Hey Kids: Less Electronic Media, More Make Believe

Hey Kids: Less Electronic Media, More Make Believe
Dan Gould
  • 26 june 2008
Psychologist Susan Linn believes that children are losing touch with their natural ability to pretend and use their imaginations. In her new book, The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World, she says that electronic gadgets and toys with a pre-made story are stifling kids exploration of new ideas. Creativity, empathy, learning and problem-solving are all byproducts of make believe and Linn thinks we’re boxing in and distracting the younger generation with all these commercial toys.
USA Today reports:
Q: You write that studies show the time children spend in creative play has diminished over the years. Why?
A: Kids are spending about 40 hours a week engaged with electronic media after school. That’s time taken away from creative play. The combination of this screen time and all the toys based on TV shows and movies narrows children’s options for make-believe. So do these best-selling electronic toys where all you have to do is push a button, and the toy talks, walks and does back flips by itself. It’s like the toy is having most of the fun, but it’s not giving children a chance to be creative. When it comes to toys that encourage creative play, less is more. A good toy is 90% child and only 10% toy.

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