"Paint from life, not a photograph. When you do, all the problems have been
solved FOR you. When you paint from life, YOU have to figure it all out."
- Sam Wilson, Professor at University of Utah
In looking for a quote about what children play with, I remembered my old art professor saying the above. It made sense at the time, but also applies to what I'm experiencing with my children today. When I watch them play iGames, and even Mario Kart on our old Nintendo 64, I don't see them acquiring any new skills. Sure, there's some hand eye coordination. Though isn't that like calling Twinkies "food"?
Now I'm the first to enjoy new technology, but when my first child came along and she was starting to play with toys, I had to make my move. As a youngster, I was playing with blocks for YEARS. Even into the electronic baseball days, I loved to make castles, forts, tall towers, etc. I felt that would be a great gift for my 'Lil Miss. The Wife went along with it, but wasn't sure it would be all that popular. It was a hit, for years, and has been passed on to my 'Lil Man (pictured above). The Wife has declared it to be the single greatest indoor toy for the past 5 years. THAT'S sayin' something!
The one's we got happened to be from Toys R Us. Then there's the one's with the letters on them here. Either way, I see how my daughter benefited from the creativity, motor skills building, etc. Now I'm watching my son do the same. He's building 2-3 new castles a day. Each one has a new foundation, a different design, and so on. It's fun to watch. It's also fun to participate. So remember to give you kids some hands on stuff to do, away from the artificial screens. They can use both, and get a lot out of both. Have fun.