The day I bought a dollhouse.
I am going to sound like an old lady with this one, but in this day and age, it seems that every child has an iPad, iPod or something of the i family. Which is fine and I really do mean that. What I am concerned about is imagination. What happens when instead of visualising what something would look like, you Google it? What happens when your child says, “hey mum I am off to the park” and they pick up an iPad to open their Park app? What happens when every time your child gets in the car they have a need to have some type of electronic device with them? I am honestly, hand-on-heart scared that the kids from this current generation are not developing their imagination. Keep in mind that this post is not a rant as such, rather, it’s an observation and I am curious as to know what you think too.
So being a hard-working, career driven, business owning Mum, it can be difficult to pull yourself away from work and take the time out to nurture your child’s imagination. I know there are some that will disagree and say that they always find the time, but this blog is all about honesty, so there you have it… it’s hard. And the guilt, holy crap, the guilt can creep up on you like nobody’s business and bite you where it hurts. But back to imagination… So what I am really worried about is how often kids find that they need an electronic device to soothe them. We have been on a few long car rides lately and that is the only time Miss 4 can sit and play with the iPad, until she started asking to have it on the way to preschool because, “I need it when I’m in the car Mummy”. I then freaked out and put a stop to iPad usage every time we’re in the car.
So why is this about a dollhouse? Since we became parents, I have always tried to find toys that encourage the imagination. But after I noticed the iPad addiction, I thought a little harder about my youth and thought about how my imagination was developed. I had some cool stuff, a play tent, paper dolls, dolls cradle, lego and…. a dollhouse. They all encourage the imagination, but none more so than the dollhouse. And there, my love of interior design was born, as was the idea of a cool office, a great outdoor deck and more. So I endeavoured to find a dollhouse that had bits and pieces to move around, an outdoor area, lots of tiny bits and pieces, all the fun stuff. All of our relatives bought the furniture to go in it, so it was a real family dollhouse. All made of timber, even the little people!
Miss 4’s jaw dropped when she saw that dollhouse for the first time. We then sat down together and set everything up, then changed it, played with all the bits and pieces and started all over again. She told the stories of those dolls lives beautifully as they went about their day… and her imagination soared.
The best news is that we have become even closer, which I didn’t think possible. I step out of my work mode home office space and step into a world of 4 year old imagination and I love it. The joy of life is right there in her little hands and her incredible mind. And I have to say that seeing the world through her eyes, if only for a short time, is a beautiful thing.