From what little television Grub watches, I agree some shows are educational. But its one thing to watch a half hour show once a week, compared to obsessing over Dora the Explorer merchandise because the girl at Kindy has a so and so. Its this type of mentality that is detrimental to a childs ability to accept who they are and what true happiness is, without the aid of materialistic things.
The combination of marketing creeping its way into our childrens lives and rise of Tween consumers, its more important than ever to provide a home environment where our children can grow up without feeling like more is better. These are my 'rules' I've set up for myself to combat the onslaught of the marketing world and to help Grub appreciate and respect her toys:
No plastic toys - The majority of branded toys are plastic. Not only are a lot of plastic toys poorly made, they are made with toxic substances that over time can cause various health problems including, reproductive defects, an increased risk of breast cancer and organ failure. Wooden toys last longer, are aesthetically pleasing, are hardly ever branded and lack flashing lights and sound allowing the imagination to express itself. Eco Toys sell amazing wooden toys for all ages and types of play.
Homemade or handcrafted toys - Simple ideas like creating a hanging toy out of a Christmas bauble and a stick. Making a rattle out of pasta and a bottle. A cubby house out of two chairs and a sheet. For older kids, fun can be had by making toys together or doing activities like those in Action Pack.
As parents we should be teaching out kids that self esteem comes from the inside out, not the outside in!