Toys that enhance Intelligence

For a while now some people have been making vast amounts of money by selling educational products – mostly electronic or battery operated. The implicit promise being that success in school (or with computers et al) will somehow transfer to all round success in life. 

The thing is, all those academic products depend on the child getting ‘IT’ right. And real life’s not like that. Real life is about problem solving, communication, creativity; it’s about persistence when things go wrong; it’s about negotiation and working with what we have to hand.

Our back-yard looks like some kind of lumber dump. We have half-built huts, half-destroyed boats and Craig’s tools are scattered from here to kingdom-come. We have toys which have been taken apart…”so we could see how they worked, Mum,” and more bike parts (mostly rusty) than the average bike store. The inside of the house is a lego inspired replica. No-one seems too bothered when things go wrong – or not for long anyway: the next plan is half hatched; modifications thought of; or it’s a good time to eat. And they complete many projects too. Last spring it was a boat. It took about two weeks to build. We took it, and their teenage mate R, to a nearby lagoon.

 

It sank.

We laughed.

They mucked about in it all the same.

I haven’t heard either of  the older two say they’re bored in the last three years. But it’s not idyllic. It’s messy and often inconvenient. Sometimes it’s a down right pain.

So if you’re talking academic products or electronics, our children are deprived; if you’re talking products which truly help intellectual development, they’re kings. For Christmas the toddler is getting some pegs and a box of nappies (for the box), and the older two are getting their own tools, tarpaulins and some lego each – and very big water pistols…it is summer after all.

(Should you find this article useful, Koha is accepted, $1 is fine. The button is under my blog-roll. :))

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About Karyn @ kloppenmum

kloppenmum is me, Karyn Van Der Zwet, mother of three and ex-teacher. I'm part of a revolution in parenting, with the aim to raise mature (not sophisticated) and self-assured children. I also know some stuff about adults. I have also had articles printed in The Journal for The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (Children and Young People) and the US parenting magazine, Pathways to Family Wellness, as well I regularly write for World Moms Blog (named as one of the Forbes 100 most useful blogs for women 2012 &2013). You can follow me on facebook (kloppenmum) pinterest (Karyn at Kloppenmum) and twitter (@kloppenmum). I'm also vaguely on LinkedIn (Karyn Van Der Zwet). Thanks to Joe (Mr Hare) for taking the photo. Cheers, son: xxxx.
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8 Responses to Toys that enhance Intelligence

  1. Bravo! One of my ‘careers’ has been as a nanny which evolved some what to ‘parent consultant’ (such an London term, no?) and it is so refreshing to see common sense prevails.

    • kloppenmum says:

      Thanks. That’s one of the best compliments I’ve had all day. How is London? I miss it, sometimes.

      • You are welcome.
        I left London about 5 years ago, a few months before the terrorist attacks actually. I still miss it. I have worked in many locations around the place and London is one of those cities that get in under your skin and make you itch to return to, I feel. (hmm, scabies also get under your skin and make you itch…) I have been in Christchurch NZ since I left there.
        Good work on your blog, I enjoy reading it. I am just beginning myself, disciplining me to write weekly so I can find a style of my own.
        God Speed, Merry Xmas

        • kloppenmum says:

          I know what you mean about London, I came home aheemmm about 15 years ago. Certainly want to get back there post children, maybe even with children. I’m in Napier – so we’re practically neighbours in the blogosphere.
          Thanks for the lovely comments about the blog. I’ve only been at it (so to speak) a few weeks, but have found I’m incredibly opinionated! It’s fun. Good luck with yours.

  2. Tasiyagnunpa says:

    I would rather my children leave their project and sketching notebooks all about and whatever else’s around when they’re ‘projecting’ than just shoving a Kindle or something at them. 🙂 Excellent point. That’s why I hate homework for them…cuts into creative time like that.

  3. kaet says:

    From the other side, I decided as a kid that I didn’t want to be bored, and therefore I chose to keep a book (and later a diary) with me at pretty much all times. (I might well still just think or dream, often with the book in my hand.) It was my own solution to an issue adults let me have, however, and thus it’s lasted for the rest of my life, rather than being one I was given or pushed into.

    • What a great idea and how great that notebooking is an activity you’ve carried through to adulthood. I just love it when kids come up with their own solutions to boredom.

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