14.7.05

How true, and how sad

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article entitled Block Party
A child of the '60s visits Legoland.
In it, the author writes:
The adult in me, at least the one seeking to reclaim his lost Lego childhood, was more concerned with tracking down Lego puro. And scattered in various pockets of the park, bins of ordinary Lego pieces beckoned the non-thrill-seekers to play as I once had.

But sadly, such moments were few and far between. Somehow I'd expected to find mountains of bricks with masses of children assembling, creating and wondering why this 45-year-old was having so much fun. Too often, what assembling did occur undermined the simplicity of Lego's good old days. The creativity remains; it's just been, well, modernized.
I agree. I've been to Lego stores, and I've seen the kits - I'm not impressed. Saddened is more the word I would use. Some time ago I had a conversation with a die-hard techie who was also saddened by the creation of Lego kits, ____ Barbie and other diminishings of our children's imaginations. It used to be that you got the box, but no idea what the finished product "should" look like (or, in the case of Barbie, the doll with a huge clothing line sold separately).

If I don't have the right outfit for Writer Barbie, or complete the Forest Hut Lego project exactly the way the box "suggests", what does that say about me? It should say that I have an imagination, that I can create things without being told what the final outcome needs to be. But too many of our kids lack that imagination. They're overscheduled, overly educated at too early an age, to properly develop one. No, I'm not a child psychologist, but I have worked with school kids. I see them growing increasingly used to being spoonfed what the result should be, rather than increasingly confident that they can create and explore without fear of rejection or being told "that's wrong".

How very sad.

2 comments:

Sherri said...

I've been asking for a bucket of Legos for Christmas for several years now...haven't gotten it yet. I still have my Play-Doh Fun Factory and my Spirograph, though.

Imagination isn't very prized in its organic form anymore. Now, "imagination" is statistically measured, prepackaged, and microwaved. If the Husband and I do adopt a child, I've promised myself -- dolls with no names, blocks and trucks and non-commercial stuffed animals.

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