Saturday, June 9, 2012

Toys are important, as any six-year-old will tell you. They don’t just give companies something to put in the adverts between Saturday morning cartoons- they prepare our kids for the world around them, allowing them to role play scenarios they see every day.
The trouble is, the world is changing, and toys aren’t quite keeping up with it. This is why our current generation of kids is going to be baffled when they see:

A Toy Phone




It seemed that at one point you couldn’t find a nursery or toy box that didn’t have this phone in it somewhere. With its smiling face, it’s illustrated dial, its headset and, for some reason, wheels, there’s few who see it now and aren’t instantly transported back to their first experience of sticking a bit of plastic up against their face and talking into.
The trouble is, phones haven’t looked like this for about 20 years. Dials like that haven’t been around since before I was playing with that toy, and now? Now phones are just flat, shiny looking rectangles. Kids might still love this toy, but they’re going to have no idea what it’s actually supposed to be.


Wind-Up Gramophone








Admittedly, this toy is an antique in itself now. But if you were to try giving this to a kid, you would first have to explain that once upon a time people had to buy music from shops, and they came on things called “disks” or “records” and in this way, once upon a time, it was actually still possible for people to make money in the music industry.


“Regular” Lego





There was a time when Lego came in four flavours. “Space”, “Castle”, “Pirate” and “Normal”. Since then, they’ve expanded their reach, bringing in Ninja Lego, Robot Lego, and even going into movie properties such as Pirates of the Caribbean Lego, Harry Potter Lego and Star Wars Lego. They’ve even brought out a range of Lego bricks “for girls” which is really puzzling to those of us who were already playing with Lego.
We’re going to reach a time where if you poured a big pile of coloured bricks in front of a small child, rather than immediately building a School Destroying Robot, they’ll want to know which movie franchise it’s connected to.


Toy Cars







Kids of the near future will probably understand what cars were, the same way we understand what dinosaurs were. But once the oil runs out and we’re all reduced to getting around by Segway, kids are going to be really puzzled by the coloured pieces of plastic and tin on wheels that we give them to push around, and their “brum brum” noises will be nowhere near as convincing as ours were.


Mr Frosty Slushy Maker




Yes, as kids we used to love the magical Mr Frosty Slushy Maker and its coloured watery treats. But kids of tomorrow, aside from wondering what it was we were all so excited about (They grew up with Nintendo Wii, a piece of plastic that can barely crush ice won’t impress them) they’ll also be puzzled by the very concept of Mr Frosty. Why is he white all over? He’s made of snow? What’s snow?




About the Author:
Danielle Shepherd writers about nursery nurse jobs when she isn’t crushing the dreams of children. 


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