My son was looking through the Toys R Us catalog last night and I was looking over his shoulder.  I just about fell off the couch when he turned to this page! 

There’s just a part of me that feels sad to see cell phones in the toy store catalog.

I’m not criticizing Toys R Us for capitalizing on a business opportunity.  I think I’m just lamenting the loss of childhood.

Part of it is that my youngest is now 12.  After reorganizing his room a couple weeks ago we removed about five boxes of toys and junk to garage sale.  (Don’t worry, we saved the classic toys and meaningful memory items in his memory box.  My husband still hasn’t gotten over the fact that his dad sold his GI Joes at a garage sale…)

He is at the age where he doesn’t quite know what toys he wants.   And that makes me sad, too.

I think you should never be too old for toys and games.  When I was a substitute teacher working with junior high students, I often observed the beginnings of their relationships with the opposite sex.  So when classroom parties came up the other moms would say, “Just let them talk.”

Not me.  I planned wacky relays and fun games.  Kids are never too old to play games.  They can talk and text and Facebook (ok, they don’t talk anymore, really) anytime, but they can’t act like kids too often!  Guess what – they always had fun at my parties.

Cell phones?  I think you know my opinions on them.  If not, here’s the gist:

  • cell phones are nothing more than a social vehicle
  • they do not give parents a sense of security.  In fact, I postulate that they can increase anxiety because we think we can be in touch with people 24/7 – and the first time your kid doesn’t pick up?  Well, let’s just say you’ll have a few anxious moments.
  • my girls got phones at 15 – my son when he got a girlfriend
  • The kids pay for their own phones and service.  If they want it as a social toy, then they pay for it. 
  • Now that my older daughter is in college she has learned to disconnect from her friends.  She is so busy with her studies that it has been necessary to do so. 

I am not against cell phones.  I’m just against that we allow these things at younger and younger ages and they are giving our kids access to other kids 24/7.  Let’s give kids the gift of time – the gift of play – the gift of fun.

If you want ideas other than cell phones for your kids, head on over to Clover Lane.  My friend Sarah always has great ideas!  She shares some toys ideas here and her husband shares some great games here!