Sunday, February 13, 2011

Imaginative Play, Gone Wrong

~ More than ever, we as parents and a nation must do something about the growth of obesity in our children. We must do more than just talk, we must be concerned enough to act. ~ Lee Haney

This is the reason that I like to make play food for my daughter, myself. There are so many things wrong with this! This was part of a gift that was given to my daughter, for her birthday. I know we can't be choosy (or can I a little?) about what other people buy for your child as gifts, but shouldn't things like what you might really want to avoid, or what you believe, or how you raise your child, have some sort of effect on what someone gives them? I thought this would be easier to avoid, if it were a gift given by a family member. One who went out of their way to make sure they asked exactly what would be appropriate for our little one. I guess I was wrong!

I am not ungrateful for the "idea" of this gift, but I am quite put off that I was asked exactly what Miss Z would like and what sorts of things we were trying to avoid and this person went right out and purchased all the things we said were not appropriate! Not only did she receive a ton of "plastic, wrapped in plastic, wrapped in a tree", but the items in this play food set are things that I would never see as ideal choices, even in play food. Things like chocolate nuts, juicy candy, boxed cake, doughnuts and so on. I know, I am not perfect and I do eat junk food sometimes, but this isn't a habit that I like to encourage. Maybe I am a weird and anal parent, but it seems that these types of toys, encourage bad eating habits and bad food choices in real life. Yes, they are just toys, but they do have an impact on the minds of little ones!

I should also add that it isn't just the fact that this is junk food play food, but the fact that we do our best to avoid plastic and anyone that knows me, knows that! I was sure to inform the person who purchased this set, that we would much prefer something wooden, cloth, anything but plastic (as she gave us the choice). Sure it may seem that maybe they couldn't find the items I told them about, or maybe things were too expensive, but that is not the case. This person is known for asking what we want and then doing the opposite, which makes no sense to me. Why spend your money on a spiteful gift, just to have it given away to someone else. You are hurting me, you are hurting your own pocket book!

P.S...The play food set was also accompanied by a plastic tea set, plastic dishes, cookies(with more junk in the ingredients, than I care to even read) as well as juice boxes with weird ingredients like canola oil...EEEEK!!

What do you think? Are these okay toys for your child? Do feel the same as I do, in the aspect that these sorts of toys teach bad habit/choices in life? Am I just crazy? Okay, don't answer that last one, but I would really like to hear what others think.


Knickertwist said...

Don't take it personally. Some people are so wrapped up in their own heads that they forget to respect the ideals of others. If you can get past the plastic use the toys to teach moderation, turn the canned soda into tinned peas, and the boxed treats into couscous, then use them to teach about recycling. If she's old enough to read the lables then I'd used the ingredient list to say "That's silly to make juice out of that! Let's make some real juice and see what it's made out of."

Mama A said...

Those are some really good ideas, thank you :) I did get rid of the junk food ones, and kept some of the fruits and veggies that came with the set (though there were only a few) and was thinking I should keep the cardboard boxes, and turn them in to something else, like you suggested. I was also thinking of making Miss Z some more felt food and simply replacing the same in the plastic, as I make them. I am sure she will have no complaints ;)

Mama A said...

Oh, and the person that gave her these, is notorious for asking you what you want and getting you the complete opposite. I really believe she does these things on purpose, kind of like a "Ha, take that!" sort of thing...LOL!