Our kids have state-of-the art toys – Toys that speak, drive, run, and glow. We’ve given them our old smart phones to use for gaming. We have video-game consoles, laptops, and e-readers. They are truly children of a technologically literate generation, children who know little of toys that require no batteries or light bulbs.
I have to wonder, though: will these things stand the test of time? Will our children look back and remember fondly the feel or smell of these things? Perhaps they will, but probably not.
Recently, during an afternoon visit with my grandmother, my daughter was playing with the toys at her house and came upon an old Fisher Price camera. That camera has been a staple in my grandmother’s toy box for as long as I can remember, and long before that. Without even touching it, I can remember the weight of the camera in my hands and the feel of the click that comes from inside as you press the button to “advance” the non-existent film. I can remember the smell of the plastic as I put the viewfinder to my eye and see the slides of happy children playing on a farm. I can recall the click of the dial that changes the colors from red, to blue, to yellow. I can remember many afternoons of running up to others and shouting “Say Cheese!”
There is something about an old familiar toy that brings back the comforts and innocence of childhood. Will my children’s toys have the same effect on them when they’re older? When they bring their own children to my house, will they see a toy and think “I used to love to play with that!” Will any of their old toys still be here? I guess that’s up to us.