There are a lot of good things about today's technology... iPhones, iPads, electronic games, computers, the list is endless. Most of these "gadgets" can be great educational tools. However, unless you are the designer of these gadgets, they usually don't encourage imagination and role playing which is also important in the education and growing of any child.
Fortunately, there are still many manual toys to stimulate the imagination of children in today's world of high technology. Toy furniture is a good example. Since toy furniture is just the right size and fit for little ones, it removes the feeling of intimidation which promotes interaction with others, and makes imaginary tasks easier to manage. Have you ever been to a daycare or preschool that toy furniture wasn't a part of its setting?
I can remember the year my parents joined together with some of the other neighborhood parents before Christmas. The plan was that each set of parents purchase toy furniture as gifts from Santa. One of the more talented parents actually made theirs from scratch and painted it to match the rest of the pieces. That Christmas, between all of us, we had a refrigerator, stove, sink, grill, table and chair set, picnic table, and some dishes. We had everything we needed to develop social skills, learn teamwork and problem solving, and build precious and unforgettable bonds between us. All in the name of playing, sharing and having fun! The benefits of these learning qualities are lifelong and important in a child's early years which is something technology rarely motivates.
My sisters, brothers, neighborhood kids, and I played for hours in imaginary fun cooking, barbequing, and socializing with the toy furniture we shared, without the aid of technology. There wasn't a holiday, birthday, anniversary, baseball championship, or any celebration we couldn't plan and see through to the end, TOGETHER. Even the cleanup process was fun! We neither missed or cared about watching television. Looking back, I honestly believe all of our parents became closer friends as well.
To this day, my parents still have our toy furniture pieces, and because they were wooden and well made, they were sturdy enough to accommodate their grandchildren and now great grandchildren. It's easy to see that the toy furniture has been well used, re-sanded and painted, but every piece is still in great condition to shape more young minds to come. Have you ever heard of an heirloom iPad?
There is so much a child can benefit from manual toys that cannot be achieved by electronics. Especially in the very early and impressionable years. If they can establish basic learning skills very early, they will stand a much better head start in life. It is up to us as adults to provide them with the means to accomplish that whether it is wooden or plastic toy furniture, or a decorated cardboard box and tin cans.