Talent Show

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I am guilty of buying my son toys that I think will "make him smarter." The "computer" that ostensibly teaches kids to read. The board books with words in three languages. The "we're not really flashcards" flashcards. Shockingly, he has opted out of engaging with these materials I so lovingly provide him. He has instead spent many an hour playing with my necklaces, paper bags and, on one notable occasion, an extremely disgusting bathroom plunger (good times).

D's teacher often says (in a voice so calm it borders on meditation--how a person whose job consists of watching 25 toddlers day in and day out maintains such calm is beyond me): "Children like to work with real things." (Yes "work": The sometimes wonderful and sometimes slightly bizarre jargon of Montessori schools). I always nodded my head in agreement but only recently have come to see this as true.

Case in point: D has become obsessed with my camera. Obsessed as in he wears it around his neck all the time and threw a tantrum because I wouldn't let him keep it on in the bath. He can spend hours taking shots and then looking through them. And, in my obviously objective and unbiased opinion, I think he is a budding ARTISTE. Here are some of his many, many masterpieces-- don't worry about calling Annie Liebowitz, I've already left a couple messages...!:


The word that comes to mind? GENIUS! Heh.

It makes sense right? That kids will eschew the force-feeding "educational tools" for the stuff that can foster more organic creativity? I consistently learn that kids are smarter than most adults give them credit for. Who wouldn't want to play with a real phone versus some Crayola-colored fake monstrosity? A real camera versus one that coos and makes other really annoying sounds that can only approximate the cool experience of taking a photo? It makes sense.

Plus: Any excuse to forego the Toys R Us scene is good by me.
16 comments:
I.K. said...

haha, in all seriousness we have blown up some of the pfotos my 7 year takes and hung them up and everyone asks who the artist is!

Kiran said...

It's the age old story of the parent buying the fancy present and the child wanting to play with the box! Cute photos and you should totally encourage anything your children show an interest in, it's the best way to cultivate creativity.

Nikki said...

what a nice "self portrait"!!

i love educational toys and i think they work. but you can't really put them up on your fridge!!

Anonymous said...

nice "work", haha (i am well versed in the colloquy of montessori!)

Neesha said...

Haha, maybe D should meet my daughter, she is a genius artist in my objective opinion too!

Anonymous said...

um. i really like that photo of the spiral?! what is that??

India Arts said...

the photos are actually really nice! it doesn't look like he just pointed and clicked it looks like he honed in on a subject! i will concur: ARTISTE!

Priya said...

have to say: i think the leap frog products are AMAZING and i really see my child learning. i'm all for "creativity" and whatnot, but since when did structured learning get a bad rap??

Bahar said...

For an entire month, my daughter's favorite "toy" was an old, nasty, rank toothbrush. She took it everywhere with her and she sang it songs. Glad I bought those sleek wooden blocks from Scandinavia for her...!

shona said...

love it. i'm gonna give my kids our camera, maybe they will get it together to take some family photos and send them around to the folks! haha.

Molly said...

dovetails nicely with the sort of philosophy that less is more. less toys, more experience, more time doing meaningful things versus logging hours on something "educational." my opinion is that there is plenty of time for the so-called teaching tools later. no need to put a 2 year old in front of flashcards (unless of course he wants to be in frnot of them and believe me--i am a teacher--some kids LIKE flashcards!!!)

S.K.P. said...

Cute!

Anonymous said...

Great post! These days with digital cameras and whatnot everybody can be an amateur photographer--even our toddlers!

Anonymous said...

I love it...our son loves real world items too. We don't buy very many toys but instead keep around empty yougurt containers, water bottles, etc. At the tender age of one, he loves the camera on my cell phone. Maybe when I updgrade the phone, I will let him take more pictures.

marisol said...

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iniam said...

I love these pics...he's got skills!!!! I love it!

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