyone is so worked up about "Kindergarten Readiness" and everyone knows that if they don't startKindergarten right, they won't pass their standardized testing in second grade but they forget that it's developmental, NOT knowledge-based when they start Kindergarten. I have had a few discussions with family and friends about the need for preschool versus daycare or playgroup for children who are under 5 and the concern that they won't know enough for kindergarten. There is currently no requirement that anyone attend school before first grade; almost everyone starts with kindergarten because the public schools offer it and have enough spots for all students.
By the way...all of you with August babies, especially boys, see what the practice is in your town about your kids starting kindergarten right at their 5th birthday vs. waiting an extra year. Developmentally, it's worth checking into.
Don't know which way this post has gone but I'm done because I don't even understand myself anymore...please feel free to leave a comment about anything that made sense.