I have often wondered whether there is too much of a ‘celebrity culture’ for toddlers. Our adult lives are often full of new reality tv ‘stars’, listening to newest song by pop stars, ‘how to live your life’ books by some celebrity. We emulate them and we spend money on them.
Are we encouraging our children to do the same? Are we setting them up to think that ‘celebrating celebrities’ is normal?
I was adamant (as a naive and excited mummy-to-be) that my child wouldn’t be all about the name, they wouldn’t be able to name all the Cbeebies characters by age 2, they would appreciate more educational toys than the plastic tat with stickers of Paw Patrol on.
Oh, how naive I was. How full of good intentions…
Well my views soon changed. J made sure of that. I can name all the Paw Patrols, I can sing almost all the Cbeebies theme tunes and I get over excited at the sight of our Bing plushie collection. In all honesty it’s because I love seeing how happy it all makes J. He lights up when he sees Marshal land in his fire truck. He laughs at Mr Tumble and looks in awe when he is signing.
Being non-verbal J can’t name all the characters BUT he can point to them all in the Cbeebies magazine when asked to find them. He will always pick a Thomas the Tank Engine over a wooden ‘faceless’ train…and yesterday I brought him a dinner set with Blaze and the Monster Machines on.
I will add that he has many, MANY wooden toys. I love the Steiner way of learning so I encourage more open ended play, bring in nature and sensory play. J does enjoy this. He is loving his wooden shape sorter toy at the moment. He loves collecting pine cones and arranging his wooden peg dolls.
I think we have found a balance between character toys and more open resources. He also has tons of books so it’s not all about screentime. I have definately changed my views and now believe that you should do what makes your child happy (to an extent). If that’s their interest and their ‘drive’ to learn then go for it. This is especially helpful for children with additional needs. Children need to be engaged to learn. We need to do what we can to encourage language development.
J’s Blaze dinnerset has encouraged him to eat more as he wants to get to the Blaze picture at the bottom. His Thomas and friends ‘minis’ have encouraged him with his counting and fine manipulative skills. Mr Tumble has helped J learn to sign and to ‘normalise’ it for him.
So my ‘judgy-pants’ have loosened a bit.