Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Toy nazi

I will admit that I am a toy nazi.
I am particular about what toys my kids play with and own. But I have been rethinking that a bit of late.
We have beautiful toys. Wooden, Steiner, dress-ups and a big play kitchen. I have selected most of them fairly carefully with imaginative, open-ended play in mind. We have things like play cloths in all different colors, dolls, an array of Sleich plastic animals and about a hundred wooden blocks.

But the toys which get played with the absolute most are the My Little Ponies.
We had 2. Then word on the street was that some flouro super dooper plastic had made it in the house and they seemed to breed in the pony bag.The we went on our trip to Qld and I bought some as a way to hopefully keep the girls entertained on the flight.
Now we have about 15!
Granted they are hideously bright and look quite flammable-but they do encourage imaginative, open-ended play.
The girls (both of them, Willow is a fan too) play all sorts of games with them. They haven't locked them into one personality or one use. So how can I hate that?
To Tannah they are just "ponies" and they can suit whatever game she wants them to.

So we come to Barbie.

I openly dislike Barbie and all the messages about fashion and being "pretty" that come with her. Not to mention that dressing/undressing her is too bloody hard for pre schoolers and requires heaps of my help!

Tannah (with no encouragement) has developed a LOVE for Barbie and desperately wants one.
Her Granny has some that she bought which live at her house-no doubt after hearing Tannah bang on and on about how awesome she is.
Which brings me to my dilemma. Who am I do decide what toys she can and cannot like?
I do decide what she watches on the small amount of telly she sees-but am I just being a killjoy if I interfere with her wanting a Barbie doll??
She is heavily into princess type stuff and I have just followed her lead on that, neither encouraging or discouraging her-but definitely letting her enjoy it. Same as I would if it was dinosaurs or something. Though I guess if it something that was not age appropriate and violent like Batman I'd have issues.

I am stuck on what to do. I am sick of hearing about how cool Barbie is. Will it surprise me with all the open ended play that would happen or will her plasticky massively titted body just annoy me? How long can I be a toy nazi-is Tannah getting too old for me to make these decisions for her? Maybe I should take the "unschooling" idea on this and just follow her lead and get her a damn doll. Maybe I can get away with another year without one.....


Diane said...

The newer barbies have a smaller chest, and wider hips, so a more realistic shape, and my girls play all sorts of different games with them. Lucy (at 5.5) can do most of the dressing/undressing, and Charlotte (3 and a bit) can do some of it. I say go for it, and be glad she's not asking for Bratz!

Nic said...

Yeah definately be glad shes not asking for bratz, lol. I have fond memories of my sister and I playing barbies for hours.

katef - www.picklebums.com said...

I still don't like Barbie... but now we have four. I am ok with that because I didn't buy any of them... they came as gifts and I was more than happy to see if they would be loved and played with or fall into the big box of stuff that is just that 'stuff'. So far the jury is still out - they 'love them' because I think they think they are supposed to love them since they were given to them by friends from kinder... they don't play with them very much but I will bet they trotted them out to show to Tannah last time you were here...
My girls want loads of things - at the moment it is Littlest Pet Shop... I am not going out to buy them that stuff but I would consider it if they were asking for it by their birthday or Christmas... so um.. ramble ramble.. no help at all except to say we'll but her one for her birthday if that eases the decision making process. Some of the fairy ones are not nearly as offensive I reckon

Rach said...

Geez, it's hard hey. I was reading your post thinking "TG I have boys" but then again there is all sorts of violent stuff *just* for boys that I am sure M will be asking me for in months and years to come.

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