A couple weeks ago, I spent some time at Toys R Us trying to pick out a gift for a 5 year old-a task I thought would be simple. I mean, how hard could this reallybe? I was a child once. I have two children of my own, and although it has been some time since they were young (now 20 and 16), toys are toys. How different can they really be, right? WRONG. What happened to the red, yellow, and blue big wheel with its adjustable seat and plastic handle on the side which acts as a brake? I remember pretending to be Evil Knievel whizzing down Mount Everest only to pull the brake as hard as my little arm would allow me, and spin 360° in the grass (ok...maybe half a spin and not quite Mount Everest, but still). What happened to the pogo stick? My sister and I would have pogo competitions to see who could jump the most times without falling off. And, as a girl in an almost entirely boy infested neighborhood, I would play in mounds of dirt with hundreds of matchbox cars of every shape and color under the sun. All of these awesome toys seem to have been replaced by electronic devices. Needless to say, I came home somewhat saddened by the fact that today's children are really missing out on some good old fashioned fun.
Shortly after my trip to Toys R Us, I saw a clip from The Today Show that a man by the name of Blair McMillan, decided back in April that he and his family would ban, for one year, all technology dated after 1986 (the year that he was born). He made this decision after his son Tray decided to play with his iPad rather than venture outdoors. McMillan packed up the family's GPS, all cell phones, iPads, and computers. I really commend this family.
Though I am somewhat disappointed that today's children are not experiencing those wonderful childhood memories that I once had, I must admit that I am not certain that I would willingly pack away my iPod and replace it with the boombox or give up On-Demand. However, I think it's pretty awesome that the McMillan family has taken on the challenge