If you have been shopping for your children this holiday season, I’m sure you have noticed a trend. The trend of the replication of toys from 20-30 years ago. Did you own a Light Bright as a kid? Back by popular demand, you can now give your child the same! And just like that, we are replicating our memories of our childhood for our kids.
Don’t get me wrong, I want my children to have memories similar to mine. I get just as excited as the next person when I see a beloved toy make a come back. But as I’m typing this, I wonder, what makes us believe we need to fill a memory void for our children? Are we concerned the memories they create won’t be as good as ours?
Chances are, we are reaching for these toys because we are remembering the simplicities of childhood. The toy companies are making a fortune off our nostalgia. These companies are taking a play from the Hollywood playbook, recreating what was once great, because what we loved as children we will likely love again.
I wonder though, with all the progress our society has made in our lifetime, do our children really want to play with toys lacking in technology? I think I can answer for all of us when I say: we hope so! These toys were once played with by the great minds that brought us up to the speed we are at today. Combine great toys from the past with the technology at our fingertips today, and we get a future built by our children that we can only imagine! A great future created by even greater minds than that of our generation.
In addition to this, by giving our children the simplistic toys of our past, we are asking them to disconnect. To find ways to create, to imagine, to invent and build. We are asking them to find value in time not connected to technology, but rather with their minds, and with other people.
And when all else fails, these toys of our past are cool to us. The parents. We want to play with them!
I think the value of the replicated toys are beyond what most of us see. Beyond what the toy manufacturers intended. The toys are not just for our children. They are for us as well. When we gift our children the toys of our past, we take pride in the experience. We put down our own devices. We turn off the television. We sit and play with our kids, and become more actively present. And we not only create lasting memories for our children, but new memories we can hold onto.
So whether you have been bitten by the nostalgia bug, or believe in leaving the past in the past, take this message to heart this holiday season: Find the time to create memories through being present. Both you and your children will cherish these moments for many years to come.
P.S. – The afore mentioned Light Bright is calling my name! My sister and younger brother had them, and were so fun to play with. I may be snagging one to experience with my children.